Feb 162009

So the Obama administration is trying to downplay expectations for the outcome of the stimulus package. (NYT: “White House says stimulus won’t be a quick fix.”)

I think I understand it now. If we didn’t get the big government stimulus package right away quick before anyone had a chance to examine it, we’d have a terrible catastrophe. But if we do pass it, we should not be so quick to expect things to get better.

I guess it’s better than the alternative, which would have been to go a little slower and pass a stimulus package that would have quick results. For example, a tax holiday on the FICA tax. And not only would it have provided the quickest of all possible stimuli, it could have been a logical first step to a reform by which ALL income would be subject to FICA tax, which was an election promise of Obama’s, but one which would be very dangerous to his agenda. (It’s one of his campaign ideas that I would support if it would be netzero.)

But if Obama kept that campaign promise, it would lead to expectations that he meant what he said at other times, too. No, it’s much better to move quickly, without thinking and without transparency, to pass a stimulus that will work slowly, at best.