When can we call the economic stimulus package a failure?

Economics isn’t my strong point, but considering the state of the economy right now and word of $700 billion bailouts, is it safe to say that Bush’s “free money for everyone” strategy didn’t work? I’m sure apologists will say that the economy could somehow be worse if it hadn’t passed, but that just seems silly to me. Although I’m not closed to the possibility of it being true.

The economic stimulus package and the market meltdown have little to do with each other. Apples and oranges.

Yeah, the Economic Stimulus Package was like a Sponge-Bob band-aid on a skinned knee.

The current market crisis is like a torn femeral artery.

Well, naturally… that was the thrust of the argument against it at the time, IIRC. So if you’re bleeding from a femoral artery, and your doctor wastes time and money installing a bandaid on your scraped knee, at what point is it OK to say that your doctor is an idiot?

Well ours failed to help. We took the $1200 immediately out of the US and bought foreign currency which in a very, very small way, sent the value of the USD down.

Right after they foreclose on your hospital gurney, I’d say.

I’m on your side on this one. But I think the Economic Stimulus Package was a failure way before the real bleeding started.

This is the crux of economics - there is really no good way to know what would have happened without the stimulus package. It seems likely that it helped delay a recession - we had small positive growth the first two quarters of this year. It is also likely that it merely masked the underlying problems, many of which are coming to light now. It’s actually possible that even after whatever bailout package is put together to stabilize the financial system another stimulus package might be needed sometime early next year to help kick-start economic growth (didn’t one of the candidates propose this already?).

It was a stupid idea…which is probably why both parties supported it. Of COURSE it was a failure.


The stimulus checks arrived at the height of soaring gas prices and rising food prices so largely only helped the average american tread water rather than stimulate the economy

What do you mean by failure? Have had a recession yet? No. In fact, last quarter’s GDP was revised upwards (substantially). As others have stated, the current meltdown had absolutely nothing to do with the stimulus package. Some have argued that Fannie and Freddie were headed towards disaster (Greenspan, McCain, others), but there wasn’t a problem an actual problem until now. By January, a whole bunch of people were worried about the FNMs, but no one did anything about it until now. The major reason is that the problem was theoretical, e.g. government intervention and subsidization distorts markets, but the actual solution doesn’t materialize until the problem itself manifests (e.g. mortgage assets are now known to be extremely overvalued and lack of liquidity in the markets and lack of home buying).