12.23.2008

MORE CAUTION URGED ON FISCAL STIMULUS ACTION

As a colleague of mine once put it, politicians usually operate under the following syllogism:

1. We must do something.

2. My plan is something.

3. Therefore, we must do my plan.

Unfortunately, as I noted in a post last year, sometimes doing something not only doesn't help but hurts. Fortunately, we're starting to see more caution being urged regarding if and how to stimulate our sluggish economy through government spending:

"Another Stimulus Spending Skeptic," Greg Mankiw's blog (December 20)

"Fiscal Policy and the Burden of Proof," Marginal Revolution (December 18)

"America 2050 Calls on New Administration to Invest Wisely," America 2050 (December 16)

"Don’t Prop Up the Old Focus on Highways With a Massive Investment That Will Perpetuate Our System for Decades to Come," Project for Public Spaces (December 12)

Will Obama and Congress be able to sift through all the hype and all the hands out? Will anyone pull a muscle running to the front of the line with their "shovel ready" projects? Will we turn this bleak season into a necessary turning point? Stay tuned.
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