There seems to be a growing chorus that the Obama plan to save the economy might do more harm that good.
We’ve spoken to many celebrated investors who fear initiatives coming out of the new administration might actually be unintentionally damaging. At issue is whether acting quickly and taking on debt now to jumpstart spending will actually work as planned – or if it will backfire.
Critics of the plan such as Daniel Clifton of Strategas Research head of policy research. On Tuesday’s Fast Money he said the new spending is inefficient per dollar of debt issued.
“We’re going to spend about $4 trillion and we only have $2 trillion in revenue. Not only will we have to raise taxes but we’ll probably have to create new taxes.”
Among the first people to point out this phenomenon was CNBC's Larry Kudlow. In a somewhat incendiary post published Friday he said Obama had declared war on investors.
Celebrated contrarian Bill Fleckenstein also has some interesting thoughts on the issue.
He says that to get out of this mess we’re going to have to create jobs. “But jobs just don’t create themselves. They’re created by business and they have to allocate capital… to the extent that capital becomes frightened that it might be taxed, it’s less likely to be put at risk.”
In other words Fleckenstein thinks the risk of higher taxes will discourage job creation.
And he doesn’t buy the overall New Deal strategy being advanced by our government as well as Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Fleckenstein counters, “part of what made the Great Depression so bad is that the government scared business by changing all the rules all the time. Everyone thinks FDR saved the day but he made it worse.”
Of course that’s only one point of view. Fast Money realizes that many people are very optimistic about the Obama plan. It’s well worth noting that, the president received very high marks in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. His approval rating was 60 percent.
There was also a sharp jump to 41 percent of Americans who now think the country is headed in the right direction. This compares to 26 percent in mid-January, before Obama took office, and is the highest level since 2004. A stunning two-thirds of those polled say they are hopeful about Obama's leadership and plans.
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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 4th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (MS), (TM), (AAPL), (MOS); Macke Owns (GE) Puts; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BX), (EEM), (FCX), (MON), (RIG), (BAC), (FXI); Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Finerman's Firm Owns (DNA) & (DNA) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (AEO), (MSFT), (PBR), (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred, (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Short (BAC), (BBT), (VNO), (IYR), (IJR), (IWM), (MDY), (SPY), (USO)
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