Brad DeLong: Obama economic team "exceeds expectations"
Brad DeLong grades the first year of the Obama economic team:
[A] sizeable fiscal stimulus, a second round now moving through the congress, victory in the intellectual war over whether the government should and can stabilize the economy, blocking any protectionist moves, key support for what looks to be a successful (if moderate Republican) health care reform, key support for ongoing climate policy--a solid B+/A-. The major problems are (a) that the macroeconomic situation turned out to be much more dire than we thought last November-December, (b) that financial regulatory reform looks to be a flop -- too many members of congress bought by bankers -- but IMHO Geithner and company played out a weak hand that Paulson had taken care to leave them, and (c) that the fact that private banks have profited while the government has not from the bailouts means that there is now no more ammunition should things turn south once more.
But still: exceeds expectations. Remember: Clinton's attempt at a stimulus package cratered in the spring of 1993, NAFTA nearly failed in spite of Republican and Democratic leadership support, the 1993 Reconciliation Bill was the narrowest of victories (albeit a very important one) -- and that was it for two years.
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla -- Getty Images Photo.
December 30, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories: Economic Policy
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