Saturday, March 14, 2009

"What Oft Was Thought, but Ne'er So Well Expressed"

John at Power Line has finely articulated what a lot of skeptics are thinking -- that the current administration wants us to stay afraid enough to spend lots of money, but not too afraid:

So things aren't as bad as we think, just bad enough to warrant more than a trillion dollars in new taxes, trillions more in deficit spending, radical overhaul of the health care system, a tax on energy that will make American industry less competitive and impoverish every American, and much more. But it all makes sense because the future is rosy and if only we borrow trillions, then economic growth will kick in, starting next year, miraculous "savings" will be achieved, and our deficits will be only a little larger than those we racked up during the Bush administration.

It's a sort of high-wire act, because if things really aren't as bad as we think, then we should scrub these risky if not revolutionary changes, refrain from borrowing trillions, and wait for the economy to turn around over the next six to nine months. Recessions, after all, always come to an end, usually pretty quickly. Even the financial crisis may not be as bad as we thought, with executives from both Citigroup and Bank of America voicing optimism today [i.e., March 12].

So -- things aren't too bad, but just bad enough to require radical measures which, no matter what happens, should be given credit for the fact that things aren't worse. I don't know; maybe someone will buy it.

(The title quote is from Pope's Essay on Criticism.)

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