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Thursday, February 18, 2010

What Questions? Stimulus Working!

Being an SDPB Political Junkie must have gotten Jon Hunter excited: he's written three editorials in one week! In last night's editorial, the Madison Daily Leader publisher joins the Madison Republican hypocrites who hate government spending but love to get it:

While there are real questions about whether the federal stimulus program was effective or not, we're glad to see the act provide funding for a South Dakota highway reconstruction to make it much safer [Jon Hunter, "Despite Stimulus Questions, We're Glad Road Will Be Safer," Madison Daily Leader, 2010.02.17].

Note that Hunter is o.k. with stimulus for reservation infrastructure... as long as it's not an airport.

But wait a minute: what's this about questions about the stimulus? Economists are all pretty clear on the effects of the stimulus: it worked and it should have been bigger! Adam Feser points us toward the David Leonhardt column Hunter missed in Tuesday's New York Times:

Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody’s Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative [David Leonhardt, "Judging Stimulus by Jobs Data Reveals Success," New York Times, 2010.02.16].

Leonhardt says that if you look at data and history (instead of GOP wishing points), you see the stimulus deserves "a big heaping of credit." The current stimulus package confirms that government spending is the surest way to fight a recession:

The last year has shown — just as economists have long said — that aid to states and cities may be the single most effective form of stimulus. Unlike road- or bridge-building, it can happen in a matter of weeks. And unlike tax cuts, state and local aid never languishes in a household’s savings account [Leonhardt 2010].

So what was your question again, Jon?

Turn down Fox Noise, pay attention to reality.

Update 2010.02.19: The Obama Administration is also
creating jobs for unemployed speech makers like Sarah Palin.

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