Making “Failure” A Design Feature
Turns out the $787 billion “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (AARA) was not designed for full economic recovery, but rather to “stabilize” the downturn. That’s the word from White House officials today, who held off-camera briefings with reporters on how the AARA is working so far.
“This legislation was designed to cushion the downturn,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. “That’s why we have always talked about this as one function of economic recovery.”
When pressed about the change in terminology, Gibbs said he was not trying to temper expectations after the fact. “I can probably find 15 or 20 occasions when I said this in the lead up,” Gibbs said, explaining that he had always defined the AARA as part of a “multi-legged stool.”
Of course when we were in such a gawd-awful rush to pass the thing it was sold like this:
That is why I have moved quickly to work with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will immediately jumpstart job creation and long-term growth. …
Jumpstart job creation and long-term growth? That sounds like what a “stimulus” plan should be designed to do. That’s what it promised to do (remember the warning that without the AARA unemployment would go over 8%?).
It is also what it has failed to do.
So, revising history on the fly, it was now never designed to that.
No wonder Amazon is out there deleting Orwell books from Kindle – who needs to read fiction when you have an administration like this.