Contradicting Fox's own reporting, Garrett claims stimulus "has yet to stimulate" economy
Research ››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER
On Special Report, Major Garrett asserted that Robert Gibbs "said that [a forthcoming] jobless report will also probably tabulate another several hundred thousand jobs lost, meaning the stimulus law has yet to stimulate the U.S. economy." But Fox News itself recently reported that "Obama's stimulus package ... provided some support to second-quarter economic activity," and in the remarks Garrett cited, Gibbs said that "the recovery plan, we think, is having an impact cushioning the economic downturn."
Garrett: "[T]he stimulus law has yet to stimulate the U.S. economy"
From the August 3 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
GARRETT: Also left to [White House press secretary Robert] Gibbs was reminding voters that in the stimulus law, middle-class taxes were cut to the tune of $15 a week for an average middle-class family. But he also said that Friday's jobless report will also probably tabulate another several hundred thousand jobs lost, meaning the stimulus law has yet to stimulate the U.S. economy.
But Fox News, economists, WH agree that stimulus has already had a positive effect
Fox News itself recently reported that the stimulus "provided some support to second-quarter economic activity." In a July 31 article, FoxNews.com reported: "Obama's stimulus package of tax cuts and increased government spending provided some support to second-quarter economic activity. But it will have more impact through the second half of this year and will carry a bigger punch in 2010, economists said."
In the remarks Garrett referenced, Gibbs said the stimulus "is having an impact cushioning the economic downturn." Garrett cited Gibbs' acknowledgment during his August 3 White House press briefing that the forthcoming jobs report will likely show thousands of additional job losses as purported evidence that "the stimulus law has yet to stimulate the U.S. economy." But in discussing the forthcoming jobs report, Gibbs said that the administration believes the stimulus is already having an impact. From the press briefing:
GIBBS: I think we take heart -- take some heart from the numbers, obviously, on Friday, that show, one, that the recovery plan we think is having an impact cushioning the economic downturn that we saw, saving and creating jobs; understanding with this caveat, we'll get new jobs figures on Friday. ... I don't think there's anybody that doesn't believe that we're going to see several hundred thousand more jobs lost in this economy.
Independent economists say the stimulus bill has helped the economy begin to recover. In addition to saying that it is too early for the stimulus package to have fully taken effect, many economists have also concluded that the stimulus has already played a significant role in helping the economy begin to recover:
- Dean Baker: "The stimulus worked and we need much more." Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Dean Baker stated: "The stimulus worked and we need much more. ... The second quarter GDP data showed clear evidence of the impact of the stimulus." [Politico, 8/2/09]
- Robert Greenstein: Without the stimulus, "the economy and the job prospects for millions of Americans would be worse." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities executive director Robert Greenstein wrote that "the stimulus is working pretty much as policymakers intended. Without it, the economy and the job prospects for millions of Americans would be worse." [The Washington Times, 7/28/09]
- Mark Zandi: No accident "that the recession's coming to an end now because this is when the current stimulus package is providing its maximum benefit to the economy." During an interview with Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo asked Zandi: "Is the stimulus working, and do we need a second one?" Zandi replied: "You know, Maria, I think it's premature to know. I mean, I'm very encouraged by what the stimulus has done so far. I mean, I really don't think it's any accident that the recession's coming to an end now because this is when the current stimulus package is providing its maximum benefit to the economy. But we'll have to wait until the end of the year, I think, to gauge whether it's enough, whether the economy is on sound ground, whether the recovery is gaining traction." [CNBC's The Wall Street Journal Report, 7/31/09]