March 9th, 2009
10:45 AM ET

Behind the curve

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/06/obama.stimulus/art.obama.ohio.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama says his stimulus plan will spur job creation."]
Paul Krugman
The New York Times

President Obama’s plan to stimulate the economy was “massive,” “giant,” “enormous.” So the American people were told, especially by TV news, during the run-up to the stimulus vote. Watching the news, you might have thought that the only question was whether the plan was too big, too ambitious.

Yet many economists, myself included, actually argued that the plan was too small and too cautious. The latest data confirm those worries — and suggest that the Obama administration’s economic policies are already falling behind the curve.

To see how bad the numbers are, consider this: The administration’s budget proposals, released less than two weeks ago, assumed an average unemployment rate of 8.1 percent for the whole of this year. In reality, unemployment hit that level in February — and it’s rising fast.


Filed under: Economy • Paul Krugman • Unemployment
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    There is an old saying--–it is so easy to take a life---but more difficult to save one.

    March 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  2. Michael C. McHugh

    It's well known that Obama has some advisors that as as much true believers in free market capitalism as Rush Limbuagh. I hope these are not the decisive influence in the administration, though, since they do not represent most of the people who actually voted for Obama. It's laos clear that Obama has taken bolder and more decisive action to deal with our major social and economic problems than any president since FDR.

    Of course, it's true that most of it has not been particularly radical or innovative action, no matter what the Republicans say. It's alomst as if some people in teh administration are a little heartbroken and downcast that capitalism really has failed again, and are extremely reluctant to make a break with it or offend "The Markets" too much–even when those Markets are having a near death experience.

    March 9, 2009 at 10:57 am |