Thursday, February 05, 2009

The New Era of Irresponsibility: We don't have a moment to spare, but evidently we have $1 trillion.
"Putting away money and paying down debt may be good for one family's kitchen-table economics," The New York Times reported, "but the broader economy suffers in the short term when millions of families do it." The Associated Press agreed: "What's good for individuals-spending less, saving more-is bad for the economy when everyone does it."

This is the theory underlying the "stimulus" package: Since we can't depend on consumers to spend money they don't have on stuff they don't need, the government has to do it for them.

Never mind the disappointing history of using government spending to jump-start the economy. Although it didn't work in the United States during the 1930s or in Japan during the 1990s, Obama is eager to try again, like Bullwinkle reaching into his hat for a rabbit after getting a lion and a rhinoceros, exclaiming, "This time for sure!"