• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Report on Stimulus CBO Wishes Would Go Away

    Pity the poor Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director. Congress passes and the President signs the most massive fiscal stimulus program in history, spending more money on Keynesian stimulus than has been spent so far on the Iraq war. But, unlike the Iraq war, the stimulus has been a complete bust.

    Rather than launch a recovery, the stimulus managed only to launch a jump in the national debt. The economy enjoyed a mild bump late in 2009 as businesses rebuilt their inventories—a development completely unrelated to the stimulus—and then slid back to anemic growth in the second quarter and now appears to have stalled out entirely.

    As part of the stimulus legislation, Congress mandated CBO report regularly on how well the stimulus is doing. Money spent, economy faltering, Congress wants happy news about their stimulus, and in response all CBO can do is continue to run their antiquated models telling us that down is up and slow is fast.

    In the latest report, CBO’s models indicate that employment is higher by between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs thanks to the stimulus. In contrast, the unemployment rate hovers near 10 percent and would be much higher but for the millions of workers who’ve simply given up and left the workforce. Faced with such a contradiction between its economic models and the facts, what’s a CBO Director to do?

    Rely on wrongheaded models, release fluff reports, keep congressional leaders off his back, and hope things get better.

    Or face the facts, which are there for all to see: The stimulus failed because it had to. Keynesian stimulus can only rearrange demand in an economy while infusing it with new uncertainties. Growth happens only when business see real reasons to expand, reasons government spending cannot provide on net—a lesson the current ruling class in Washington fails to understand.

    It’s not that stimulus per se was doomed to fail, but the Keynesian type of stimulus Obama pressed Congress to pass was doomed to fail. Obama placed his bet and now the country gets to pay it off in higher debt and more joblessness. It would help if CBO could acknowledge as much and thus participate in the process of changing course.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to The Report on Stimulus CBO Wishes Would Go Away

    1. Richard Mofford says:

      Printing new money is not the answer, when the money is right here in our communities to help families facing foreclosures, stay in their homes,while it will be creating new job opportunities,strengthening our communities bringing blessing and equity in our community development and values in real estate home ownership family coalition.

      Consideration for one another.Atlantic Enterprise Foundation Inc. is co-founded to do God's will.

      Create with the will to over come the obstacles that could be placed a head of us signs of hope way of winning.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.