Daily Archives: October 5, 2010

An arresting if perplexing blog post from Jonathan Cohn. He calls for more fraud and abuse in government spending. If that is the price one must pay for ramping up public spending more quickly, he argues, it could be worth it.

[E]fficiency isn’t the Recovery Act’s primary purpose. Reviving the economy is. And that’s required spending a vast amount of money very quickly—a goal that, inevitably, is at odds with spending the money carefully. Or, to put it another way, a stimulus that threw a little more money away might have created more jobs.

Where to begin? Most obviously, the main obstacle to further stimulus is popular resistance. “We promise to waste more of your money” might do little to ease that particular constraint. Remembering the emphasis that Democrats have rightly placed up to now on getting good value, I worry it could also complicate the message.

But presentation and winning the public’s confidence aren’t everything. Set these aside. Is the economics correct?

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

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