Diary

Obama stretches the truth yet again

Some quotes from his press conference the other night about how just about every economist on the planet is on his side:

I think that what I’ve said is what other economists have said across the political spectrum, which is that, if you delay acting on an economy of this severity, then you potentially create a negative spiral that becomes much more difficult for us to get out of.

Most economists almost unanimously recognize that, even if philosophically you’re — you’re wary of government intervening in the economy, when you have the kind of problem we have right now — what started on Wall Street, goes to Main Street, suddenly businesses can’t get credit, they start paring back their investment, they start laying off workers, workers start pulling back in terms of spending — that, when you have that situation, that government is an important element of introducing some additional demand into the economy.

That’s why the figure that we initially came up with of approximately $800 billion was put forward. That wasn’t just some random number that I plucked out of — out of a hat. That was Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal economists that I spoke to who indicated that, given the magnitude of the crisis and the fact that it’s happening worldwide, it’s important for us to have a bill of sufficient size and scope that we can save or create 4 million jobs.

And, you know, when you talk to economists, there’s some general sense of how we’re going to move forward. There’s some strong consensus about the need for a recovery package of a certain magnitude. There’s a strong consensus that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, all tax cuts or all investment, but that there should be a range of approaches.

And I think that there was an opportunity to do this with this recovery package, because, as I said, although there are some politicians who are arguing that we don’t need a stimulus, there are very few economists who are making that argument.

I mean, you’ve got economists who were advising John McCain , economists who were advisers to George Bush, one and two, all suggesting that we actually needed a serious recovery package.

Well now we get this article from McClatchy, which last time I checked wasn’t exactly part of the VRWC:

Will the stimulus actually stimulate? Economists say no

By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — The compromise economic stimulus plan agreed to by negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate is short on incentives to get consumers spending again and long on social goals that won’t stimulate economic activity, according to a range of respected economists.

And to add to the humor, the second paragraph of the article has some “expert” saying the dreaded “do nothing” option would be an improvement!

“I think (doing) nothing would have been better,” said Ed Yardeni, an investment analyst who’s usually an optimist, in an interview with McClatchy. He argued that the plan fails to provide the right incentives to spur spending.