As The Economist went to press, a Democrat-backed plan for a $100 billion fiscal boost, which included a modest rise in infrastructure spending and some aid to the states as well as a misguided bail-out for Detroit’s carmakers, seemed doomed in the Senate. The lame-duck Congress looks set to deliver nothing more than an extension of unemployment benefits. Serious debate about a broader stimulus has been put off until the new president and legislature take over in January.
That may not seem long. But given the deterioration of America’s economy in recent weeks, the delay is dangerous. ...
Normally spending splurges are to be distrusted, but the scale of this downturn argues for bold budgetary action. Large sums will be needed: at least $300 billion, or more than 2% of GDP. And with so swift a decline, speed is of the essence...
Cushioning America’s downturn will demand fiscal boldness, but that does not mean eschewing simple, speedy solutions. Quick and plentiful aid to the states is one of the best.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Fiscal stimulus badly needed yesterday!
Congress is fiddling while the economy is quickly getting worse: