WASHINGTON – White House economic adviser Christina Romer has declared the president's stimulus plan "absolutely" is working to slow the decline in the economy, though she still held open the possibility of a second stimulus
package a few months down the road.
Her remarks came ahead of a new unemployment report Friday that showed the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent in June, the first decline in that closely watched reading since April of 2008. Economists had
expected unemployment to rise to 9.6 percent.
Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said Thursday that the stimulus package has helped "change the trajectory" in the economy by cushioning what would have been a much steeper fall without drastic government intervention.
"In other words, after we administered the medicine, an economy that was in free fall has stabilized substantially, and now looks as though it could begin to recover in the second half of the year," Romer said during a speech
and question-and-answer session at the Economic Club of Washington.
Amid Republican criticism that the expected unemployment numbers suggest the stimulus has not provided the jolt to the economy the President initially promised, Romer said the program needs more time to work.
But Romer added the possibility of another stimulus package: "That said, if we come to the end of the year, if we're not seeing the kinds of results that we anticipate ... we'd start thinking about other things that need to be done."
Meanwhile, Romer treaded carefully when asked if there is any wiggle room on the president's campaign promise that nobody in the middle class will see any tax increases during his time in office.
"Can I go now?" Romer said to laughter from the crowd.
Mindful that two of her colleagues on the economic team, adviser Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, recently kicked up a controversy by leaving the door open on a possible tax hike, Romer finally tried to slam it
"You know the president has made it has made it very clear through the campaign that middle class families have really gotten a bum deal, not just in this recession but probably for at least the last ten years and that's why he does not want to do anything that burdens middle class families," Romer said. "And obviously no one is talking about raising taxes."
Another one of Romer's colleagues on the White House money team, Jared Bernstein, will be a guest on the "44 with Ed Henry" radio show on CNN Radio and CNN.com/live on Friday at 11 a.m. ET, shortly after the new unemployment numbers are revealed. Call 877-266-4189 between 11 and noon ET to weigh in.
When? Right around the time that states have to prepare their FY 2011 budgets? To make sure they don't have to lay off government employees? Here's a clue – such spending is not "stimulative".
Keynesian economics... sheeeesh.
I'm not sure we need a second stimulus. Housing prices are up, housing sales are up, the stocks are at a 9 month high, and unemployment is down. All thats needed is for the first stimulus to be fully released, and maybe not even all of it since the market appears to be stabilizing and we have obviously hit bottom. So breath for a while.
I'm a full supporter of the Democrats, but you guys need to chill and see what happens before starting another stimulus. Get your butts moving and release the rest of the stimulus that we already have.
Republicans can't hear the truth – they are too busy Yelling NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
President Obama you and your Administration have done a great job way better then the previous, Smart rational calm people knows it takes time. It took Bush and Republicans 8 long disaster years to create this mess and it will take time to get out but so far so good keep up the good work sir!
Shame on me CNN...but now may be the time to post your Steven Greer story Barcelona 2009.......just a thought...
I am in the middle class and I did not get a bum deal!!! As much as you liberials will hate to admitt it Bush lowered middle class taxes big time. Just compare tax rates of Clintion to Bush and see for yourselves.
The mid level of the middle class and below no longer pay any taxes at all after deductions and child credits are added in! Many even get a a return check greater than the total amount paid over the year!
Just more baseless class warfare from Obama's team!
Can someone please tell me where all this money is going to come from? PLEASE?
After he took office, didn't Obama say that the American people needed to make scarifices in the coming months? I thought that he did, and he further said that part of that sacrifice is living within your means and not spending money that you do not have. Yet, we have already "spent" over 800 Billion on a stimulus plan. We did not have that money available, the government borrowed it from another country. By their own admission, only a fraction of that money has gone out and in one breath they say that it is working and in another they talk about another round of stimulus which will, by defininition, include spending money that we do not have and that we must borrow.
How do you tell the american people in one breath, "live within your means," and in the next go out and spend money (which those people that you just lectured about spending frugally will have to pay back) that you do not have and must borrow from China?
If the Obama administration doesn't see the results expected by the end of the year, how about asking the Republicans what is their solution. Repugs haven't given a solution but they sure whine about everything.
That's it Obama, spend more money that you don't have. And you still say you're not going to raise taxes? You got some magic pixie dust or something?
Nice try, but we're not as blinded and/or stupid as you throngs of supporters. Your first stimulus was a failure (what's the unemployment rate again?), what makes us think this one will be any better?
And the national debt is already how much?!?!?
Oh, by all means, another stimulus package. Does everyone understand that the "cash for clunkers" plan is really just a give away to the automobile industry? Once again, our tax dollar is going to reward bad behaviour all the while we the taxpayer are having a hard time making ends meet.
Corporate give aways, the politicians best friend. "Change?" I think not.
I'm sure it will be as intelligently written as Cash for Clunkers, which should be called American Taxpayer Cash for Japan, as Honda and Toyota are selling by far the most cars.
Perfectly good cars that people could use for parts or use to get to work are being DESTROYED and sent to land fills, because it is required by this moronic program. And you can get a car that gets 22 mpg under his program – which anyone would call a gas gussler. This law is neither green, nor is it any help to AMERICAN industry. Finally, all it is doing is give $4,500 to people who were going to buy a car in a few months anyway! So it's just like the car company incentive programs – all it does is accelerate demand a few months, and when it's over, it will be worse than ever. Except that it is OUR money and it is going to Japanese companies.
Under the Obamessiah, we are the laughing stock of the world.
Great news, we are going to borrow more money from the Chinese that we have no means to pay back so we can give auto refunds to the Japanese and Koreans. Everything I learned in college is worthless with this kind of goverment logic.
I'm an Obama suporter, but he should not push a second stimulus package and open up more debt. Give the first one time to get FULLY distributed and impact the economy.
It most certainly is working, thank you Mr. President and the Democratic Congress!
No more borrowing!!!
No more stimulus!!!
No more taxes!!!!
No government healthcare insurance!!!
Just give us some time and we will slowly get out of this recession without borrowing from our children and grandchildren.
Stop these lunatics from spending away our future. Impeach Obama.
We don't need another NOT working stimulus..the other two have helped only a few not the American people as a whole
Extend unemployment benefits for at least another 6 months. Who needs a stimulus package–over 600,000 of us are going to run out of benefits in the next few months! I lost my job in October of 2007. I would rather have a job–but there aren't any. I have over 300 applications and resumes out there and every HR department tells me they are receiving 400 applications or more! A stimulus check won't help me–more unemployment or a job would.
What part of STOP SPENDING do they not understand??? This country is bankrupt. Obama has TRIPLED the deficit paying off all his left wing supporters. Now he's about to add socialist programs to change the structure of this country and the people are realizing what's happening. STOP! Healthcare is not bankrupting this country. Yes we need reform...we need tort reform....we do need to fix Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security. We do NOT need government to takeover the industry and ruin it! People are stupid!! I don't know one person who thinks the government can do an efficient job are running the healthcare industry. This is about expanding government and a whole lot of fraud. Forget it!!! It ain't happening!!!
Extend unemployment benefits for at least another 6 months. Who needs a stimulus package–over 600,000 of us are going to run out of benefits in the next few months! I lost my job in October of 2008. I would rather have a job–but there aren't any. I have over 300 applications and resumes out there and every HR department tells me they are receiving 400 applications or more! A stimulus check won't help me–more unemployment or a job would.
I knew it, you knew it, the GOP knew it but did not want to square with the Amnerican people. Once the politics of fear fail, they will be put in the history books with the WIGS.
Why not help out the States directly?
Why are we still pouring monies into Iraq and Afganistan?
Are we still supplyint nuclear materials to Israel?
Why not give some of the 'clunkers' to people who cannot afford a car?
When we start talking about putting troops in South America – why aren't we smart enough to talk to other leaders there such as Chavez? Has anyone in our government ever taken a communications course or better yet – a mental health course?
Somebody seems to see eye to eye with Peter Morici and Paul Krugman who have strongly supported the view that BHO's stimulus was grossly inadequate. They were even prognosticating a debacle of the " doomed" stimulus plan, very loudly.