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Abbott & Costello Meet the Economic Stimulus


Maybe it’s just me, but when discussing the proposed “economic stimulus,” the guests on the political talk shows — both Republican and Democrat– sound more and more like they’re doing an Abbott & Costello routine:

Abbott: The economy’s a wreck. People have a lot less money now then they did three months ago.   Costello: No problem. The federal government’s going to spend $1 trillion  to put more money in our pockets.   Abbott: But the government doesn’t have any money either. The federal deficit’s already  around $1 trillion. And the federal debt’s around $11 trillion.   Costello: No problem. The government will use tax money.   Abbott: But that’s our money in the first place. And we don’t have any more money.   Costello: No problem. Then the government will just borrow the money.   Abbott: But the people who usually loan the money don’t have any more money either.   Costello: No problem. The government will just print all the money we need.   Abbott: But that will make the money worthless.   Costello: Yeah, but at least people will have money in their pockets.   Abbott: But they won’t be able to buy anything with it.   Costello: No problem. We’ll just blame it on Bush.   Abbott: Sounds like a plan.
The more complex the economic-stimulus discussion, the more ridiculous it sounds. (Handy rule of the thumb: Whenever a talking head says that the impact of a proposed economic stimulus is “complicated,” you’re probably listening to a snow job.)