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Economists Debate Stimulus Package

The $787 billion economic stimulus package sparked a lively debate during the April 1 Table Talk Lunch.

Alan Reynolds, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, railed against the package, saying it will lead to higher taxes and mountains of debt.

“When you borrow from Peter to pay Paul, you have to pay Peter some interest,” he said.

Reynolds also argued that deflated home prices “aren’t a problem that needs to be fixed.”

“We shouldn’t fix everything—there was too much home building and prices got too high,” he explained. “Things are going back to where they should be.”

The other panelist, John Willoughby, AU professor of economics, said he hopes the stimulus plan will spur long-term investment in infrastructure, health care, and environmental initiatives.

He also worries that, “if the package doesn’t work, and we’re not sure it will, President Obama will not have the political capital to go back for more.”

During the lunchtime event, sponsored by the Kay Spiritual Life Center, Reynolds also predicted that the recession will end by September.

“I sure hope you’re right,” mused Willoughby.