People Who Know What They’re Talking About Versus Neo-Hooverism

Here’s a good article, somewhat strangely, in The Washington Times about economists making the case for short-term deficit spending in order to prevent a very deep and extremely painful recession. Even Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget — one of the biggest deficit hawks out there, someone whose jobs is, quite literally, to harangue people about the need for balanced budgets — is on board, saying “These economic times are so foreign to what we’re used to that nobody really knows whether we need a stimulus plan or not but we should probably err on the side of caution and have one.” And then of course there’s Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s latest column:

In other words, there’s not much Ben Bernanke can do for the economy. He can and should cut interest rates even more — but nobody expects this to do more than provide a slight economic boost. […] If Barack Obama becomes president, he won’t have the same knee-jerk opposition to spending. But he will face a chorus of inside-the-Beltway types telling him that he has to be responsible, that the big deficits the government will run next year if it does the right thing are unacceptable.

He should ignore that chorus. The responsible thing, right now, is to give the economy the help it needs. Now is not the time to worry about the deficit.

But, hey, why should we listen to these guys with their PhDs and Nobel Prizes when we could instead listen to the collective wisdom of Ruth Marcus and America’s television news anchors? News anchors get prizes, too, after all.