What's that I hear? Liberal spin from that elitist New York paper? Actually, reporters Jackie Calmes and Michael Cooper give White House a hard time for using overly optimistic economic assumptions last winter. And Michael Blake at Understanding Government says NYT overemphasizes bipartisan balance over the truth that the liberal side of the stimulus, government spending, is doing much more of the heavy economic lifting than the conservative side, the tax break concessions used to muzzle the Blue Dogs. Blake says Calmes and Cooper's "thesis statement" on the superiority of the combination of spending and tax breaks doesn't connect with the bulk of economic evidence finding that spending programs provide more bang for the buck.
Clearly, the evidence Cooper and Calmes martial about economists’ views on the stimulus should point to one conclusion: economists believe that liberal Democrats who wanted to spend billions of government money on economic stimulus are absolutely in the right. Republicans who instead want tax cuts not stimulus spending are absolutely in the wrong. Maybe Cooper and Calmes or their editor felt uncomfortable with the unmistakably partisan consequences of their analysis. But it was someone at the Times who chose the premise: What do economic experts, not politicians, think about the stimulus? It was a good idea for a story, but Cooper and Calmes obscure their results and, in the process, confuse their vast readership [Matthew Blake, "In Stimulus Piece, New York Times Chooses Bipartisan Balance Over The Truth," Understanding Government, 2009.11.20].
Also worth noting: we've spent only a quarter of the stimulus money. In other words, Captain Obama has managed to pull the Enterprise back from the economic black hole at one-quarter impulse. There's much more to come. Contrary to the desires of the instant-gratification Republicans, slow and steady is going to win this recession race.