The Magazine

The Anti-Stimulus Plan

The Obama budget ignores the economic crisis.

Mar 16, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 25 • By YUVAL LEVIN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

And, most important, as it lays out its ambitious agenda, the Obama administration is doing little about the source of the economic calamity we confront: the banking and credit crisis. The budget includes a placeholder for further action but no particulars, and those have not been forthcoming from elsewhere so far. Amazingly, six weeks and two vast legislative proposals into his administration, the president has not said what action he will take to address the bad debt that has turned some of our largest banks into dead men walking and continues to debilitate our economy.

This combination of counter-productive action and baffling inaction only unnerves investors and is deeply anti-stimulative. The administration appears to have decided to look past the economic crisis and start spending the windfall of the coming recovery, even if that spending comes at the expense of the recovery itself.

Yuval Levin is the Hertog fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and senior editor at the New Atlantis magazine.