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Stimulus or No Stimulus?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | February 11, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

The Obama Administration came to Washington a few weeks ago with an imperative ringing in its ears: save the country by spending, not a minute to waste. According to the experts, unless the spending reaches a certain level, all will be for naught.

Wasn’t there a television show with this theme not too long ago? The contestants had to spend all the money in a suitcase by dawn or they lost — something like that.

Anyway, it seems that the debate is breaking down to what kind of spending creates a stimulus to the economy and what kind doesn’t. What to do? Here are some suggested ways to spend it, together with the answer to the question on everyone’s mind.

Q: Throw cash out of a helicopter over a busy downtown street. Stimulus or No Stimulus?

A: Stimulus. People will scoop it up and spend it.

Q: Give tax incentives for savings. Stimulus or No stimulus?

A: No stimulus. Too slow. Encourages hoarding.

Q: Complete the subway tunnel to the North Shore where they are building the casino. Stimulus or No Stimulus?

A: Stimulus — especially the casino part.

Q: Pay down the National Debt. Stimulus or No Stimulus?

A: No Stimulus. What a dumb question! That’s what Herbert Hoover would have done!

Q: Fund the National Endowment for the Arts. Stimulus or No Stimulus?

A: No Stimulus. An even dumber question! But I didn’t catch the answer why on Fox.

Q: Tear down buildings built by the Works Progress Administration during the New Deal. Stimulus or No Stimulus?

A: Stimulus. Those buildings are so sturdy they will require hand work — especially the marble.

Q: Invade a country in the Middle East, destabilize its political structure and economy and then subsidize it for years to the tune of trillions of dollars. Stimulus or No Stimulus.

A: Stimulus. No, wait. No Stimulus. We’ve already done that and it didn’t work.

Q: Buy shares in failing investment banks so that they will use the capital investment to lend money to failing automobile manufacturers. Stimulus or No Stimulus?

A: All right, wise guy! No more questions! Class dismissed!



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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