7 reasons a small economic stimulus would be better than a big one
Arnold Kling gives seven reasons why he prefers a small economic stimulus over a large one.
1. It is harder to spend larger amounts quickly and cost-effectively.
2. There is a greater risk that we will run into a “sudden stop,” in which foreign investors are no longer willing to fund our deficits (this is Buiter’s main worry).
3. There is a risk that the intergenerational transfer imposed by the stimulus (from our children to ourselves) is excessive, particularly in the context of other intergenerational transfers of the same sort.
4. There is a risk that fiscal stimulus, large or small, is actually ineffective, so that a large stimulus only means a large failure.
5. There is a risk that much of the spending will kick in after a recovery is underway.
6. The government’s capacity to deal with an emergency, such as a major natural disaster or a foreign attack, will be limited, because its credit worthiness will be damaged.
7. There is a risk that government will absorb a permanently higher share of GDP. Policymakers will be reluctant to cut public spending for fear of causing a downturn. Moreover, it