Tim Cavanaugh on The New New Deal's Lame Defense of Obama and the Stimulus


The grand subject of Michael Grunwald's book The New New Deal is Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Unfortunately, writes Tim Cavanaugh, Grunwald goes on for nearly half a thousand frequently repetitive pages of text, all explicating a convoluted set of theories. While the impulse to go beyond soundbites and catchphrases is admirable in some circumstances, the book's essential premise—that the stimulus will be viewed as a success in the long term—is too simple and the arguments in support of that premise are too rambling. In the end, Cavanaugh reports, Grunwald's defense of the stimulus is a failure.