The economic stimulus is a farce, as should be obvious to anyone who cracked open their Econ 101 textbook or ever ran a lemonade stand.
Where is the $150B going to come from? Reduced spending elsewhere (wash), increased taxes (same as reducing spending from the private sector – worse than a wash), borrowing from abroad (raises the price of capital for private businesses, or causes inflation, resulting in a wash), or printing more money (inflation / reduced purchasing power, which depending on what it does to inflation expectations, can be worse than a wash).
The fact that hundreds of millions of people believe this and that journalists and politicians constantly spout something so egregiously false at face value is a disappointing indictment of the masses.
In their honor, let us create the Perpetual Stimulation Machine! The government should inject more and more money into the economy. As it injects more, the economy will be stimulated, GDP will increase, government tax receipts will rise, and more stimuli can be injected!
In fact, I think just such economies are underway in North Korea and Cuba.
Note: Those who argue that money will be moved in a stimulus package from savers to spenders skipped Econ 102. Savings get loaned out and spent as well. Savings = Investment
Note 2: The stimulus is probably the oldest fallacy in Economics – the Broken Window Fallacy, which is also the same as the “Wars spur Growth” fallacy.