January 28, 2009

Let's talk about the stimulus package.

"[S]ome news organizations have been less than diligent in telling you that other respectable economists are deeply skeptical of the idea, flatly oppose it or favor competing proposals such as additional tax relief. The University of Chicago's Gary Becker, another Nobel laureate, warns that 'the true value of these government programs may be limited because they will be put together hastily, and are likely to contain a lot of political pork and other inefficiencies.'"

"In the end, this near-depression is likely to be a transformative event for macroeconomics. We are going to have a mammoth fiscal stimulus package this year—and in all likelihood, more in the near future. And when we see what happens, we may finally settle some of the disputes that have bedeviled economics for 80 years."

"It doesn’t have nearly the amount of the fresh, reformist thinking as Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches and proposals did. Instead, the bill is mostly a stew of spending on existing programs, whatever their warts may be.... The bill is certainly superior to a huge package of tax cuts, which might be politically popular but end up in people’s bank accounts rather than stimulating the economy.... This bill should help the economy in both the near term and the long term. But the government doesn’t go out and spend about $800 billion every day. The details matter."

"When voters discover that the Obama approach is a turkey, [Rep. Price] says, a responsible opposition party has to have a better approach ready to go... 'It's important to hold folks accountable, and over time Americans will do that.'"

"[T]he GOP is playing up the economic equivalent of midnight basketball the bill contains--especially the extra $50 million allotted to the National Endowment for the Arts and an untold amount of Medicaid dollars for states to spend on contraception and other forms of family planning. They smartly see an opening to reassert their relevance, reinvigorate lingering doubts about Democrats' big spending habits and ultimately rebalance the mix of spending and tax cuts in the final bill."

138 comments:

Curtiss said...

Is this a Trickery Alert?

Michael S said...

I dare the White House to put a link to HR1 on their website and on recovery.org so the public can find it easily.

Transparency and all that...

Kev said...

I heard a great idea for an economic stimulus bill on a local radio show this morning; it seems well-suited to the revival of an economy of which 70% comes from consumer spending.

The basics: Let everyone keep what would normally be withheld from their paychecks for the first six months of the year. This has the potential to allow people to buy more stuff, pay off credit cards, keep small businesses open, stay in their houses, and so on, without the huge slabs of pork found in the bill currently being discussed.

Sure, there's no guarantee that everyone would spend their newfound money in a prudent fashion, but I bet that regular people would be more responsible with their own money than Congress would be with our own money (it is ours, not theirs, after all).

There's no way this would pass in the current Congress, of course, but the results of the vote would be telling: Those who voted for it would likely be the ones who give this nation and its people a higher priority than they do their own (pick one, or pick all) wallets, egos, reelection chances, etc. Sadly, I don't think that such people form a majority in Congress at the moment.

TosaGuy said...

I really doubt Congress has even had time to read this thing.

Would it not be fun to pick a random congressman and have him take a multiple choice test on what is in or not in this (or any other) bill.

traditionalguy said...

What we have here is a failure to communicate said Obama to Limbaugh and his GOP greek chorus. Now the dems are going to "save the jobs" by passing in the dark the Monster Earmark of all Earmarks. What say you Sen. McCain?

Original George said...

Recovery will begin in the 2nd to 3rd quarter of 2011 and begin to be noticeable to consumers around late summer of 2012 at which time Pres. Obama will proclaim victory over the Bush Depression.

Folks, it's going to take 2-3 years to clear off all the housing wreckage. Check out the incredible spikes in ARM reset levels in 2010 and 2011. These are not fantasy numbers....the chart reflects the actual number of adjustable rate morgages that are going to reset...and what if interest rates are higher.....

These are the good times now!

Building more bridges don't have nothing to do with this.

Palladian said...

"especially the extra $50 million allotted to the National Endowment for the Arts..."

C'mon, Karen Finley, Tim Miller and Andres Serrano need, uh, stimulation too!

rhhardin said...

1. Stabilize the financial system. This means recapitalizing the banks and whatever so that you don't get the world's financial assets tied up in bankrupcy courts for two decades. It's not a rescue - generally the shareholders are pretty much wiped out. But the debts of the bank are good, and so the financial system doesn't freeze up.

The rest is mission creep.

2. If you want to kick-start business investment, zero out business taxes permanently, and zero out capital gains taxes permanently. You want to awaken investment animal spirits by promising to stay out of the way.

At least the populist equating of a tax reduction with government expense won't have any rhetorical effect here. Government expense is supposed to be a good now.

3. Handing people money for being unemployed is a bad idea. Great reluctance is called for. It discourages hiring (unemployment taxes on business are per worker), it discourages working. It's sort of a clean sweep of all-around badness.

Revenant said...

Quite a lot of economists have come out against the stimulus package.

EDH said...

Let everyone keep what would normally be withheld from their paychecks for the first six months of the year.

Then owe the full amount of taxes on the income at the end of the year?

Or allow people to accelerate income completely tax free in the first half of the year? Expect people (who can) to borrow money to pay themselves tax free now and deduct the repayment later.

Drop these silly ideas. The best tax cuts are permanent and at the margin.

Balfegor said...

The NYT says:

The bill is certainly superior to a huge package of tax cuts, which might be politically popular but end up in people’s bank accounts rather than stimulating the economy.

But isn't one of the tax cut proposals to implement a massive, across-the-board cut in the payroll tax? That's going to have a big, bottom-line effect on the middle-class and the poor. Given the extent to which people in those classes have apparently overextended themselves in the past 20 years, wouldn't letting them keep a little more of each paycheck be helpful in getting their finances back in order?

True, a lot of it is just going to end up shoring up mortgage payments or paying down credit card debt, but that seems like a surer path to restoring economic stability than splurging on a hodgepodge of this and that over the next decade. I mean, the way out of this mess shouldn't be to restore everyone to their status quo ante, i.e. ridiculously overleveraged. Given that, shouldn't we be hoping an awful lot of the stimulus money does end up in peoples' bank accounts, so they're a little less leveraged?

The flip side of a payroll tax reduction, potentially, is that a reduction in payroll tax may make it easier for companies to keep employees, since the cost per employee will be down (Singapore has done exactly this with some success). And that would be good too.

Original George said...

Starbucks just announced the closure of another 300 US stores. On top of another 600 closures last year. That's about 10 percent of its U.S. stores.

Didn't Starbuck go down the the Pequod? Or was he eaten?

---

Here's a C-SPAN clip of an economist named John Williams who runs a site called shadowstats whose premise is that government meddling with economic statistics since the 1980s has misled everyone regarding our understanding of the nation's economic health. Which is comatose.

Curtiss said...

It is a Trickery Alert.

I knew it.

Anyway, just how bad can $335 million for sexually transmitted disease education be for economic stimulus. Or some kind of stimulus.

Seriously, this is going to be the biggest boondoggle ever. When the federal government spends one trillion dollars this fast, the potential for graft and corruption is exponential.

What a disaster.

Xmas said...

How can someone complain that one-time tax cuts would just be thrown into bank accounts when one of the big problems is that banks don't have enough capital on hand?

madawaskan said...

Balfegor's-The NYT quote-

The bill is certainly superior to a huge package of tax cuts, which might be politically popular but end up in people’s bank accounts rather than stimulating the economy.


Ahhhh ya, because we all know that the savings rate in this nation is so high.

sg said...

If the goal of the "stimulus" is to get businesses to hire people, or, at a minimum, keep them from laying off more employees, the most direct, immediate and universal way is to cut corporate and/or payroll taxes.

In other words, as Balfegor said, reduce the cost per employee.

The problem with the Democratic spending plan is that it is slow, inefficient--and especially--non-universal.

It may be OK if you're in one of the special interest pork groups (fine arts, green energy technology, smoking reduction, health care IT, ad nauseum). But I'll bet that's a puny part of the total economy.

Shanna said...

But isn't one of the tax cut proposals to implement a massive, across-the-board cut in the payroll tax?

It’s a temporary, 500 dollar “cut” in the payroll tax. To me, it’s not different then the other dumb “stimulus” checks, except that they’re going to give it back upfront. Oh and they're going to give it to people who don't pay enough income taxes to get the other stuff. That's probably why it's a "payroll" tax cut.

But that actually will be a pita when they take it back in a year, because checks will get smaller.

JAL said...

Since Americans are probably the least likely of the western world to put the money in a bank account ("end up in people's nbank accounts" ???), why is that being used as a defense?

Besides it's dumb. With tax cut money, given what is going on, people might actually pay down debt, and do some stuff while the doing is good. ("Put that extra bathroom in before the tsunami hits and we won't have that extra pot to ... " you know.)

But even then -- if it is in a bank, doesn't that help the bank (DBQ help me out here)?

Meanwhile, I heard someone the other day (hubby telling me Rush's (!) plan?) suggesting dividing the stimulus up between the citizens and let us do something with it. Now there's an idea! (But we still have to 'pay' it back in humungous taxes later.)

This is one big wish list for the Dems to get what they want for projects which they could not get passed in any kind of normal situation. Talk about victimizing the victims!

Little selfish, ya think?

Especially when we and our children and our chilfdren's children are going to be saddled with Obama's debt. Family planning projects? NEA?? ACORN (!!!!) What the hey?

We need businesses and jobs that produce things, not a gazillion dollars worth of social work and touchy feeley projects.

It's the lack of any sensible priorities in this "atimulus" that blows my mind.

I live in a part of the country where the main source of income is the service industries and tourist.

News flash Washington guys: The people who come here and spend money with us make money WORKING in businesses which produce something which is measureable. Not organizing communities. Not adjusting auras. These people have real jobs.

It's time to realize that businesses -- many small and medium sized ones, not just GM etc. -- make America what it is.

Help them out first. Not some starving artist somewhere. (And FWIW my first degree is a BFA in painting, and my graduate degree is in one of the touchy feeley professions.)

Shanna said...

Since Americans are probably the least likely of the western world to put the money in a bank account ("end up in people's nbank accounts" ???), why is that being used as a defense?

The point is that when people get a check for 500 bucks, they don’t treat it the same way as they do a permanent increase in salary. They save it, or pay off debt, or buy a tv, whatever. They don’t treat it the same way as a permanent tax cut, so it doesn’t have the same affect.

Hector Owen said...

People can comment on the bill at Read the Stimulus dot org. It took a long time to load when I clicked it a couple of minutes ago. I hope that's because the site is so popular that the server is having a hard time keeping up.

Bob said...

"How can someone complain that one-time tax cuts would just be thrown into bank accounts when one of the big problems is that banks don't have enough capital on hand?"

The answer XMAS is that it doesn't produce any POLITICAL benefits. Complete suspension of payroll taxes and corporate income taxes for 2009 would cost $780 Billion. And ALL of that would go into the economy in 2009. Thats an economic jump-start. But alas, there is no political goodies to ladle out in that plan.

This isn't about fixing the economy; it is about reengineering the political environment. "Bad Corporations" are to be replaced by "noble neighborhood organizers". Every do-gooder's wet dream is to be funded by Joe Six-pack. All in the name of "Stimulus".

Balfegor said...

It’s a temporary, 500 dollar “cut” in the payroll tax. To me, it’s not different then the other dumb “stimulus” checks, except that they’re going to give it back upfront. Oh and they're going to give it to people who don't pay enough income taxes to get the other stuff. That's probably why it's a "payroll" tax cut.

I'm pretty sure the Democrats flatly rejected Republican proposals for a payroll tax cut. When I review the CBO's analysis of the bill as it currently stands, I don't find any payroll tax cut. The $500 thing you're referring to is probably a refundable tax credit (see p. 11/23), with an awful lot of kludgey mechanics surrounding it. Part of this is anticipated, somehow, to reduce withholdings (i.e. increase paycheck amounts directly), which could have an effect analogous to a reduction in payroll tax, in that it wouldn't be a lump sum payment inviting recipients to splurge.

In general, the CBO analysis does not leave me impressed with the bill. Indeed, of the tax related proposals there, the only one I think is actually particularly worthwhile is the temporary increase to the EITC, but even that has been larded up with pointless, random junk (why three qualifying children?).

madawaskan said...

Balfegor

But isn't one of the tax cut proposals to implement a massive, across-the-board cut in the payroll tax? That's going to have a big, bottom-line effect on the middle-class and the poor. Given the extent to which people in those classes have apparently overextended themselves in the past 20 years, wouldn't letting them keep a little more of each paycheck be helpful in getting their finances back in order?

Big no.

Democrats get to choose, who gets what.

It's about keeping their voter constituencies on the dole.

And it's always been about the elites getting loop holes and deciding what the middle class should do/pay.

It's evident when you watch the carbon footprint of hundreds of personal and chartered Leer jets descend on D.C. for the Inaugural and then see that 20 million to re-sod The Mall was included in the "stimulus" until Republicans got the Dems to drop it-for now.

Kev said...

Then owe the full amount of taxes on the income at the end of the year?

Or allow people to accelerate income completely tax free in the first half of the year?


I'm pretty sure the radio guy I was listening to meant that we get to keep our own money for the first half of the year, with no later liability. I'll see if he posts in on his website and link back if he does.

It's not as good as making the current tax cuts permanent, but it's far better than the porkfest that's going through right now.

Bob said...

"It may be OK if you're in one of the special interest pork groups (fine arts, green energy technology, smoking reduction, health care IT, ad nauseum). But I'll bet that's a puny part of the total economy."

SG, you're right that those groups a tiny part of the US economy. But those are cherished groups within the Democratic party. If you will, think of them as the Democrats Halliburton or Blackwater. Over the next couple of years we will get to know them well. Aspiring investigative journalists may even now be looking into ACORN, NEA, etc. Oh wait...

Balfegor said...

I should probably explain that when I refer to payroll taxes, I'm actually referring to FICA taxes (i.e. Social Security and Medicare). For a family making $50,000 a year (median household income in US), the FICA taxes together add up to almost $4,000 a year -- even just halving these taxes would provide a substantial boost within a single year. And unlike income taxes, everyone who works (legally) is stuck paying these FICA taxes (see, e.g. this op-ed whining that even though it's true that around 40% of Americans pay no income tax at all, most of them still have to pay payroll tax).

al said...

The pdf is online.

There is even a Blago clause for Ilinois.

madawaskan said...

Oh and let's add-

Lots more bureaucracy-federal workers-the Democrat Employment Agency.

And people were impressed with the numbers at the Inaugural-

Washington D.C. is 75% registered Democrats to 7% registered Republicans.

Statistics Report November 2008

Bob said...

Could be that Republicans simply prefer the burbs.

al said...

So we have a temporary tax cut in this bill combined with the end of the Bush tax cuts next year.

Sounds like we'll all end up paying more no matter what.

David said...

Hardin: Stabilize the financial system. . . . The rest is mission creep.

Pretty much true, but to stabilize the system you have to deal with more than bank capital and toxic assets. You have to stabilize the borrowers (like mortgage borrowers) to make the banks stable. This is true of corporate borrowers as well.

Problem is, the economy is so bad, and the decline is so self reinforcing, that we have to do things that would otherwise be unthinkable. This means waste--an inevitable result. But it doesn't have to mean throwing a bunch of social programs into what is supposed to be economic stimulus bill.

Obama is far, far from overturning politics as usual. He is letting Congress lard up the bill. He is, as Posner (or is it Becker) says, not coming with much that is innovative.

He is also doing something that is a tribute to his political manipulation skills--raising false hope and false fears at once.

Curtiss said...

"Sounds like we'll all end up paying more (taxes) no matter what."

That's about all we'll be able to take to the ban,.

Curtiss said...

bank, that is.

madawaskan said...

Bob -

True, but federal employees-minus the military which was 68% behind the other guy- are overwhelmingly registered Democrats.

They know who the hell butters their bread.

Officers tend to be republicans or become them because they SEE-

the inefficiency of bureaucracy in action.

Want something done by the government-and they give you an estimated end date?

Always multiply the allotted time by three-and you will still end up disappointed.

Bob said...

Just remember that this $860 Billion Stimulus package doesn't include any new automaker bailouts (GM is forecasting no cash in late March) or any other new spending plans. Add $100 Billion for UAW (I mean automakers) plus a bailout package for California, NJ, NY, and Michigan. Those are blue states all deep in budget red.

And it costs about 2x to station a soldier in Afghanistan than Iraq. 30,000 soldier shift. That will be a new supplemental of say $40 Billion.

Looking like Obama has a good chance to equal Bush's 8-year deficit sum in only 4-years.

madawaskan said...

David-

He is also doing something that is a tribute to his political manipulation skills--raising false hope and false fears at once.

Chilling.

At least we've got false on both sides of the equation-call it a constant.

Henry said...

"In the end, this near-depression is likely to be a transformative event for macroeconomics. We are going to have a mammoth fiscal stimulus package this year—and in all likelihood, more in the near future. And when we see what happens, we may finally settle some of the disputes that have bedeviled economics for 80 years."

Oh bullshit. Paul Krugman is already complaining that not enough stuff is being nationalized. If the stimulus package fails, he's already got a backlog of excuses.

Paul Zrimsek said...

How can someone complain that one-time tax cuts would just be thrown into bank accounts when one of the big problems is that banks don't have enough capital on hand?

Deposits aren't capital. Banks already have grossly outsized loan-loss reserves on hand; the problem is how to start them lending the stuff out again.

madawaskan said...

the problem is how to start them lending the stuff out again.

Well Obama isn't exactly inspiring confidence with the it's going to get a lot worse schtick.

joewxman said...

of course republicans wouldn't be in this position had they not fucked it up to begin with.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reality is that this "stimulus" bill does everything possible except to stimulate the economy. It is filled with a lot of money for every imaginable Democratic interest group (except that the abortion money was pulled out under pressure from Obama after Pelosi blew it so badly last weekend). The states get more of the money than any other entities, to use for medicaid, the teachers' unions, etc.

This is the biggest bait and switch or Orwellian double speak of our life times. The bait and switch is that it contains transfer payments camouflaged as tax cuts that may provide some stimulus effect, and so it is called a stimulus bill. And, there is a small amount of infrastructure spending in it, that some day, over the next decade, might benefit the economy. But most of the rest is the pent up spending that the Democrats could not pass over the last 14 years when they didn't have control over the two political branches of our government. Of the $600+ billion of non-"tax cuts" in the bill, probably not more than $30-$50 billion of it could even charitably be considered "stimulus".

Palladian said...

"...and then see that 20 million to re-sod The Mall was included in the "stimulus" until Republicans got the Dems to drop it-for now."

Well there's almost guaranteed to be no sort of anti-president or anti-war rally or protest in the next 4-8 years to disturb the sod laid on the Mall, so I guess they figured they should take advantage of the inactivity.

Of course there may be massively attended Obama Day rallies, so perhaps that's why they backed off.

Bob said...

They figured they could save the money on resodding the national mall because the grass is just going to be SO much better when all that CO2 is reduced.

Thank God they saved $20 Million in spending!

AJ Lynch said...

I am becoming convinced they should just get rid of FICA taxes altogether.

Replace it with a flat tax of about 20% across the board for everyone and scale that up to 35% for high income earners.

That means social security benefits will have to be funded by general income tax revenues and in effect, we eliminate the unfunded liability for social security.

Social security benefits would be paid equally to every recipient in the same age bracket.

I.e at 65 everyone gets let's say $1,200 and it goes up by $100 every 3-4 years until you croak.

ricpic said...

Why not just call it the Enslavement Package? Future generations forced into 60% taxation rates to pay off, or more accurately never pay off the debt increase. Future generations born to serve the state. You've finally done it, libs. You've finally realized your dream of killing liberty.

Palladian said...

"This is the biggest bait and switch or Orwellian double speak of our life times."

Isn't this exactly what the Bush haters accused him of doing for 8 years, taking advantage of an extraordinary situation, painting it as a huge crisis and then enacting every repressive measure the evil Rethuglicans ever wanted under the aegis of "protecting the homeland"? Of course you won't hear a word from those people now.

The sad thing about this current "crisis" and this hideous government spending spree is that there's nothing we can do to stop it. That's Change We Can Believe In™.

Henry said...

Furthermore, haven't we already seen this movie? In 2001 Bush's tax cuts nicely coincided with the Nasdaq crash and a minor recession.

Instantly, deficit spending was billed as stimulus.

The claim made here is that government spending is somehow more effective than tax cuts.

But back in Bush's first term we citizens did our job. We spent the money as fast as it came in, and leveraged every asset we had.

So count me skeptical that a really huge deficit spending plan is going to be a better stimilus than the last one.

Given the indebtedness of our society, top to bottom, I think the stimulus is a crock. The bounce of bunji cord doesn't cancel gravity.

Palladian said...

"Why not just call it the Enslavement Package? Future generations forced into 60% taxation rates to pay off, or more accurately never pay off the debt increase. Future generations born to serve the state. You've finally done it, libs. You've finally realized your dream of killing liberty."

But think of all the new roads and Ethnically Empowering community groups and unwatchable performance art and Third World contraception we're going to get out of it! Isn't liberty a good price to pay for all that Hope and Change, government style?!

Bruce Hayden said...

Here is some of the "stimulus" in the bill:

* Over $142 Billion in Federal education funds: Nearly double the total outlays for the Dept. of Education in 2007 – making good on Reid-Pelosi-Obama education promises to the NEA.
* $87 Billion Medicaid bailout: Medicaid is funded by a formula that matches state spending levels with federal dollars. If we keep bailing states out, they will have every incentive to continue irresponsible spending. Fiscally responsible taxpayers in Indiana are now paying for fiscally irresponsible bureaucrats in Illinois.
* Expanded Medicaid coverage and SCHIP: Reid-Pelosi-Obama are enacting a nationalized health care policy with no debate. The government will soon be responsible for more health care spending than the private sector, i.e. socialized medicine.
* Green Jobs?: The myth of ‘green jobs’ merely means replacing one job lost, with a new job that fits the left’s agenda. It is a zero sum game. More than doubling spending, the stimulus also has over $35 billion for the Dept. of Energy. DOE’s current budget is $23.8 billion.
* Redistribution: Refundable Tax Credits for people who don’t pay taxes.
* Pork Spending: Digital TV Coupons ($650 Million), Gov’t Cars ($600 Million), Nat’l Endowment for the Arts ($50 Million), Repairs to National Mall ($200 Million, including $21m for sod).

Here are some of the other elements in the "stimulus" package: $1 billion for Amtrak, $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts; $400 million for global warming research; $2.4 billion for clean coal; $650 million for even more digital TV conversion coupons; $600 million for new government cars; $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings; $150 million for the Smithsonian; and $54 billion for Economic Development Office and Small Business Administration programs that the OMB or GAO have already analyzed to be “ineffective.”

All of this deficit spending has a cost. And the Congressional Budget Office confirmed yesterday that the cost of servicing the mountains of new debt of all this government expansion pushes the total price tag of just the existing House spending plans (before a single cent of Senate waste is added) to over $1 trillion dollars. In a letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) CBO director Doug Elmendorf writes: “CBO estimates that the government’s interest costs would increase by $0.7 billion in fiscal year 2009 and by a total of $347 billion over the 2009- 2019 period.” In other words, the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Debt Plan already weighs in at $1.172 trillion.

ricpic said...

Thank God the Republicans voted unanimously against the obscenity. Obama and the Dems own it lock, stock and barrel. When the horror plays out it will be their horror, all theirs.

MayBee said...

The goal must be to keep Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Heaven forbid, after watching the equity in our homes disappear and our 401(k)s get cut in half, we'd get a little money to save.
It seems to me once people felt they had a cushion in their bank accounts, they'd feel better spending again.

Joe said...

When a well run company has falling earnings, the first thing it does is to eliminate inefficiencies. This is exactly what Starbucks just did in eliminating low-caf coffee in the afternoon (it was losing so much money, I wonder why they didn't cancel it before.)

The point is that the best stimulus package isn't tax cuts or jobs programs; it's for the federal government to trim back its size and, most importantly, scope. Eliminating Sarbanes-Oxley would have immediate impact right now on businesses. Greatly simplifying the tax code in general would have immediate impact right now on businesses.

In short, putting as many accountants and lawyers out of work as possible quickly would have more real positive impact on economic growth than the federal government throwing money around.

Bruce Hayden said...

The bill is certainly superior to a huge package of tax cuts, which might be politically popular but end up in people’s bank accounts rather than stimulating the economy.

Of course, that ignores what is actually in the bill.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

The point is that when people get a check for 500 bucks, they don’t treat it the same way as they do a permanent increase in salary.

For $800 billion they could cut the income tax by 2/3 or the payroll tax by 90%. I don't know about YOU, but to ME that's one hell of a lot more than $500. If they cut the income tax like that my savings would be in the five figures range. I'd spend the money, too; my entire deck needs to be replaced.

But even if I saved it, how would this be a bad thing? Americans save money by either investing it (awesome for the economy) or putting it in a bank. Guess what banks do with deposits? That's right: they aggregate them and invest them. Again, awesome for the economy. It helps you, it helps me, it helps the banks, it helps the economy. It just doesn't help Congress buy votes and pay off key constituencies.

madawaskan said...

The Democrat base, party swept into power on illogic , irrationality, pessimism and negativity and now they are stuck with it.

The Four Horsemen.

They pinned everything bad on one guy , one cause-

George W. Bush.

If they could only take that away-everything would be solved.

It was nothing more complex or detailed than that.

Now they have the opposite.

They turned that illogic, and irrationality and Obama rode it.

He-Obama-was the ONE answer to everything.

So they are building their foundation on those thin shoulders.

If one person was to blame than one person is their answer.

Some of us knew it was never that simple.

Bob said...

Palladian, Bush was all about stealing oil and paying money out to those evil corporations. Obama is all about community organizing, ensuring that the wealth is spread around, and helping the disadvantaged.

That those community groups have less transparency or are tied to Democratic operatives should worry you not. That wealth is being spread from the productive and job producing parts of the economy to the buearacracy is cool. Because its all about "hope and change" and good intentions. Please focus on those good intentions and not on those favored groups now winning the lottery.

Remember, Good intentions. All about those good intentions!

Revenant said...

The sad thing about this current "crisis" and this hideous government spending spree is that there's nothing we can do to stop it.

Sure there was something we could have done to stop it. We could have nominated Romney or Thompson or, hell, even Ron Paul. Maybe even Giuliani. Then we could have elected him. We could have nominated competent Democrats and Republicans for Congress and elected THEM.

We did none of these things. For the most part we nominated idiots, we voted for idiots, and now idiots are running every branch of government and destroying the foundations of our economy. What's there to say, besides maybe "oops"?

There isn't even much point in getting angry about it. What's the point in getting angry over things it is far too late to change?

madawaskan said...

Of course there may be massively attended Obama Day rallies, so perhaps that's why they backed off.

I dunno-they could astro-turf it.

Or would that be too much of a petroleum product?

garage mahal said...

If any of this money makes it to people building roads and bridges I'm going to be PISSED.

WTF Dhimmis. I ALREADY HAVE A JOB HELLO.

Quayle said...

of course republicans wouldn't be in this position had they not fucked it up to begin with.

Intellectual honesty is hard to come by among Democrats and liberals these days.

So we ask: what specific link in the chain of failure was the "Republican" link?

Was the wall street invention of a mortgage security called a CDO and the crafty engineering of CDO tranches a Republican thing?

Was the wall street continuous over-hyped value of these CDO tranches a Republican thing?

How about the portfolios that bought and held so many CDOs – portfolios like AIG or some hedge funds? All Republican, where they?

How about the bankers themselves that knew the CDOs were overvalued, but couldn't lay off them because the spread was so good, and they were only focused on their personal bonuses? Republicans?

How about the German banks that did the same thing - couldn’t lay off investment securities they knew were overpriced - to the tune of $300B lost? Were the Germans Republicans?

How about the British banks to the tune of $300B? Republicans?

How about the federal reserve chairman Greenspan that kept interest rates artificially low for so long – shooting gasoline at an already chugging economy? Greenspan a Republican?

How about Greenspan and Rubin and others turning a blind eye to banks taking their 40 to1 leveraged CDOs off their balance sheets by using the same technique that Enron did (i.e. SIVs) resulting in the banks effectively blowing way over their asset to debt limits, and the Fed does nothing to stop them? Is that a strictly Republican thing?

Clinton administration democrats shuffling through Fanny and Freddie to take their government sponsored millions in salaries and bonuses: where they secretly Republicans?

How about all the mortgage brokers that didn't care whether the numbers of the applications were right because they had an I-Bank in New York ready and waiting to buy the mortgage? All Republicans?

How about the liars on the mortgage loan applications that over stated their incomes and assets to get loans for houses they couldn’t really afford? All Republicans, were they?

You get the point - your "Democrat Good - Republican Bad" line is a bunch of horse shit (pardon my French) and everyone that is intellectually honest knows it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

What I'd like to inquire about is how Ann is viewing her Obama vote in light of this stimulus package. Does she think this is the right bill to get the economy growing again? Will the left side of the aisle spring to this bill's defense now that the details are coming to light? Is Rush wrong to wish this to fail?

XWL said...

"Let's talk about stimulating my package"

(wait, that doesn't quite sound right)

(doesn't sound wrong, either)

If they want to throw money away, why not just forgive all student loans up to $100K (and any of the folks who actually paid of their loans in a timely and responsible fashion, give them a $100,000 matching grant for the purchase of a home or a small business loan).

If we're going to saddle people under the age of 30 with a lifetime of paying higher taxes because of huge federal deficits, we should at least make sure they are the ones who are first in line to steal from all the other taxpayers.

Pastafarian said...

Let's talk about those nincompoops who said before the election:

"What makes you think Obama is a socialist? He's so bright, and articulate, and intellectually curious. He's a law prof -- he must be too smart to be a socialist. I'm sure he's a centrist just like me, even to the right of McCain."

Now he's getting ready to nationalize the banks and the auto industry; he's sending $4 billion to ACORN; he's spending billions on "green" (bullshit) research for hippie slacker geology majors that have been writing their theses for ten years; he's spending billions more on jobs that are specifically not meant to go to "experienced white construction workers"; he's giving "tax cuts" to people who pay no net taxes; and all of this will be paid for by you and your children for decades -- the only people left actually gainfully employed will be slaves to the state and will pay 70% of their income to the government.

Wow, good call, Professor Althouse.

Crimso said...

"$400 million for global warming research"

This is so obviously a waste that you'd figure the MSM would seize it as a token gesture of holding government accountable. Didn't these idiots in Congress get the message that the science is settled? That there is no more debate? What "research" remains? Why not $400 million for research on the boiling point of water at atmospheric pressure?

Oh, I get it. The money is probably for research into reversing global warming. Because that's so much more feasible than curing malaria.

Crimso said...

"Were the Germans Republicans?"

Perhaps of the Weimar variety.

Crimso said...

And we all know how that ended. Well, maybe not all of us. Just those who are literate.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is so obviously a waste that you'd figure the MSM would seize it as a token gesture of holding government accountable. Didn't these idiots in Congress get the message that the science is settled? That there is no more debate? What "research" remains? Why not $400 million for research on the boiling point of water at atmospheric pressure?

The issue is not really whether or not there is or is not Global Warming (though a lot of people right now are probably questioning it, as they freeze their asses off), but rather, why is almost half a billion dollars to study it in a "stimulus" bill that is so important that it must be passed before anyone has a chance to look at it closely. (That later was from Rep. Obey of WI, chair of the House Appropriations Committee).

Revenant said...

Wow, good call, Professor Althouse.

In her defense, McCain would have pretty much done the same damned thing. It isn't like either of the candidates believed there was such a thing as a problem that shouldn't be solved by massive government spending.

Bruce Hayden said...

In her defense, McCain would have pretty much done the same damned thing. It isn't like either of the candidates believed there was such a thing as a problem that shouldn't be solved by massive government spending.

Well, maybe, except that McCain has recently indicated that he would vote against it if it doesn't trade some of the pork for stimulus. That may be an indication that he would have been more likely to veto the bill, as it currently stands, than is Obama.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But even then -- if it is in a bank, doesn't that help the bank (DBQ help me out here)?

Yes. It is a function of the fractional reserve banking system that we have were the more demand deposits (checking and savings) and CD's bank has on hand the more money they will be able to lend out. Banks live (or used to) on the spread between interest paid and interest earned.

Often you will see banks offering higher than usual rates on Certificates of Deposit. They are trying to raise capital so they can raise their ratio of loans to deposits.

"For an individual bank, the deposit is considered a liability whereas the loan it gives out and the reserves are considered assets. The deposit will always be equal to the loan plus the reserve, since the loan and reserve are created from the deposit. This is the basis for a bank's balance sheet."

This is one of the reasons that we are having so many bank failures right now..>Mark to Market rules. When the current day to day/spot value of the assets (the loans) is devalued by the market because of the wild market fluctuations that we have had recently, even though the actual asset has a higher intrinsic value, the Bank has to put more into reserves, raise more capital or cease lending until the balance sheet balances.

So if the bank held a portfolio of CMO's, FMAC or FMAEs when the value dropped through the floor the lending institutions had to quit lending or get more money. They need to fix this draconian rule and the credit will be able to flow again.

A payroll tax holiday won't do diddly doo squat (technical economic term) for people like myself and my husband who are self employed. We don't pay until we file. Now if they were to reduce the employer and employee portion of the payroll tax, even temporarily, this would really be a boost to the economy. Small to medium size businesses would really boom or at least not lay off their existing people. This would be a wider geographic benefit than just pouring money into union jobs in Chicago.

Revenant said...

If any of this money makes it to people building roads and bridges I'm going to be PISSED.

Don't worry. Almost five percent of the money will be going to people who build roads and bridges -- a few years from now. You know how it is. They needed to spend the other 95% of the money to sugar-coat the infrastructure part.

One has to wonder, though -- what happened to the $250 billion "infrastructure" highway bill Congress passed a couple years back? :)

carly said...

Hooray! The Republicans ALL voted against this horrible bill that's appallingly full of the pork Obama promised to eliminate. WSJ estimates that only 12 cents on the dollar will go for anything even remotely "stimulating"; the rest is money for a bunch of Democrat pet "causes".

Even Putin thinks the bill's a turkey! And when the great mass of American people find out what's actually IN this bill, they'll be as furious as they were when the Bush admin passed the 1st "stimulus" bill. Where's the media? Why have they not read the bill and reported its specifics in condensed (ie. less than 600 pages) form so people can have the FACTS?

$335 MILLION for "STD prevention"??? Stimulating? Let the jokes--and the outrage--begin!

Now Obama/Pelosi OWN this bill which is, truth be told, just one step in their plan to bring the US to the tipping point after which Dems have a permanent majority because more than half of all Americans will not be paying taxes to--and will be dependent on the largess of the federal government.

Tax payers will exist solely to fund Democrat programs.

Too bad Obama, Pelosi, Reid et al didn't talk to Putin about what happens when the government interferes too much....

I wish I could opt out of the next few decades....

Crimso said...

"why is almost half a billion dollars to study it in a "stimulus" bill that is so important that it must be passed before anyone has a chance to look at it closely."

Because if we don't do something NOW the planet is doomed? Kind of like the economy. It's almost as though they're all reading from the same playbook.

Methadras said...

It's not a stimulus bill. It's a government spending bill. Can we get that straight once and for all. Also, it's nothing but pork. P-O-R-K. Oink Oink.

Crimso said...

"Where's the media? Why have they not read the bill and reported its specifics in condensed (ie. less than 600 pages) form so people can have the FACTS?"

They don't want to be called racists.

Bob said...

The sad thing is that it ultimately won't be the specifics of this package that are so bad. Its all the incentives we are legislating for irresponsible behavior that will crush us.

Paid your bills on time? Took out a mortgage you couldn't afford? Saved to send your kids to school? Hell, were responsible about sex. Answer yes and you now find out that you have been a dunce. A loser in the Stimulus package.

Politicians who promised cuts to budgets? Make do with less? No goodies to this special interest or that one? In 2008 elections you lost.

The winners today are the ones who borrowed irresponsibly. Lent irresponsibly. And govern irresponsibly. We are rewarding irresponsibility across our society. And you will get more of what we reward.

Bob said...

Now that I hyperbloviated I'll observe the silence from the Obama/Dem supporters to rally around their flag in steadfast defense of the merits of this bill is, um, deafening?

Ann Althouse said...

Bob said..."What I'd like to inquire about is how Ann is viewing her Obama vote in light of this stimulus package. Does she think this is the right bill to get the economy growing again? Will the left side of the aisle spring to this bill's defense now that the details are coming to light? Is Rush wrong to wish this to fail?"

I'm leaning toward Rush on this. It looks like a horrible wish-list spending bill. But if the question is what would McCain have done... I would have voted for Romney. I'm not taking responsibility for the lack of McCain. I never much liked Obama. I just prefered him to McCain.

Beau said...

If any of this money makes it to people building roads and bridges I'm going to be PISSED.

Why would it?

MayBee said...

McCain has always been anti-Pork. I see no reason to believe he would have supported or encouraged this kind of bill from Pelosi.

Obama announced in November that he wanted a big big stimulus bill on his desk to sign Day 1. Anybody could have predicted Pelosi would see that as an invitation to spend spend spend. If Obama didn't anticipate this, he is denser than I thought.

Duscany said...

What ever happened to the notion that the money would be spent on infrastructure? That at least pays back its investments (and often much more) over the years. I fail to see how paying more college graduates to go into community organizing helps the economy.If they are going to do that why don't they just hand out money and eliminate the middle man?

Bruce Hayden said...

What ever happened to the notion that the money would be spent on infrastructure? That at least pays back its investments (and often much more) over the years. I fail to see how paying more college graduates to go into community organizing helps the economy.If they are going to do that why don't they just hand out money and eliminate the middle man?

The reality is that infrastructure spending probably doesn't pay for itself, except in the very long term. It mostly doesn't work as much of a stimulus, since the money spent there could be better spent by those it is being taken away from. In other words, the Keynsian Fiscal Multiplier is almost always less than one.

Nevertheless, otherwise I agree with you 100%. At least an argument could be made that the infrastructure spending was stimulus spending. Most of the bill contains spending that can't remotely be considered stimulus spending. Handing out the money directly would at least have avoided all the bureaucrats, etc. involved in passing it out the way it is being distributed AND it might be spent creating jobs, instead of buying Democratic votes.

Revenant said...

Politicians who promised cuts to budgets? Make do with less? No goodies to this special interest or that one? In 2008 elections you lost.

Well no, actually, Obama won. He promised that stuff. Its just that he lied about it.

Henry Buck said...

"I never much liked Obama."

And so it begins.

Revenant said...

McCain has always been anti-Pork. I see no reason to believe he would have supported or encouraged this kind of bill from Pelosi.

McCain is anti-*earmark* because of its associations with corruption. That's not the same thing as being anti-pork. He's voted for plenty of farm bills, for example, and those are nothing BUT pork.

We wouldn't have gotten this exact bill, sure. But we'd have gotten one much like it.

Beau said...

The reality is that infrastructure spending probably doesn't pay for itself, except in the very long term.

If the work needs to be done anyway, at an estimated cost of 2.2 trillion, isn't it worthwhile to put people to work? People who will be paying taxes and spending money?

dick said...

So you preferred someone who wanted this kind of bill up front to someone who is known to be against this kind of bill. Somehow that does not pass the smell test.

Henry said...

As Maybee noted, give McCain some credit. He has a good record on opposing pork. He worked hard over the years to cut down on wasteful DoD spending. And unlike Bush he wasn't afraid to oppose his own party when they were pushing pork.

The idea that Romney would have arrived in Washington as some kind of champion of thrift is nonsense.
Romney is the type of brilliant operator who goes along with other brilliant operators. Put Romney in a room with some of the economic geniuses who are talking stimulus (Nobel Prize winners and what not) and you don't know who would walk out.

McCain's too stupid to give up his principles that way.

Revenant said...

If the work needs to be done anyway, at an estimated cost of 2.2 trillion, isn't it worthwhile to put people to work? People who will be paying taxes and spending money?

By that logic the government should spend $100 quadrillion dollars. Then we'd all be rich.

The money the government is spending is coming OUT of the economy. They either (a) tax it, which deprives its previous owners of the ability to spend it, (b) borrow it, in which case its previous owners are no longer able to spend it, or (c) print it, which is the same thing as taxing it since it reduces the value of all the money people currently have.

The only theory under which this activity actually encourages economic activity is if the money is taken from people who have been saving it rather than spending it or investing it. I'd like to know who these people supposedly are. The average American hasn't GOT much in the way of net savings.

Bruce Hayden said...

If the work needs to be done anyway, at an estimated cost of 2.2 trillion, isn't it worthwhile to put people to work? People who will be paying taxes and spending money?

I first think that you missed the point that most of the spending was NOT infrastructure spending, but rather spending on any number of Democratic initiatives aimed at buying votes, and having really no connection to stimulating the economy. So, start by cutting the $2.2 trillion dollars down by almost 90%.

And even when we are talking infrastructure, there are a lot of variations, as to effect, etc. So, while highway construction is not going to help get us out of the recession, because most of the spending will be too late to help this time (but may help in the next recession), at least it helps the economy in the long run by making it easier for businesses to get their goods to market, and, indeed, for us to get where we want to go.

But that logic doesn't apply to much of the "stimulus" infrastructure spending. Take for example, Amtrack. You might be able to argue that Amtrack spending is "Green", but it is much harder to argue that it helps the economy more than it hurts it. It helps subsidize passenger traffic mostly on the East Coast. The service has apparently never made a profit, and many of its routes are maintained for political reasons. And, since it mostly only provides passenger services, it cannot be said to help get goods to market, as road construction does.

Ditto of course for new grass on the Mall, the Park Service, etc. While nice, the only thing they accomplish fiscally is to put money in the pockets of those doing the work - after a hefty bureaucratic overhead is taken out first. But keep in mind that if the money had not been spent that way, it could have been spent buying wanted goods and services.

fcai said...

Media? Facts? Who needs facts when your leg has a 2 trillion dollar tingle running up it? Oh baby!

Bruce Hayden said...

The only theory under which this activity actually encourages economic activity is if the money is taken from people who have been saving it rather than spending it or investing it. I'd like to know who these people supposedly are. The average American hasn't GOT much in the way of net savings.

But even there, it doesn't help, unless the money would otherwise be sitting in someone's mattress, or be buried in their back yard.

The problem is that when people save money in banks, mutual funds, etc., that money is loaned out to others who have more need for it at that point in time, and are willing to pay (interest) for the privilege of spending someone else's money now, and then repaying them later. This is a big part of why we have banks and a banking system.

Note though that this assumes that the savers would be Americans. The reality is that the savers most likely providing the money for all this spending are foreigners, notably the Saudis and Chinese. It would be nice to be able to separate their lending to our government from their lending to the rest of our economy. But there is an old saying, that money is fungible, and that means here that ultimately money borrowed by our government from these foreigners will reduce the amount of money available to lend to businesses.

MadisonMan said...

madawaskan, I don't know why you're trying to pin government size on Democrats, when the past administration, a Republican one, saw greater Federal job growth than any in recent memory.

MayBee said...

McCain voted "no" on the 2005 Transportation Bill.
He spoke against the 2008 Farm Bill on the campaign trail, and suggested Bush veto it.

Beau said...

Bruce:

Thanks for the response. My comment wasn't so much on whether this bill contained infrastructure money but theory supporting 'make work' projects, particularly when the national infrastructure needs repair.

John Lynch said...

OK. Let us look at the stimulus package.

There are two places wealth and income can accrue. One is the people, the so-called private sector, aka the evil high-income and corporate taxpayers as well as the middle class and low income private citizens - or there is the public sector: federal agencies, state, local and city governments and their related bodies including government-funded agencies such as universities, public research agencies, regulatory groups, and partisan think-tank and GOTV groups such as ACORN.

It used to be thought that the private sector was the source of innovation, jobs, and vibrancy. The public sector was a necessary, but not entirely welcome backbone to our industry. Historically, the balance was about 80% private, 20% public. Now it is about 70-30; soon it will be about 60-40 based on the so-far proposed spending plans.

Now, in the name of economic incentives, one of the backbones: government and its various teats are getting a massive infusion - at the cost of vibrancy and oxygen for the private sector.

A thesis: every industry in which the government (heavily) intrudes, there is an industry where there is no oxygen for private enterprise and innovation suffers and dies. Examples include finance and banking, education, auto, airline, telecommunication, and energy.

While the private sector will recover, in spite of the lack of attention, oxygen, and increased tax and regulatory burden - it will be clear that this stimulus package had little to do with their recovery, and in fact inhibited it. Further, the stimulus in increasing government and their sucklers will eventually be clearly a mistake.

However, we must wait, as there is no inhibition on the current policy makers - in part due to our host's thoughts on "let's try something different."

AJ Lynch said...

Rumor has it Althouse The Philadelphia Inquirer asked the state of Pennsylvnia for a $10 Million bailout/ loan of some type. I predict they will get it.

Can the NYT be far behind?

madawaskan said...

Madisonman-

Well do you remember avant George Bush?

We could start with FDR.

Or are we not allowed to go there.

Democrats can blame Bush , but George Bush grew the government all by himself.

Ya, that's easier.

JAL said...

Wonder where Michael and AL have got themselves.

Ahhhh. They're off reading the stimulus bill.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

MadisonMan you are correct. This fact of GWB's big-government behaviour needs to be taken into account.

In 2001 GWB gave the country tax cuts that were spun as stimulus when the economy went shaky.

With that Bush offered lots of spending, plus the best of all stimulus packages -- a war in a far off country.

Why, I wonder, after such a profound stimulus in 2001-2003 does the country need an even more enormous stimulus package in 2009? (Including an old, but expanded war in a far off country.)

There is simply no evidence from 2001-2003 that stimulus has any effect on the underlying problem of massive overspending at all levels of the economy.

Stimulus is the bungi-jumping approach to growth. Sooner or later, we're just dead weight.

Michael H said...

This boondoggle will become a permanent part of government spending.

After the funds have been spent, the various agencies, bureaucracies, and constituencies will scream 'budget cut' whenever it is suggested that they return to their pre-boondoggle funding level.

And congressweasels, always on the lookout for easily purchased votes, will continue the spending.

john said...

244 to 188. The house repubs got their spine, 8 years and the loss of a fourth of their members too late. But it couldn't have come at a better time. Now it's a 100% pure democrat pork platter.

I would hope that the senate repubs would take heart in this. But I suspect that they will show the same lack of spine they exhibited in September by scuttling the previous attempt their house colleagues to defeat Paulson's crap sandwich.

Henry - love that bungee jumping analogy.

Revenant said...

Democrats can blame Bush , but George Bush grew the government all by himself. Ya, that's easier.

Look, just because Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are growing the government at an absolutely ludicrous rate doesn't change the fact that Bush AND the Republican-controlled Congress did the exact same thing.

This isn't either/or. The Bush administration was absolutely horrible on the issue of big government. There is no honest way to deny this simple fact. Yes, Obama is even worse. Yes, he'll likely get worse yet. But Bush grew the federal government like nobody had SINCE Roosevelt. When you can look at the entirety of American history and only see ONE pre-Bush President who was worse on spending than Bush himself, defending Bush by pointing to that one earlier President is pretty weak. Especially when that one guy (a) was living in a time when most of the world thought socialism was the way to go and (b) was dealing with both WW2 and the Great Depression.

Just concede the fact that Bush was horrible. Move on to the fact that Obama is worse.

Original George said...

I love the Drudge headline:

"Wen and Putin Slam U.S. System"

That's like

"Manson and Bundy Criticize Marriage"

john said...

I think I should have said

"100% Pure Democrat Leaf Lard"

Quayle said...

The idea that Romney would have arrived in Washington as some kind of champion of thrift is nonsense.

Romney understands the simple equation that nobody in Washington DC remembers, if indeed they ever knew it:

Money in minus money out:

Positive balance - good

Negative balance - bad

This is Pelosi's Viet Nam - She is advocating destroying the economy in order to save it.

hdhouse said...

well shit. let's just forget this and toss another trillon to the banks and AIG. enough tomfoolery. there's money to be made...offices to redecorate...planes to buy....

for every poor slob lookin' for 600$ there is a dick cheney who needs a wheelchair....

to the rich i say. always give to the rich!

joewxman said...

"You get the point - your "Democrat Good - Republican Bad" line is a bunch of horse shit (pardon my French) and everyone that is intellectually honest knows it."


Quayle i'm speaking as an extremely frustrated republican. What i meant was that when republicans had control of congress they essentially became democrats spending like drunken sailors. I was angry that they abandoned their principals to stay in power. And i am well aware that the responsibility for all of this falls in front of all doorsteps, democrat republican etc etc and has its roots going back to the Clinton administration and even before that.

Frankly i don't know where the solution lies but running the debt to oblivion and making generations to come slaves of the state is not the answer.

john said...

hdhouse - Why would the Repubs be so heartless to try to deny AIG, new planes, decorated offices, and Dick Cheney's new wheelchair?

Why are the Dems so compassionate that they would vote overwhelmingly for Dick's wheelchair? To make sure he gets to the war crimes tribunal? (We sure don't want to hear "Sorry I was late to the show trial, I broke a spoke.")

Revenant said...

well shit. let's just forget this and toss another trillon to the banks and AIG.

You do realize that Obama, Pelosi and Reid supported the bank bailout TOO, right?

Saying "we bailed out the banks so it isn't fair to complain about giving billions to ACORN" when the Democrats supported (and Congressional Republicans opposed) both bills makes no damned sense at all.

madawaskan said...

Revenant-

Well who do the public-employee unions donate to?

It isn't the Republicans.

It is a philosophy that Democrats have embraced and espoused for decades.

Their voters get it.

at NRO Rasmussen poll results-

Ideology-More Gov’t/higher taxes
Republicans- 7%
Democrats 42%

Ideology-Less Gov’t/lower taxes
Republicans-83%
Democrats-9%

Yes Bush created Homeland Security, pharmaceutical benefits for seniors, and built up DOD-

Burn him!

He had historical events the combination of which we haven't seen-9/11, and aging Baby Boom population, various bubble bursts, and corruption in private industry-he should have been on top of all of that.

It's not like we are a free society -

Michael said...

Not a single Republican voted yea.

No alternative except tax cuts. (And of course whatever Rush suggests...and yeah, I know...NOBODY here listens to Rush...BULLSHIT.)

The Republicans have done nada over the past 8 years.

And suddenly they're very, very concerned about our economy.

Assholes...and in the long run they'll pay dearly.

If Obama is wrong, he's toast.

If Obama is right...the Republicans are fucked for decades.

*Pass that on to Rush.

Fred4Pres said...

I am glad the GOP showed a spin, because my guess is we are not going to be pleased with those answers to those economic questions.

Michael said...

madawaskan said..."It is a philosophy that Democrats have embraced and espoused for decades."

EVERY statistic ever compiled says the economy does better under Democrats than Republicans.

And unless you've been in a fucking coma or a cave...the Republicans have had the majority in Congress for 12 of the past 14 years, along with the White House for the past 8.

Why do YOU think the Republicans were blasted in the last election?

Do you eve read newspapers or books???

Michael said...

The last 20 years - a comparison:

% GDP Growth Per Annum
Dem - 4.1% Rep - 2.9% "W" - 2.2%

Employment GROWTH
Dem - 2.9% Rep - 1.7% "W" - 0.5%

Consumer Price Index
Dem - 4.0% Rep - 5.1% "W" - 3.0%

The Dow
Dem - 8.1% Rep - 6.5% "W" - 0.9%

The Dollar
Dem - +0.8% Rep - -3.6% "W" - -5.9%

Michael said...

Because I know you'll ask:

Follow-up examinations were published for each of the five vital economic signs during the week to September 26th. These additional studies disaggregate the information to each of the nine presidencies since 1961 and can be visited by clicking the links below:

Stock Market Performances Under Different Presidencies

Consumer Price Inflation During The Last Nine Presidencies

U.S. Employment Growth During Different Presidencies

Dollar Performance During Different Presidencies

U.S. Real Economic Growth Under Different Presidencies

TitusPuttinOnTheRitz said...

I don't care for it and I voted for Obama.

Anthony said...

The talking news heads I've seen so far aren't even mentioning the Democrats that voted against the pork bill. It's all about Republicans being nasty awful non-bipartisans.

John Lynch said...

Michael,

Gutting defense, shifting government dollars from the military to transfer payments does have economic benefits. Is that what we want? or is real increase in economic production while maintaining defense what we want?

Dig a little deeper into the statisiics and their causes..

Revenant said...

Well who do the public-employee unions donate to?

A trivial percentage of the budget goes to public employee salaries and benefits, especially if you don't count the military. The problem is government spending. Spending zillions on drugs for old people is not substantially less bad than spending it on government bureaucrats. Either way the government gets bigger and the economy (and liberty in general) suffers.

Revenant said...

Not a single Republican voted yea.

There's hope for the party yet. :)

Patm said...

Too bad the GOP couldn't manage to vote like that when Bush was trying to overhaul Social Security and give us a sensible energy policy. That would have been good. We'd be in a different situation, today, had that been the case.

But whatever. This thing will pass the senate and that will be the end of America as we know it.

Bush was the last American president. Obama is the first something else.

And you know what, I think Benedict is the last pope.

It's all over. The GOP found their balls too late.

TitusPuttinOnTheRitz said...

I just pinched an evening loaf and the entire loft smells like loaf.

I needed to open my Juliet Balcony Door.

Loaves smell.

TitusPuttinOnTheRitz said...

My evening loaf was definitely a stimulating package.

I also enjoy stimulating packages.

TitusPuttinOnTheRitz said...

Let's talk about my stimulus package.

Patm said...

"Yes Bush created Homeland Security, pharmaceutical benefits for seniors, and built up DOD-

Burn him!

He had historical events the combination of which we haven't seen-9/11, and aging Baby Boom population, various bubble bursts, and corruption in private industry-he should have been on top of all of that.


I didn't think I would be reading so many people defending Bush, so soon. Have been to several sites, and there is a whole lot of people suddenly saying, "I can't believe it but I miss Bush"

Some of us told you that you would.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh give it up People, in the collective sense. All of the arguing and nimble nuanced rhetoric in the world isn't going to make up for that that we are

F U C K E D.

The Obamba dildo is about as stimulating as we are going to get and....about as stimulating as we deserve.

Head O State will stand upright and last all night. Yeah.... free enterprise. While it lasts anyway. :-D

TitusPuttinOnTheRitz said...

The end is near.

Go out and grab a tit.

Patm said...

If Obama is wrong, he's toast.

If Obama is right...the Republicans are fucked for decades.

*Pass that on to Rush.


Michael, you're so pathetic. Rush himself said EXACTLY that. And he's betting that Obama and the whole nation eats shit for this bill.

jeff said...

"Not a single Republican voted yea.
There's hope for the party yet. :)"

About freaking time.

"*Pass that on to Rush."

Me-Hey, Rush. Michael said (incoherent babble*)

Rush-wtf is a Michael.

Me- yeah. sorry.

Bob said...

Obama has placed his bet & the clock starts. In about 700 days the next Congressional election happens. If the Stimulus package doesn't provide some big positive to this economy then the Dems will seriously suffer. I gave Obama more credit for smarts - the analysis shows this bill isn't going to push much money in next two years. His problem is he's stuck with Pelosi and Reid and his friends look to be his undoing. The next two years its deflation. Then the second half of his term is inflation. He really will be Carter II.

MadisonMan said...

Revenant, I think it's premature to say that Obama is worse than Bush. I agree that the trend isn't favorable.

AllenS said...

I also think that it's premature to think that Obama is worse than Bush. Let's give him another week. There might be a pattern.

Revenant said...

Revenant, I think it's premature to say that Obama is worse than Bush.

Well, he's proposing a massive increase in both spending and borrowing that isn't due to work itself out completely until after his first term in office.

So I'd be curious to know when the alleged spending cuts are supposed to happen. Do we have to re-elect him in 2012 first? :)

Michael said...

"I didn't think I would be reading so many people defending Bush, so soon. Have been to several sites, and there is a whole lot of people suddenly saying, "I can't believe it but I miss Bush"

Some of us told you that you would."

Yes, we desperately MISS George.

Are you missing your meds?