With all of the layoffs and cutbacks, the news media’s institutional memory is really suffering. It’s hard to find anyone in the news media that can remember the old days. The old days like last month or even January.
Back in the olden days, the nation needed $787 billion to prevent as President Obama said, economic “catastrophe”. At the time, the news media giants were a little confused about how spending taking place next year, and the following year, and the following year, was an “emergency”, but for the most part, it was clear that the news media felt it was their responsibility not to question, but only to report.
So today, in March, with all of the giants slayed, and only mortal men remaining to ponder the President’s proposed 2010 budget, no one is left to answer the great questions.
Why is $600 billion of the ARRA being spent in years that the White House predicts 3 and 4 percent growth?
(The ARRA was emergency deficit spending to stimulate the economy and the President is estimating 3.2% growth in 2010 after only spending $184 billion.)
If the economy only needs $184B to recover, why spend $787B?
If the 3.2% growth in 2010 is in response to the nearly $400B spent that year, why wait?
It is hard to remember the olden days of early February.
It’s so hard, in fact, that the second (or third after TARP, or fourth after the home bailout, or fifth, after the FNM and FMC second bailouts) being floated by House Speaker Pelosi seems to be completely unanticipated by the news media.