Well I think you can consign any second (third?) stimulus program to the dustbin. President Obama basically said this morning that he was sticking to his plan, it is having a positive effect and it was designed to work over time.
After beginning his with a recap of his “progress on these challenges abroad” during his trip overseas this week, Obama quickly pivoted to the stimulus and offered a direct challenge to right-wing critics of the government spending, saying they “have yet to offer a plausible alternative.”
First, he sought to reframe the public’s expectations for the spending program. “The Recovery Act wasn’t designed to restore the economy to full health on its own, but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall,” Obama said. “It was designed to spur demand and get people spending again and cushion those who had borne the brunt of the crisis.”
And then he pronounced the stimulus plan a success: “In a little over one hundred days, this Recovery Act has worked as intended. It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession. It has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and businesses. Without the help the Recovery Act has provided to struggling states, its estimated that state deficits would be nearly twice as large as they are now, resulting in tens of thousands of additional layoffs – layoffs that would affect police officers, teachers, and firefighters.”
“As I made clear at the time it was passed, the Recovery Act was not designed to work in four months – it was designed to work over two years,” Obama said. “We also knew that it would take some time for the money to get out the door, because we are committed to spending it in a way that is effective and transparent.”
I guess I’ll give him good marks for sticking to his guns. I also hope he recognizes he doesn’t have a bottomless pit of money to call on and is engaged in a little fiscal responsibility here. On the other hand, the constant claim that things would be worse if we hadn’t put this stimulus plan in place is wearing thin. I don’t think that one is going to play well with the public for long.
To the best of my knowledge he did not say that Joe Biden would make his next appearance on a Sunday talk show sometime in 2014.