Jonathan Chait summarizes the administration's role in ending the great recession efficiently but somewhat unfairly.
Five years after the financial crisis, the general expert consensus is that the Obama administration did a good but not great response job. The financial rescue measures saved the banking system from wreaking deep, widespread destruction, but preserved it well enough to live on as a noxious political-economic force. Financial reforms reduced but did not eliminate systemic risk. The auto bailout worked better than anybody could have hoped. The stimulus prevented Depression-level unemployment but wasn’t large enough to avoid a deep, grinding recovery with mass unemployment. ...JonathanChait,DailyIntel
Shouldn't have to remind Chait that it was Congress, not the administration, that limited the stimulus. To be fair, he does point out the awful failures on the part of Republicans.
It is hard to understand just how the Republican Party agenda connects to these circumstances at all. A few years ago, you could certainly find a lively intellectual defense for the GOP’s position. In September of 2008, conservative pundit and McCain campaign adviser Donald Luskin argued that the economy was in outstanding shape — “on the brink not of recession, but of accelerating prosperity.” In the spring of 2009, The Wall Street Journal editorial page declared that high deficits were already sending bond prices through the ceiling. In 2011, Megan McArdle made the case that income inequality may have peaked and was already falling. ...JonathanChait,DailyIntel
All of which leads to a Republican dead end.
Do conservatives still think cutting short-term deficits will increase rather than retard growth? Academic support for that position has almost entirely collapsed. I don’t even see many conservative intellectuals defending it in columns. And yet the Republican Party marches on, opposing any effort to lift short-term austerity policies that economists almost all believe are holding back the recovery. It’s as if the head of the austerity monster has been sliced off, but the body lurches forward regardless. ...JonathanChait,DailyIntel
So okay, let's look at Chait's first paragraph again. I think he's got it right. Why? This: "The financial rescue measures saved the banking system from wreaking deep, widespread destruction, but preserved it well enough to live on as a noxious political-economic force. Financial reforms reduced but did not eliminate systemic risk."
Okay, okay. I take it back. He's right. Noxious. Republican poison coming straight out of Capitol Hill, House side. And Chait provides a chart revealing the colorful pattern of America's economic folly.