Shichinin no Economusutai--NOT!!
Econ 115 Lecture Notes: September 15, 2009: Lecture 6: Democracy

I Do Hope This Is the Last Time I Will Ever Have to Mention Richard A. Posner...

Posner wrote, apropos of Christy Romer's analysis of the stimulus:

Richard A. Posner: This makes the $40 billion in tax relief all the more important to Romer's argument. And if that figure consisted of actual rebate checks, or reductions in current withholding, then of course it should be included.... Almost all the tax relief provided for in the stimulus bill consists of reductions in taxes by individuals and businesses.... If... the reduction is reflected in reduced withholding, or a reduced payment of estimated tax by people who filed estimated returns on April 15, it should be counted as stimulus spending; it puts money in people's pockets. If it merely reduces their future tax liability, it does not. All that is certain is that not all that $40 billion in tax relief is stimulus money; not all, and, at a guess, not most, put money in people's pockets before the second quarter ended...

Richard Posner does not appear to have called anyone at the U.S. Treasury to check.

I did. I called Mark Mazur.

The U.S. Treasury staff report that they do not do accrual accounting. They do cash flow accounting. If they told Christy Romer that $40 billion went out the door in stimulus-related tax cuts as of June 24, 2009; then $40 billion in cash went out of the Treasury.

Richard Posner's "not all, and, at a guess, not most" is simply a lie.

Where do they get these people?