Some great commentary on the stimulus package today:
In the end, say economists, it was not public works but an expensive cleanup of the debt-ridden banking system, combined with growing exports to China and the United States, that brought a close to Japan’s Lost Decade. This has led many to conclude that spending did little more than sink Japan deeply into debt, leaving an enormous tax burden for future generations.
I’m opposed to the current stimulus, but my conservative streak has lots of misgivings. I’m not sure I’m right and the stakes seem awfully big. The downside risk of not acting — a prolonged recession — seems better the downside risk of acting — inflation and a lost decade. But that’s just me.
I also refuse, on principle, to join with the science blogs in protesting the elimination of NSF budget hikes. I can’t be opposed to runaway spending in principle but support it for my specific bailiwick.