Even if the Obama stimulus package had been enacted in its original $800 billion form, writes Paul Krugman, it wouldn't have plugged the hole in the American economy. Yet the "centrists" who cut it down have taken out some of its best provisions, like aid for state governments, while leaving its most egregious items in. For the New York Times columnist, the final bill may produce "substantially more suffering"—and the president is to blame.
Many economists expected Obama to produce a massive stimulus that reflected his own electoral mandate. Instead, Krugman writes, he went for a bipartisan effort that relied too much on tax cuts—and still failed to garner a single House Republican's vote. This weekend the president tried to put a "postpartisan happy face" on the watered-down stimulus, but for Krugman, Obama's belief in compromise "warped his economic strategy."