"If you really want to impact the economy and do some things that need to be done anyway, put more into infrastructure," he said. "And clearly tax relief should have been more of a part of this. ... If you're going to borrow a trillion dollars you ought to darn well spend it on things that get some results" [reported by David Montgomery, "Thune Slams Stimulus Bill as Ineffective," Behind Government Lines, 2009.10.28]
This just in: the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the United States Gross Domestic Product grew in the third quarter at an annual rate of 3.5%. That's a rebound from Quarter 2, which saw GDP shrink 0.7%. That 3.5% is the strongest GDP increase we've seen since Q3 2007, when the Bush economy grew at 3.6% before sliding into quarterly contractions of –5.4% in Q4 2008 and –6.4% in Q1 2009.
Overall, the Bush economy met or beat 3.5% GDP growth in exactly seven out of 28 quarters (starting with Q2 2001—I'll grant that negative-GDP Q1 to Clinton). That 3.5% rate also beats the 2.2% annual increase that the GDP averaged throughout all eight years of George W. Bush's presidency. (Get more BEA GDP stats here!)
If reversing GDP contraction is "ineffective" stimulus, then I'll take seconds. Keep priming that pump, President Obama!