Monday, January 17, 2011

Look again, "Intercollegiate Studies Institute"

This civics quiz is pretty good, although a couple of questions have questionable answers.

I scored 32 out of 33. According to the quiz writers, I was incorrect to answer A to this:
30) Which of the following fiscal policy combinations would a government most likely follow to stimulate economic activity when the economy is in a severe recession?
But which government? It's a given that government spending continually rises under any president and Congress, so now it's just a matter of which raised taxes. Hoover and FDR had no qualms about massive tax increases in the face of a deteriorating economy. Reagan pushed Congress to cut taxes overall (but as a matter of policy, not "stimulus"), trading that for his signature on social spending bills. George H.W. Bush worked with Congress to raise taxes, though at the beginning of what they hadn't yet realized was a recession. George W. Bush's initial push for tax cuts was likewise at the beginning of what wasn't yet a recession, and the second round of tax cuts was hardly meant as a "stimulus" for the economy. Now we have Obama who, because the latest recession officially ended in June 2009, didn't have a chance to raise taxes. His "stimulus" has been all about spending and increased government debt, with token payroll tax cuts.

So your question is iffy, ISI.

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