Opening my public policy class last night, the professor brought up an interesting question regarding the “stimulus” package: what seems to be the public’s response and why are they reacting that way?
My interaction with the public and perusal of media sources seems to indicate that there are many Americans discontent with this debt plan and the reasons vary.
Some people like the idea of a stimulus but dislike the particulars of the bill. Some focus on the atrocious pork projects, others are mad that they aren’t getting their fair share.
A number of individuals oppose the plan from an economic standpoint: moral hazard issues, psychology of rewarding bad credit decisions, the basic fact that a government cannot borrow its way out of debt, and just the dangers of Keynesian economic theory overall.
Others oppose the passage on governmental principles such as federalism, citing the 10th Amendment and Publius’ Federalist Papers. These people argue that the power of national government is limited and areas exist in which Congress may not legislate.
Personally, I stand on principle.
Legal plunder is wrong. See Bastiat’s The Law.
A “stimulus” spending package will negatively affect the economy long-term. Look to any Austrian economist; I like von Mises and Hayek, among others.
There are some things that Congress cannot and should not undertake. Dare I suggest reading the Constitution, the 1787 convention debates, or the Federalist Papers for starters?
That names just three reasons I oppose the stimulus. Though in my selfish nature I certainly dislike someone getting money and not me, it is not my first thought.
What do you think? Are Americans mad because their neighbors get more money than they do, or is the opposition based on economic, moral, and/or governmental principle? Do principles come into play at all or does the nature of the times require that we dispose of them as outdated? Should we the people understand First Principles and let them inform our approach to policy?