Monday, February 23, 2009

Even Liberal Economists Hate Obama's "Stimulus" Game

Robert Samuelson, a contributing editor of Newsweek and the Washington Post, is all for a "huge stimulus." He thinks it is imperative "to prevent a devastating downward economic spiral."

But he sure doesn't like the weird, pork-laden thing that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the leering lobbyists and, yes, Barack Obama came up with.

"Judged by his own standards, President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing. For weeks, Obama has described the economy in grim terms. "This is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill recession," he said at his Feb. 9 news conference. It's "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression." Given these dire warnings, you'd expect the stimulus package to focus almost exclusively on reviving the economy. It doesn't, and for that, Obama bears much of the blame...

Politics cannot be removed from the political process. But here, partisan politics ran roughshod over pragmatic economic policy. Token concessions (including the AMT provision) to some Republicans weakened the package. Obama is gambling that his flawed stimulus will seem to work well enough that he'll receive credit for restarting the economy -- and not blamed for engineering a colossal waste."