Two on Stimulus


Today’s a day when the NYT‘s two columnists really deserve to be read in tandem. First check out Paul Krugman on why thinks Barack Obama’s stimulus plan is too timid and doesn’t contain enough money—or enough of the right kinds of money—to soak up the excess capacity in the economy. And then take a look at David Brooks’ view that Obaam’s stimulus plan is frighteningly audacious.

What’s interesting is that Brooks doesn’t contradict Krugman’s analysis. Rather, Krugman’s looking at the big macro picture and the economic math. And Brooks is looking at the political picture in congress and inside the federal government’s logistical capacity to design and implement programs. His conclusion: “Maybe Obama can pull this off, but I have my worries.” The frightening possibility, of course, is that they both may be right—the stimulus we need may be more than the stimulus the political system is actually able to deliver.