A number of people have asked why my name was missing from the petition against the spending package. The simple answer is that I didn't know about it. But I probably wouldn't have signed it anyway. I decided a while back not to sign these kind of petitions. First, there's usually something I don't agree with in the text, and second, the whole thing is a little weird–the idea that people should care that there are a bunch of economists who feel this way, especially given that there are a bunch of economists on the other side of the political spectrum who feel the exact opposite. So is the idea that we have more Nobel Laureates than they do? But what if it's fewer? Another reason I used to have is that when there are dueling petitions it makrs people think that economics isn't a science. People already think economists are politically motivated so why take out an ad to encourage this belief? But as I start to wonder about the scientific nature of economics myself, that argument doesn't resonate for me as it once did.
Suffice it to say that I don't think it is a good idea for the federal government to spend more money than it's already spending.
My preference for a better solution to encourage recovery is here.