Do We Agree that the Stimulus is Working?

In a poll last week, 51% of respondents said that eliminating the stimulus would create more jobs. I called those respondents insane. Commenters called me worse. Things got real. A week later I regret some diction in that post, but not the substance. The stimulus helped. It has juiced production. It has created jobs. And, for better or worse, only a quarter of it has been spent.

The NYT interviewed some economists about the stimulus and found a tentative consensus that the stimulus is helping the economy. Let's look at some graphs:


Some caveats. My enthusiasm for the stimulus' makeup has wavered. The Obama administration badly oversold its impact, especially on jobs, and I'm worried that it's failure to save as many jobs as promised will hurt future job-saving stimulus bills. Also today's downward revision of Q3 GDP provides ample evidence that it's very difficult to measure the stimulus' impact on the economy.

But my overall stance has been consistent. The economy looks bad but it could have been worse. The stimulus looks like it's working but it could have been better.