So let’s say, JP, that we do have a Sputnik Moment…A Kennedy, “We want to land a man on the moon”-sized project.
And then what would happen? Let’s limit our speculation to two possibilities:
(1) We spend a ton of money, and signs of success eventually show.
(2) We spend a ton of money, and signs of success either do not show, or they are imperceptibly slow.
In either case…How do you imagine that anyone even slightly right of center will react, not even counting the crazies in the Tea Party? “Money we don’t have! … Obama bankrupts the country! … We don’t want middle class jobs, we wanted gilded rich!” Can you say, “Mitt Romney’s Inauguration Speech”?
Sorry, there is no realistic possibility of an American Marshall plan, real politik-ally. Barack will have to steer mighty close to the wind right now. I hope he comes up with some brilliant, but low cost ideas for his upcoming speech, some infrastructure improvement, small business tax breaks, an incetive here, an incentive there. But you can bet that the next day, Paul Krugman (and you) will wish he spent more.
Bubbles and bursts come from extreme policy swings, whether they are government spending (“Investment”) or giving more tax breaks to the gilded (falsely claiming to earn thir money).
On another note, did you see what Rick Perry said to a kid in New Hampshire!?!?
“I hear your mom was asking about evolution and, you know, it’s a theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it, but in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools. Because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.”
I knew he would say some bold, stupid stuff, but he dove into the crap pool faster than I predicted! For the record, despite Perry stacking a committee of curriculum people with bozos, and despite what he might wish to be true, Texas does not teach creationism. Oh my God, Rick. You even embarass Michele Bachmann.
Maybe sanity will rise up in our time. Pow, right in the kisser! To da moon, Alice!