Obama Stimulus Is Good Politics, Bad Economics

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2009 12:37 PM CST
Republican senators explain their opposition to President Obama's financial stimulus package during a news conference at the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Just days ago, President Obama said it was time for “tough choices,” but Obama himself hasn’t made the tough choices on his stimulus package, Robert Samuelson writes in the Washington Post. Obama could have opted to bolster the economy, or he could have tried to pursue a political agenda; instead, he’s done both, in a move that’s “politically shrewd and economically suspect.”

Obama can only get away with such a huge package because the economy is in crisis, so the stimulus ought to be aimed at abruptly stopping the downward spiral. It isn’t. Only 21% of the stimulus would hit the economy this year. An additional 44% would land in 2010; the rest would take even longer, and some may not even work. “There were tough choices to be made,” Samuelson concludes, “and Obama ducked them.”