'The New New Deal': The Rare Pro-Stimulus Argument

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As President Obama campaigns for reelection, as he delivers speech after speech in swing states from Ohio to Florida, there's one word that’s completely off-limits.

So what is that word-which-must-not be named? It's "stimulus."

The stimulus, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in 2009. The Act is so hated, and, according to Michael Grunwald, so poorly understood by the American public, that, Grunwald says, "A year after Obama signed the bill, the percentage of the public that believed it had created jobs was lower than the percentage that believed Elvis was alive."

In sum, the stimulus has become a political third rail in Obama’s reelection campaign. 

Michael Grunwald is a senior national correspondent for Time Magazine and the author of "The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era." He explains why he believes the stimulus is "President Obama’s most ambitious and least understood piece of legislation."


Michael Grunwald

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [6]

Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

FDR have called it 'priming the pump'. 80 years later we called it 'stimulus'. An economist would call it boosting aggregate demand which is what the federal government should do FIRST before bringing the books back into balance. But, it must bring the books BACK INTO BALANCE at some point. And once we match the sources to the uses of tax revenue, let's not go pushing it back into deficit with tax give-aways and unpaid for wars.

Aug. 16 2012 03:20 PM
passage10151 from Portland, OR

While your speaker has an impressive if not privileged pedigree, he confuses what markets are, not a moral code but an allocator of scarce resources. Morals are found in nature or in a pew.

The 'take away' has been a huge disappointment as the propaganda machine for socialism. How about something wild, like having someone from Cato, AEI other than academic discussions on socialism? Call a spade a spade the "Take Away" is a collectivist anti-individual, anti-creativity, anti-innovation, anti-education and boring.

Aug. 16 2012 01:51 PM
Martin from Corvallis, Or

Good grief, your programming should come with a disclaimer from the DNC saying "we approve of this programming". Could you be any more one sided? (that is of course a rhetorical question)

Aug. 16 2012 01:22 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I wish there was this physical evidence of The New New Deal In New York; We have these incredible sink holes in the streets in New York. It is like a portal to Hell if you drive your car into one of these holes...

I bring up these holes because when Obama took office, he took over a sinking ship. The Stimulus package filled a ton of holes on this sinking ship and metaphorically if every sink hole on the streets of America were filled, Obama could have left a sign which read,"This hole was filled by The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...
They needed to hook up with an Advertising Agency and show what ARRA was able to do

Aug. 16 2012 10:12 AM
dlmc from SI

Is this from The Onion.

Aug. 16 2012 09:06 AM
Terrie from Colorado

Finally...something positive about the Stimulus Act. I managed two ARRA grants worth $10.7 million, and I saw firsthand the positive results that these grants had on the small businesses and other entities we sub-awarded the money to. There are a couple of businesses that wouldn't exist today if they hadn't received these grants. I agree that the Obama Administration didn't do a good enough job of telling the story. Thanks for sharing the other side of the story.

Aug. 16 2012 08:50 AM

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