Friday, February 6, 2009

I am for the stimulus

Four thoughts:

--I support President Obama's so-called 'stimulus' plan as a government-spending program that is intended to re-distribute wealth to the middle-class. I support it for the purpose of (1) enhancing the productive job market, and (2) re-growing the most dependable consumer class in the world, one of America's most important assets.

--I believe the supply-side experiment is over. It met the objectives it laid out for itself: grow the economy and keep inflation in check. It did that. But new conditions call for a new experiment.

--The stimulus and the TARP are not the new experiment, they are transitions toward it. The new experiment is, to the best of my reading, still open-ended.

--I keep close in mind that President Obama has Paul Volcker sitting next to him. For some reason. That reason strikes me as obvious: to sooner or later unleash him. As soon as we turn the contraction to growth, if even slightly, what would be the plan if not to unleash him? That means higher interest rates, and higher tax rates, to bring down the deficit and strengthen the dollar. I don't think the 'deficits don't matter' approach that we see right now will last beyond the contraction. In fact, I think the approach will rapidly swing the other way, via Volcker.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, Mr. Volcker is apparently MIA:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aaLzJZKNcc6Y&refer=home