Economists Disagree With Public On Benefits of Stimulus

Polls based upon general perceptions by the public often say very little about the actual policies and are often more a reflection of the misconceptions being spread by the right wing noise machine. I recently noted that many of those who say they oppose the health care reform plan agree with it when the specifics are actually explained to them. Another poll shows widespread public belief that the stimulus money was wasteful. Joe Klein thinks these people are Too Dumb to Thrive.

While Klein does present a brief argument as to why they are wrong, Steven Benen provides further information:

Among economists, however, we seem awfully close to complete unanimity that the Democrats’ recovery effort rescued the economy from collapse, created jobs, and generated economic growth that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Among the experts, this isn’t even worth debating anymore — it’s simply an obvious truth that the stimulus was effective.

USA Today published an item today after surveying a panel of economists.

“President Obama’s stimulus package saved jobs — but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY’s quarterly survey of 50 economists.”

Unemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December’s 10% rate — without Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists’ median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.

Not surprisingly, the economists believe there should be more stimulus, not less, including increased spending on infrastructure.

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