Covid Stimulus Spending Aftermath Will Follow Past Patterns

It’s coming — that’s the bad news. The good news is that hangovers end.


appy New Year. About last night . . .

We have, in a way, been here before. The Covid-19 epidemic and the federal response follow a familiar pattern: A crisis emerges, extraordinary action is taken, that extraordinary action acquires interest groups who wish to see it become ordinary action, economic troubles inevitably follow, and sorting it all out gets pretty hairy pretty quickly.

Sometimes, this doesn’t go too badly. Consider the end of World War I, when many progressives desired to keep Woodrow Wilson’s “war socialism” as a permanent practice, giving the federal government broad managerial powers over both the economy and

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