The stimulus law

THE STIMULUS LAW…. This obviously wasn’t a surprise, but it at least marks a shift in the debate. Instead of asking whether the economy recovery package should be law, the political world can now debate efficacy of the law itself.

President Barack Obama put his own indelible imprint on the nation’s distressed economy Tuesday, signing the huge recovery package into law, readying a $50 billion proposal to help homeowners fend off foreclosure and awaiting emergency restructuring plans from flailing automakers. Obama said the sprawling legislation, which congressional Democrats pushed to passage last week over near-unanimous opposition from Republicans, would “set our economy on a firmer foundation.”

Obama’s first major piece of legislation, it’s a $787 billion mix of tax cuts and one of the biggest public spending programs since World War II.

“I don’t want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems. Nor does it constitute all of what we have to do to turn our economy around. But today does mark the beginning of the end, the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs,” Obama said.

For historical context, we talked on Saturday about this package serving as a presidential achievement for Obama that “few of his predecessors achieved at any point in their tenure.” The WaPo went on to note, “In size and scope, there is almost nothing in history to rival the economic stimulus legislation that Obama shepherded through Congress in just over three weeks.” It added that we haven’t seen a legislative win for a president on this magnitude since FDR’s banking system overhaul in 1933.

The New York Times‘ report on today’s bill signing also noted that the White House “has not ruled out a second stimulus package.”

I don’t imagine the right will respond well to those eight words.

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