Krugman and the Times: Stimulus Not Enough
A lot of people will be talking about Krugman's column:
Obama got more or less what he asked for, he almost certainly didn’t ask for enough. We’re probably facing the worst slump since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office, not usually given to hyperbole, predicts that over the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between what the economy could produce and what it will actually produce. And $800 billion, while it sounds like a lot of money, isn’t nearly enough to bridge that chasm.
A Times editorial chimes in:
The bill is, for the most part, a step in the right direction. But political wrangling, including President Obama’s futile pursuit of bipartisanship, rendered it smaller and less focused than it needed to be.
It was especially lamentable that the stale politics of Washington ended up including $70 billion for relief from the alternative minimum tax. The relief is necessary, but it has nothing to do with stimulus or recovery. It is a perennial issue that Congress should have handled in another bill. To include it in the stimulus package — and stay beneath a self-imposed $800 billion spending limit — lawmakers had to ditch far more effective measures, such as aid to states for education and health care.
These, imo, accurate takes, are also important politically. It is clear that President Obama needs a Left flank pushing him to the right policies. He is a cautious politician, who will not champion bold policies. He needs champions from the progressive viewpoint to prod him to the boldness he needs to have.
Speaking for me only
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