Stimulating the economy in the short run is supposed to be easy, as long as you don't worry about how much debt you run up in the process. As William Gale of the Brookings Institution puts it, "Almost any tax cut or spending increase would succeed in boosting a sluggish economy if the Federal Reserve Board follows an accommodative monetary policy. . . . The key question is, therefore, not whether the proposals provide any short-term stimulus, but whether they are the most effective way to provide stimulus." Mr. Gale doesn't think the Bush tax cuts meet that criterion, and neither do I.In short, it's the "Oxycontin" recovery.
No, really, think about it. When used properly, Oxycontin is a time-release remedy which relieves pain in the long term. Sort of like a balanced budget in which we meet our current needs, while at the same time we realistically pay our own way. But this remedy can be abused. Crush a few of them up, end-around the time release aspect, and one can feel really really, like, good after a hit. Of course, at the time you may not consider what will happen with the inevitable crash.