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Monday, November 23, 2009

3 Independent Analyses Agree: Stimulus Working

Conservatives like Sibby take predictable pleasure in citing increased unemployment as evidence that the stimulus package has failed. They further their schadenfreude by pointing out actual unemployment numbers have exceeded the overly optimistic predictions of job recovery cited by the Obama Administration at the beginning of 2009:

Well, let's turn those frowns and grim statistical curves upside down, kids: the New York Times article I discussed this morning includes this graphic to demonstrate that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working:

Three independent companies—IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers, and Moody's Economy.com—agree that, thanks to the February stimulus, more people are working and more money is flowing than if we had followed the Republican line and done nothing. Three independent sources—heck, that's probably more non-WorldNetDaily sources than Sibby will cite all week.

Did Obama's people botch their guess on the jobs picture? Sure. They underestimated the magnitude of the problem President Bush left them with. If Obama's number crunchers had adopted a more accurate and dire interpretation of job trends, they'd have had an argument for an even bigger stimulus package.

What the Obama Administration didn't get wrong was the net improvement the stimulus package would bring. And remember: there's still three-quarters of the stimulus money coming.

But hey, Moody's and I could be wrong. Watch Moody's Mark Zandi debate Obama's economic policies with a bunch of other economic heavy hitters (and Eliot Spitzer?!) on Intelligence Squared.


  1. Steve Sibson11/23/2009 8:34 PM


    How can they be independent if they all follow the same VooDoo Keynsian economics?

  2. If things are so wonderful and only 1/3 of the stimulus money has been spent, why in the world is he now doing a second stimulus bill (in dribs and drabs though under various guises because he doesn't want it to be called a "second" stimulus)? Why not simply spend the 2/3 already allocated? Where did that money go?

  3. If you like extrapolation, the trend of those little rust-colored dots ought to scare the underwear right off your butt.

    I do not make a habit of engaging in willy-nilly extrapolation, but those rusty dots make me nervous anyway.

  4. Steve Sibson11/24/2009 6:12 AM

    What those rusty dots don't do is tell the truth. The recovery would habe been much quicker (a "V" shaped versus a "U" shape) and we would not have the rich banking elite making tons of money off of the taxpayers. And like the Great Depression, it is very likely that we will enter another stage of recession, that is why they are talking about another round of heroin...I mean borrow and spend VooDoo Keynsian economic policy...or what the liars call stimulus.

  5. Nonnie: 1/4 spent. And I didn't say things are wonderful: I said they're better than they would have been otherwise. You can see where the money has gone at Recovery.gov.

    Gentlemen, the point here is that the rusty dots are being compared to counterfactual data, flawed predictions. The second set of graphs are more illustrative of reality.

  6. Cory, You want reality!

    The dollar slumping to new lows against the world's currencies.
    Unemployment among black males-34%.
    True unemployement-somewhere around 17%.
    A dozen states facing bankruptcy.
    Bank failures up.
    A 12 trillion dollar US debt.
    Continued spending that will continue to increase that debt.

    Cory, I'll tell ya, better off is a relative term. The live cancer patient is better off than the dead one, but they are still dying.

    I voted for this administration but they lost me the first time they said it was Bush's fault. They ran on the platform that they could fix it, so fix it, accept responsibility and fix it don't blame others for your failures. This administration must start living in the real world and not the world of academic theory where graphs and charts and predictions a used to make people feel good.

    Joseph G Thompson

  7. Joseph, I'm not denying one bit of the reality you cite. But I'm asking what you want us to do instead. Would you have preferred inaction and an even deeper recession? Would you prefer a decade of shock therapy as we pull government out of the economy and do nothing but deliver the mail and defend the borders? What is the practical alternative?

  8. Cory,
    I know what doesn't work.

    Massive federal spending when the only way to get the money is to print it or borrow it. Both lead us down a path we have never walked before, an inflationary recession or an inflationary depression.

    Unemployment for 99 weeks. Nothing like creating a desire not to work. Better a new WPA program.

    Cash for clunkers-no doubt it sold some cars, but they were the most expensive cars you or I will probably ever see. Better to have kept the factories open, built the cars and then crushed them at the end of the production line. At least the factories would have stayed open and the workers employed.

    A trillion dollar health insurance overhaul, when like it or not most of the money to fund it will have to be borrowed. Fix the economy then fix health care by spending a trillion dollars.

    The way to fix the problems we face is through accountablility not political grandstanding, politicians will always blame someone else.

    Our current President needs to hang the same sign President Truman hung in his office, "The Buck Stops Here."

    The President and his political party need to stop whinning about Bush, get some backbone, fire the people who are not fixing the problems and accept responsibility for our future.

    God help us because right now no one else can, and to be honest, I'm not sure He wants to.

    Joseph G Thompson


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