The Latest Administration Spin on Fiscal Stimulus

It gets more difficult by the day to figure out exactly where the Obama administration stands on their stimulus plan. Early this week the spin seemed to be that we need to give the stimulus a chance to work, that only a small part of the money had been put to work and blah, blah, blah. Now Peter Orszag says on his blog that they are ahead of schedule in spending the money.

Today on Capitol Hill, OMB Deputy Director Rob Nabors testified in front of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee about the Recovery Act. A major focus at the hearing was a report issued today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the non-partisan, independent government watchdog. GAO found that Recovery Act spending was ahead of schedule and was helping to mitigate the economic downturn.

So the line of the day is that the money is getting out there (translation we’re efficient and getting the job done) and things would be much worse were it not for our efforts. If you read between the lines, this is an offshoot of the claim to create or “save” jobs. In fact, in his post Orszag stakes out some claims to having “saved” 14,000 New York City teachers’ jobs.
I think this is an attempt to temper all of the second stimulus talk and set the stage for a pretty tepid recovery if one does indeed materialize. The administration knows it can’t get more stimulus, climate and health care legislation through this year. Better to start setting expectations low now for the 2010 economy and hope that the dice don’t come up craps.

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About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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