Is the Obama economic rescue plan a failure?

Swayed by GOP attacks, independent voters are abandoning ship. But the summer of stimulus love has hardly started


Andrew Leonard
July 9, 2009 9:59PM (UTC)

Independent voters, writes Politico's Ben Smith, "who seem to be responding to Republican complaints of excessive spending and government control," are moving away from President Obama. Which means we're going to hear more of the same from the likes of Eric Cantor, R-Va., busily calling the stimulus plan a "failure" for not having already fixed the economy. If the spin is working, why change?

"I think any objective measure would indicate there's a failure when you have a commitment of nearly $800 billion in taxpayer funds and you have the type of job loss we're experiencing," Cantor told the Washington Post.

But Barry Ritholtz points out that the Post includes an interesting chart detailing the stimulus spending so far.

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  • February: $2 billion
  • March: $6.6 billion
  • April: $12.3 billion
  • May: $30.6 billion
  • June: $58 billion

If that trend line continues through the summer, then we will be seeing significant outlays of government spending in the months ahead. A bit too soon, I think, to call the stimulus a "failure."


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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