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Roemer: Curtailing stimulus ‘would be the worst thing I could imagine’

The government could do few things worse to the economy than ease up on spending the $787 stimulus package, Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) Chairwoman Christina Romer said Friday.

“That would be the worst thing I could imagine,” Romer argued on Bloomberg News in response to whether improving economic indicators meant less of the stimulus would have to be spent.

“If you want to say why are we seeing these encouraging signs, I’d put the stimulus high on the list,” she explained. “And so, a lot of this I think is being driven by what we’re doing in the fiscal stimulus. I can’t think of anything that would set us back more quickly or worse than by stopping that.”

Romer’s remarks come in response to the 345,000 job losses recorded in May — a steep loss but less sharp of a decline than in previous months.

Republicans have criticized the stimulus bill as having a weak to ineffectual impact on the economy.

They pointed to a report issued by Romer and vice presidential adviser Jared Bernstein that claimed that if the stimulus were enacted, the unemployment rate would not exceed eight percent. The unemployment rate is now 9.4 percent.

“More than 2.5 million Americans have lost their jobs this year, and what have the Democrats in charge of Washington given them?” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked in a statement on the jobs report. “A trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ that isn’t producing jobs immediately, as the Administration promised, and that Vice President Biden admits is ripping off the American people.”

Tags 111th United States Congress American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Business Christina Romer Christina Romer Economics Fiscal policy Keynesian resurgence Labor Labor economics Person Career Politics Presidency of Barack Obama Quotation Socioeconomics Unemployment United States housing bubble
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