Mike Grunwald, a reporter from Time Magazine is out with a new book called “The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era.” In it he argues that, in fact, the massive stimulus plan that everyone loves to hate was actually a huge success. If you don’t want to buy the book, or just want to see what the @#$ he is talking about, Grunwald has a great post about his theory here. At a minimum read the post – it’s worth it!
Reasonable people can debate the role of government and if the stimulus package is an example of government overreach. Reasonable people can debate if government should “choose” industries to prop up or be putting money into the private sector at all. Reasonable people can debate the merits of the government trying to create jobs or regulate how businesses can do business. But, because reasonable people don’t lead political parties in America today, those aren’t the debates we are having. It’s much easier to just say that it was a gigantic failure and hope people won’t do their own research.
Was the stimulus perfect? No. But did it help stave off an even worse economic disaster? Yes, I believe that it did. Work with me here and let’s acknowledge that it worked. So what next? Well, may I humbly suggest we move on to debating if the government should, in the future, intervene again or stand on the sidelines. Should the government regulate personal and professional behavior or should our society allow people to do business as they see fit and let the market self-regulate? That’s a debate I’d love to have – with reason, not soundbites – and it might help people realize that there are, actually, significant philosophical differences between the political parties. That, I believe, will lead to more informed voters, a smarter society and, most of all, a future built, not on easy answers, but on honest assessment. A future that will orchestrated by reasonable people.