The Second Stimulus

It was this past week in which Barack Obama said that deficit spending could cause a double dip recession. Nonetheless, a “New Consensus Views Stimulus as Worthy Step.” That, at least, is the headline in the New York Times as it tries, on its front page above the fold, to push for a second stimulus.But things are not as they seem.Remember, Obama says more deficit spending is bad. Then there is this:

Now that unemployment has topped 10 percent, some liberal-leaning economists see confirmation of their warnings that the $787 billion stimulus package President Obama signed into law last February was way too small. The economy needs a second big infusion, they say.No, some conservative-leaning economists counter, we were right: The package has been wasteful, ineffectual and even harmful to the extent that it adds to the nation’s debt and crowds out private-sector borrowing.

The Times goes on to say that “more dispassionate analysts [have] reach[ed] a consensus that the stimulus package, messy as it is, is working.” But concedes that only “a quarter of the stimulus money [has gone] out the door after nine months.”If all of this is above the fold in the New York Times, particularly the last bit, why the heck do we need a second stimulus? Only one quarter of the first stimulus has been used and unemployment continues to rise.