OH, NOW THERE’S A ‘CHORUS’…. Newsweek has a good piece in its new issue on economist Joseph Stiglitz and the fact that the White House hasn’t sought his input much, despite his prescient understanding of the global financial meltdown. It’s worth reading.
There was one paragraph, though, that caught my eye.
Stiglitz had been hammering at Obama’s economic team for its handling of the financial crisis. He wrote that the stimulus program was too small to be effective — a criticism that has since swelled into a chorus, though Obama says he’s not adding more money.
Oh, sure. Now the media has noticed there’s a “chorus” that says the stimulus package wasn’t big enough. There was a sizable group saying the same thing in January and February, but they were ignored, especially by major news outlets, who turned instead to Republicans over and over again.
While the debate was ongoing, the political establishment considered this a fight pitting those who supported the stimulus as it was against those who wanted it to be smaller. The “chorus” that was correct — the ones calling for a bigger, more ambitious stimulus — was not part of the equation, and the dynamic led to a weaker recovery effort, thanks to demands from moderate Senate Republicans. (To this day, we hear GOP lawmakers complaining about Obama’s “$1 trillion stimulus,” despite the fact that the stimulus was nowhere near $1 trillion.)
The criticism hasn’t necessarily “swelled into a chorus”; the chorus’ members have been there the whole time, wondering why no one took their prescient advice seriously.