"The stimulus was too small which was the fault of the GOP," said lying VP Joe Biden in 2010 (see).
FRIDAY THE 13TH
It was Friday the 13th, the 44th day of 2009, when the Democrat controlled Senate, with help from three Republican moderates, handed the 44th president his first major legislative victory: the $860 billion mega-stimulus. Called the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) it was the stimulus of stimuluses, the biggest, baddest, boldest, grandest countercyclical government spending program in history designed by its size to reverse the worst recession since the Great Depression and prove at last the demand-side theories of John Maynard Keynes: that governments can spend their way out of economic distress and back to prosperity by stimulating consumption and demand.
KEYNESIAN FAILURES FROM HOOVER TO THE JAPANESE
Til ARRA every Keynesian spending experiment had failed: liberal Republican Herbert Hoover spent a $700 million budget surplus that he inherited from Coolidge to end the Depression, massively raised taxes on the rich (from 24% to 54%) and went $2 billion into debt, but without success-the crisis worsened with every move he made. His successor Franklin Roosevelt (Hoover on steroids) hiked taxes even more and outspent Hoover doubling his debt; but he too had no success-suffering a collapse of his programs in 1937 he prolonged the crisis he couldn't fix..until the war put America back to work making arms and fighting monsters.
OBAMA LEARNS FROM THE PAST?
The Spanish, Italians, Irish, Brits, Portuguese, Greeks and Japanese (for 23 years now) also tried Keynesian stimulus spending and failed. But for Barack Obama it would be different. Just as he was America's first Black president so he'd be the first head of state to make Keynes work. Why? Because he was smarter and wiser than his predecessors and learned from their mistakes. What did he learn from Hoover, FDR, the Greeks, Japanese and the rest? Only that they spent too little, and unlike them he wouldn't UNDERSPEND. His Keynesian stimulus (unlike those before him) was "the right size, the right scope and had the right priorities;" urging Congress to act quickly in passing it he said, "the crisis [of job loss] was accelerating and getting worse.....and could turn into a catastrophe if we fail to act (see)." In other words, the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression could become another depression if ARRA wasn't passed.
OBAMA'S FIRST BIG LIE
But this was a lie. The first of Obama's big whopping lies. For on the ill-omened day when this ignorant, arrogant, inexperienced man took office (bungling his oath as he would his presidency) the worst was over. The economy wasn't deteriorating (as it was for Reagan 28 years before) headed toward a new depression as Obama warned. In fact, the economy was on the mend. Just as Bill Clinton inherited a recovering economy from George H. W. Bush so did Obama from Bush the younger (though not as strong). As you will see from the GDP chart below (provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a branch of the Commerce Department), the economy hit rock bottom and started a V-shaped recovery in the 4th Quarter of 2008 (late November/early December) when George Bush was still president.
THE ROARING TWENTIES
The stimulus was a gigantic waste of money, and more than justified Tea Party outrage. The deep recession or depression that Harding/Coolidge inherited from Woodrow Wilson in 1921 (with 11.9% unemployment) was turned into the Roaring, Soaring, Prosperous Twenties (with unemployment shrinking to 1.5%) by slashing taxes, spending and federal regulations-creating an environment friendly to business, investment and growth and inspiring consumers to spend.
OBAMA'S TRICKLE GROWTH RECOVERY
Obama (the Great Depressor) has gone in the opposite direction increasing taxes, spending and regulations and scaring consumers, lenders and businesses with his massive deficits and debt and divisive, anti-business, class warfare actions and rhetoric; and the consequence is terrible uncertainty and fear of the future (a public engulfed in goolm) causing the worst recovery since the Great Depression verging on a double dip recession-a weak, pathetic, trickle growth recovery of under 2% (for 2013) and now with a collapsing housing market again. The trend is clearly downward.
THE OBAMA AGE OF AUSTERITY?
Barrow and spend endlessly until there's a strong recovery-anything short of that is evil, ruinous, GOP/Tea Party austerity.