The Standard By Which Obama’s Stimulus Package Should Be Judged

The stimulus bill that Obama just rammed through Congress is the single most expensive bill in American history. It came out to $1.2 trillion when you include the interest on the money. That’s despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the recession would end in the “second half of 2009” even if Obama did nothing.

So, I think it is absolutely fair to judge the stimulus like so:

If the recession ends in the 2nd quarter of 2009, Obama deserves credit for ending it 3-6 months early. Then we can ask, was it worth $1.2 trillion of our money to end the recession just a few months early?

If the recession ends in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2009, then the stimulus didn’t do anything. The recession just ended when it was supposed to end.

If the recession does not end this year, then that means the government interference actually made things worse and actually extended the length of the recession. (This is my guess on what will happen, although as always, the economy is almost as difficult to predict as long range weather forecasts).

So, in another month or so, Americans can start asking, “Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?” like children in the backseat of a car, and if the answer is “no,” then the stimulus didn’t deliver.

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