"Making Sense on the Stimulus"
Brad DeLong observes that Obama administration officials being put out there to deny that no further fiscal stimulus is necessary aren’t making a great deal of sense. And of course they’re not making sense because they’re in a political predicament. But I think they’d do better to just admit that:
Congress gave us less stimulus than we asked for last time around so we don’t see any point in making a futile effort to go back to the well; if it looks like Congress is prepared to act then we can start talking about what appropriate action would look like. Until then we’re working with the tools that we have, tools that we think are making the situation much better than it otherwise would be, but recovery will take time.
Trying to demand additional stimulus when the votes aren’t there in congress could do more harm than good. But pretending to believe that what’s been done is adequate is a fool’s game and just invites the criticism that the stimulus hasn’t “worked.”