Stimulus Expert Zandi: Package Falls Short

Mark Zandi has become the de facto chief economist to Congress in recent months as the fiscal stimulus package developed, participating in numerous hearings and conference calls. Democratic lawmakers use the name of the Moody’s Economy.com chief economist — a former adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign — repeatedly to push their case.

But the package lawmakers are moving falls short of what Mr. Zandi recommends.

The latest House stimulus package includes some effective provisions, such as a temporary tax cuts, he said. But other pieces don’t fit with what he’s been advocating — quick spending to boost the economy.

“If I were king for the day I might define the stimulus differently,” Mr. Zandi said. “The part of it that doesn’t really fit what I was hoping for was the spendout ratio on infrastructure. The spendout ratio is slower than expected.”

Lots of good commentary by Zandi…