November 28th, 2008
10:42 AM ET

Stimulus for skeptics

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/26/transition.wrap/art.paulson.geithner.jpg
caption="Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, right, sits down with his likely successor, Timothy Geithner, on Tuesday."]
David Brooks
The New York Times

Over the past year, the federal government has poured money into the economy hundreds of billions of dollars at a time. It has also guaranteed investments, loans and deposits worth about $8 trillion. Barry Ritholtz, the author of “Bailout Nation,” points out that this project constitutes the largest infusion in American history.

If you add up just the funds that have already been committed, you get a figure, according to Jim Bianco of Bianco Research, that is larger in today’s dollars than the costs of the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the New Deal, the Korean War, Vietnam and the S.&L. crisis combined.

Is all this money doing any good?

The financial system seems to have stabilized, but bank lending is minimal, home prices keep falling, consumer spending is plummeting, and the economy continues to dive.


Filed under: David Brooks • Economy
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. julie

    No! We (family of 6 used to be upper middle class, now lower middle class) have stopped spending. When is the government going to "get it?" We do not want more credit, credit, credit. That is what got us into this mess. We have all borrowed too much. Due to loss of jobs and lower wages we are now in a situation that even if there is money to borrow we do not qualify for it or even want it. We have learned our lesson and will not overextend ourselves again. I do not think they realize how hard we are all working and getting nowhere. We used to work to get ahead now we are just working to get by. We used to feel more in control of our future. With the recent events of the stock market our savings is dwindling away-fast. We used to work to get ahead now we just work to get by

    November 30, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  2. earle,florida

    Great question David, but unfortunately,Not! If we are to get our arms around the problem,we must link-up to it's probable inception? You'll like this,for it was during the Clinton Administration,controlled by a Republican Congress that ammended the ,"FDIC Law" in "1993",that's right,sixty years on the books,"Designates Old Laws(removed it's teeth) Passe"? The public was naive/uneducated to the precipice that would await them. Now to the most important change that must be dealt with immediately under PE Obama. Once again you'll enjoy this,(not that you dislike the Dem's) for it was during the Clinton Administration that the Glass/Steagall Law was repealed in"1999",with a looming impeachment literrally tying his hands.( Clinton's final two years were under a Republican Congress ,but to be fair, it was GOP/Senate+ & Dem's/ House+) Another great piece of legislation wiped out after "sixty-six years",and once again the public was ill-informed of the dire consequences that would manifested/incubate like a "Cancer", thru-out our ,"Banking Financial System". The conflict of interest ,and malfeasance not seen in decades is comparible to ,"Treason"! We should go back to the archives in congress, and find out the committee chairs, and voting records of our legislators with a fine tooth comb and start asking some hard questions. Just a start....PS. Bring back the "Up-Tick" Rule on Wall Street...?

    November 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |

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