We were relieved Saturday to hear President Obama distance himself from Democrats who’ve recently begun agitating for another stimulus package to boost the struggling economy.
Even mild recessions don’t end as quickly as people want them to, and this one has been anything but mild. Indeed, unemployment continues to rise and now sits at the uncomfortably high level of 9.5 percent. But the pace of the monthly job losses has definitely been slowing. At the same time, home prices have started to firm, the inflation of a year ago has eased dramatically, and consumer confidence is on the rise. These are some of the factors analysts have cited in saying the worst of the recession is already over.
The even better news seems to be that most of the $787 billion stimulus package is still stuck in the pipeline — yet to be spent. (According to Republican estimates, less than 10 percent has reached the intended targets thus far, which seems like more of an indictment on government bureaucracy than on the package or politicians responsible for it.) Obviously, as more of that money finds it way into the economy in the coming months, the impact will be increasingly positive.
As Obama noted, the stimulus “wasn’t designed to work in four months ... it was designed to work over two years.” Democrats already clamoring for more money, and Republicans denouncing the amount already spent need to keep that in mind, and show a little more patience.