2.04.2009

Hasty Thinking is a Bipartisan Effort

I could not help but notice the Cato Institute’s full-page ad in yesterday’s Inquirer, which rightly points out something that Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution has said previously, which is that “it is very hard to find examples of successful fiscal stimulus driving an economic recovery - ever.”

And yet, on both sides of the aisle, our elected officials are tripping over themselves trying to save us, only to wound us further. A column in Philadelphia Inquirer’s Commentary section lambastes the Democrats for using the stimulus bill to fund their favorite projects ($4.2 billion for ACORN?). Not to be outdone, Republicans are clamoring for 4 percent mortgage rates even though over-borrowing is partly what got us into this mess in the first place.

I’m not saying that we should do nothing. I’m just saying that doing something for something’s sake sometimes gets us further from pain alleviation rather than closer. And so far, no one has shown me that the specific plans on the table can be interpreted as otherwise.
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