The Candidates Prattle Past the Important Question
So I was driving home from a meeting and the radio was telling me about all the stimulus proposals that the various candidates for President were proposing. Since Ike took office, the average (and median) length of a recession has been 11 months. So odds are, the economy won’t exactly need stimulus in 12 months when someone else takes the oath of office. Which means that having these worthies tell us what they propose as a stimulus package is, at best, a message about what they might consider if there’s another recession within 4 or 8 years. Alternatively, if the economy does still need stimulus at that point, the problem is more severe than the plans these folks have cooked up for a mild recession. Either way, these plans are not particularly useful except maybe as a signaling device because GW is gonna do what GW is gonna do, and we all know what GW is gonna do.
I’d be a lot more interested in hearing from our candidates – given that there was so much fiscal stimulus in the form of GW’s tax cuts, and so much monetary stimulus in the form of very cheap money, and its been going on for the seven years, why is the economy slowing down now? Shouldn’t the economy be zipping along really fast right about now? (And I’d love to hear GW’s answer to that question too. And that of Greg Mankiw, Glenn Hubbard, Larry Kudlow, Uncle Alan, and the rest of the advisers and cheerleaders.)