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July 16, 2009

White House Spins: Stimulus? You Misunderstood. It Was Never Stimulus of Growth, It Was Merely "Stabilization" of the Downturn.

Really? What could have possibly given me the impression it was supposed to be a stimulus?

Oh, right: Because you called it the Stimulus, capital S in original, sixty-three billion times.

urns out the $787 billion "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" (AARA) was not designed for full economic recovery, but rather to "stabilize" the downturn. That's the word from White House officials today, who held off-camera briefings with reporters on how the AARA is working so far.

"This legislation was designed to cushion the downturn," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "That's why we have always talked about this as one function of economic recovery."

When pressed about the change in terminology, Gibbs said he was not trying to temper expectations after the fact. "I can probably find 15 or 20 occasions when I said this in the lead up," Gibbs said, explaining that he had always defined the AARA as part of a "multi-legged stool."

...

When asked about a second stimulus, all three left the possibility open.

Gibbs said the president "isn't ruling anything in, he isnít ruling anything out. If there are things that can be done to spur the economy back to recovery faster, they'll certainly be considered."

Wait -- a second stimulus? I thought it would be the first, since Gibbs just got done explaining the first "stimulus" wasn't a stimulus at all, but a "stabilization."

Ed thinks the shift in terminology -- and emphasis on a two-year timeframe -- means they've given up hope of any kind of impact for this year and are pinning their hopes on 2010.


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posted by Ace at 05:42 PM

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