Monday, January 24, 2011

Where, oh where, did the stimulus go?

Stanford economists John Cogan and John Taylor look at how households and state/local governments reacted to the 2008 and 2009 stimulus plans.  They show that most of the stimulus money was used by households to pay off debt and most governments used it to issue less debt.  In other words, the federal government borrowed money so that individuals and government could borrow less.  Overall, a wash and hence no real stimulus.  Does not make you real hopeful that this year's temporary cut in payroll taxes will do any better.

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