Day By Day

Monday, July 20, 2009

Samuelson on Squandering the Stimulus

From the WaPo:

It's not surprising that the much-ballyhooed "economic stimulus" hasn't done much stimulating. President Obama and his aides argue that it's too early to expect startling results. They have a point. A $14 trillion economy won't revive in a nanosecond. But the defects of the $787 billion package go deeper and won't be cured by time. The program crafted by Obama and the Democratic Congress wasn't engineered to maximize its economic impact. It was mostly a political exercise, designed to claim credit for any recovery, shower benefits on favored constituencies and signal support for fashionable causes.

As a result, much of the stimulus's potential benefit has been squandered.

Read the whole thing here.

The Bush-backed TARP program was well-conceived and well-executed and it has worked. The financial sector is back in business and is humming. Obama's Keynesian mishmash of a stimulus program, however, is another story. Once again we see the difference between an egomaniac who wants to be in a position to take credit for anything and a President who doesn't care who gets credit so long as he does the right thing. It's the difference between politics and governance. Bush governed, Obama politicks.