August 6, 2008 12:44PM

Feldstein the Flip Flopper

Harvard’s Martin Feldstein was strongly for the “stimulus” rebates earlier this year, but now he is against them.

In his Wall Street Journal article today, he looks at the data and finds that consumer spending increased little compared to the amount of the rebate checks, thus it appears that households used most of the rebate money to pay down debt. In his article, Feldstein seems to be saying that he still believes in Keynesianism, but that this particular Keynesiam stimulus didn’t work very well. 

Yet Feldstein also says that recent data “corresponds to what both basic economic theory and common experience imply,” that this tax rebate effort didn’t work because it was temporary, not permanent.

I used basic economic theory to oppose the stimulus package from the start, calling it Kindergarden Keynesianism.

Good for Feldstein to now admit that he was wrong. But I found the rush by so many top economists six months ago to “solve” the problem of slowing growth with central planning techniques very disturbing. Future taxpayers are $150 billion further into debt because of their mistake.