Remember This Catchphrase: "Maybe Too Little, Always Too Late"

Now that the stimulus package is about to become law (likely signed by Barack Obama on President's Day next Monday no less!), here's something to keep in mind. And on file.

And if this chart is correct, then break out the champagne, because happys days are here again!

As Reason contributor Bruce Bartlett wrote in the January 23, 2009 New York Times:

The history of anti-recession efforts is that they are almost always initiated too late to do any good. This chart, based on recession timelines from the National Bureau of Economic Research, shows the enactment of stimulus plans is a fairly accurate indicator that we have hit the bottom of the business cycle, meaning the economy will improve even if the government does nothing.

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  • Comrade Taktix®||

    ...the economy will improve even if the government does nothing.

    Lies! Nothing but lies spread by the eletes to keep the working people down!

  • Comrade Taktix®||

    Spelling and grammar rules are just controls on the poor as well!

  • ||

    Everything's different now. This isn't a recession; it's a procession. And it won't be a depression; it'll be a repression.

  • ||

    Obama will change that history.

    This time there will be no recovery.....

  • ||

    BUY! BUY! BUY!

  • z||

    This recession started in Dec 2007, the Bush anti recession package (tax rebates for all) was passed in early 2008 and checks mailed out in the 2nd quarter. We are still in recession 6 months later. Hypothesis incorrect!

  • ||

    This isn't a recession; it's a procession. And it won't be a depression; it'll be a repression.

    We must not look backwards, but forwards. Not upwards, but backwards. And always twirling! Twirling towards freedom!

  • ||

    z,

    Wrong! Don't you know that (1) tax rebates do nothing--nothing! and (2) they just didn't spend enough. Oh, almost forgot--that was a Republican president. Everything is different when a Democratic president signs a bill. Kind of warmer and fuzzier.

    Jamie,

    Oh, I'm twirling. And vomiting.

  • Reinmoose||

    I'm so glad I don't have cable right now. I might be tempted to watch Lou Dobbs, as punishment for still being alive.

  • ev||

    What the hell is this, some kind of tube?

    Oooooh Bob Dole don't like this.

  • MattXIV||

    We must not look backwards, but forwards. Not upwards, but backwards. And always twirling! Twirling towards freedom!



    The politics of failure have failed. We need to make them work again.

  • ||

    No. no, you've got it all crabbed. All stimulus packages have been so all encompassing and powerful that they actually warp space and time, so that they are able violate causality and end the recessions months before legislation is enacted.

  • ||

    ... as punishment for still being alive.

    I didn't know you were Catholic.

  • Reinmoose||

    but if we don't artificially overstimulate the economy, how are we going to know when the next relative recession comes along needing us to artificially overstimulate the economy again?

  • ||

    Say, when is Obama going to forgive my mortgage and my car loan? I'm still making payments here!

  • ||

    Anyone here familiar with rational expectations?

  • Reinmoose||

    Pro L -
    He's changed his mind. Instead of helping you get out of debt, he's going to push legislation that makes it easier for you to take on more debt.
    Except that one woman they interviewed last fall about what Obama was going to do when president - she is going to get her mortgage and car loan forgiven.

  • Reinmoose||

    Maybe if Obama wants to get people spending more on consumables, rather than giving them money to do with what they choose or having the government spend it for them, he ought to just tell them the truth.

    "Look you retards! If you don't all start spending money now I'm going to inflate the fuck out of you and your savings won't be worth shit! Now go buy a fucking winery tour package or designer sweater or something before I feel the need to fuck you all up!"

  • ||

    No loan forgiveness? Well, what about a kinder gentler foreign policy? Isn't he going to have a summit with bin Laden? What about the Age of Aquarius?

  • robc||

    As a sign of the economy, I got some good indicators from my business - we do some corporate training, the money from it is the difference from paying our bills and base salary and making sweet bank. It dried up last spring. Between my partner and I, I think we taught one class in the last 6 months of 2008. Im teaching 2 weeks in March (ka-ching!) and we have a bunch more classes lining up, dates as yet unscheduled.

    It could be a fluke, or a sign that companies are starting to spend again. We shall see. And, it all started before the stimulus passed (the classes Im teaching in March were "approved" in December, so they predate Obama).

  • Reinmoose||

    What about the Age of Aquarius?

    The moon hasn't made it to the seventh house yet, and Jupiter and Mars are having a domestic dispute.

  • ||

    And if this chart is correct, then break out the champagne, because happys days are here again!


    Ok, now you're just inviting the Fonzie comparisons, Nick.

  • zoltan||

    I think it matters what part of the country you're in too. Here in Texas we're feeling a little bit of a crunch (no raises this year at my hotel and forcing hours down to 32 a week for two weeks each month but no personnel cuts). But we've been sold out a few days a week every week and doing good business on the days we're not. All in all, it's not too bad. Stupid Austin City Council is even talking about building a boardwalk on Town Lake. Idiots.

  • ..||

    This thread is in a comedy recession.

  • The Chad||

    Don't blame me, I voted for *Kodos!*

  • Taktix®||

    This thread is in a comedy recession.

    You can't say that yet! It must have two consecutive posts of unfunny jokes to be in recession...

  • ||

    Say, when is Obama going to forgive my mortgage and my car loan? I'm still making payments here!

    Silly Prol. You only don't get to worry about paying those things. You still have to pay them, but with 99% less anxiety.

  • ||

    I'm going to go outside and wait for my pony to get here.

  • ||

    If I borrow a ton of money but never pay it back, it's not really "debt", is it?

  • Kolohe||

    then break out the champagne,

    Weren't we supposed to 'buy American' with the stimulus?

  • David Pinto||

    So Bush in 2001 had the best timing of any president!

  • ||

    Weren't we supposed to 'buy American' with the stimulus?

    Screw that. I buy only Russian brides.

    The American ones are nothing but trouble.

  • ||

    I see we had a recession from July, 1990 to March, 1991.

    I remember that one. That's the one that Clinton used to win the election in November, 1992.

  • zoltan||

    To be fair, Isaac, Bush 1 raised taxes when he said he wouldn't. Not that Clinton did any better.

  • Other Matt||

    I'm going to go outside and wait for my pony to get here.

    Yours didn't make it yet either? Thank goodness, I thought it was just me.

  • Joel||

    If I borrow a ton of money but never pay it back, it's not really "debt", is it?

    No, that's not debt. What it is depends on what you call yourself, see. If you're you, it's theft. If you're a government, it's investment.

    So borrow a ton of money and don't pay it back, that's cool. But you must immediately begin calling yourself Episiarchistan.

  • Joel||

    I buy only Russian brides.

    The American ones are nothing but trouble.


    Damned unions.

  • ||

    zoltan, don't get me wrong, Bush deserved to lose for about a fuckton of reasons.

    And I enjoyed the Clinton years. Most entertaining Prez of my whole lifetime.

    It's just always amazed me the Bill could win an election by constantly invoking a recession that had been over for more than a year.

  • ||

    This sort of puts huge holes in joe's theory that there is no way to prove that stimulus works or does not work vs if doing nothing may or may not work.

    Stimulus may or may not work....but doing nothing has proven to work.

  • Mike Farmer||

    Viagranomics will be with us long after the screwing is over.

  • Geoff||

    After stimulus bill is signed, is Obama going to sprinkle some of his fairy dust on it? There will never be another recession again! ...wait, I bet those damn term limits are gonna ruin that...or will they?

  • ||

    is Obama going to sprinkle some of his fairy dust on it?

    That's not dust, son.

  • ||

    How does $200 million for filipino workers from WWII (remember, we save them!!) get into a stimulus bill.

    How will $200 million going overseas help the USA?

  • Kolohe||

    How does $200 million for filipino workers from WWII (remember, we save them!!) get into a stimulus bill.

    These guys were actual US armed forces veterans that got totally shafted post WW2. Most of the ones that aren't dead actually live in the US (e.g. Hawaii).

    Yeah, it probably doesn't belong in the stimulus bill, but it's long overdue.

  • Mike Farmer||

    "How does $200 million for filipino workers from WWII (remember, we save them!!) get into a stimulus bill.

    How will $200 million going overseas help the USA?"

    They had to do something.

  • Pablo||

    Doing Nothing. That would be change I could hope for!

    But really, ssshhhhhhh! Obama's counteracting all the 'failed policies' of overspending by the Bush Administration by . . . wait for it . . . overspending.

  • TallDave||

    The history of anti-recession efforts is that they are almost always initiated too late to do any good

    I give million-to-one odds that doesn't stop them from taking credit for SAVING THE COUNTRY (cue trumpets).




  • ||

    break out the champagne, because happys days are here again!

    I guess that explains the weekly parties at the Obamas'.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18635.html

  • ||

    --Yeah, it probably doesn't belong in the stimulus bill--

    I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.

    To each according to his needs (for stimulus) from each according to his ability to pay.


    ---

    The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other peoples money - Thatcher

  • jblog||

    "This isn't a recession; it's a procession. And it won't be a depression; it'll be a repression."

    Recession, repression...it's all the same thing man -- Cheech Marin.

  • ||

    After the repression will come the confession.

  • Curious George||

    Obama plans to be a miserable failure. Change, hope.


    After four years anything will be change and hope.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate | February 11, 2009, 12:07pm | #
    Say, when is Obama going to forgive my mortgage and my car loan? I'm still making payments here!

    And how about my school loans.

  • ||

    "I buy only Russian brides.

    The American ones are nothing but trouble."

    Ain't that the truth!

  • ||

    Sorry guys, but the Filipino vets only fought alongside US Forces to save their own country from the Japanese. They did not fight in Germany, France, England, anywhere at all in Europe, or anything to do with Japan except to save their own country.

    Filipinos are opportunists. Japanese were oppressors in every way. The US werent. We basically convinced them we're the nice guys and btw, will you fight to save your own country if we train you?

    They saved their own skin - You forget filipinos have a lot shorter life span and most are long dead. In case you havent noticed, but Filipinos send every spare dime to the Filipines, $11 billion last year. A great percentage of the filipino economy is based on remittances, theres an entire government department to make sure money flows in, not out. I challenge this: find 10 random filipinos in the US and get their records. I guarentee that 8 of 10 send money via western union or LBC every month.

    I've lived in the Phils for a few years and its gotten to disgust me how greedy and racist they are. Always going on about taking money from other countries.

  • JB||

    Obama in his little speech the other day sounded a lot like the Chancellor from V for Vendetta:
    "I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want every man, woman, and child to understand how close we are to chaos. I want everyone to remember why they need us."

    Don't worry...lord Obama will save us all. hahahaha!

  • Sean Healy||

    Sorry, is Gillespie implying the recession is nearly over? I'm not offering an opinion one way or the other on the stimulus, but the economic problems are only just beginning.

  • ||

    This chart starts in 1948, and only covers the USA.

    Marxist controlled governments go back to at least 1918, and have an unblemished record of hellacious inefficiency, corruption, and failure: USSR, China, NorK, Cuba, Chile. Even the EU, a far Left political entity that is not substantially different from Marx's original concept, has been swamped in depression-level unemployment and stagnation for twenty years.

    Welcome to the world of Marxist failure.

  • ||

    Heck the CBO already said the recession would be over in the second half of this year. So by the time this stimulus will actually go into affect it should be over.
    Were the Bush tax rebates really anti recession programs? Since we weren't in a recession then I don't think they are at least as far as what we're discussing.

  • Mike H||

    The recession is over? We have not yet begun to see the coming retail meltdown.

  • ||

    To be fair, it's not like the future existence of stimulus legislation is some kind of secret or surprise. It is widely accepted that investment markets anticipate future events. Sure, most of the actual spending hasn't happened yet, but I suspect that the *expectation* of spending is what actually creates the confidence needed to get people back into active commerce. Which raises the question "could we create just the expectation of spending and get the recovery, but not actually have to follow through on the spending itself?" Yeah, maybe once.

  • ||

    "The recession is over? We have not yet begun to see the coming retail meltdown."

    Just wait until all the pension funds wrapped up in those toxic derivatives built upon bad loans begins to melt away.

    There can be no cure if the doctor is the one administering the disease.

  • ||

    ...likely signed by Barack Obama on President's Day next Monday no less!

    So much for Obama's transparency pledge:


    Majority Leader Reid, we ask that you publish the full legislative text of the compromise immediately, and furthermore, to delay any vote on the bill for at least five days following publication. The American public deserves time to read and understand the substance of this critical legislation, and to express their views to their Senators.

    Mr. President, you have pledged that once legislation is passed by Congress, it will be placed online for public review for five days before your signature.

  • ||

    Nick,

    It would be nice to see a table showing at what point in these past events all big investment banks went broke, comercial banks stocks started trading like options, international trade colapsed and the interest rate went all the way down to zero.
    I´m sure the answer for these questions would give us some hint about the upcoming recovery...
    Does anybody here knows?

  • ||

    As Reason contributor Bruce Bartlett wrote in the January 23, 2009 New York Times:

    "The history of anti-recession efforts is that they are almost always initiated too late to do any good."

    Wanna bet your paycheck on that being the case this time?

  • Tim F||

    MB - We're already betting our paychecks on the idea that the stimulus package will do good. I'd rather not make that bet, but I'm not given a choice.

  • Geotpf||

    You know, there was a very long recession in the 1930's I don't see on that chart. Maybe you have heard of it?

  • Greg||

    re: TallDave

    "I give million-to-one odds that doesn't stop them from taking credit for SAVING THE COUNTRY (cue trumpets)."

    Million to one? We can only hope they'd be that grounded in reality. Doesn't seem very likely sir. More like one to one odds they'll take all credit.

  • ||

    The economy will improve "even if the government does nothing"?

    No - the economy will improve, IF ONLY THE government would do nothing. As it is anybody would be a fool to do anything because they don't know what the hell the government is going to do next.

    The single best thing the government could do is announce a date when they are going to stop dinking around. Before then, they can do whatever socialist blather they want, but on that date the economy becomes free again. I would guess quite a bit of economic activity will take place on that date.

  • ||

    "This recession started in Dec 2007, the Bush anti recession package (tax rebates for all) was passed in early 2008 and checks mailed out in the 2nd quarter. We are still in recession 6 months later. Hypothesis incorrect!"
    WRONG! the last q of 08 was the first to have ANY negative growth in GDP. You still need 2 straight to be in a recession

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