From Peter Wehner on the Commentary Web site
In a speech in Wisconsin yesterday, President Obama, promoting the “merits” of his stimulus bill, said this:
Now, every economist who’s looked at it said that the Recovery [Act] did its job. … The problem is, number one, it’s hard to argue sometimes, “Things would have been a lot worse.” Right? So people kind of say, “Yeah, but unemployment’s still at 9.6 percent.” Yes, but it’s not 12 or 13 or 15. People say, “Well, you know, the stock market didn’t fully recover.” Yeah, but it’s recovered more than people expected last year. So part of the challenge in delivering this message about all the Recovery Act accomplished is that things are still tough, they just aren’t as bad as they could have been. They could have been a catastrophe. In that sense [the stimulus] worked.
There is a lot to say in response, starting with the fact that some of these statements are flatly untrue.