Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stimulus Roundup

Anyone who has been paying attention has probably seen a lot of this elsewhere, but I thought that I'd round up some of the various objections to the stimulus package in one posting. First, a quick note though. These are primarily practical objections to the stimulus package currently being debated. Obviously there is also the overarching and more general philosophical debate about the proper place of government in assuring prosperity, but that's for a different time and place.

-How about this as a place to begin? The current economic conditions were caused by too much risk-taking, high debt, and easy money (in the form of low interest rates). The government's proposed solution? Protecting companies from the consequences of their risky activities by giving away borrowed money. How could it possibly fail?

-According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus package is harmful in the long-term because it will crowd out private enterprise.

-Oh, and did I forget to mention that the CBO estimates that only 20% of the stimulus will actually be distributed this year, and only 65% will be distributed before the economy is projected to recover on it's own?

-The noted right-wingers at Popular Mechanics examine the problems with the idea of "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects.

-What if the bill banned religious activities (including secular departments of religious studies) at local universities from using campus facilities constructed with stimulus money?

-K-Hammer brings the pain.

-The return of pre-reform welfare.

-Cry "havoc" and let slip the libertarians!