Well... the facts care to differ. Here's a graph from a blog post by Paul Krugman on his NY Times site:
What the graph shows is that:
- Germany is spending more government money to counter the recession than the US.
- The Obama "stimulus" is lost in the enforced austerity at the state and local level in the US. Government spending is flat! There is no stimulus!
- The claims of German "austerity" are a lie. The German government may be talking a brave game of austerity, but the social programs in Germany automatically kick in during a downturn and force governments at all levels to spend more to support unemployed people. The US has very few social programs to support the unemployed, so you can get the flat graph above.
It’s worth noting that just to keep up with the trend in potential GDP, US government purchases would have to have risen about 6 percent over the period shown. As far as actual government spending on goods and services goes, as opposed to aid to individuals, we’ve had no stimulus at all — basically because of cutbacks at the state and local level.So Krugman says it is even worse than how I presented it in the bulleted list above. I was assuming that government "consumption" included all expenditures, but if you read Krugman carefully, the above graphs don't include unemployment payments. That means the surge in spending in Germany isn't from social programs kicking in. It is coming for real programs purchasing real goods & services. So much for government "austerity" in Germany!
But hey, stimulus has failed.