Economics

How Stimulus Spending Puts the "Con" Back in Congress

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Denver Post columnist and Reason mag contributor David Harsanyi on the $825 billion "stimulus" bill:

Remember when Democrats complained that Bush tax cuts coupled with out-of-control spending would saddle our children with crushing debt? They were right. It's just impolite. Barack Obama will leave it for our great-grandchildren, too. (We're never going to have to look those suckers in the eye, anyway.)

But please, let's stop calling this a "stimulus" plan. How does another $650 million for digital TV coupons spur economic growth? (Why don't we just buy a million new HD televisions and hand them out?) What does $600 million for government vehicles do other than allow bureaucrats to do nothing more efficiently?

Hey, are you under investigation for widespread voter fraud? No problem. Like ACORN, you too might be in for billions in "stimulus" aid. And a proud nation needs more than just $200 million to repair the National Mall; it also needs $21 million in sod.

As for the Republicans in Congress who are champing at the bit to show they're relevant by going along and getting along? "Just throw in a tax cut. They're easier than Holly Golightly."

Harsanyi recalls a useful episode not so far in the past:

In the early '80s, we dug out of a deep recession by easing the tax burden on businesses and the American people to save real jobs rather than create ones we didn't need.

Whole col here.

Harsanyi's Reason work here.

Harsanyi on NBC Nightly News talking about his book Nanny State here.