The rationale for another stimulus is that the jobs outlook is weakening even as GDP growth is recovering — signalling that we may be in for another jobless recovery a la post-1991 or post-2001. 10 percent unemployment, which we are right up against, is much more painful than stagnant GDP growth, and so the government should take more action to encourage job creation.
There are a number of reasons, apart from the jobs outlook, that another round of deficit-finance stimulus would be a terrible idea: the debt constraints we’re facing, the ineffectiveness of past stimulus measures, etc. But even the narrow claim that another stimulus would create temporary jobs as we weather the downturn fails on its own terms.
Right now the administration knows that it does not have the political capital for anymore large countercyclical spending measures. That is why they have tried to slip various other stimulus-like measures through under the radar, such as sending Social Security recipients an extra $250. But the support of the NYT editorial page is just the kind of thing that will embolden them.
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