$168-Billion Stimulus 'Too Little, Too Late,' Says Burnett on NBC
The U.S. Congress on Thursday approved a $168-billion â€śeconomic stimulusâ€ť 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.
â€śSome people might say itâ€™s too little, too late,â€ť CNBCâ€™s Erin Burnett said on the NBC â€śTodayâ€ť show February 8. She didnâ€™t clarify who â€śsome peopleâ€ť are, but the media have questioned why the stimulus proposal was so â€śsmall.â€ť
But economic analysts arenâ€™t 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 â€świll not work.â€ť
â€śRebates 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€ť Mitchell said.
Burnett said, however, that â€śat a time when the American economy has been under attack, it is better to get something than nothing.â€ť
â€śThe U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy have been taking a beating. It is the right word to use,â€ť Burnett said. â€śSo will the interest rate cuts that weâ€™ve been getting and the rebate checks help the economy and the U.S. dollar? Well, watch CNBC all day; youâ€™ll certainly find out.â€ť
Burnett also praised the governmentâ€™s expected â€śefficiencyâ€ť in distributing the checks. Reports have suggested checks will be mailed beginning in May.
â€śBut the bottom line here, Ann, is weâ€™d like to get them tomorrow. Sixty days, though, is lightening speed when it comes to government work,â€ť she said.