Liberals have generously treated us to a motley assortment of apologia for President Obama’s economy-wrecking fiscal policies over the past 19 months:
(1) The economy is doing fine (Ezra Klein)! We should have expected the recovery to be agonizingly slow, and it is—hence, Obama’s policies worked.
(2) The economy isn’t doing well, but it would have been doing even worse without the stimulus bill (Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s and certified boob). Without a Keynesian spending orgy—or as Obama puts it, “moving the economy forward”—unemployment wouldn’t have stopped at 10% and might have risen to 12 or 13 or 15%.
(3) The economy is doing poorly, and it’s because the Democrats didn’t do enough (the ever-certifiable Paul Krugman). The stimulus should have been much bigger, and financial regulations should have been much harsher. To compensate we need “a second big stimulus, plus much more aggressive Fed policy.”
In contrast, conservatives have suggested the following interpretations of events:
(1) The economy is going to improve soon (Larry Kudlow). We won’t experience a double-dip recession and growth is resuming, so we should be more optimistic. Obama’s policies aren’t helping, but American ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit are strong enough that we can recover anyway. read more »