Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Two Worst Things in the Stimulus Package

What's your solution to keep us out of a deepening morass? Our asses are in a sling, and only massive Keynesian spending is going to head off much, much more pain. Forgive my defensive tone, but it's tough to be a hardcore libertarian in these times, and if you have an alternative, let's hear it. Unfortunately, so far from the GOP there's been a lot of hot air, and "it's unclear what is the Republican stimulus plan", as Mitt Romney said last week.

We have to spend money, and we have to keep that spending very accountable and transparent, and keep our eye on what's important: promoting growth. To that end the stimulus package is doing two very stupid things:

- During the campaign Obama said he would eliminating capital gains taxes for start-up companies. That's now out the door. I don't stand to gain from adopting a no-capital-gains taxes policy, other than indirectly from economic growth, as all Americans would.

- There are foolish immigration provisions in the stimulus, namely that no company getting stimulus money can hire foreign workers. I've written extensively on how we should focus on economic growth by focusing on young high-technology industries and opening the gates for highly educated immigrants, who are beginning to go back home. There are excellent posts on this topic at the New York Times, the Economist, and Growthlology.

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