According to Crook, this is a result of a combination of careful, to-the-letter calculation and hyperbole:
The stimulus continues to be advertised as an $800bn-plus package. This figure represents the direct and cumulative effect of the measure on the budget deficit between now and 2019. It takes no credit for revenue feedbacks as a result of higher activity: it is not an economic forecast of the change in the deficit. This is the biggest number you could plausibly cite based on what is actually proposed. The emphasis on it is a curious combination of rectitude, there are rules about the way this accounting is done, and boastfulness – look at the size of my stimulus. Since voters think, when it comes to budget deficits, smaller is better, the boasting is misplaced. No other government would call this an “$800bn stimulus”.You Can read Crook's analysis of the Congressional Budget Office's review of the stimulus package at his blog, here.