Tad DeHaven This debate has served as a good reminder, to me at least, that the “pump-priming” true believers can never be wrong. Here’s how it works: Recession hits. True believers argue for more spending. Three possible scenarios: 1. The recession ends relatively quickly and sustained economic growth returns. True believers take a victory lap. 2. The recession ends but economic growth remains sluggish and unemployment high. True believers argue that government spending prevented a longer, deeper recession or even depression. True believers also argue that their original predictions of a stronger economic rebound would have come true had the government spent even more money. 3. The recession worsens and/or turns into a depression. True believers argue that the government simply didn’t spend enough money. In scenarios 2 or 3, the true believers call for more government spending. Scenario 1 occurs. True believers take a victory lap. Otherwise, it’s back to scenarios 2 or 3. Lather, rinse, repeat, (and continuously cite Mark Zandi despite the fact that his forecasts are about as accurate as a blind archer). The true believers possess an almost child-like belief in the ability of “the government” to manage the needs and problems of 300 million individuals. Unfortunately, “the government” is not some altruistic and impartial wizard that can simply wave a wand and make the lame walk and the blind see (including Mark Zandi). Rather, “the government” consists of fallible human beings who make mistakes and pursue their own self-interest just like the rest of us. And they don’t possess magic wands – just the power to rob Peter in order to pay Paul. Lew Daly argues that what the country needs is an FDR-styled “jobs program,” I’ll simply note that the word “boondoggle” was coined to describe New Deal jobs programs. Louis Armstrong, take it away... http://www.leoslyrics.com/louis-armstrong/w-p-a-lyrics/ Note: For lots of information on how government spending siphons off resources from more productive to less productive uses, check out www.DownsizingGovernment.org.