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No, CBO Didn’t Say That Stimulus Created 2.8 Million Jobs


CBO doesn’t do that. They just measure dollars spent. We know we’re out $800 billion. What we got for it is anyone’s guess.

Bob Bennett Loses in Republican Fight: Purge of the RINOs?


In the leading edge of what is expected to be a minor wave, Utah Senator Bob Bennett was defeated in the Republican nominating process last evening. Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah has lost his bid to serve a fourth term after failing to advance past the GOP state convention. Attorney Mike Lee and […]

47% Pay Zero Federal Income Taxes


The combination of a down economy and various stimulus givebacks means that nearly half of Americans paid no federal income tax in 2009. Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions of Americans, but for nearly half of U.S. households, it’s simply somebody else’s problem. About 47% will pay no federal income taxes for 2009. […]

Bunning Blocks Unemployment Extension

Bunning Blocks Unemployment

A single Senator has blocked a routine measure that would extend unemployment benefits to 1.1 million people. The Senate failed late Thursday to extend programs for laid-off workers, jeopardizing unemployment benefits scheduled to expire over the weekend.  The benefits are part of a larger package of government programs, from highway funding to loans for small […]

Misleading Recovery Charts

Road to Recovery - Organizing for America

Yesterday, I explained why this Obama chart purporting to show that the stimulus created a lot of jobs was misleading: Today, Pollster.com’s Charles Franklin displays the chart’s information in a different way to point to an even more glaring problem: The OfA chart gives the impression that we have “returned” to where we were in […]

Stimulus, Recovery, and Fallacies

Road to Recovery - Organizing for America

NYT economic columnist David Leonhardt argues that the Obama economic stimulus package has “had a huge impact on jobs — employing something like two million people who would otherwise be unemployed right now.”  Kevin Drum agrees and presents a chart by Organizing for America (aka, Obama’s campaign PAC) to argue that “We still have a […]

Euro Fate Rests in German Hands

Angela Merkel Greek Rescue Summit

The unfolding Euro crisis has raised a new variant on the old German Question.  For much of its history as a state, Germany has been the pivotal state in Europe.  After the Cold War and the reunification of East and West, the fate of “Europe” as a unified political and economic space depended entirely on […]

6% Believe Stimulus Created Jobs


Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft and The Hill‘s Walter Alarkon have found an interesting statistic in a week-old CBS/NYT poll: “just 6 percent of Americans believe that [Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package]created jobs, even though independent economists estimate that it has saved or created more than 1 million jobs.” That’s pretty amazing since, Jason Mattera tweets, […]

Obama’s Stealth Revolution


While progressives are kvetching and conservatives are chortling over President Obama’s failures to enact his most visible policy initiatives, he’s quietly ratcheting federal control of society up to unprecedented levels. In a lengthy TNR feature, John Judis details how “Obama has reinvented the state in more ways than you can imagine.” Obama’s three Republican predecessors […]

Scott Brown Win a Nihilist Moment?

Scott Brown Win

The special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by the passing of Teddy Kennedy is ongoing, with most expecting a win by Republican Scott Brown.  Andrew Sullivan sees this as the death knell of American politics. I can see no alternative scenario but a huge – staggeringly huge – victory for the FNC/RNC […]

Time for an Investment Tax Credit?


Greg Mankiw has 9 reasons on why an investment tax credit (ITC) is a good idea. The one that I think will resonate most with people is number 7, 7. So much for theory, but would it work? The cash-for-clunkers program is thought by many to have promoted, or at least accelerated, car purchases. An […]

Congress to Investigate Fake Districts


Amanda Carpenter broke the news Tuesday that “The government Web site that promised to show exactly where the $787 billion in stimulus spending was going to ‘create or save’ jobs is allocating billions of tax dollars to hundreds of congressional districts that don’t exist.” Researchers at the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity found […]

National Debt Hits $12 Trillion, Will Double By 2019


Barack Obama has been president for just under 10 months but he’s added two trillion to the national debt and will double it by the end of the decade.  CBS’ Mark Knoller: This latest milestone in the ever-rising journey of the National Debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the […]

Jobs Created or Saved…Again


It looks like the Obama Administration’s brilliant political jujutsu move of using “jobs saved or created” is making its way around some of the economics blogs again. First up is Brad DeLong’s attack on Allan Meltzer. Meltzer wrote the following, There is no greater recognition of the failure of the stimulus program to create jobs […]

Recession Over, Obama Takes Credit

Recession Recovery Signs

As widely expected, the Powers That Be have declared the recession  over, while cautioning that the economy still has a long way to go.  And, of course, the Obama administration is crediting its stimulus packages for the good news. It might not feel like it to most voters, but the U.S. economy is growing again […]

Greece’s Socialists Win

Greece’s Socialist Party has defeated the New Democracy Party in the country’s national elections with enough seats to form a government: ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s Socialists, who campaigned on a promise to inject a 3 billion euro ($4.36 billion) stimulus package into the economy, have won Sunday’s national election with enough seats to form a […]

Stimulus Spending Doesn’t Work – Tax Cuts Do


Via Jonathan Adler, I see that world-renowned economist Robert Barro and his student, Charles Redlick, takes to WSJ to summarize their research report showing that stimulus spending doesn’t work. Oddly, take cuts do. The bottom line is this: The available empirical evidence does not support the idea that spending multipliers typically exceed one, and thus […]

Now We’re In A Position To Really Accelerate

Obama Jobs

With the economy apparently not responding to the stimulus President Obama is trying to reassure the nation that everything is on track. At least that is the story of this article. WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama assured the nation his recovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates […]

Very Little Stimulus Spending So Far


The New York Times is reporting that three months since passing the stimulus bill only 6% of it has been spent so far. Another way to look at is that only $46 billion has been spent so far. The intent of the stimulus program was to pump money into the economy quickly, and many members […]

Tea Bagging Requires a Dick Armey


Several bloggers are pointing to MSNBC’s David Shuster’s quip that “[I]f you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you’re going to need a Dick Armey.” This is amusing on a number of levels. First, it’s a very good line. Second, the Left is applauding Left-leaning MSNBC for going after Right-leaning FOX for […]

DoD Cutting Major Programs in Restructuring


The Defense Department is finally getting somewhat serious about COIN and other forms of nontraditional warfare, signaling major priority shifts with its new budget proposal. Gates’s aides say his plan would boost spending for some programs and take large whacks at others, including some with powerful constituencies on Capitol Hill and among influential contractors, making […]

G20 Summit: Don’t Expect Much


In my New Atlanticist piece, “Brown Global Stimulus Plea Falls on Deaf Ears,” I explain why we shouldn’t expect much to come out of next week’s summit of G20 leaders in London. I also go Janis Joplin on Gordon Brown. Photo: Edmunds

Would Immigration Solve Housing Crisis?


A few weeks back, Thomas Friedman ran this tongue-in-cheek proposal for getting us out of the financial mess, particularly in the housing market. “All you need to do is grant visas to two million Indians, Chinese and Koreans,” said Shekhar Gupta, editor of The Indian Express newspaper. “We will buy up all the subprime homes. […]

Quote of the Day – Drinking Republicans


“There’s a lot of interesting data in the NBC/WSJ poll, although much of it is good news for the Dems and sobering news for the GOP (there’s been so much sobering news the last four years I feel like drinking). ” – Glen Bolger Glen’s a founding partner of Public Opinion Strategies, which employs my […]

Obama: Buy Stocks!


After months of sounding the alarm bell, President Obama is finally talking up the economy. President Obama told Americans to take a look at investing in the stock market this afternoon, a remarkable utterance for an American president, especially as the Dow Jones Industrial Average proceeds on its course Southward. “What you’re now seeing is […]

Tea Parties Protest Stimulus


David Samo has the best explanation I’ve seen thus for of the bizarre “tea party” phenomenon: In the latest example of how user-produced media can capture so-called “massively-shared” events in a way mainstream media can’t, a wave of images, blog posts and videos from a nationwide protest has been washing across the Web. The protests, […]

Newt Gingrich at CPAC

Newt Gingrich CPAC 2009 Photo

I attended a breakfast this morning with Newt Gingrich as part of the rollout for the American Solutions Winning the Future effort.  As usual, he was an extremely forceful speaker and passionate strategist. He opened by saying that he is an optimist and that “President Obama is doing us a huge favor” by showing how […]

Obama Slashes Spending, Increasing Massively!


I can’t help but be bemused by the YahooNews headline “Obama promises to slash spending by $2 trillion,” which accompanies an AP story quite contrary to that. President Barack Obama unveiled a multi-trillion-dollar spending plan Thursday that would boost taxes on the wealthy, curtail Medicare, lay the groundwork for universal health care and leave a […]

Schwarzenegger: Put Aside Ideology


California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was on ABC’s “This Week” this morning and two quotes in particular are garnering some attention. Taegan Goddard awarded “Quote of the Day” honors to this one: Well, Governor Sanford says that he does not want to take the money, the federal stimulus package money. And I want to say to […]

Obama’s Secret Plan: Inflation?


Michael Kinsley has a rather rambling column about the “upside-down economics” of the stimulus plan that’s subtitled (or, whatever one calls the SEO-driven title tag that appears at the top of the browser and in search results) “Recession Economics – How Do We Repay the Stimulus Spree?” But even if the stimulus is a magnificent […]

How Things Could Get Really Bad


I have argued that the current recession, while bad, isn’t as bad as President Obama and others have claimed. I still think this is the case, but I would change my mind based on new evidence. However, I think the current situation could end up leading to a really bad situation. As I’ve noted in […]

My Stimulus Plan


I have been asked on a number of occasions “what I would do” regarding the recession. I have replied here and there with ideas, but putting all of them in one place will be helpful, at least to me as it will give me someplace to point people. So here are some things I think […]

Obama 4 Million Jobs Created or Saved


Greg Mankiw is amused by President Obama’s statement that his stimulus plan should be judged on the basis of “creating or saving 4 million jobs.” The expression “create or save,” which has been used regularly by the President and his economic team, is an act of political genius. You can measure how many jobs are […]

Barack Obama’s Rhetorical Sleight of Hand


Greg Mankiw points us to this rather ingenius political ju-jutsu on the part of President Obama. Question: The American people have seen hundreds of billions of dollars spent already, and still the economy continues to free-fall. Beyond avoiding the national catastrophe that you’ve warned about, once all the legs of your stool are in place, […]

OTB Radio – Tonight at 7 Eastern

The next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live tonight from 7-8 Eastern. Dave Schuler will co-host and Steve Verdon will try to join us to talk about the the stimulus, auto bailouts, and related issues.  We’ll also toss in some domestic politics, like the Roland Burris mess, and foreign […]

Intellectual Dishonesty from Matt Yglesias


Matt Yglesias has a reply to Amar Bhide’s article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Amar Bhide, WSJ Edit Page, Embrace Regular Recurrence of Massive Recessions”. The problem is that Amar Bhide does not advocate doing nothing. Perhaps Yglesias didn’t read to the entire article, but for those who did they will find the following […]

Amar Bhide on Fearmongering and the Economy


In the Wall Street Journal Professor Amar Bhide writes, Our ignorance of what causes economic ailments — and how to treat them — is profound. Downturns and financial crises are not regular occurrences, and because economies are always evolving, they tend to be idiosyncratic, singular events. After decades of diligent research, scholars still argue about […]

Pass It Now Or We All Die!!!!


Then I’ll take a long weekend before signing it into law. After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway. Meet the boss, same as the old boss.

Stimulus Bill Urgency


Radley Balko: So we were told that the state of the economy is so dire that members of Congress could only have 11 hours to read the stimulus bill before voting on it. Now that it passed, Obama’s going to take a long weekend before signing it into law. Granted that none of the money […]

G7 Ministers Warn Against Protectionism


Now, this is rich: Timothy Geithner and the rest of the G7 ministers this morning warned against the pernicious effects of protectionism and pledged not to engage in that destructive practice. This, barely hours after the United States Congress passed a stimulus bill with a protectionist “Buy America” clause that President Obama is sure to […]

Republicans Oppose Stimulus, Laud It


Steve Benen points to a couple of Republicans who voted against the stimulus package but nonetheless like the spending going to their districts. Not surprising, really: One can oppose a massive omnibus bill and still like parts of it. And, for that matter, one can want stimulus money for one’s district and still think a […]

Intellectually Honest Conservatives

Andrew Sullivan continues to provide ammunition to those who argue that he isn’t, despite his claims to the contrary, a conservative with his post “If The Right Were Intellectually Honest …”  It’s one thing to argue that the Bush administration or the dominant faction of the Republican Party is wrong or dishonest or whathaveyou.  But […]

Stimulus Humor


Angus wins Headline of the Day honors for “Breaking news: The first job created by the Stimulus Bill.”  The entirety of the post is this picture: I’m pretty sure the fellow in question already had this job — indeed, given the nature of the federal employment process, I’m sure of it — but that’s pretty […]

Judd Gregg Withdraws as Commerce Nominee

Judd Gregg Photo

Strike two on finding a Commerce Secretary: Saying “I made a mistake,” Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew as commerce secretary nominee on Thursday and left the fledgling White House suddenly coping with Barack Obama’s third Cabinet withdrawal. Gregg cited “irresolvable conflicts” with Obama’s policies, specifically mentioning the $790 billion economic stimulus […]

Stimulus Deal Too Late?

Recessions Chart:  End and Legislation Enacted

Nick Gillespie brings out this chart to illustrate that, by the time government gets around to passing legislation to get us out of bad economic times, we’re already out of bad economic times: I can’t vouch for the veracity of the end dates or the completeness of the data (which are “based on recession timelines […]

Defer to the Experts


Nate Silver has a reasonable post excoriating the lunatic fringe for their rabid opposition to various parts of the stimulus package despite the fact that virtually none of them have any clue what they’re talking about. His conclusion, too, sounds reasonable: What I’m asking you to do is to clear the playing field. This is […]

OTB Radio – Tonight at 7 Eastern

The next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live tonight from 7-8 Eastern. Dave Schuler will co-host and we’ll be joined by our special guest Tufts University political scientist and ForeignPolicy.com blogger Dan Drezner to talk about the financial crisis, the stimulus, and related issues. Please join us. We’ll also […]

F-22 as Stimulus

F-22 Raptor Advertising

Andrew Exum catches something that we online-only news consumers missed: Those of you who still read the paper copy of the Washington Post in the morning could not have helped but notice the full-page color advertisement for the F-22 in today’s front section. The really interesting thing about the advertisement was that it made the […]

Something Not Always Better than Nothing


Megan McArdle: Let’s say that TARP proponents are right and that some program to pump a great deal of money into banks is better than just letting them fail. It does not then therefore follow, as night to day, that this package–or any politically feasible package–is better than nothing. It can be true that Ideal>0 […]

Stimulus Passes Senate – $838 Billion


The second shoe has dropped: An $838 billion economic recovery bill cleared the Senate Tuesday, setting the stage for final negotiations with the House and President Barack Obama, who must step forward now and put his own stamp on the package. The 61-37 roll call followed a last Republican effort to derail president’s initiative by […]

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