There are two additional two Op-Eds today that are well worth reading, both of which appeared in today’s New York Times.  They concern, respectively, two issues that have been much discussed on the campaign trail this year.  Specifically they concern two government programs upon which it now seems almost all candidates, incumbent and otherwise, believe were dreadful mistakes.  I am referring to the Troubled Asset Relief Program of 2008 (the “bailout”) and the fiscal stimulus bill.

The first article, concerning the “bailout” bill is authored by Ross Douthat and is entitled The Great Bailout Backlash.  The second, by Paul Krugman and concerning the stimulus bill, is called Falling Into the Chasm.  Both offer important perspectives on these important issues that have been grossly misunderstood it seems by a majority of the electorate.

I regard both the “bailout” bill and fiscal stimulus as having been essential to the country’s economic welfare.  The problem is that the first was badly executed and explained and the latter poorly crafted so as to result in far less in economic stimulus than could almost certainly have been achieved with a better designed (less political) bill.

Unfortunately, we are going to have a lot of Congressmen and Senators elected next week who wouldn’t voted for the TARP bill or any economic stimulus.  This is frightening, very frightening, and it doesn’t bode well for the ability of the incoming Congress to tackle future economic crises.  Let’s hope some sense yet creeps into the public debate in advance of next week’s election.