Sage advice on the stimulus from the always intriguing Jim Manzi. In a related post, he makes the obvious point that there is no appealing to authority on this matter. We've got Nobel laureates who support and Nobel laureates who oppose the stimulus package.
Under these circumstances, the manner in which President Obama has handled this is highly questionable. Outsourcing the content of the bill to people like Nancy Pelosi and Dave Obey while rushing it through without much in the way of disclosure - let alone debate - and virtually nothing in the way of concessions to a party that, notwithstanding its current nadir, has won most of the elections around here for the past 15 years, almost guarantees embarassing post passage disclosure of items that few knew about or wanted, waste, fraud for which he must take all the blame.
Some have speculated that Obama is either very committed to 1930s style Keynesianism or things that the economy is going to approve anyway (perhaps in response to monetary policies now in place). That's the thing about government policy and the economy. It's hard to know what difference it has made. Did the New Deal improve or deepen the Great Depression. Seventy years later, we still argue about it.