You’re doing it wrong

I was listening to NPR this morning when I caught this tidbit about the stimulus bill:

Both the White House and the Congressional Budget Office say thanks to the stimulus, something like 2 million people are working who otherwise wouldn’t be. […] Private economists largely agree that the stimulus has helped to cushion the recession’s blow. But the general public is not convinced. And Republican lawmakers, who almost unanimously opposed the stimulus, happily encourage those doubts. A poll by the Pew Research Center found more people think Obama’s policies have worsened the economy rather than made it better.

People are sadly ill-informed about the actual performance of the stimulus bill. But is it really all that surprising when our media stars spend most of their energy regurgitating Sarah Palin’s Facebook updates or breaking serious new information about John Edwards’ affair? When the media does spend time on policy, they give more weight to the statements from teabagger rally attendees than they do policy experts or, god forbid, liberal activists.

And that’s why you read stuff like this:

“About a third of this package comes in the form of tax cuts — the most progressive in our history, not only spurring job creation, but putting money in the pockets of 95 percent of hard-working families in America,” Obama boasted a year ago. But according to a new CBS poll, only 12 percent of Americans believe Obama cut their taxes.



  1. Clint

    “People are sadly ill-informed about the actual performance of the stimulus bill. ”

    There’s certainly a lot of factual ignorance about the stimulus bill, but the bottom line is that it was far too small to provide the relief the country needed. So, for a huge portion of people, they don’t see economic improvement – and many see deterioration.

    The tax situation is similar. Good idea. Good effects. But not nearly enough

  2. Chris

    It’s true that the stimulus wasn’t big enough, which was a point Paul Krugman made at the time. But that’s not the prevailing view out there. Right now people believe the stimulus was a total waste, too expensive, and responsible for our massive debt.

    By not educating the American public, the media has assured that there will be no follow up bill or comprehensive effort to confront the jobs problem.

  3. On a recent road trip I got a first hand look at the crumbling infrastructure….the interstate system, at least in the South sucks….it needs to be funded…repairs are not being made…what happened to all those “shovel ready” projects we were told about a year ago?

  4. Chris

    Infrastructure repair should be shovel ready and useful. But most of the stimulus money went directly to tax cuts and to shore up state budgets.

  5. I agree anf that is where the Obama Admin lost me…..

  6. Chris

    But that’s what it took to get it passed Congress. I wish Obama had started off with a less compromised position, but that wouldn’t have guaranteed a better outcome.

  7. Sheepy

    I noticed that I got more money in my paycheck when the tax cuts took effect but it wasn’t really enough to make a serious dent in my finances. Yes, a couple bucks here and there but it wasn’t enough, especially if you were unemployed, in which case you wouldn’t see the tax breaks until after April 15, 2010.