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In our opinion: Stimulus 5 years later

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  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    "...Your opinion on the subject, however, seems to depend on whom you believe...".

    Exactly.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    More debt won't help our children and grandchildren deal with climate.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    Though I react to defend President Obama's actions (they were absolutely necessary), let's face the fact that we are in really tough shape economically. Why? Because American capital is doing what it naturally does, minimizing wages by going after the lowest possible, and by slashing the safety net, e.g. cutting foodstamps. Capital will not be satisfied until labor is completely destitute. Of course this is against capital's long term interests. But so hell-bent are they to decimate labor (they can't help themselves) they will proceed anyway. Then we will see revolt. Count on it.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    The grandchildren should factor in the unnecessary Iraq war and the fact that the economy did not collapse. The grandkids will be concerned daily with climate change problems kicked down the road to them.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    Deseret News Editorial:

    "The one thing that is indisputable, however, is that the stimulus added nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt, a legacy that remains with us even as we debate its hard-to-define economic benefits. Surely such a massive expenditure ought to have produced undeniably positive outcomes commensurate with its expense. That is not the case, which is the likely reason why the Obama administration has not gone out of its way to call attention to the bill’s ignominious anniversary."

    This paragraph has very succinctly captured the failure of the Obama Stimulus.

    Here's what we have to show for the Obama Stimulus:

    * Real Unemployment of over 14% (Where are those “shovel ready jobs” anyway?)

    * A President and Democrat Party demanding that unemployment benefits be extended past 99 weeks (This is necessary with a successful stimulus?)

    * 47 million Americans, 14% of the population on Food Stamps. This is almost double what it was in 2008.

    These are not signs of a successful stimulus; they are instead signs of an abject failure. Our kids will be paying the freight for this failure their entire lives. Sad.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    one old man wrote: "Without the stimulus, we'd be even deeper into the swamp than we are now."

    So what we did was fill in the bottom of the swamp with our children and grandchildren to prop us up.

    The decent noble thing to do is protect the children, not drown them in our swamp.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    What to do about all these experts who believe that the government saved us from the 2nd Great Depression? How sweet? It makes for another great narrative for another Hollywood answer! Just like FDR, it kept the free market from working and kept America in a depression and it's citizens from recovering for ten years! Noble sounding, but not true! Wake up America!

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 6:40 p.m.

    "Well one undeniably positive outcome was that another great depression did not ensue."
    "It brought the economy back form [sic] the brink."
    "The fact that we averted another Great Depression means that it worked reasonable [sic] well."
    "...it really did save an economy in freefall."
    "Without the stimulus, we'd be even deeper into the swamp than we are now."

    These are all just assertions anyone can make. I predict that the world will end tomorrow, unless...I go right now and eat a big bowl of ice cream. If the sun rises in the morning, you'll know that my plan was successful.

    The truth is, the U.S. economy is a mighty force. Anyone who predicts that it will eventually bounce back is on fairly safe ground. It came back in spite of Porkulus, not because of it.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    No, this isn't over the top at all.

    Under Dear Leader, we currently have 92 million Americans out of work. So, please, let's dispel this myth touted by the Dems and Obama that our unemployment is 8%. This is outright deception! In order for them to come up with this bogus number, they don't count those who've stopped looking for work, and those who've exceeded their 99 weeks of unemployment. Let's not even talk about all of the full-time jobs that went to part time under the ACA. Under Dear Leader, the economic pie is shrinking!

    Since you folks can't explain Obama's failures, you attack the DN. Very telling indeed.

  • wkb1005 Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    Maybe a trillion in new debt is the price of economic stabilization. That should scare us into greater oversight of those that would place the world economy in jeopardy solely for personal and short-sighted gain. Since we really haven't done that yet, 2008 could happen all over again. In fact, it probably will. The price tag? Apparently, the cost would be about $1 trillion. Pony up, taxpayers.

  • get her done Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    Obama has walked the walk. Republicans can only talk the talk. Utah unemployment 4%. What sour grapes.

  • ronnie sandy, utah
    Feb. 22, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    The Editorial Board has quoted just a couple of sources to support its biased position. Why not, at least, get a consensus of thought. According to the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, 80 percent of the 40 or so economists surveyed agreed with the Congressional Budget Office, known as the CBO, that the unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus law. The survey asked a second question about whether—accounting for future costs arising from financing the stimulus with debt—its benefits would end up exceeding its costs. Here, 46 percent thought that they would and another 27 percent were uncertain, leaving only a small percentage that did not. Another position taken by the Editorial with little to back it up.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    one old man wrote: "Without the stimulus, we'd be even deeper into the swamp than we are now."

    Amen, brother. And amen also to those who posted that a larger stimulus would have helped even more. There's an excellent column in today's Tribune on that topic by Paul Krugman.

    By the way, the federal budget deficit fell from about 10 percent of GDP in 2009 to around 4 percent of GDP in 2013.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 22, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    Perhaps those best qualified to judge the stimulus package are those who will have to pay for it; our grandchildren! What will they say about the nearly $1 trillion it added to the debt burden they will have to pay? Does that make all other's opinions irrelevant?

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    The stimulus, as with all Gov't spending, debt and deficits, are simply a way for those in power to pillage the treasury. And, that is what they are doing.

    Without the stimulus and overly burdensome gov't regulation, we, the people would have made things better ourselves.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Many of the previous posters do an excellent job of pointing out the deceptions in this article and the DN's ongoing attack of our President. The Stimilus bill was loaded with nearly as many tax cuts as it was spending. It's intention was to keep this country from falling into a depression. We did not. Business contracted spending and investments rapidily to protect themselves from the uncertainity of the economy at the time. BO's legislation (the stimulus being one of them) and leadership helped us avert that. The alternative is to do what many European countries did and cut spending. Their economies are in much worse shape so, unless your a BO hater one would have to objectively conclude his actions and leadership had a very positive effect on our economy. History will view his Presidency very favorably and that gnaws at conservatives and the DN editorial staff.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Absent the "ignominious" stimulus what do you think would have happened to the economy? Obama had to go out on a limb, so do you.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    That 8% projection was made at the start of the economic collapse. It severely underestimated the rate of job losses in the coming months. 700k jobs were lost January 2009. Once the stimulus passed we started losing fewer jobs starting that very month and then stopped losing jobs by the end of 2009.

    Maybe it'd have worked better if Republicans (remember, 3 voted for it though one later joined the Democratic party) didn't force half of it to be tax cuts (less effectively from a stimulative perspective) and reduce the size of key portions of spending like aid to the states (which then proceeded to lay off many teachers, police, etc).

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Well, let's see. The stimulus resulted in some really wonderful shovel ready jobs.

    The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
    Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
    SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    Solyndra ($535 million)*
    Beacon Power ($43 million)*
    Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    SunPower ($1.2 billion)
    First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    Amonix ($5.9 million)
    Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
    Abound Solar ($400 million)*
    A123 Systems ($279 million)*
    Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
    Johnson Controls ($299 million)
    Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
    ECOtality ($126.2 million)
    Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
    Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
    Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
    Olsen’s Crop Service($10 million)*
    Range Fuels ($80 million)*
    Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
    Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
    Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
    GreenVolts ($500,000)
    Vestas ($50 million)
    LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
    Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
    Navistar ($39 million)
    Satcon ($3 million)*
    Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
    Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)

    *bankrupt

    The stimulus worked? Sure, and I've got some beach front property in Arizona for sale if you believe that one.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    I read your piece again and you said "Surely such a massive expenditure ought to have produced undeniably positive outcomes commensurate with its expense. That is not the case, which is the likely reason why the Obama administration has not gone out of its way to call attention to the bill’s ignominious anniversary."

    Ignominious? Very over the top, but typical Deseret News. You should tell your readers, using your best judgement and analytic skills, just what you think would have happened without the stimulus. You can't use language like this unless you're willing to go out on a limb, like Obama had to. BTW, I know for a fact that it saved my job. I am not ungrateful.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    Without the stimulus, we'd be even deeper into the swamp than we are now.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    "Your opinion on the subject, however, seems to depend on whom you believe." ...
    Not just my opinion. Yours, too. It's too easy to sit and take pot shots from this side of the depression. But we need to remember, and the article didn't mention, that the economy was tanking fast in 08/09. Who knows what would have happened with no stimulus? One thing for sure would have been a hearty round of criticism for the President had he not acted, here on these pages. I'm not sure what you expected from a the stimulus. Was it space lasers? Or multiple theme parks? Maybe we're lucky to have an auto industry and slow but steady recovery.

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    The purpose of the stimulus was two fold. One was to create jobs and the other to fund important infrastructure projects. Most of the comments have related to the first and almost none have focused on the second purpose. The jury is still out on the first, but it would be helpful to hear some commentary on the second. Any conclusions about whether it was worth the debt load should consider the second purpose.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    "DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers."

    This gets harder and harder to do when a newspaper continues to promote distortions and out right untruths.

    The basis for their criticism is the 8% prediction and shovel ready jobs.

    The unemployment prediction was based on what was known, at the time which was before the first monthly loss of 250,000 jobs. Even Obama, the evil socialist didn't think the economy would sink to losing 250,000 jobs a month, but it did. So DN at least be honest about the context.

    "Shovel ready". Every one of those shovel ready jobs was in fact filled and kept, or put money in Americans pockets. We're they delayed, yes, by about six months. However to insinuate that because they were delayed they were ineffective is completely dishonest.

    Such distortions are expected from individuals but we deserve more from a newspaper.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    History should tell us that the government cannot bribe businessmen to provide the proper service to the public. Any legislation, law or program of government will favor business and only the public as far as the next election.

    Once is a while we do get a businessman in government who will try to temper that sad fact, but as we have seen he will be punished and run over by the business steam roller.

    Creating government programs don't work and because of their size and power, business has no fear of government or any thing except competition. Even though it is shown that government performs better than business the business media fails to allow that news to be distributed to the public.

    The only way our government can effect business is to compete with business. The government should hire people at a living wage, put them to work, and give ordinary people the ability to break free from the business created slavery.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Two facts emerge from any objective, careful, non-partisan economic analysis. First, the stimulus really did work, it really did save an economy in freefall. Second, it was never anywhere close to large enough. The biggest job losses, post-stimulus were in the public sector; states laying off teachers and cops. President Obama's initial projections were overly optimistic, and it's fair to criticize him for unwarranted optimism. But all of Europe was clobbered by the financial crisis too. And the American economy recovered far more quickly and completely than the economies of nations who embraced austerity.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    Two facts emerge from any objective, careful, non-partisan economic analysis. First, the stimulus really did work, it really did save an economy in freefall. Second, it was never anywhere close to large enough. The biggest job losses, post-stimulus were in the public sector; states laying off teachers and cops. President Obama's initial projections were overly optimistic, and it's fair to criticize him for unwarranted optimism. But all of Europe was clobbered by the financial crisis too. And the American economy recovered far more quickly and completely than the economies of nations who embraced austerity.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    The outgoing Bush administration said that the economy was declining at a 4% annual rate at the time Bush left office. We now know that it was actually declining at a 9% annual rate, faster than it did at any point during the Great Depression. Virtually all non-partisan economists who have examined the stimulus believe that it worked as planned.

    Given the fact that the economy was doing much worse than first advertised, the stimulus should have been double the size it was. The fact that we averted another Great Depression means that it worked reasonable well.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    It brought the economy back form the brink. The President was re-elected and defeated the challenger because of saving the economy.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 22, 2014 6:47 a.m.

    As this article points out,the only people who tell us the stimulus package was a success are those who voted for it. Just like those who tell us Obamacare is working. The rest of us know better! Even the Washington Post hands Obama Pinocchio awards faster and more often than the film industry passes out Academy Awards to actors and actresses. Acting successful does not mean its real, it just acting! So we have Democrats acting like the "stimulus" was a success but the success wasn't real.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    If you like your stimulus you can keep your stimulus. In other words if the White House says it be very suspicious as in they lie! And that folks is a proven fact.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Feb. 22, 2014 3:59 a.m.

    Oh, dear, oh dear! More Obama bashing by the DN, to please the least of its readers!

    A-- the 2nd stimulus was passed when he was in office 5 weeks.

    B-- if the repubs had passed a good jobs bill, after the many, many times Obama asked, the facts of the story would be different.

    C-- I personally find it offensive that the DN, owned by a church of Jesus Christ, keeps up with the one-sided editorials and articles.

    The Jesus they talked about at my Sunday school gave everyone a fair shot.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2014 12:11 a.m.

    "Surely such a massive expenditure ought to have produced undeniably positive outcomes commensurate with its expense." Well one undeniably positive outcome was that another great depression did not ensue. I remember 2008 really well. I was teaching economics at a local college. I was asked to explain the origins of the crisis and make a prediction has to how far the economy would descend. I distinctly remember - no one knew where the bottom was and it looked like we were headed for complete collapse. In fact we did completely collapse because credit completely dried up. Fortunately that credit freeze did not last and spending gradually came back. The Deseret News should ask itself why the bottom did not last very long. Some credit was restored because of capital infusion to the banks by the treasury and some demand was restored by the stimulus. As an aside you have nothing negative to say about the capital infusion. Why? That doesn't bother you because it was welfare for capitalists (but had to be done).

    The stimulus created jobs and did not replace other jobs because at the time the unemployment rate was approaching 10%.