Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hell No, It's NOT Working

Over at the Fox Forum, John R. Lott, Jr. writes a compelling and well-linked post asking the question, "Is The Stimulus Working? Hell, NO!".

He lays out a solid argument that we are in trouble.
Economists have consistently been expecting the economy to begin showing positive growth in the second half of this year. But the stimulus appears to have dampened the recovery that economists were expecting.

Take the expected growth in the third quarter (from July to September) this year. In January, the forecasters surveyed by the Wall Street Journal were expecting GDP during that period to rise by 1.2 percent at an annual rate. By May, the expected growth had been cut in half to 0.6 percent. The pattern is similar for both the second and fourth quarters this year. Paul Evans, the editor of the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking and an economics professor at Ohio State University, agrees with this and tells FOX News: “Most likely the economic recovery would have been more rapid at this point without [the stimulus package].”

Other forecasts have shown a similar pattern. By the end of last week, the U.S. manufacturing output is now expected to plummet by 12 percent this year. In February, the drop was expected to be 8 percent. The decline in the housing market failed to slow down after the stimulus package. The mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates in the U.S. just experienced their biggest quarterly increases since records started in 1972. Both numbers are also at their highest recorded levels. The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index posted a 19.1% drop from a year earlier, the biggest single quarterly decline for the reading’s 21-year history. In January, forecasters expected about 770,000 new homes being built this year. By May, only 580,000 new homes were expected for 2009.

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