Commentary at Forbes.com on the Obama administration's $787 billion mistake:
Current economic indicators suggest that our economic crisis will hit bottom soon and that the U.S. will be poised for economic recovery.
[. . .]
Given the rapid improvement in the economic outlook, and the slow rate of stimulus spending under the act thus far, most of the spending under ARRA will likely occur well after recovery is under way. A new CBO study shows that through late May only about $37 billion has been spent, which is just under 10% of authorized spending under the ARRA. In fact, the Departments of Education, Transportation and Energy all have spent 2% or less of their allocations. Recovery is on the way, without massive government spending.
But wasn't the whole idea for fiscal stimulus that there was no way we would recover without it? And didn't Vice President Biden indicate that virtually all economists agreed with this view? Given the improving economic outlook, ARRA now represents a significant and very expensive public policy mistake. And in contrast to the vice president's view about economists' support for the program, it is well known that many of them who specialize in macroeconomic policy significantly criticized the need for substantial fiscal stimulus before ARRA was passed.
The premise that only the government big enough to stimulate us out of the recession was flawed to begin with, and there was plenty of evidence from past experience that it wouldn't work as advertised. So now we're going to have all that debt to repay with nothing good to show for it. Not that this all got started under President Obama (NY Times, Via Hit & Run):
There are two basic truths about the enormous deficits that the federal government will run in the coming years.
The first is that President Obama's agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. The second is that Mr. Obama does not have a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit, despite what his advisers have suggested.
Republicans shouldn't be too loudly partisan about Obama's lack of a "realistic plan" for deficit reduction, since "the GOP isn't serious about cutting spending, either, delivering only a comical $5 billion in specific cuts in a recent plan." Tough times for libertarians. Below is that chart that's been floating around the Net for a few weeks graphically illustrating the "gathering gloom," as Hit & Run puts it. Tack it on the wall so you'll have a good target when hitting your head against same.