We’ll see how influential “The Note” really is if what Klein writes about the machinations behind the attempt to make us forget that the Obama stimulus plan was supposedly going to be making some kind of difference at this point gets out anywhere else. Color me skeptical.
No doubt, Klein gets in some pretty strong, accurate, and long-overdue rips (links are in original):
Moving the Stimulus GoalpostsWith public confidence in the stimulus package showing signs of ebbing, the Obama administration is continuing to sell its impact with nation-wide events and press appearances.
Today brings this explanation, from Christina Romer, the chairman of the president’s Council on Economic Advisers: Stimulus spending, Romer told the Financial Times, is “going to ramp up strongly through the summer and the fall.
“We always knew we were not going to get all that much fiscal impact during the first five to six months. The big impact starts to hit from about now onwards,” Romer said.
….. But top Obama advisers haven’t always been so cautious in predicting how long the stimulus would take to be felt.
Back in February, with Congress moving swiftly to approve President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, White House budget director Peter Orszag said the benefits of the stimulus would “take weeks to months” to be felt.
Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, was even more optimistic: “You’ll see the effects begin almost immediately,” Summers told CNN in February.
Just last month, Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, joined administration officials in asserting that the stimulus was already working, despite rising unemployment rates.
….. The stimulus, of course, did pass, though the national unemployment rate is now 9.4 percent. Two weeks ago, President Obama predicted that unemployment will top 10 percent this year.
The sad thing is how many of these defenders really know better. Romer, for example, authored a 2007 paper showing that tax cuts had over twice the impact (second item at link) of the same amount of government stimulus.
Klein’s report would appear to be a way for the network to say “See, we did tough coverage of Obama,” while, barring a surprise on “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” or “20/20,” letting few people see it.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.