Hair of the Dog

We need a "fiscal stimulus" the way a drunk needs another drink. Let's sober up first

Mario Tama / Getty

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City

Are you at all suspicious? Does it sound too good to be true? Here we are, plunging into a recession. The proximate cause is irresponsible mortgage loans made to people who can't pay the money back. The deeper cause is, at least in part, years of too much borrowing and spending by Americans, both as individuals and collectively through the government. But behold: there is—oh, joy!—bipartisan agreement on a solution. Although quibbling over the details, everyone—Republicans and Democrats, the White House and Congress, all the presidential candidates—agrees that what we need is a "fiscal stimulus."

In other words, the government should...