Sunday, May 17, 2009

Orszag: "Freefall in the economy seems to have stopped"

by Bill McBride on 5/17/2009 12:05:00 PM

From the WSJ: Orszag: Economy's Freefall 'Seems to Have Stopped'

"The freefall in the economy seems to have stopped," Mr. Peter Orszag [director of the White House Office of Management and Budget] said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union." "The analogy is there are some glimmers of sun shining through the trees, but we're not out of the woods yet."

Mr. Orszag ... urged patience when it came to seeing results from the government's $787 billion economic-stimulus plan, noting that only $100 billion has been allocated since the legislation was enacted three months ago.

"It takes time to get money out the door wisely," he said.
I like the "sun shining through the trees" better than "green shoots". And it's important to note that only a fraction of the fiscal stimulus has been allocated so far.

Orszag also made an important comment on healthcare: "If you look at the deficit in Social Security, it's a fraction of the deficit in Medicare. We're trying to deal with the big problem first." I've made this same argument many times - ignore Social Security Insurance until after we find a solution for health care and the structural General Fund budget deficit. That is just good management - go after the big problems first.

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