Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stimulate What?

One thing is abundantly clear. The stimulus bill will certainly stimulate the federal government. Looks like any number of new jobs will be available in federal bureaucracies.

"Check your PC's virus program, then pull down the nearly 700 pages of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Dive into its dank waters and what is most striking is how much "stimulus" money is being spent on the government's own infrastructure. This bill isn't economic stimulus. It's self-stimulus."

One wonders how well folks laid off over the past few months will fit into the D.C. scene.

According to Michael Hirsh writing in Newsweek,

Even so, Obama has allowed Congress to grow embroiled in nitpicking over efficiency when the central debate should be about whether the package is big enough. When you are dealing with a stimulus of this size, there are going to be wasteful expenditures and boondoggles. There's no way anyone can spend $800 to $900 billion quickly without waste and boondoggles. It comes with the Keynesian territory. This is an emergency; the normal rules do not apply.

That's doubtlessly true for any "one." But it's not true for all of us. Taxpayers could and would find any number of great ways to spend $800 to $900 billion quickly without waste and boondoggles. If Congress and Obama really want to stimulate the economy, cut payroll taxes for a period long enough to finance the stimulus total. I promise that I'll spend my share. How about you?

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