The Congressional Budget Office's new director, Douglas W. Elmendorf, testified on the state of the US economy before the House Budget Committee today. It makes sober reading.
An accompanying blog post summarises his three key points:
- The economy is currently weathering a recession that started more
than a year ago, and absent a change in fiscal policy, CBO projects
that the shortfall in the nation’s output relative to potential levels
will be the largest– in duration and depth– since the Depression of the
- Most economists agree that both significant fiscal stimulus and additional financial and monetary policy approaches are needed.
- H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, would, in CBO’s judgment, provide a substantial boost to economic activity over the next several years relative to what would occur without the legislation.
Somehow the low key style makes these conclusions seem all the more compelling.