"[S]ome news organizations have been less than diligent in telling you that other respectable economists are deeply skeptical of the idea, flatly oppose it or favor competing proposals such as additional tax relief. The University of Chicago's Gary Becker, another Nobel laureate, warns that 'the true value of these government programs may be limited because they will be put together hastily, and are likely to contain a lot of political pork and other inefficiencies.'"
"In the end, this near-depression is likely to be a transformative event for macroeconomics. We are going to have a mammoth fiscal stimulus package this year—and in all likelihood, more in the near future. And when we see what happens, we may finally settle some of the disputes that have bedeviled economics for 80 years."
"It doesn’t have nearly the amount of the fresh, reformist thinking as Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches and proposals did. Instead, the bill is mostly a stew of spending on existing programs, whatever their warts may be.... The bill is certainly superior to a huge package of tax cuts, which might be politically popular but end up in people’s bank accounts rather than stimulating the economy.... This bill should help the economy in both the near term and the long term. But the government doesn’t go out and spend about $800 billion every day. The details matter."
"When voters discover that the Obama approach is a turkey, [Rep. Price] says, a responsible opposition party has to have a better approach ready to go... 'It's important to hold folks accountable, and over time Americans will do that.'"
"[T]he GOP is playing up the economic equivalent of midnight basketball the bill contains--especially the extra $50 million allotted to the National Endowment for the Arts and an untold amount of Medicaid dollars for states to spend on contraception and other forms of family planning. They smartly see an opening to reassert their relevance, reinvigorate lingering doubts about Democrats' big spending habits and ultimately rebalance the mix of spending and tax cuts in the final bill."