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This Element is an excerpt from Seeds of Destruction: Why the Path to Economic Ruin Runs Through Washington, and How to Reclaim American Prosperity (9780137027736) by Glenn Hubbard and Peter Navarro. Available in print and digital formats.
Why the 2009 fiscal stimulus went so wrong—and what America needs to do instead.
President Obama inherited a very difficult economic situation. Unemployment had climbed to a 16-year high, and economic recovery was nowhere in sight. He quickly turned over responsibility for designing the stimulus bill to congressional leadership. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi proved far more adept at crafting “sprawling, undisciplined” pork barrel legislation than a package likely to spur recovery and long-term growth.