I found this article through Instapundit (as usual). Its from CNBC, and it makes sense (not as usual). And (as usual) the comments are the best part.
And the most sobering. Like this one:
lfbowman1234 | Jan 11, 2011 12:15 PM ET
The whole economy is in a depression, if you take out the unemployment benefits and the student loan program. Realize the first depression didn't have 5 trillion of new government spending. We are really 10 times worse than the first depression. Illegals have replaced our work force, along with outsourced jobs. Pull out the flood of taxpayer money , then you could see how bad off we really are now. Local government will have to raise taxes by 100 to 400 percent, in the near future, to keep this boat floating. The Federal government will do the same with a VAT tax.
I think I'll keep that comment handy for the next time I am constipated; it clean scared the crap outta me.
And the commenter is correct. FDR did not have the political backing to spend more than the country's annual GDP in borrowed money in a year. Obama did; so he did.
There are two questions: what are the short term effects, and what are the long term effects?
Short term; did the massive spending keep us from going deeper into a depression, or did it prolong the effects of the recession, because the government borrowing blocked business from doing the borrowing and creating jobs?
Maybe a look at Europe, especially Germany, where the government left the economy alone to heal, maybe a good indicator?
Long term: we are on the hook for borrowed TRILLIONS. the cost of the repayment of this debt, Hell, just the cost of the INTEREST on this debt will cripple the economy for at least a generation, maybe two.
So, we and our descendants will be paying this money back for a long time.
Was there enough benefit for the spending to make the cost worthwhile?
In a word, Nope.
Even if there was a benefit from the spending, which I doubt there was, the cost will hamstring everything business tries to do in this country for the next 50 years. Job creation will be restricted because of the cost of an employee, mainly due to the cost of taxation. Borrowing for business expansion and homes will be curtailed because of the lack of money to lend. The Federal grants will dry up and local governments will be forced to either cut services or raise taxes. Guess with direction they will choose?
I hate to sound all gloom and doom, but that attitude is actually the best one.
I am disappointed less often.