Peter Harkness of Governing reminds us of the stark contrast between the listless legislating of the Trump Congress and the vigorous first-month action of the Obama Administration to save the United States from economic depression:
The start of the Obama administration was stunning and very different from Trump’s early days. Even before Obama had had time to choose a cabinet, much less form a complete government, his White House managed to push through Congress the massive and complex stimulus program called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, appropriating almost $800 billion — more than 5 percent of the nation’s GDP — to fund more than 200 grant programs and 50 tax expenditure subsidies. Almost overnight, the federal government had mobilized an unprecedented combination of resources and enhanced authority to confront the economic crisis [Peter Harkness “Let’s Give the Stimulus Its Due,” Governing, 2017.07.12].
The Obama stimulus worked, righting the American economic ship and establishing slow but steady and lasting growth in jobs and GDP on whose inertia Donald Trump is now aimlessly coasting. Remarkable what a President can do when he’s not on Twitter and cable news at all hours.