A Real Lifeboat for Main Street

(Rawf8/Getty Images)
Although it didn’t realize it then, when it came up with its “lever up” strategy, Congress was building castles in the air.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE M inor miscalculations can have tragic consequences. A wrong turn by Archduke Ferdinand’s driver triggered the First World War. NASA’s failure to consider what a frost could do to O-rings led to the Challenger disaster. And this March, a misguided attempt to save money caused Congress and the U.S. Treasury to come up with a plan for rescuing Main Street that now seems like the equivalent of dispatching a dinghy to the sinking Titanic.

When it was hatched back in March, the government’s plan seemed like a bargain. Instead of sending CARES Act dollars directly to struggling businesses, Congress gave the U.S.

George Selgin is the director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives at the Cato Institute.

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