Did The Stimulus Work?

Mark Thoma of Economist’s View (references to whom often appear in Paul Krugman’s blog) answers by quoting an LA Times article: “According to a collaboration between Fitch Ratings and Oxford economics, the answer is yes: …” Here’s the hed and first graf of the LAT article:

Government stimulus moves may have ended recession, by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times: Without the unprecedented stimulus actions by the federal government triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, the Great Recession might still be going on, according to a study by Fitch Ratings. …

Thoma’s post reproduces a wonderful graph of GDP showing what happened vs. what might have happened without the stimulus, based on Oxford Economics and Fitch Ratings. The difference in GDP increase with and without the stimulus is striking; please go look at it.

So, American voters, in light of this apparent success of Obama’s policy approach to the Great Recession (even if inadequate and even if the banksters and other large corp’s got goodies out of it and even if unemployment is still unacceptably high), you need to ask yourself one question: faced with the same circumstance (which he may well be), how likely is it that Mitt Romney would arrange or  would have arranged any sort of stimulus at all? Right. That was my answer, too. Remember, either Obama or Romney will, with virtual certanty, be president in 2013; there is no viable third choice.

If Americans are supposed to vote their pocketbooks, and if they are smart enough to get their news from something besides Fox, Obama should take this one in a walk, thanks to the effects of the stimulus. That’s a couple of major assumptions, however. You might actually bother to go to the polls in November…

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