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Did Obama Make It Worse? – Jim Pethokoukis

09/04/2011

What if the president of the United States hadn’t proposed an $800 billion stimulus plan back in 2009—but one twice as large? That is the question haunting the intellectual left, led by the economist and columnist Paul Krugman, especially since the economy is mired in what might charitably be considered the doldrums. It slowed to a near-total halt in the first quarter of 2011 with a growth rate of 0.4 percent before climbing to a comatose 1.3 percent rate in the second.

For Krugman’s opposite numbers, the question is the reverse: Might the U.S. economy actually be stronger today if Uncle Sam had done nothing and just let the business cycle play out? And what might have been different had John McCain been elected the 44th president instead of Barack Obama​? Would he have acted differently? Would the result have been different?

The what-if debate is not merely an intellectual exercise. It will have some effect on American policy going forward. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was Barack Obama’s signature achievement in dealing with the most worrisome set of economic conditions since the Great Depression. It was how Obama, to use a pair of his now seemingly abandoned metaphors, sought to drag the economy out of the ditch while the Republicans were standing around sipping Slurpees. […]

Read More at Commentary Magazine.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sara Stewart permalink
    09/04/2011 10:59 pm

    Oh this is very good!!

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