Many economists agree another stimulus package is necessary. Some are skeptical about its benefits.
Both presidential candidates have called on Washington to come to the rescue of the economy with extra spending and tax cuts. Probably a large majority of economists agree that a stimulus plan is badly needed.
"It pays to be bold," write two Wall Street economists, Jan Hatzius and Ed McKelvey of famed Goldman Sachs Group. They suggest a $300 billion to $500 billion package "to offset the sharp drop in spending relative to income by US households and business that is now underway due to the tightening of financial conditions."
Getting the economy on track won't be easy. The recession is probably already nine or more months old. It looks like it will get deeper and last many more months than that. At least that's the view of relatively pessimistic Van Hoisington, head of Hoisington Investment Management Co., in Austin, Texas.
"Time will eventually cause this storm to pass, and prosperity will return," he writes in a quarterly review, "but two or three years of economic difficulties are unprecedented in modern times."
Mr. Hoisington, in a telephone interview, expressed doubts about whether a congressional rescue package will reduce the severity and length of that slump.