$168-Billion Stimulus 'Too Little, Too Late,' Says Burnett on NBC
The U.S. Congress on Thursday approved a $168-billion âeconomic stimulusâ plan that will issue tax rebate checks to millions of taxpayers. The plan, which exceeded original expectations of $145 billion, provided the media with another opportunity to question â not whether the stimulus would do any good, but whether it was big enough.
âSome people might say itâs too little, too late,â CNBCâs Erin Burnett said on the NBC âTodayâ show February 8. She didnât clarify who âsome peopleâ are, but the media have questioned why the stimulus proposal was so âsmall.â
But economic analysts arenât sure an economic stimulus package â big or small â will help boost the economy. Cato Institute senior fellow and BMI adviser Dan Mitchell said January 18 that the proposed stimulus âwill not work.â
âRebates are particularly disappointing because they resuscitate the discredited Keynesian notion that an economy benefits when the government borrows money from people in one sector of the economy and distributes it back to people in another sector of the economy,â Mitchell said.
Burnett said, however, that âat a time when the American economy has been under attack, it is better to get something than nothing.â
âThe U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy have been taking a beating. It is the right word to use,â Burnett said. âSo will the interest rate cuts that weâve been getting and the rebate checks help the economy and the U.S. dollar? Well, watch CNBC all day; youâll certainly find out.â
Burnett also praised the governmentâs expected âefficiencyâ in distributing the checks. Reports have suggested checks will be mailed beginning in May.
âBut the bottom line here, Ann, is weâd like to get them tomorrow. Sixty days, though, is lightening speed when it comes to government work,â she said.