29 January 2009

Obama's Stimulus: 'Triumph Of Hope Over Experience' (UPDATED)

The title is not an endorsement, by the way.

Click here to see a long list of economists who think that Obama's plan to stimulate the economy is a very, very bad one.

(thanks to Fernando M.)

The WSJ's arguments against it are also pretty darn persuasive.
This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.

We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it. There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.


Another "stimulus" secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There's $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.

As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.


Any Blue Dog Democrat who votes for this ought to turn in his "deficit hawk" credentials.

This is supposed to be a new era of bipartisanship, but this bill was written based on the wish list of every living -- or dead -- Democratic interest group. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did. Republicans should let them take all of the credit.

Asking for someone, anyone, among the few remaining Obama supporters who read this blog to defend this bill is unfair. I would be asking them to defend the indefensible.

Obama is exactly what we thought he was--a traditional tax and spend liberal--a true nanny-stater. Give Obama and the Democrats your money, they know how to spend it better than you do.

There is no bi-partisanship or post-partisanship in this bill. There is no fiscal discipline. There is no tax cutting. None of what Obama promised during his campaign is in this bill. None of what the kool-aid drinking Obamabots projected into his airy rhetorical speeches is in this bill.

All that's in this bill is the patronizing spending 'wish list of every liberal Democrat for the last 40 years.'

$50 million for National Endowment for the Arts? Are you kidding me?

I got a stimulus plan for you: Collect fewer taxes and allow Americans to do what they will with their own damn money.

(thanks to Morgan H.)

UPDATE 12:43pm BST: I gave you Obama's stimulus plan. I gave you my stimulus plan. Now try on Rush Limbaugh's stimulus plan. Wear it around the store. See how it feels. More importantly, see how it makes you feel about yourself.

Do you feel that tingly feeling going down both legs? Yeah. That's the power of El Rushbo.
Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let's say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion -- $486 billion -- will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% -- $414 billion -- will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me.

Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people's wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth.

I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate -- at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations -- in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way! Once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, the rest of the private sector will follow. There's no reason to tell the American people their future is bleak. There's no reason, as the administration is doing, to depress their hopes. There's no reason to insist that recovery can't happen quickly, because it can.

Let the great stimulation competition of 2009 begin.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.