'Stimulus' Not a Failure, Says Jackie Calmes and Pro-Obama Economist

On Thursday Jackie Calmes reported on conflict among Democrats, some of whom want a second "stimulus" package, others who worry about the burgeoning deficit: "Strains for Democrats In Budget-Balancing Act."

Without explanation, Calmes relayed claims from "most economists" that the stimulus has actually been a success, or at least not a "failure."

A Republican House committee (apparently using figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) would certainly argue differently, pointing to job losses in 49 of 50 states since the "stimulus" was enacted in Fberuary 2009.

Ms. Pelosi said Democrats would not have another big stimulus bill but instead a series of smaller ones. That reflects their sensitivity to the fact that a single bill would carry a bigger price tag and to Republicans' criticisms that the first stimulus package has been a failure, a claim that most economists, including those at the Capitol meeting, reject.

Among those economics is an unlabeled liberal economist, Obama supporter, and frequent Times contributor Alan Blinder, who was in the paper this weekend humorlessly defending Obama from Saturday Night Live's skit mocking a do-nothing president, huffing that "on the crucial macroeconomic and banking issues, we must conclude that 'Saturday Night Live' got it quite wrong."

Alan S. Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System and one of those who met with House leaders, afterward paraphrased a quote he attributed to St. Augustine, "Lord, make me chaste, but not just yet."

"We do need to become more chaste about the budget deficit," Mr. Blinder said. But, he added, "this is not the time to do it."