YES, ANOTHER ONE…. Economist Mark Zandi noted the other day, “It’s premature to say we need another stimulus, but the economy is performing much worse than when [the law] was signed, and the odds are increasing that we’ll need a bigger policy response. What we’ve learned is policy has been a step behind this whole downturn. It’s important to get a step ahead.”
Given this, talk of a second stimulus shouldn’t surprise anyone.
House Democrats are looking at yet another economic stimulus bill beyond the $787 billion one just enacted as investors and consumers continue to show little faith in the economy.
At a special meeting of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Tuesday morning, Democrats heard again from their trusted band of economists and came away reinforced that Congress would need to spend billions of additional taxpayer dollars in the coming months to help pull the economy out its severe recession.
One proposal being considered is an additional economic stimulus bill.
Zandi added today, “I think another stimulus package is a reasonable assumption because of the way things are going.” Brookings’ Rebecca Blank added, “The bad news is it’s going to get worse. The good news is there are a whole series of actions being taken [including the stimulus]…. Whether this is enough, I think, is still unknown. The risks are all on the side of under-reaching, not overreaching.”
Speaker Pelosi added that policymakers have to “keep the door open” to such a proposal.
If there is another round, here’s hoping the coverage of the debate at traditional news outlets is far more responsible. During the debate over the first stimulus, those calling for a larger, more ambitious stimulus were largely ignored. Those who talked about a smaller package, with less spending, and more tax cuts — all the while complaining bitterly about pork — were given an inordinate amount of airtime. The coverage not only skewed public opinion, it had a detrimental effect on the political process itself.
What do you suppose the chances are that the major networks learned a lesson from their shoddy coverage, and will be more responsible if there’s another round of stimulus talks? Don’t answer that; it’s a rhetorical question.