How to Stimulate the Economy in One Easy Step

| Thu Jun. 17, 2010 4:15 PM EDT

I don't often agree with Tyler Cowen without reservation, but when he's right, he's right:

The real fiscal problem is spending contraction at the state level (expanding and contracting spending are not symmetric in their effects; contracting spend hurts more than expanding spending helps). The correct fiscal policy move would have been, and still is, to take Medicaid away from the states and make it fully federal. This would give state budgets a huge break, and help employment, yet as a one-time change it reduces the moral hazard problems from ongoing outright grants.

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