Mitt Romney is attacking President Obama's $800 billion economic stimulus package, saying that it actually killed jobs. A senior Romney campaign aide calls the spending the "mother of all earmarks," accusing Obama of wasting taxpayer funds by steering it to donors and destroying the public's confidence in the economy. The White House counters by saying that Obama "brought the nation back from the brink of another Depression" and rescued the auto industry, which it says Romney would have let die. If Romney were in charge during the dark days of early 2009, what would he have done?
Romney would have backed a stimulus, too: The presumptive GOP nominee should not be able to say "with a straight face that he wouldn't have pushed for some stimulus spending to rescue an economy in freefall," says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post. In January 2009, he flat out said that a stimulus was needed to keep the economy and middle-class families above water. He wasn't endorsing Obama's exact plan, but he inarguably backed "stimulus spending in general." So it's "ridiculously incoherent" for him to say now that Obama's stimulus spending somehow impeded the recovery.
"What would Romney have done in January 2009?"
But Mitt would have invested taxpayer money more wisely: We may never know all the details of what Romney would have done, but we certainly know that the Republican Romney would have done things diferently than the Democrat in the White House, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Mitt "had a track record of overwhelming success at turning around troubled organizations and creating explosive expansion." Obama, meanwhile, lost the money of his investors — taxpayers — by throwing cash at "businesses that investors have shunned." How did that work out for us?
"Video: How's the Public Equity President performing, part II"
Hold on. Obama's stimulus worked: Romney won't beat Obama by attacking the stimulus, says The Agonist. If you set aside the over-the-top partisan rhetoric, you'll see that Obama's massive aid package "seemed to work fine: Most of it was paid back, GM and Chrysler are both making money again." The economy is slowly gaining steam; the unemployment rate is dropping. "Sure beats the Hoover-style tax cuts of Bush and the GOP over the past 10 years."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
Subscribe to the Week