On the NYT's editorial page, Adam Cohen writes about the "bizarre claim" making the rounds in Republican circles that Franklin Roosevelt's massive public-works projects made the Great Depression worse. This talking point is gaining popularity now that Obama's stimulus plan is being debated, but it's nothing new. Conservatives have spoken up against the New Deal since it started, although they had a hard time convincing Americans, who were able to see the improvements in the economy with their own eyes. "The problem, we now know, is not that F.D.R. spent too much priming the pump," writes Cohen, "but rather that he spent too little."
After he caused a huge ruckus last week by stating that Obama's stimulus plan "falls well short of what's needed," Krugman is back on the topic today. He writes about how the president-elect could make it more efficient. Unsurprisingly, Krugman says Obama should get rid of the $150 billion in business tax cuts. But most importantly, size does matter, and Obama just needs to make it bigger. So far, Obama's team has highlighted that there's a limited number of "shovel-ready" projects that could bring about a short-term boost in the economy. But economic forecasts predict that unemployment will remain high for several years, so Obama also needs to include longer-term investment projects.
The nation's economic troubles were evident at yesterday's Golden Globes, where "many of the stars arrived in sleek, subdued gowns more suited to the upcoming inauguration than an awards show," reports the LAT, which points out the "red carpet has always been Hollywood's very own economic forecaster." Still, that doesn't mean the Hollywood elite were ready to make jokes about economic troubles. Sacha Baron Cohen was the only one who tried, and he failed miserably. "Maybe the clearest sign that the recession has hit Hollywood is that nobody wanted to mention it," says the NYT. As for the awards themselves, the big winner of the night was Slumdog Millionaire, which snagged four awards. The late Heath Ledger won a best-supporting-actor award for The Dark Knight, and Kate Winslet won in both the dramatic-actress and supporting-actress categories.