- Peace Garden: Answer: Really, really bad

Answer: Really, really bad

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Question: Paul Krugman, what is your opinion of the compromised economic plan?


What the Centrists Have Wrought

The short answer: to appease the centrists, a plan that was already too small and too focused on ineffective tax cuts has been made significantly smaller, and even more focused on tax cuts.


Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.


My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years. The real question now is whether Obama will be able to come back for more once it’s clear that the plan is way inadequate. My guess is no. This is really, really bad.

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