The retreat in car sales when cash-for-clunkers ended was a jarring reminder of the withdrawal symptoms that await when other stimulus measures, such as the homebuyer’s credit, are allowed to expire. But extending them would boost a soaring deficit that is estimated to have hit $1.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended on September 30th. Voters are nervous about red ink stretching away into the future, and even Mr Obama’s liberal supporters are turning up the heat. This week Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said a value-added tax should be “on the table”. It may yet come to that, though introducing such a tax too early would risk choking off the recovery and creating a brand new tax that would give the president’s enemies a field-day. No one said his job was easy.
Signs of economic cheer
The sun also rises
Aug 6th 2009 | WASHINGTON, DC
From The Economist print edition
The economy may be pulling out of recession but unemployment is still surprisingly high. Celebrations should be delayed