Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We're having an out-of-money experience

While the consensus seems to be that the US needs some sort of stimulus package to avoid going ass over tea kettle, the Economist says, ''Close, but no cigar''. In an interesting critique of the program, their editors note some obvious problems with the thing,
''Too much of the boost to demand is backloaded to 2010 and beyond. The compromise bill is larded with spending determined more by Democrat lawmakers’ pet projects than by the efficiency with which the economy will be boosted. And it contains “Buy American” clauses that, even in their watered-down version, send the wrong signal to trading partners.''
Basically what I've been saying into my beer recently. The problem is that both parties have tried to treat a pragmatic problem as a political problem. President Obama has allowed Democrats to lard their pet projects onto the package, making things much more partisan than they really needed to be. Republicans, meanwhile, have given the impression that, ''whatever it is, I'm against it,'' in order to please the crackpots that seem to drive their party these days. So, someone needs to fix the glaring errors and get this thing back on track. My pick would be the President.

Rip Off - T. Rex


Anonymous said...

So, someone needs to fix the glaring errors and get this thing back on track. My pick would be the President.

He's the guy who can do it.

But he didn't.

Rufus said...

Well, hopefully he reads the Economist.

Anonymous said...


But if he did not before January, he sure doesn't have time now.

Rufus said...

Time to fix it or to read the Economist? Because, you know, he's still got time to fix this thing, in spite of all the talking heads screaming "The economy is going to kill us all!" Part of the problem is that it has been so rushed. And that was really the biggest mistake they've made. Nobody wants a repeat of the last-second Patriot Act vote, and that's what it's been.

Personally, I'm not really opposed to the thing in theory, just in the specifics. I'm not sure that we actually need it, but a lot of economists are and I'm not an economist.

There are a lot of problems there that would have been solved if both sides had given the process more time instead of using it as a political prop. Instead, you've had Democrats saying, "Give us the money and you won't get hurt", and Republicans declaring that Obama has destroyed the country in the first two weeks of being President. It's all astoundingly stupid and really fuggin typical.

But, I'm more optimistic- I actually think that Obama could do better in the second month of being President- imagine that. On the other hand, I definitely have mixed feelings on how this issue has been handled so far.