The Blog

Running Scared

Consumer confidence--which has so far kept us out of recession--is dropping fast. Is there a bottom in sight?

11:00 PM, Mar 10, 2003 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
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Consumer incomes continue to rise, and Congress will eventually agree to a tax cut that will provide spending power over and above that reflected in Lindsey's arithmetic, which is why Lindsey crafted the tax-cut package when he was at the White House. With Saddam deposed and winter ending, oil prices will fall. Productivity continues to rise, allowing businesses to keep costs in check. The falling dollar will make made-in-the-USA products more competitive in world markets. And businesses that have been sitting on the sidelines will begin to worry that failure to upgrade their equipment leaves them vulnerable to competition from more aggressive rivals. The euphoria of the 1990s is unlikely to return. But the fear that has dominated early 2003 is not likely to persist.

Irwin M. Stelzer is director of regulatory studies at the Hudson Institute, a columnist for the Sunday Times (London), a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.