In how many ways is the American President out of his depth? In fact, are there any ways in which he is not out of his depth? Turns out, according to the White House, that the stimulus was a big success:
President Barack Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a controversial economic stimulus plan by releasing a report on Monday saying that government spending averted a second Great Depression, setting off a new round of partisan debate about the decision.
Obama had been in office only a month when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion stimulus that Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives passed over the objections of Republicans.
Many Americans remain doubtful about how helpful the stimulus was for an economy that still struggles to recover from a deep recession that took hold in 2008.
The White House, eager to lay to rest those doubts, issued a five-year report that said the stimulus generated an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years through the end of 2012. (Report: http://r.reuters.com/xat86v)
The stimulus by itself raised the level of gross domestic product by between 2 percent and 3 percent from late 2009 through mid-2011, said the report, issued by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Jason Furman, chairman of the council, said the Recovery Act had a “substantial positive impact on the economy, helped to avert a second Great Depression, and made targeted investments that will pay dividends long after the act has fully phased out.”
Does anyone at all believe this other than those who are professionally compelled to because of political affiliation? Whatever needed to be done to calm financial markets was done even before George Bush left office. What happened after belongs to Obama. And given the monetary policy that has come since, there is no reason to think the US will leave its present troubles before an even bigger crunch than the one in 2008-09.