Tyler Cowen is too pessimistic:
Marginal Revolution: Fiscal policy and the burden of proof: Don't let those switches distract you. My point is simple: it is very hard to find examples of successful fiscal stimulus driving an economic recovery. Ever. This should be a sobering fact.
But surely we believe that if the U.S. government were to follow the Countrywide plan--to send its representatives out onto the streets to have them walk up to people and say: "Here's $500,000. You can have it if you go buy a house"--then that would drive a recovery, right? I mean it drove a recovery in 2003-2006, didn't it?
Even the Austrians believe that spending--in their case, driven by credit-expansion created by the malefactors of fractional-reserve banking--works. So why can't the government do what fractional-reserve bankers can?