Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘stimulus’

Jonathan Chait Rewrites History, Assumes His Readers Are Idiots

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2011

Jonathan Chait crafted a carnival of utter wrongness for the New York Times today.

Here’s one steaming attempt to rewrite recent history:

At the time, Obama’s $800 billion stimulus was seen by Congress, pundits and business leaders — that is to say, just about everybody who mattered — as mind-bogglingly large. News reports invariably described it as “huge,” “massive” or other terms suggesting it was unrealistically large, even kind of pornographic. The favored cliché used to describe the reaction in Congress was “sticker shock.”

Here’s a small sampling of the corrective, courtesy of Blue Texan:

Aside from the fact that it wasn’t $800B, it was $787B — that’s just wrong. Unless you think Paul Krugman didn’t matter.

To close a gap of more than $2 trillion — possibly a lot more, if the budget office projections turn out to be too optimistic — Mr. Obama offers a $775 billion plan. And that’s not enough.

Or Dean Baker.

“You’re talking about a gap on the order of twelve-hundred-fifty billion dollars, and we’re trying to plug that with four-hundred-something, so we’ve got a long way to go,” Baker says.

Or Brad DeLong.

Nevertheless, I agree [with Krugman] that there [sic] best is almost surely not enough. […] So at the moment my preliminary judgment of the Obama fiscal boost is that it is a good first bid, but that the administration ought to be doing a lot more.

BT cites a few more economists, but you get the general picture. The only people who were saying that the stimulus was “mind-bogglingly large” were Republicans, their media enablers, or Obama’s defenders in the Veal Pen. Not many economists worthy of the name were saying this.

Not content with spewing nonsense about the stimulus, Chait proceeds to spew nonsense about Obama’s ability to pass legislation such as a meaningful stimulus or a health care bill with a public option:

“Yes, Bush passed his tax cuts — by using a method called reconciliation, which can avoid a filibuster but can be used only on budget issues.”

I took on that piece of bogusness here:

Um, Jonathan? Reconciliation can be used on many bills in which money is involved, not just budget bills. Do you know one reason why we know this? Because it was used to pass the health care bill, you moron. Really, do you think we all just fell off the turnip truck here? Or are you equipped with less than the memory God gave a tree squirrel?


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

That Thump You Just Heard…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 19, 2009

…was me falling to the floor in a faint upon realizing that I can sympathize with the sentiment behind something Joe Klein wrote:

Huffpost reports that the House GOP members, who had so many wonderful things to say about the stimulus package was wending through the Congress, are now trying to take advantage of it. Politics 101 dictates the following: They should pay the price for their latter-day Hooverism. As little money as humanly, legally possible should go to their districts. …

I’ve just spent a few weeks outside the country and, when you take a step away from the media maelstrom, the overwhelming impression is the sheer volume and severity of the problems that the country and the world–and our new President–are facing right now. This is a global crisis. A great many people are being hurt badly. There is a real chance that it will get much, much worse, especially if the banking system does not hold. All of us, including Republicans who oppose the Administration’s policies, should hope that the Obamajobs flowing from the stimulus package and the Obamaloans–to 9 million homeowning families, announced today (and applied judiciously, one hopes)–have the desired effect. ..

But we should also take careful note of those who have opposed these programs–especially those who have done so for cynical, political reasons (as opposed to those, like Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who are merely philosophically deluded). Their braying, and playing of Aerosmith songs, seems inappropriate, tone-deaf and puerile, at a moment of real pain and fear. Those in the media who egg them on, or give them inordinate attention, are no better.

Yup, yup and yup.

Posted in economy, eedjits, President Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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