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The stimulus and the bank bailout are two different things, with two different sets of fiscal commitments. The stimulus commitment, which is both consumption spending and infrastructure investment, really is a transfer of wealth from the rich to the less rich whom might have lost their jobs if not for the government provided stimulus.

The bailout is largely a transfer from some of the wealthy to other wealthy people, and to the extent that some of that transfer is unjustified, it may not be unfair to compare it to a public form of Bernie Madoff.  

However, on net, the transfers of wealth due to policy interventions do appear to be transferring wealth from future high income people to present day low and middle income people, and that's why conservatives oppose it so, even though their own macroeconomic narrative -- monetarism -- agrees with liberals' Keynesian playbook regarding the need for expansionary fiscal and monetary policy in the present crisis.

by santiago on Thu Aug 20th, 2009 at 10:39:31 AM EST
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