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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Irony Alert! Anabolic Rebates and Housing Growth Rate Cuts
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Our friend Brian Wesbury exposes the folly of last week's dual debates over artificial stimulus.

In almost simultaneous events last week Congress attacked baseball players for taking performance-enhancing drugs while at the same time supporting artificial and temporary stimulus for the US economy no matter what the long-term costs. ...

Many people don’t like professional baseball players using steroids because they mask the underlying ability of the player. They taint the results.

But so does artificial economic stimulus. Monetary policy accommodation can help people feel wealthier for awhile, but it cannot create wealth. Printing money does not make anyone wealthier. If it did, then counterfeiting should be made legal and everyone in the world would then be wealthy. The same is true for tax rebates. If they really could increase wealth, then why not make them much larger and much more frequent?

Alas, I doubt we will ever hear an Andy Pettitte-like confession from Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Bernanke, or President Bush: "Yes, in February of 2008, I injected the U.S. economy with a stream of ill-gotten dollars in an effort to cover up -- if only temporarily -- for past mistakes that led to an inflamed and sore housing market. It was stupid, I know. Was I desperate? Yeah, I was."

posted by Bret Swanson @ 12:08 PM | Economics

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