View Full Version : C.B.O.Confrims Stimulus Success! Repubs Get Pissy

Gayle in MD
06-12-2012, 09:10 AM
June 8, 2012, 10:51 am

C.B.O.’s Take on the Stimulus


A certain ritual plays out whenever the director of the Congressional Budget Office testifies before a House or Senate committee. While partisans from each side try to score ideological points about spending or taxes, he has to remain studiously neutral, sticking to the numbers and inevitably frustrating his questioners.

On Wednesday, however, Douglas Elmendorf, the current director, annoyed Republicans on the House Budget Committee a little more than usual when they made several unsuccessful attempts to get him to say that President Obama’s stimulus program was a failure.

First, Bill Flores, Republican of Texas, asked him which was more effective at increasing economic activity, private- or public-sector spending. The congressman clearly wanted the answer to be private-sector, but Mr. Elmendorf wouldn’t help him, saying both would be equally effective. Mr. Flores pushed on anyway, asking why a second stimulus would be any more effective than the first one.

“But Congressman,” Mr. Elmendorf replied, “as you understand –and I recognize you don’t agree with us – but our position is that the recovery act was not a failed program. Our position is that it created higher output and employment than would have occurred without it.”

To which the congressman could only respond, rather sarcastically, “Thank you, that was fascinating.”

A few minutes later, Tim Huelskamp, a freshman Republican from Kansas, made the often-stated point that the stimulus didn’t bring the jobless rate down as low as the Obama administration predicted it would, and demanded to know how that could have happened.

Mr. Elmendorf explained that the recession turned out to be far deeper than anyone had anticipated, but said a University of Chicago survey of distinguished economists showed that 80 percent of them believed the stimulus was good for the economy.

“Because of the recovery act, the unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus bill,” he said. In fact, he said, it saved or created more than 3 million jobs.

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>Republicans quickly changed the subject. To them, the Recovery Act will always be the “failed stimulus program,” and they’d rather not hear any information to the contrary. Particularly from someone who knows what he’s talking about.</span>

LOL, same as here. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

06-12-2012, 10:03 AM
It's really the question of what it was supposed to accomplish, whether it 'worked' or not.

To be clear, it did not entirely repair the economy, obviously, but that was not its stated goal.

It was supposed to stop the bleeding (of falling off the cliff gdp declines, and staggeringly huge monthly job losses), and get the 'patient' (the economy) well enough to get out of bed and move around to be able to get therapy. It accomplished that.

27 months of job gains in a row, gdp turned from strongly negative to positive in just a quarter and no negative quarters or months in the meantime, an average monthly job gain of private sector jobs that exceeded the net private sector job TOTAL for Bush's 8 years, and that's if we don't count the Jan 1 through Jan 22 job losses onto the Bush totals (even though he was still president).

So what's the beef? That it was expensive? It was, a little. $200 billion more in the deficit for the first fiscal year in Obama's year than CBO projected before he came into office.

That we are not going great guns on job creation? We WEREN'T BEFORE, even before the crash. W's net private sector job creation DURING his 8 years was under 1 million. His first term is among the DFL candidates, as well as his second.

Then the already anemic economy crashed into a wall, and now is having trouble walking at all, let alone walking fast or running. But it is on its feet with a walker, moving around, and out of the Critical Care Unit, ready for rehab.

A doctor accomplishing that would normally receive praise. It would be nonsense to point out the patient isn't running personal records at this point, as if that were the measure of success.

Gayle in MD
06-12-2012, 10:21 AM
Excellent post my friend.

There was a great article in the NYTimes on The Legacy Of George W. Bush.

Did you read it?


06-12-2012, 04:28 PM
No, but I see something similar to his legacy in the toilet daily!

But his was more painful and enduring.

06-12-2012, 05:14 PM
Come November Obama will have a painful experience.
And I will see something in the toilet resembling Obama's legacy and far closer to his skin color than Bush's.

Gayle in MD
06-13-2012, 06:09 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">No, but I see something similar to his legacy in the toilet daily!

But his was more painful and enduring. </div></div> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

We're still suffering from The Bush Legacy today, only now they are calling it The Obama Administration!