Manzi speaks the truth:

American consumers are awash in debt, drowning in it. This is the fundamental issue with the stimulus proposal. We're trying to borrow our way out of debt. Unfortunately, we need a recession. That is, consumption must decline because for some time we have been consuming more than we produce or have reasonable prospects of producing. Monetary policy has been used to inflate a series of bubbles to avoid the consequences of excess debt, and the more we try to hold it off, the worse it's going to be. Bourbon works as a hangover cure, but only for a while.

The planet might appreciate a small pause in the consumption as well, no?

(By the way, the "business vertical" Megan has put together for the Atlantic is as lively as it is essential in these confusing times. I remain, of course, your ever-horizontal servant.)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.