Asked if the stimulus bill was too small, Gibbs says: “I think it makes sense to step back just for a second. … Nobody had, in January of 2009, a sufficient grasp of … what we were facing.” He adds that any stimulus was “unlikely to fill” the hole the financial meltdown created.
“What the Recovery Act did was prevent us from sliding even into a deeper recession with greater economic contraction, with greater job loss than we have experienced because of it,” he says. (2:35 p.m.)
BooMan nailed Gibbs saying:
Plenty of people had a sufficient grasp of the situation to recommend a much bigger stimulus bill. The no one could have predicted line of argument is not a political winner under any circumstances but it really stinks when it isn’t true.
And Paul Krugman chimed in with some serious ire:
The truth is that some of us were practically screaming back in January 2009 that the administration was proposing too small a program. Start with this post and work forward. And no, the point isn’t that I’m so smart — it is that given the forecasts we had at the time, and given historical experience of recessions after financial crises, it wasn’t at all hard to see that the plan was too small.
Robert Gibbs response today was a crock. A lot of people saw this coming, from economists to bloggers, to average Joe’s on the street who can’t find work… still. Gibbs statement today, was profoundly unhelpful.
And as BooMan noted, President Obama’s statement on the economy wasn’t much better. Republican obstructionists who are holding back on more stimulus need to get the hell out of the way. There are too many people out of work. There are too many small businesses going under. Enough is enough.