Will the Stimulus Actually Kick-Start a New Economy?

News & Politics

While the loudest fireworks in the stimulus debate have come from Republicans on Capitol Hill, another telling, albeit quieter, argument is creating fissures among Democrats and some conservatives. It is not, necessarily, a disagreement over the size of the economic recovery package, but rather whether the legislation has the right kind of underpinning philosophy.

The logic is simple: if the economic structure of the past eight years has failed the country, why spend nearly a trillion dollars to repair it instead of reworking the structure altogether?

"The most obvious problem with the stimulus package is that it has been turned into a fiscal piñata -- with a mad scramble for candy on the floor," wrote Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia University economist. "We seem all too eager to rectify a generation of a nation saving too little by saving even less -- this time through expanding government borrowing."

"It is time to start new banks; the old banks need to be completely restructured," the conservative Harvard professor Niall Ferguson told the Huffington Post.

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