09 Sep 2010

Stimulus? Yet Again?

Shameless Self-Promotion No Comments

The first of my weekly “current events” column at Mises.org. You will see I went out on a limb with this inaugural essay by attacking government stimulus programs. You might like this line:

Even Obama’s call for the tax-credit extension leaves much to be desired. I am always for a tax cut, period. It returns resources to the private sector, which I favor for reasons of both ethics and efficiency.

However, not all tax cuts are created equal. By giving a tax credit for “research and development” — as opposed to an across-the-board reduction in tax rates — the government is still dictating how businesses use the money that the government refrains from explicitly taking. The difference is analogous to getting $100 in cash versus a nontransferable $100 gift certificate to the Broccoli Warehouse. Most teenagers would opt for the former as a birthday present.

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