The Obama administration is chock full of good economists. Larry Summers, Christina Romer, Peter Orzag, and many more. But yet the stimulus bill seems to be largely written by the House Democrats and, as I have noted, is perhaps more porkulus than stimulus. Money is going to favored groups/causes, money is not being disbursed rapidly, and protectionist clauses seem to be multiplying.
Now before Dirty Davey writes in to tell me that, in the US, it's Congress that makes the laws, let me say that of course it's Congress writes legislation. But Obama has the honeymoon and the sky high approval ratings while Congress as an institution is still held in fairly low repute by the public.
So I see this (so far at least) as an Obama abdication on the first big thing coming out of Washington since his election, and a sobering portent of what government by Pelosi might look like.
People, what do you think? Does Obama have no real influence on his party in Congress? Or is this the bill he wants? Do you think Summers or Romer (or both) are happy with this bill?