Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stimulus "consensus"

The New York Times claims a consensus now exists that the stimulus package was worthwhile. No data is presented to back this up. Rather the evidence consists of the following quotes:
  • “It was worth doing — it’s made a difference,” said Nigel Gault, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, a financial forecasting and analysis group based in Lexington, Mass.
  • “The economy was weaker than we thought at the time, so maybe in retrospect we could have used a little bit more and little bit more front-loaded,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, another financial analysis group, in St. Louis.
  • Even so, “the stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do — it is contributing to ending the recession,” [Mark Zandi] added, citing the economy’s third-quarter expansion by a 3.5 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate. “In my view, without the stimulus, G.D.P. would still be negative and unemployment would be firmly over 11 percent. And there are a little over 1.1 million more jobs out there as of October than would have been out there without the stimulus.”
  • So the stimulus has not “supercharged” transportation construction as was hoped, said Charles Gallagher, an asphalt company owner, speaking for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, but it has nonetheless been “a welcome Band-Aid” to offset state cuts.
This, in total, is the evidence mustered by the Times: three economists and an asphalt company owner. And it's no surprise Mark Zandi had positive words for the stimulus -- he helped push for it! Not exactly a dispassionate observer.

Others quoted in the article, although not directly in support of the stimulus, are conservative economist Martin Felstein (who favored a stimulus package), a former Clinton Administration official and current Obama Administration economist Christina Romer.

The collective shoulders in the offices of the Times must be pretty sore from constantly carrying the Obama Administration's water.

1 comment:

Media Mentions said...

Now, speaking of the stimulus, it has yet to reach perfection, as stated by this article here:

I hope this helps,