Contra Wizbang and Roger Kimball, this is actually the latest estimate of Mark Zandi, not the Obama administration itself. What the Obama administration is merely doing is trying to lower the expectations of their debt bill:
WASHINGTON (Reuters)- President Barack Obama's aides warned Americans on Sunday not to expect instant miracles from the $787 billion economic stimulus bill he will sign this week, but said it would help eventually.
[I'm snipping the nonsense about how this was Obama's first major legislative victory. The sentence should more properly read: "It was the legislature's first major victory over his young presidency." - ML]
"There will be signs of activity very quickly," David Axelrod, the White House senior adviser, said on "Fox News Sunday." "But it's going to take time for that to show up in the statistics. The president has said it's likely to get worse before it gets better."
"Activity" is such a nice, bloodless word, isn't it? It reminds me of a quote from CS Lewis:
"But that would be putting the clock back," gasped the governor. "Have you no idea of progress, of development?"
"I have seen them both in an egg," said Caspian. "We call it Going Bad in Narnia."
To put it more bluntly: there's a lot of activity in a hunk of meat left out in the sun for a week, too. To put it especially bluntly: this bill is not worth the paper that it's printed on. Right now popular opinion is firmly that this bill is not going to do anything significantly useful. 38% think that it'll help, 29% think that'll it hurt - and 24% think that it won't do much at all, which would beg the question of why we're in such a hurry to get this thing signed, except that we already know the answer. The Democrats played hurry-up-and-wait on it because they know that the longer they waited, the worse off the Democrats would be.
Remember that, next Election Day.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.