Our man Jon Hunter opines that the stimulus package the Senate will approve today is nothing but a wild spending spree charged to our kids' credit cards. "If your income goes down, would you spend like crazy?" asks Hunter.
Jon sure wouldn't. Neither would I. Neither would most rational actors in the free market. That's why Hunter's headline makes President Obama's point:
It is absolutely true that we can't depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector. But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.
It is only government that can break the vicious cycle, where lost jobs lead to people spending less money, which leads to even more layoffs. And breaking that cycle is exactly what the plan that's moving through Congress is designed to do [President Barack Hussein Obama, opening remarks at press conference, 2009.02.09].
We're all thinking like Jon Hunter. None of us wants to spend the money it will take to counter the recession.
That's why, if your goal is to boost the economy and keep the unemployed (i.e., your neighbors, and maybe you tomorrow) from losing health insurance and houses, you need government action. The free market is great, but when it can't get the job done, government has an obligation to act.
And we have an obligation during Obama's second term, after we have righted our economy, to raise our taxes and pay off this stimulus loan so our kids won't have to... right, Jon?