Thursday, January 08, 2009


Remember the good old days of summer, when we were debating merely whether the U.S. was actually in a recession or not? Not such much anymore; these days, the "D" word is being tossed around to justify a "do whatever it takes" approach to the economy:

To a degree that would have been unimaginable two years ago, economists and politicians from across the political spectrum have put aside calls for fiscal restraint and decided that Congress should spend whatever it takes to rescue the economy.

A startling range of name-brand economists — Martin Feldstein of Harvard and a top adviser to Republican presidents; Mark Zandi of Moody’s and a former adviser to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign; and Robert B. Reich, secretary of labor under President Clinton — urged Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday to think more boldly than ever before.

“It pains me to say that because I am a fiscal conservative who dislikes budget deficits and increases in government spending,” Mr. Feldstein told the lawmakers. But he said, “Reviving the economy requires major fiscal stimulus from tax cuts and increased government spending.”

The NY Times doesn't mention it, but their own Nobel Prize winning economist/pundit is telling us we're facing a crisis as severe as the one that presaged the Great Depression, and bloggers like Kevin Drum are saying the only reason we aren't already in a depression is because of lessons we learned from the last one. Yeah folks, it's that bad.

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