by Byrne Hobart
When Bernie Madoff made every scammer in history look like an amateur with his $50 billion haul, I’m not sure how many people wondered what positive effects he might have had.
But think about the argument for a stimulus program: let’s say we give Taxpayer A $1,000 right now, and saddle him with another $1,500 in higher taxes down the road. The $1,000 makes him feel richer, so he spends it — the $1,500 is a problem, but not just yet (and it’s a problem for a more robust, post-stimulus economy). The stimulus even works if it’s a different taxpayer: if taxpayer A gets the check and taxpayer B pays the consequences, B doesn’t spend less until the bill … Read more...