Another stimulus coming? Feldstein says we need one

Is Obama going to allow himself to be forced into a second stimulus package?

Marty Feldstein, an actual conservative economist as opposed to the lunatics now pretending to be conservatives on Capitol Hill, in talk radio, and in the wingnutosphere, thinks the stimulus package that passed Congress was something less than half as big as it needed to be, and therefore thinks we need another stimulus package.

I suspect that this is the Obama strategy on the stimulus (and hope, with less conviction, that it’s the Obama strategy on the banking system as well): let the necessity for drastic action become so overwhelmingly obvious that he looks as if he’s being forced to do it rather than looking as if he’s grabbing for power.

As Matt Yglesias points out, though, this strategy is somewhat hampered by the media bias that made the “two sides” of the “stimulus debate” the people who supported it and the people who wanted it to be smaller or opposed it altogether, with the people who (correctly) thought it too small almost entirely left off the airwaves.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com