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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Government Stimulus: Drunken Spending, or Last Best Hope?

Hoisting today's comment piƱata....

Our man Jon Hunter opines that the stimulus package the Senate will approve today is nothing but a wild spending spree charged to our kids' credit cards. "If your income goes down, would you spend like crazy?" asks Hunter.

Jon sure wouldn't. Neither would I. Neither would most rational actors in the free market. That's why Hunter's headline makes President Obama's point:

It is absolutely true that we can't depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector. But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.

It is only government that can break the vicious cycle, where lost jobs lead to people spending less money, which leads to even more layoffs. And breaking that cycle is exactly what the plan that's moving through Congress is designed to do [President Barack Hussein Obama, opening remarks at press conference, 2009.02.09].

We're all thinking like Jon Hunter. None of us wants to spend the money it will take to counter the recession.

That's why, if your goal is to boost the economy and keep the unemployed (i.e., your neighbors, and maybe you tomorrow) from losing health insurance and houses, you need government action. The free market is great, but when it can't get the job done, government has an obligation to act.

And we have an obligation during Obama's second term, after we have righted our economy, to raise our taxes and pay off this stimulus loan so our kids won't have to... right, Jon?


  1. Cory, you go right ahead and pay the higher taxes. In fact, you can start right now if you like. I personally don't want to, and that's why I oppose this bill. It's laden with things that have nothing to do with creating jobs and all to do with expanding gov't.

  2. Comrade:

    It does not matter how much money we send the gov't, they will find a way to WASTE it all.

  3. Jon Hunter is way too liberal for me.

  4. This wasn't a stimulus package, it was a democrat wish list by Pelosi.
    Everything she wanted in the past 8 years she is putting on the federal credit card.

    Too bad the bill doesn't go to her.

  5. Re your headline: Here's the thing. Why did it have to be one or the other? Why not something sensible?

    The "gotta do it now, and the government's gotta do it" way of thinking is pretty much summed up by Chuckie "I Never Met a Videocamera I Didn't Like" Schumer. He accused the "chattering classes" of "quibbling" over millions of questionable spending, which he implied was not significant in the overall scheme of things.

    So here's the question. How many millions does it have to be and what kind of stuff does it have to be before people are allowed to "quibble" without being called obstructionist?

    And if it's not that important, why is it in there in the first place? Why not just develop legislation without all the fringe stuff that has nothing to do with stimulating anything?

  6. Terry: What? And I suppose the October bailout was just a Republican wish list by Bush and Paulson? Come on: people might actually be trying to solve a problem here.

    mbk: fringe stuff like what?

  7. "Fringe stuff like what?"

    OMG...do you really want to open that door?

    OK, so this is what the Republicans are saying. Don't know if all of this stuff is still in...I'll bet most Senators don't either.

    Not saying there aren't some worthy things on this list. There definitely are. They just don't belong in a so-called stimulus package.


  8. And BTW, I didn't like the Bush bank bailout either. Was disappointed that Thune voted for it, but glad he has come to his senses when it comes to this legislation. And at least Thune tried to put something on the table instead of just whining about it.

  9. I do want to open that door, mbk. I have no more interest in wasting money than you do. Please identify specific items that you consider wasteful "fringe stuff"? Everything the Republicans tell you is wasteful? Every other item? Which ones? Why?

  10. Salaries for FBI agents, the Smithsonian, preventing STDs, info tech at community colleges (which can expect a surge in enrollment as people seek training for new jobs), alternative energy vehicles... which of those projects do you find objectionable?

  11. Once again...I find some of this stuff objectionable for inclusion in this legislation, because I don't see where they are going to create jobs or stimulate the economy.

    Of the items you list, STDs and the Smithsonian don't fit in this bill, IMO. It would take all day to type in half of the other ones on the list, but Homeland Security furniture would be right up there. Then there's stuff that isn't on the list...like honeybee insurance. That sounds like it ought to be in a Farm Bill.

    The point being...there are some good projects. But they do not belong here.

    And what's this baloney about parroting what the GOP says? I happen to agree with half of it. And Democrats won't be talking about it, so somebody has to.

    Are you saying that you don't ever rely on lib talking points in your posts?

  12. "the Smithsonian, preventing STDs, info tech at community colleges, alternative energy vehicles..."

    Actually I find all of the above not stimulus. Then include uniforms for TSA agents, all the "reform" of the medical system that is hidden in here (per Daschle's instructions in his book, Critical, I think on page 196), and this is the tip of the iceberg. And the money going to community organizers (Acorn). Sorry, but most of this is simply Dem fluff and nothing stimulating about it.

    I just can't believe how anyone can sign any bill without reading it. How can anyone even advocate doing so in good conscience?

    Why not make a simple bill, simply list the things that will actually create jobs, make it legible and understandable for legislators and the little people alike? This is simply stupid, and all the sheepdogs that are lapping at Pelosi's and O's heels are just as stupid. Start reading and thinking for yourselves and try listening to your constituents for a change. After all, We employ you and pay your wages.

  13. It's wonderfully hypocritical how no republicant's would raise their taxes to pay the $3 trillion for their needless invasion and occupation of Iraq, or for largest ever expansion of domestic spending. They have no sense of personal responsibility, rather all they are interested in is socializing their costs.

  14. In regards to the title of this post, Cory, I submit that drunken spending has become our "last best hope."

  15. ...and for a stingy teetotaler like me, Stan, that's a hard combo to take. :-)

  16. "And we have an obligation during Obama's second term, after we have righted our economy, to raise our taxes and pay off this stimulus loan so our kids won't have to... right?"

    Uh, NO. Other than certain politicians, economists and even the gov't office (GBO?) is recommending against this. Let O and Pelosi pay off this debt. I'm not going to.

    It's being rushed thru with all kinds of hidden stuff in the 600+ pages, and you know what, I hope it fails big time. Then maybe the country can get back to capitalism and forget the socialist policies certain people are ramming thru.

    We probably can never pay off such huge debt anyway. This stimulus isn't the end of it. Geithner also wants more money for the banks, then more money for housing, etc

  17. This Scamulus Bill means Democrats have truly changed their philosophy. What used to be "Tax and Spend" is now revised to "Spend and Tax". Spend what you don't have, then try to pay it back on the backs of taxpayers at a later date, maybe even generations later. Isn't that what got us in this predicament in the first place? I wouldn't oppose the bailout II plan if it simply contained items that create jobs, repair mortgages and spur economic development. The current Porkulus Package contains very little.


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