“The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget - and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse - according to a White House report to be released Friday.. . .Even some former skeptics who predicted that the money would lead to rampant abuse now acknowledge that the program could serve as a model for improving efficiency in government.. . .Biden delivered the report to Obama on Thursday during the president's daily economic briefing. In addition to assessing how the stimulus program has been carried out, the study restates the administration's case that the package has been effective economically, arguing that it staunched the worst bleeding in employment and led the economy to rebound late last year.
Many prominent economists agree with that assessment. The CBO has forecast that the package may be on track to meet the administration's goal of preserving 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.
Of course, the Republicans, unable to use actual facts to argue against the success of the Stimulus, have stuck to their same tired old meme:
"The administration predicted that unemployment wouldn't rise above 8 percent if the trillion-dollar stimulus became law. We know how that turned out," Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday.”
Yes, the Administration’s estimate of unemployment was incorrect; they underestimated the problem. BFD. That doesn’t mean that the Stimulus didn’t stave off a depression and certainly doesn’t negate the 3.5 million jobs preserved.
It’s pretty much Economics 101. In a recession, government spending can kickstart the economy, fending off the worst problems and stimulating economic activity. In fact, government is uniquely suited to deal with the problem. Yes, deficits go up in the short term, but you deal with them once the economy is moving again and tax revenue is up. It’s actually pretty simple.
Unless, of course, there’s a Democrat in office and you can’t allow him to have any accomplishments. Then it’s “screw you, economy.” Which is, by the way, one of the planks in the Republican playbook over the past 20 months.