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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thune: 4.2% GDP Flip to the Good "Ineffective"?

Mr. Montgomery reports that Senator Thune "slams" the stimulus as "ineffective":

"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!


  1. Michael Black10/29/2009 9:46 AM

    Come on Cory...

    We borrowed huge amounts of money to stimulate the economy by paying for improvements in our infrastructure through "shovel ready" projects.

    And just where has the money gone?

    The government can't tell you. Moat of the money has not been spent on anything. Much of the money that has been spent has gone to propping up state and local governments who had enormous shortfalls.

    There are so many rules and strings that go along with the stimulus funds that most of it will quietly disappear into administrative costs.

    I suspect that the economy would have rebounded on its own without any help from the borrow and spend policies of the recent Republican and Democratic administrations. We will be paying the interest on the debt for generations.

    Americans just want their hard earned money spent wisely and not wasted through political stupidity.

    Doctors have the philosophy that the body will heal itself. First rule: don't kill the patient.

  2. Cory,

    Michael is right. Both parties follow the Keynsian economic model, which is a complete lie. I am not calling you a liar. I am saying that you are using the Progressive left's lies to slander Senator Thune yet again.

    The rebound is the same euphoria that heroin addicts get when they shoot up. The problem is that it is an artificial high that will end up doing huge damage, if not kill you all together. So put down the Progressive left's Kool Aid, deprogram yourself, and find reality.

  3. Hey, Michael, I'm just looking at the numbers. Even President Obama, who has much more to gain by claiming credit for stimulus effects than I do, says he measures success not by GDP but by jobs and hiring and regular folks being able to pay the bills. Fair enough—on that, he and Thune might agree. But increased economic activity—higher the during three-fourths of the Bush years—is a sign something is happening.

    Thank you, Sibby, for taking time to clarify that you're not calling me a liar, just a useful dupe of the lying left. Just don't make me go to my truest lefty roots, or I might argue is that we actually should let the economy contract another 20%–30% to get rid of wasteful consumption, reduce energy usage, and save the planet. Back to the garden! Down with the GDP! Alas, no one on either side will take me up on that one. :-)

  4. Oops! Forgot my link to the President's comments. Obama and Thune agree there's much yet to be done... the difference is that Obama has a plan, while Thune has a campaign slogan.

  5. Steve Sibson10/29/2009 8:59 PM


    Thanks for pointing out teh consumption point. That is why the Keynsiam idology is a lie. Consumption does not create wealth, it consumes it.

  6. I share your concern about viewing consumption as inherently good. PRI's The World (public radio, 6 p.m.) had an interesting lead report tonight about how GDP is not the best indicator of wealth, as it includes bad things like car wrecks and hospital bills. When you spend money to fix your car after a wreck, you aren't making things better; you're just restoring things to where they were.


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