So sayeth the economics professors at the Roanoke Times!
The stimulus has workedYa gotta love the reasoning. There's no way to measure it or to know for sure, therefore The Stimulus Has Worked!
Six months after President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package, the economy is heading in a better direction, though the labor market continues to show distressing, if not unexpected, weakness.
In a speech last week, Vice President Joe Biden said the better outlook for the economy is no coincidence:
"The Recovery Act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy and changing the conversation about the economy in this country," Biden said in a speech at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession."
It is, of course, impossible to conduct a controlled experiment on anything as massive as the U.S. economy. No one will ever know if recovery would have come without the stimulus, or whether we'd now be staring a prolonged depression in the face if it hadn't passed. [link]
Let me make a few points.
First, we all knew these jokers would be touting the fact that the economy has come out of recession and that Obama's efforts had everything to do with it once signs emerged pointing to the fact that a recovery was on the horizon. With scant evidence to support the group hug.
The same rationale could be employed to argue that the sunrise is attributable to the Obama stimulus plan. Money was spent. The sun came up. The Stimulus Has Worked!
It's like our fearless leader vowing to create ... or save ... 4 million jobs in the next few years. Any bets on whether he'll determine, in the end, the level of success of his little escapade to have been a breathtaking achievement? Regardless of the employment statistics that come out?
Don't be surprised if he claims, come election season, that he "saved" 45 million jobs. 110 million! Who can deny it?
Second, all recessions are cyclical. Including this one. If Obama's stimulus plan had worked, shouldn't it have shortened the downturn we're experiencing? Well, let's look. Here's some prognosticating about the current recession, written before Obama dreamt up his $780 billion payoff to his favorite constituents, just as the recession had begun:
US recession could last for 3-4 quartersRecessions here in the U.S. generally last for 8 to 16 months.
By Shravan Sreenivasula, CNBC-TV18
US markets have been seeing a correction since the last four months. So, what does historical recession data indicate? What sense does one get from US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments last night?
If one looks at historical numbers of the past US recessions, the country faced a recession anywhere between 8-16 months. In 2000-01, it faced 8 months of recession, in 1990-91 about 8 months, and 1981-82 about 16 months. Historically, that is how long recession has lasted. [link]
So how long has the current recession been playing out?
Just how much did Obama's stimulus plan (passed nearly eight months ago) shorten it, fellas?
Third, if Obama's plan is working, how do you explain these headlines, all published in recent days?
Unemployment Jumps to 9.7 Percent, as Economy Loses Another 216,000 Jobs
U.S. Economy: Companies Cut More Jobs Than Forecast
US economy has lost almost 7m jobs since recession began, fresh figures show
Teen unemployment at record level
Couldn't you make a pretty strong case, after reviewing the data contained in these articles, that Obama's stimulus has actually had an adverse effect on the economy? Perhaps not. But you certainly can't be serious if you believe his spending program has had a positive effect on the economy either.
Bu then, this is the Roanoke Times. So "serious" is not a consideration.