Stimulating Talk

Being a conservative, one of many things I’ve been accused of over the last eight years is blindly supporting George W. Bush.  I used to get offended, but not anymore.  I realized that many of those who actually paid attention to what was going on were often misinformed.  In their defense, they probably couldn’t help but be influenced by what they saw in the media.  They rightfully assumed the media should be honest and trustworthy in their reporting.  Unfortunately, they’re not.  And as they saw our former president raked over the coals daily, their perception turned sour, and they could even give legitimate reasons for disliking Bush.

But the things our current president is doing that should be making headlines are not, and this is why that a) It is so important to check things out for yourself and b) I must speak up and tell others what I know.

This is a prime example.

Back in January, the Obama administration warned us of dire economic circumstances if the government did not intervene and borrow and spend nearly 1,000,000,000,000 dollars.  The focus, and therefore the justification for the borrowing, was put on short term results:

“The U.S. economy has already lost nearly 2.6 million jobs since the business cycle peak in December 2007. In the absence of stimulus, the economy could lose another 3 to 4 million more. Thus, we are working to counter a potential total job loss of at least 5 million. As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0 percent, which is well below the approximately 8.8 percent that would result in the absence of a plan.”

Here is the aforementioned figure 1, from a paper by Dr. Christine Romer, “then the nominee to chair the Presidential Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein from Joe Biden’s advisory team” (Thanks to Ed Morrissey for the info).


You can see a significant difference between an America with a “stimulus” package and one without it between January 2009 and the year 2013.  Both graphs come together in 2014.  The emphasis was the short term.  Act now while we can “curb the misery.”  Only it didn’t work.  The unemployment mark was 9.5% in June.

We all have reason to be upset, and I would reasonably expect the architects of the plan to at least apologize.  They didn’t.  In his weekly radio address, July 11, our president actually said,

“In a little over one hundred days, this Recovery Act has worked as intended.”

He earlier said, “When you look at the economy right now, I think it’s safe to say we have stepped back from the brink, that there is some calm that didn’t exist before” (May 28).

We have not only entered, but have surpassed the job loss territory he warned us we would reach if we didn’t pass the stimulus.  And yet he says the stimulus has worked “as intended”? 

If George W. Bush had made a statement like that, the media would have ripped him for days.  “How could he say such a thing when so many families are hurting in this economy, the worst of the last quarter-century?”

The only way this could have worked “as intended” is if the intention was something other than stopping job losses.  You don’t suppose?