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July 01, 2009

NYT Spins Madly for Obama on Economy, Optimistic Predictions

Caught by James Pethokoukis:

Here are two possible explanations that the administration was so wrong. And sorting through them matters a great deal, because they point in opposite policy directions. The first explanation is that the economy has deteriorated because the stimulus package failed. Some critics say that stimulus just doesn’t work, while others argue that this particular package was too small or too badly constructed to make a difference. The second answer is that the economy has deteriorated in spite of the stimulus. In other words, the patient is not as sick as he would have been without the medicine he received. But he is a lot sicker than doctors realized when they prescribed it. To me, the evidence is fairly compelling that the second answer is the right one.

Well of course it is, darling.

Pethokoukis doesn't buy the Times' spin.

It’s not so much that a more negative forecast would have prevented Obama from spending large amounts of money, it’s that he would have been forced to tilt the stimulus more in favor of tax cuts which work a lot of faster than government spending (though both are pretty inefficient as “stimulus”).

And the grand predictions for the magic the stimulus would work were also necessary on this score, because Obama was claiming his big-spending stimulus, and only his big-spending stimulus, would avert disaster.

Remember, too, how quickly this was cooked up in Nancy Pelosi's office and then rammed through Congress. A combination of sky-is-falling-claims coupled with outlandish predictions of how wonderfully the stimulus would work if we passed it now got the thing passed with minimum debate and scrutiny.

Seems to be a pattern developing here.


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posted by Ace at 12:20 PM

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