“The effect of the stimulus will not be as pronounced as this year.”

Media Matters for America labels as outrageous the following Rush Limbaugh quote:

The economic news continues to be — unbelievably horrible and bad. And by the way, I think Christina Romer saying, “This is it, we’ve had the big bang for the buck that we’re gonna get on the stimulus.” Is she not saying, ladies and gentlemen, that Barack Obama’s stimulus has failed? 49 out of 50 states report job losses after the stimulus. So, his own economic adviser, Christina Romer, essentially saying Obama has failed.

Rush Limbaugh says a lot of outrageous, racist things. But the New York Times paraphrases Romer as saying, “The effect of the stimulus will not be as pronounced as this year.”

But while the economic news does indeed continue to be, as Limbaugh characterized it, “unbelievably horrible and bad,” President Obama has targeted banks that aren’t profiting wildly from the renewed excesses of Wall Street for executive pay cuts. The Federal Reserve has announced that it will review compensation packages for large banks, that is, after a 30-day comment period.

It is all intended to sound furious. But it really doesn’t get at the weakness of the economy. Any regulation that does emerge will likely be watered down, just as the Obama administration and Congress have been doing with everything else.

For Media Matters to regard this comment by Limbaugh as “outrageous” is to imagine that Obama’s “stimulus” has been effective. It is to indulge the rich in their fantasies. While gross domestic product might indeed turn up, in the real world, unemployment is awful and getting worse, pay is decreasing, homeowners continue to face foreclosure, and the bailout has failed to generate the lending activity it was supposed to.

So yes, Obama’s stimulus is a failure and that is effectively what Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, is saying by any standard that matters. Particularly when she “warned that the rebound in jobs could actually be even slower than what White House officials and private forecasters are predicting.”

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