Friday, January 30, 2009

Reasons to Pass the Stimulus Bill Quickly

A couple of reasons why congress and the president should pass the stimulus bill as quickly as they possibly can.

a) Someone might actually read this 647 page monstrosity and realize that there's not exactly a lot of stimulus in it. Most of the money is spent on Democratic pet projects and pork.

b) If they don't hurry, they might start to lose popular support for it, as the American public starts to realize that not a lot of that stimulus money is coming their way.

c) The economy might start to recover before the bill takes effect. Take into account possible early signals of the beginning of recovery with the amount of time it will take for most of the money to actually matriculate into the economy. The supporters of the stimulus bill might lose the opportunity to claim that they saved the economy.

Of course, this is as much to say that the bill's supporters might be better off doing nothing. But if you're going to do nothing, of course, you want to make it clear to businesses that you will do nothing. Regime uncertainty, the uncertainty that businesses face when they don't know what actions government and politicians will take, has probably been delaying recovery for months. If there's any good argument to act quickly, it's to end regime uncertainty. But of course, blindly passing bills without considering them carefully in a time of crisis is how the Patriot Act became law (Stimulus Package = The Dems’ PATRIOT Act?).

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