Huckabee: Don’t let them buy shoes from China

Here's Mike Huckabee last night in the Republican debate, explaining why he opposes the tax rebates that are the centerpiece of the "stimulus plan" being debated by Congress: Well, if we end up with the rebates, we're going to borrow the $150 billion from China. And when we turn it into rebates, most people are ...

Here's Mike Huckabee last night in the Republican debate, explaining why he opposes the tax rebates that are the centerpiece of the "stimulus plan" being debated by Congress:

Well, if we end up with the rebates, we're going to borrow the $150 billion from China. And when we turn it into rebates, most people are going to go out and buy some consumables, like a pair of shoes that they probably don't even need, but they're going to buy them, and they're most likely an import from China. My point is, whose economy are we stimulating when we do that?"

Huh? By this logic, Americans shouldn't be buying things at all. As a top U.S. Commerce Department official put it recently, "China is the single-largest supplier of inexpensive products purchased by American consumers." So, should Americans stop buying Chinese goods altogether? That's not so easy to do. And besides, millions of Americans are employed at businesses, such as Wal-Mart, that sell Chinese products. Should those businesses be shunned?

Here's Mike Huckabee last night in the Republican debate, explaining why he opposes the tax rebates that are the centerpiece of the "stimulus plan" being debated by Congress:

Well, if we end up with the rebates, we're going to borrow the $150 billion from China. And when we turn it into rebates, most people are going to go out and buy some consumables, like a pair of shoes that they probably don't even need, but they're going to buy them, and they're most likely an import from China. My point is, whose economy are we stimulating when we do that?"

Huh? By this logic, Americans shouldn't be buying things at all. As a top U.S. Commerce Department official put it recently, "China is the single-largest supplier of inexpensive products purchased by American consumers." So, should Americans stop buying Chinese goods altogether? That's not so easy to do. And besides, millions of Americans are employed at businesses, such as Wal-Mart, that sell Chinese products. Should those businesses be shunned?

The whole point of a stimulus package, as Harvard economist Martin Feldstein put it in an interview with FP, is to offset "the risk of an economic downturn." With growth in U.S. consumer spending grinding to a halt, it sounds to me like some offsetting would be a good idea right now.

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