Like a roller coaster hitting the end of a steep plunge, the US economy is entering a new period that's a little less scary economically but more dangerous politically.
That's because during the steep slide, most people were on the same page. They were screaming for government help. Now, as the downturn shows definite signs of slowing, some are still screaming, others are breathing a sigh of relief, and still others are looking for the next upturn.
"As much progress as we've already made, we still have a long, long way to go on the road to recovery," Biden said, adding that the Obama administration would not be satisfied until the US economy is adding jobs on a monthly basis.
On Monday, President Obama will reveal how the administration plans to boost its recovery efforts, Mr. Biden added.
Whether revving up the stimulus is good or not depends on how you view the economy. If you're in the pessimist/deflation-is-ahead camp, then it makes perfect sense. If you're in the pessimist/inflation-is-ahead camp, then it's the worst thing government could possibly do. And if you're an optimist somewhere in between the pessimist camps, then it's not clear how much more stimulus the economy needs.
Bits and pieces of this debate are taking place in the blogosphere.
In the real world, timing is everything. By the late 1990s, many policymakers had given up on stimulus packages because they usually took hold too late and ended up stoking inflation. In 2001, though, George Bush got it right.
Will Mr. Obama have the good fortune to do the same?
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