Noam Scheiber has a memo from the early days of the Obama administration in which chief economist Christy Romer argued that a more substantial economic stimulus was needed. However, top economic adviser Larry Summers thought it politically impractical and made sure the larger recommendation was never shown to the president.
“When Romer showed Summers her $ 1.7-to-$ 1.8 trillion figure late the
week before the memo was due, he dismissed it as impractical. So Romer
spent the next day or two coming up with a reasonable compromise: $ 1.2
trillion. In a revised document that she sent Summers over the weekend,
she included the $ 1.2 trillion figure, along with two more limited
options: about $ 600 billion and about $ 850 billion.
At first, Summers gave her every indication that all three figures
would appear in the memo he was sending the president-elect. But with
less than twenty-four hours before the memo needed to be in Obama’s
hands, Summers informed her that he was inclined to strike the $ 1.2
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire