• Doing "Something" vs Doing "Nothing"

      Yesterday, Vice President and "Stimulus Sheriff" Joe Biden defended the stimulus:

      To those who say that our economic decisions haven't saved jobs, it simply hasn't worked, I say, 'Look around you.'

      A few bloggers have been looking around and some (including economist Greg Mankiw) have found a graph used by the Administration to sell the stimulus plan back in January. It shows their projection of the unemployment rate with and without the stimulus...but these bloggers have now added the actual unemployment data in red (posted last month, so it doesn't include figures for July):

      Stimulus-vs-unemployment-june-dots

      Of course, it's early. Perhaps the stimulus has "saved" some jobs (especially public sector jobs).   It will be impossible to measure. The exact cost to our grandchildren in future debt is also impossible to measure.   But based on what the Administration promised with this graph, I'd say critics have reason to complain.

      Government spent a lot of money doing “something"…but it may have created uncertainties that brought us results worse than they predicted doing "nothing" would achieve.

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      Pre-October 2009