David Wessel on the late flurry of stimulus initiatives from the White House:

While many doubt the Obama economic medicine is working, not all the skeptics want the government to do nothing. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found respondents disapprove of Mr. Obama's handling of the economy 56% to 39%. But asked if the government should "do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people" or if it is "doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals," respondents split evenly.

Democrats aren't likely to get many votes from the "doing too much" camp; they need all of the others.

On both politics and economics, though, the president's moves are late.

There was ample warning earlier this year that economic recovery lacked vigor and that the oomph of fiscal stimulus was about to wane.

Had these policies been proposed in the spring, Congress might have adopted them--and the economy would have been feeling the lift by now.

Instead, the president looks like he checked "the economy" off the to-do list prematurely, and instead turned to financial reform, energy, immigration and Middle East peace--and now regrets that.

I agree.


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