Whatever It Is, They're Against It


Lest you think that the entire country is baying for a massive economic "stimulus," Politico's Eamon Javers and Jim Vandehei report on the growing ranks of economists and investment professionals opposed to a $900 billion "shock to the economy." (Where are you now, Naomi Klein?)

Instead of fighting over what should go in the economic stimulus bill, pitting infrastructure spending against tax cuts and contractors against contraceptives, they say lawmakers should be fighting against the very idea of any economic stimulus at all. Call them the Do-Nothing Crowd.

"The economy was too big. It was all phantom wealth borrowed from abroad," says Andrew Schiff, an investment consultant at Euro Pacific Capital and a card-carrying member of the stand-tall-against-the-stimulus lobby. "All this stimulus money is geared toward getting consumers spending and borrowing again. But spending and borrowing were the problem in the first place."

How quickly we forget, Javers and Vandehei remind readers, that "stimulus spending" has a long history of failure: "Remember last February's $168 billion economic stimulus package? President Bush called it "a booster shot for our economy" and promised that it was large enough to have an effect. It wasn't, and it didn't work."

Johan Norberg quickly disposes of Naomi Klein's attack on "free market shocks" here.

Reason on the "stimulus" here.