Robert Samuelson, writing in the Washington Post, argues that the Keynesian remedy of government spending might not provide the panacea for our current problems. Why? Well, because we are starting from a world of large public debt.
I would interpret this argument slightly different than the conventional wisdom --- Keynesianism is not a panacea because Keynesianism has dominated public policy making for half a century and has left us in such a state of public debt. Keynesianism broke the old time fiscal religion of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, and changed not only attitudes of economists and policy makers, but also eroded whatever institutional constraints existed on public spending that had existed. Keynesianism cannot work to solve our current problems because Keynesianism is responsible for our current problems. Keynesianism provided an illusion of short term prosperity, but the reality of long term stagnation. Of course, the revealing of the illusion can be put off, as I have pointed out before, if there is the discovery of new opportunities for gains from trade, and/or gains from innovation.
But the governmental habit of spending is still there and the bill has to be paid as some point. Keynesianism is a disease on the body politic because it caters to the natural propensity of politicians to focus on short run, and to concentrate benefits and disperse costs.
Nobody explained these problems better than James M. Buchanan. Read his Public Principles of Public Debt, followed by his work with Richard Wagner, Democracy in Deficit. Both of these exercises should help you understand our current situation, and I cannot imagine you spending your winter break in a more fruitful exercise given the severity of the problem facing the western democratic states (see The Economist March 17th, 2011 issue if you are still complacent, or the work by Vito Tanzi, Government versus the Market: The Changing Economic Role of the State).
HT: Don Boudreaux