Talking to conservatives, I often hear about Obama’s “failed stimulus.” They say it’s obviously failed because he, the president, promised that unemployment would stay below 9%. And it has subsequently reached 9% and more. Ergo, it is a failure. And also bankrupting us through debt, yadda, yadda. Worst president ever, etc.,etc. If you talk to your conservative friends (or just watch Fox News) you’ve no doubt heard the same thing.
And of course I think it’s totally wrong.
First of all, this “promise” wasn’t a promise; it was a projection. The difference is outlined here.
Second, just because the projection was wrong doesn’t mean the stimulus didn’t work. The CBO says it did. Noteworthy economists say it did. I just read about a couple more economists who say they can prove it–including one who was John McCain’s economic advisor.
The stimulus wasn’t big enough and contained too many tax cuts and not enough direct spending. That’s why we’re still struggling more than we should be at this point in the economic recovery. And it’s ironic that the very people who are so eager to say that it’s a failure are the very people who prevented it from working better in the first place.