Monday, January 26, 2009

How What Congress Will Do Differs from What the Economy Needs

Excellent opinion piece from David Brooks in the January 23rd issue of The New York Times entitled "The First Test".

What we need:

There is a strong case to be made for a short, sharp stimulus package to restrain the collapse of the American economy. This would involve big, simple programs with immediate impact ...

There’s also a very strong case to be made for long-term government reform ...

Is not what we'll get:

But the stimulus bill emerging in the House of Representatives does neither of these things. The bill marked up Wednesday in the Appropriations Committee is a muddled mixture of short-term stimulus haste and long-term spending commitments. It is an unholy marriage that manages to combine the worst of each approach — rushed short-term planning with expensive long-term fiscal impact.

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