September 6, 2010

Obama isn't rounding to the nearest billion dollars. He's not even rounding to the nearest 10 billion.

CNN: "Obama pushes $50 billion in infrastructure spending."

WaPo: "Obama to call for $100 billion business tax credit."

He's rounding to the nearest 50 billion dollars.

It's utterly terrifying. I keep seeing articles about how the Democrats are in a panic about the approaching elections. They should have panicked over their own proposals.

136 comments:

Jason said...

Infrastructure spending. Roads. Railways. Runways. Isn't that what the ORIGINAL stimulus was supposed to accomplish?

Palladian said...

Isn't it strange how the value of our money has become totally meaningless to everyone except those of us struggling to pay the bills?

Skyler said...

And perhaps some law professors should have panicked before voting for marxist ideologues. It's not like it was a secret.

Doug Wright said...

Yes, he's still working very hard to transform America to the image he, Ayers, Dohrn, Van Jones all aspired to achieve! Now if only those nasty Republicans would stop impeding his progress towards his nirvana, everything would be kosher.

Cheers.

J Scott said...

I see some people still cling to the idea that there is some sort of plan involved here.

gk1 said...

Can't wait to see our "deficit hawk" lefties show up to defend this latest fiscal train wreck.Yeah, yeah, I know Bush was worse. Now that we got that formality out of the way, how can you defend this?

lucid said...

What Obama and the Democrats seem incapable of understanding is that if you want to have widespread, high-quality health care and if you want the less affluent to have more money, and if you want to seize the private property and wealth of other people in order to "re-distribute" (i.e., take it from its owner and give it to your political supporters)--that if you ant to do any of these things that you first have to CREATE THE WEALTH THROUGH REAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY--NOT BY GOVERNMENT SPENDING.

Obama and and Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats forget the part about having to create wealth in order to spend it. They think--never having worked for a living--that you get money by just taking it from other people.

Montagne Montaigne said...

I don't get it-- you link to two different proposals. Are you saying it's the same proposal?

Let's just elect Republicans! Boehner has proposals that make a ton of sense. If we cut capital gains taxes, it will half the deficit! Yeah!!!

Obama went back in time to create the decade-long economic policies that caused the 2008 downturn, because he hates America. After two years of his failing failures, it's time to bring the Republicans back in! With no policy proposals that contain even the barest of logic, jobs will start to be created out of tax cuts for the wealthy. The deficit will disappear because deficits are caused by high capital gains taxes. Everyone knows that.

Dead Julius said...

First paragraph of the WaPo piece:

Under mounting pressure to intensify his focus on the economy ahead of the midterm elections, President Obama will call for a $100 billion business tax credit this week, using a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday to launch what administration officials said was a new policy push.

In other words: Obama is gonna use $100B of public money to try to make his political team look a little bit more shiny for the upcoming election. Nothing polishes up a moribund political party like fresh billion-dollar bills!

I never voted for a Republican in my life. Never. Not once! But this November I'm voting straight down the Republican line, and I'm encouraging every one I know to do the same thing. This is not because I support the Republicans; it's because I hate (and I MEAN HATE!) Obama and the Democrats and what they are doing.

I don't think the Democrats have even begun to comprehend the dissatisfaction that there out there.

Lem said...

Its like we are a banana republic and Obama is raiding the treasury just before the military junta shows up to picking up.

Montagne Montaigne said...

When Democrats propose tax cuts, it's spending.

When Republicans propose tax cuts, it's money back in your pocket.

that-xmas said...

In order to cure uncertainty, Obama is pushing for a whimsical change in rules for business deductions...

What the heck?

Lem said...

say.. pick him up.

Jason said...

If Obama's lost Dead Julius, he's lost the Roman Republic.

lucid said...

Obama has screwed the pooch because he is an economic ignoramus and a shallow socialist who has never had to earn his own money but has just taken it from other people. He thinks that's how you create wealth--that you take money from other people.

Obama doesn't have much regard for the concepts of private property or property rights. To him, those are just inconveniences to be gotten out of the way.

That is why economic activity is so stagnant right now--people are reluctant to undertake economic risk when property rights have been fundamentally challenged by the government in the persons of Obama, Pelosi, and Barney Frank.

Bender said...

Gimme some of that Obama Money!

Come on Barack baby, open up your stash!

lucid said...

@montaigne

Obama doesn't believe in what he is doing with tax cuts. This is just a death bed conversion to what the Republicans proposed to do 18 months ago. He is only doing it now because he is scared shitless of the the voters in November. And he should be.

AJ Lynch said...

It might help if they passed a law that required every spending proposal be stated in "cost per citizen per year". Hell, you'd think CNN or the WAPO would start calculating it for us.

It's about time you got terrified Althouse.

Lem said...

Rush pointed out today that Obama is aiming to take away the mortgage interest deduction.. while bailing out people who took on mortgages they could never pay.

Oooh its change alright.

wv : delead

AJ Lynch said...

Lem:
Re spreading the wealth before the junta arrives. You may have a good point there.

Bruce Hayden said...

Infrastructure spending. Roads. Railways. Runways. Isn't that what the ORIGINAL stimulus was supposed to accomplish?

Well, kinda, maybe officially. But the original "stimulus" bill was really designed to maximize payoff of political constituents, notably government unions, and esp. those whose benefits were now unafordable. As his minions pointed it, they weren't about to let a crisis go to waste, and so used it as an excuse to spread the wealth around (to their friends).

There are a number of very basic problems with even considering this sort of spending as stimulus. First, as we have discussed repeatedly before, Keynesian economics doesn't work. It never has, and never will.

But esp. in this case, the added problem is that the spending is long term. Pretty much none of it would be spent this year, little in 2011, and then starting up in maybe 2012, which, of course, when Obama will be running for another term, but well after at least the House has gone Republican.

The basic problem with infrastructure spending, and esp. today with Davis-Bacon, federal procurement regulations, etc., is that it takes a long time to happen, and when it does, it will usually be counter-cyclical - hitting when we are well on the way out of a recession, when competition for resources is the most critical.

Joe said...

Obama read The Onion and thought the money hole was a good idea.

AJ Lynch said...

Bruce:
I'd support more spending on roads and bridges if they cut the same amount out of the fed bureaucracy [suggest they start with the Dept of Education or Energy].

At least, we'd see some tangible long term things from infrastructure and it would help construction which has been devastated. And we'd get rid of a bunch of paper pushers in the two depts I mentioned.

lucid said...

@Dead Julius--

I am in rexactly the same situation as you (I even doinated money to Clinton and Obama) and I am voting exactly the same way you are this year--straight Republican, for the first time ever.

I want Obama's and the Democrats' assault on free markets and private property and individual liberty brought to a crashing halt righ now. I want to see them repudiated. And I am angry as hell.

Bruce Hayden said...

When Democrats propose tax cuts, it's spending.

When Republicans propose tax cuts, it's money back in your pocket
.

To the extent that this is true, it is because of how the two structure their tax cuts. The Democrats tend to use targeted tax cuts, like Cash for Clunkers or the First Time Home Buyer's credit or all the Green Energy credits they have enacted, and the results invariably do not help the economy long run. Why not? In the first two cases, all they did was move future consumption sooner, and when the tax credits expired, the relevant markets crashed. Typically, in these cases, there are essentially no extra sales in the long run, just more now and fewer when the credits run out.

In the case of Green Energy credits, etc., they are subsidizing grossly uneconomical behavior.

Republicans tend to go for across the board tax cuts that actually stimulate the economy, instead of just move resources around, uneconomically. (Not always of course - Republicans have enacted any number of narrowly tailored tax cuts and credits, but that isn't their reflex thought when cutting taxes to stimulate the economy).

Bruce Hayden said...

I'd support more spending on roads and bridges if they cut the same amount out of the fed bureaucracy [suggest they start with the Dept of Education or Energy].

My vote today, having had to go through one of those new scanners, would be the TSA. I am just amazed that they can tell us with a straight face that forcing me to remove business cards from my pockets when being scanned somehow increases our safety in the air. Rather, the bureaucracy has become, in just a couple of years, self-perpetuating by inventing problems that are highly unlikely to ever affect air safety (and they obviously never do cost/benefit tradeoffs comparing the thousands of years that they make Americans spend conforming to their silly rules against the very small likelihood that a couple of us might die).

Montagne Montaigne said...

Obama's and the Democrats' assault on free markets and private property and individual liberty

Saying so does not make it true. Any citations? And what is the Republican agenda? NOTHING. But have fun voting Republican "for the first time ever."

traditionalguy said...

The clock is ticking and the Democrat Congressional Thieves are racing around hoping for their last crack at 100 billion of dollars of carefully directed spending before the tea party arrives with new majorities and new leaders in January. A tax cut is simply Americans keeping the money in their own pockets. An infra structure spending stimulus plan is another deception that will allow Democrats and unions to pocket loot from the borrowed money like the last two years of earmarks and kickbacks. It is that simple. Therefore expect the Infrastructure Bill to pass but not the tax cuts.

Bruce Hayden said...

Another added problem with infrastructure spending is that the type being discussed is typically highly directed, meaning that most of it will end up as pork, being ladled out to the members of Congress as they wish it. If it was actually distributed on the basis of actual need across the country, or even divided up among the states on the basis of some rational formula, and then within the states on the basis of actual need, I might be able to accept it.

But we have no reason to believe that that would happen. This sort of pork is why Harry Reid got his bridge over the Colorado (and may even get his train to LA), and half the bridges in West Virginia are named after Bob Byrd.

Oh, and keep in mind that whenever you talk road and bridge repairs, a bunch of money has to be redirected into "Green" energy, alternate transportation, and other grossly uneconomic schemes to payoff the greens on the left for not opposing the spending on roads.

Fen said...

"Mr President, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui wants you to stop by his office before you head out to golf this morning." - State

traditionalguy said...

Monty...The party of no is exactly what is needed today. No to bankrupting the USA. No to fascist government industry replacing competition. No to destruction of a great health care to encourage early deaths. No to eliminating half of our military to let China rule the world. That is a good start.

Bruce Hayden said...

Saying so does not make it true. Any citations? And what is the Republican agenda? NOTHING. But have fun voting Republican "for the first time ever."

Of course the Republicans have an agenda, and it is fairly well published - and that is to roll back as much of Obamaomics and ObamaCare as they can, as quickly as they can.

Don't need anything else that than. The reality is that Obama and the Democrats have done pretty much everything wrong, when it came to the economy and helping us recover from the recession. And, so, what is wrong with a plan to reverse as many of the grossly misguided policies and initiatives as possible?

I think maybe cleaning up Congress and holding the Administration accountable for obeying and enforcing the laws of the country would also be nice.

Fen said...

Libtard: And what is the Republican agenda? NOTHING. But have fun voting Republican "for the first time ever."

Yes, thats it: "Look over there! Its Emmanuel Goldstein!"

The sad thing is, Libtards wouldn't use this tactic if it didn't already work on them. They are that stupid.

Roux said...

It's utterly terrifying.

That he's the POTUS.

Jane said...

I made a new bumper sticker at zazzle tonight:

November 4, 2012
Doggone

AJ Lynch said...

Bruce:

I think you are gonna set off the nightshift nitwit, Montagne. I predict his sputtering and big-wording will commence any minute now.

AJ Lynch said...

Jane:
That is really good!

NoName said...

I keep thinking about all the things Dems, and the MSM were saying about President Bush (stupid, evil, Karl Rove, etc.) and I would do some research and find out that usually they were wrong (or lying).

Now, I hear all of this about President Obama, and my first thought is always,'no he did not say/do that', but it is usually true...and (some) people actually approve !

I just don't understand...

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I'm reminded of an old joke about the difference between the two parties:

A family is stranded on the side of the road when their car gets a flat tire.

The Republican Party passes them in a rush to get to the country club, figuring the family will be able to help themselves.

The Democrats pull over and promise to fix the flat tire, but leave when they set the family's car on fire.

That's an old joke; the Dems are more likely than the Reps to be on their way to the country club... or Spain.

Dead Julius said...

MM wrote...

And what is the Republican agenda? NOTHING.

I don't think the Republicans have a good agenda. But I'm gonna vote for them anyway. Why? Because I trust that they'll not spend money left and right while they try to figure things out, and that they won't just direct money to their patronage clients so that they can remain in power. After all, that's what Team Democrat has done; it is also what will lead to their defeat.

America will still be here in the coming decades. But we've been so pummeled with fear-inducing messages from both parties demanding that we elect whomever will rush to action. Hence Obama advertised immediate big-time "change" but, eh, he didn't really make a plan nor execute a plan after he won, did he? If you want to flounder in office because you don't know what to do, then fine. Just don't create a $1T annual deficit while you flop around on the pier. And don't use government funds to pay off your supporters in an attempt to buy yourself more time.

Republicans got no plan? No ideas? No promises? No experience? No pedigree? Fine with me! I'll vote for all of that nothingness rather than stick with our current corrupt money-wasting clusterfucked leadership.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeff:

Good anecdote but you left out the part where the Dems have the nerve to ask the family for a 2nd chance by trying to build them a new car. Heh.

HDHouse said...

leaping lizzards!

pretty soon he, like Bush-Paulson will just round to the nearest $700 billion ....!!

Well so far Obama hasn't just shipped the money off to his friends...whew.

PM/AM pre-Meade/after-Meade...

jr565 said...

Jason wrote:
If Obama's lost Dead Julius, he's lost the Roman Republic.


Et tu Julius?

Jim said...

AJ -

You left the most important part out of your addition to the analogy:

The Democrats would first insist that the family PAY THEM to build the second car. But the kicker is that the family doesn't get to keep the second car: the second car will be given to someone else while the first family gets to keep making the payments.

Jim said...

hd -

In case you hadn't noticed:

1) Bush/Paulson only signed off on the first $350 billion of that $700 billion. Obama himself signed off on the 2nd $350 billion.

2) In case you hadn't noticed: the Democrats pretty much shattered that record when they passed the $800 billion Porkulus.

So far we have $1.15 trillion by the Democrats to $0.35 trillion by Republicans. And let's add the cool $1 trillion of ObamaCare to that for a grand total of $2.15 trillion in 18 months...not too shabby, huh?

You REALLY want to keep making that comparison?

PatCA said...

Tomorrow's headline: "Obama calls for a million bucks in every pot!"

Bruce Hayden said...

Well so far Obama hasn't just shipped the money off to his friends...whew.

Not all of it, but hundreds of billions of it.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Akiva said...

A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later you're talking about real money.

Can someone loan me a hundred bucks to pay the electric bill?

Lem said...

The true cost of the bank bailout

Thought the financial crisis only cost taxpayers $700 billion?
Think again. New reports have shown that, at one point last year, the government had lent, spent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion to Wall Street.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Relax, Ann.

Obama is not really spending $50 billion dollars.

He's proposing to spend $50 billion over 6 years ... money that would have been spent any way. He's merely "repackaged" that upcoming spending so that he can claim to be doing something about the economy.

The media is only too happy to help him by not pointing out these things ... but if you read down to the 30th paragraph of the news reports you'll see what's really going on.

In fact ... the federal government has done almost nothing about the economy except to extend unemployment insurance payouts. And employers have responded to the increased premiums this action caused by curtailing hiring.

Much of the $850 billion TARP money hasn't even been spent. I encourage you to do a little research before you panic.

That TARP which was spent was used to recapitalize banks to prevent them from failing. Almost none of that money ever made it into the rest of the economy. It's being horded by banks - at the command of federal banking regulators.

Barack Obama isn't worried about rounding to the nearest $50 billion ... because he knows it's all a bunch of bullshit. It's a fake.

So don't get your panties wound too tightly. Barack Obama is too incompetent to actually do anything.

HDHouse said...

Jim said...
"You REALLY want to keep making that comparison?"

yeah Jimmy I do. And by the way the 2009 budget was Bush's budget or do you "don't like that fact" either? This year is the first Obama budget. yes there is a huge deficit... however, NEWSFLASH to the idiots on the right wing....the percentage of interest on the federal debt paid is lower than any year in the last 20 at the very least. why? the government pays no interest yield on bonds...or virtually zero...just a percent of two. This is the time you borrow and spend and Obama has figured that out and you jerks on the right haven't. .... but that is why you got us in the mess you have.

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Great stuff!

Robert Cook said...

Why is spending billions of dollars on necessary upgrades to our nation's physical infrastructure--which, incidentally, might put a few people to work--so frightening or exorbitant when few seem perturbed in the least by the one trillion dollars (and counting) that have been thrown away on our criminal campaigns of mass murder and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq?

our annual "black budget"--the monies provided to our intelligence and Dept. of War programs, but kept secret for our so-called "national security"--has been estimated to be in the tens of billions...but where is it going? Even members of Congress may not know how much is spent from this black budget, or how.

For quite a bit less money we stand to see some necessary repairs and improvements to the environment we live, work and travel in, as opposed to the vastly greater sums we have squandered to do nothing productive at all, but merely to slaughter humans.

Pogo said...

"It's utterly terrifying."

'Twas my reaction on 11/5/08. Quite seriously.
After a prolonged funk, smaller panics set in after each proposal made and law enacted, marking my worst fears come true.

My two kids, now out of college, make just over minimum wage, and they are lucky to have that. I am paying for 3 households, having just shelled out around $150K for education. I can keep this up for awhile, but if nothing changes, well, the general economic collapse will swallow me as well.

This election is, I believe the last chance, and it is a slim one. I have talked to my youngest son to expect violence if it gets much worse than this. There's a reason there are a lot of vigilante movies of late. It's 1975 again, and the descent into anarchy is nigh.

This worried father is now sad for his children. I have hope still, but the lighthouse is so very far off.

Robert Cook said...

Dead Julius said,

"I don't think the Republicans have a good agenda. But I'm gonna vote for them anyway. Why? Because I trust that they'll not spend money left and right while they try to figure things out, and that they won't just direct money to their patronage clients so that they can remain in power."

Where do you think much--or possibly most--of the money squandered on your campaigns of mass murder in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone? To Republican patronage clients like Blackwater and Halliburton, and to other highly connected war profiteers. The Republicans are hustlers, they bamboozle their base with talk of "shrinking govermnent" and "spending responsibly," but they have never lived according to their rhetoric. They spend like drunks on a binge, or like mobsters in Vegas, (a much more apt analogy).

Fen said...

Robert Cook: our criminal campaigns of mass murder and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq

*snicker*

What a tool you are, "Robert Cook".

Scott M said...

Who the hell is reading blogs at 10pm on a holiday evening? I mean, seriously. Don't you people have a life?

Stop reading around 8pm on a holiday evening like normal people.

tree hugging sister said...

I know the PoS in the Offal Office is "shovel ready", but any other immediate projects worth that sort of kaCHING escape me at the moment.

Nah. Save the cash.

AlphaLiberal said...

What are you talking about, Althouse? Wait, why am I asking you? You don't know!

They are two different proposals. Maybe one is $99.5 million and the other is $49.6. The articles don't say and you don't know (jack).

Really, why don't you just skip trying to make sense, as you fail, and say something like:

"I hate Obama. Democrats suck. Nyah nyah."

Republicans ran the economy into the ditch. In Bush's last year we lost jobs at over 500,000 per year.

Obama turned that around and brought the economy back from the brink. But not enough was done due to Republican obstructionism.

AlphaLiberal said...

It sounds to me like Althouse is becoming one of those conservatives who gets all their news from the Fox News propaganda channel.

Warning: Watching Fox NEws makes you dumb. The evidence is abundant.

AlphaLiberal said...

As far as all the economic "geniuses" here who want to cut government spending, that is sheer idiocy.

Our economy is suffering from a lack of demand. Private sector demand is down. If we also cut government demand then it will worsen the economy.

Besides, bridges and roads are crumbling around the country. Who do you think rebuilds those? The road and bridge gnomes? No, we need to invest.

Transportation infrastructure drives economic growth, as well. As Dwight Eisenhower, the father of the interstate highway system.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Our infrastructure is old and some of it is crumbling.

People need jobs.

Republicans cannot comprehend this.

(Please do not comment about the deficit unless you can name the last GOP president who balanced a budget.)

Boehner was right about one thing, Summers and Geithner should be fired.

Crimso said...

"And by the way the 2009 budget was Bush's budget or do you "don't like that fact" either? This year is the first Obama budget."

Presidents make the budgets? When did that Constitutional amendment pass? And when did the legislatures of 43 (see what I did there?) States and/or Commonwealths ratify it?

AlphaLiberal said...

D'oh! Need more coffee. My bad.

This statement:
"In Bush's last year we lost jobs at over 500,000 per year. "

Should read:
"In Bush's last year we lost jobs at over 500,000 per month."

Adding... and Republicans want to reinstate those same failed policies.

Adding:

Over the 8 years of Bush-Cheney, we had no net job growth, but Republicans billions in big business tax breaks would create jobs. Liars.

Big business cuts jobs. Wake up and smell the coffee.

billm99uk said...

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic...

In Britain we’re looking at 25%(!) cuts in Government Departments spending in the next budget and the Chancellor has said he wants £4 in cuts for each £1 in increased taxes and to permanently shrink the size of the state.

In Germany Angela Merkel is on an austerity drive involving 80bn Euros of cuts."Germany has an outstanding chance to set a good example," said Mrs Merkel.

In France president Sarcozy has increased the pension age by two yearsand is looking for 100bn Euros of cuts in the public sector over the next three years, despite massive strikes by workers.

Different or what?

Scott M said...

@billm99uk

...apparently all those Euros are taking their marching orders from the RNC. They must be nuts because Alpha said what they're planning on doing is wrong.

Speaking of which, Alpha, even assuming everything you say is 100% correct, politics is, for the minimally observant, the reality of perception. Being 100% correct in everything you say in this thread isn't going to change the fact that the Democrats are looking at an ass-whuppin in less than two months. Given that fact, I'd suggest you become a Prepper or, at least, find the liberal equivalent of guns and religion to cling to.

I wonder what that would be...

(by the way, you're not correct in 100% of what you say)

Pogo said...

"... and to permanently shrink the size of the state."

That is the answer for the US as well. Instead, Obama aims to increase it exponentially.

Suicide, and not accidental, IMO.

Robert Cook said...

Skyler hallucinates:

"And perhaps some law professors should have panicked before voting for marxist ideologues. It's not like it was a secret."

It's not like your nonsense has any connection to reality.

AlphaLiberal said...

Isn't that idiotic? Obama is a Marxist?

That's so appallingly wrong and dumb it's impossible to reason with it. And, really, we shouldn't try because it's all part of the right wing play to get more and more extreme.

MadisonMan said...

Althouse, you're quoting a Republican who says Democrats are in a panic. What do you expect him to say?

Of course, Obama has said nothing about how he will pay for this. But why should he? It'll never get through Congress.

As with Bush and the Republican Party, I'll say that Obama and Democratic Party had no thought to maintaining power for a while when they took office. It was all We have power now and we'll use it, to hell with the future. I would like a Political Party that has a long-term plan.

AlphaLiberal said...

So, Pogo, will you also shrink the size of the corporations? Or do you prefer that we move to a "plutonomy," like your Wall Street masters?

Pogo said...

"Obama is a Marxist?
That's so appallingly wrong and dumb it's impossible to reason with it.
"

Okay, he's a socialist.
Is that better somehow?
Tomayto, tomahto.

AlphaLiberal said...

MadisonMan:

Althouse, you're quoting a Republican who says Democrats are in a panic. What do you expect him to say?

Well, she must know that, right? She may play dumb but she can't be that stupid.

OTOH, she keeps saying the Citizens United decision won't lead to corporate campaign spending helping Republicans because they won't give directly to Republicans, just use it in Independent Expenditure campaigns -- against Democrats. Idiotic.

These days I'm leaning more toward actually dumb and less toward playing dumb.

Pogo said...

"...will you also shrink the size of the corporations?"
The Democrats have picked the Wall Street winners, and went to bed with them from the beginning of Obama's bailout.

He decided to tell small businesses to go screw.
He took over GM and health care.
Fuck private property.
Why do the Democrats hate small businesses and the middle class so much, Alpha?

AlphaLiberal said...

No, Pog, he's not a socialist, either. Not even a Social Democrat.

Senator Bernie Sanders is a socialist of the social democrat variety.

Obama is a moderate Democrat. Hell, he opposed the public option.

You're just calling him names, with no idea what the names mean.

AlphaLiberal said...

I'm still surprised that Ann Althouse thinks a program of business tax cuts is the same as an infrastructure program.

The infrastructure program would pay governments, state and local. Although private businesses would be the ultimate beneficiaries.

And, Ann, state and local governments don't pay taxes. So, you see, these are two separate programs.

Why not just with pictures. Maybe one of you in front of a photo of Obama, stick your fingers in your ears and saying "nyah, nyah, nyah, with your tongue out."

That would be appropriate for your intellectual content of your attacks.

AlphaLiberal said...

"In Germany Angela Merkel is on an austerity drive"

It's beyond me why anyone thinks austerity will help the economy. Kind of like using leeches in medicine.

Sure, it'll help big business cut wages and benefits, as they've done for decades. But even business needs customers buying things.

Pogo said...

"Obama is a moderate Democrat. Hell, he opposed the public option. "

Socialists have 31 flavors and then some.
It all tastes like statist crap, however.

Jim said...

hdhouser -

"yeah Jimmy I do. And by the way the 2009 budget was Bush's budget or do you "don't like that fact" either? "

You know what FACT about the 2009 budget I like?

The FACT that Obama voted for it as a senator. So he doesn't get to claim he "inherited" THAT either?

Awww...does this mean you have to get all NEW talking points now?

Why yes....yes it does....

Jim said...

Alpha -

"These days I'm leaning more toward actually dumb and less toward playing dumb."

A better description of your posts couldn't have been written...

Hagar said...

and what all you university types miss is the sheer amount of time it takes to get a construction project ready to bid.

25-30 years ago, the head of the "sanitary" section in the firm I worked for calculated that it would take a minimum of 9 years to get a sewage plant for a Smalltown, USA on line, and that was if there was no opposition and funding immediately available, which is seldom if ever the case.

And sewage plants are good things, right?

For the Democrats to hype spending for infrastructure improvements as emergency spending for economic stimulus in a recession, is just ridiculous. Any money appropriated might help for the next recession, but not his one.

Hagar said...

Freudian slip?

That should of course be "this one," though "his one" fits too.

billm99uk said...

Okay, he's a socialist.
Is that better somehow?


More like a European-style Social Democrat, I'd say. A true Socialist would still want to nationalize stuff (and I mean "proper" industries, not health). Though in Europe even the Socialist parties have been heading away from that in the past couple of decades. He's probably to the left of Blair or Sarcozy, for example.

Hagar said...

"Socialists" are serious people however wrongheaded they may be. These people are not serious.

TosaGuy said...

50 billion for transportation = 1 billion per state. That is enough money to refill the WI transportation fund raided by Jim Doyle for things other than transportation.

Pogo said...

"More like a European-style Social Democrat, I'd say. "

Agree; they're all statists to me.

Here in the US, we used to think of health care as a proper business, rather than a utility to be plundered and run with all the efficiency and modernity of Amtrak or the post office.

Original Mike said...

Gotta say it, and I imagine I'm not the first one in this thread.

You voted for this. I just hope we survive it.

MadisonMan said...

You must come here after election day and thank Althouse for the Republican landslide. After all, that was one reason why she voted for Obama: to force the Republicans to re-jigger the brand.

AllenS said...

They've been trying for years to put a new bridge over the St. Croix river south of Stillwater, MN, and it ain't the Republicans holding up the project.

Pogo said...

" it ain't the Republicans holding up the project."

Sure it is.
Didn't you know they murdered Wellstone?
Plus, they eat pagan babies.


Oh, uh, no; that's the Catholics.

Original Mike said...

Too late, MM. We're already saddled with a very scary health care regime.

Roux said...

Marxist? Socialist? No more like a facist.....

Well, if he could pull off the whole dictator thing.

Robert Cook said...

"Too late, MM. We're already saddled with a very scary health care regime."

Yep...and it's owned and operated by the private health care industry, who are unaccountable to the people, and who will continue to bankrupt more and more citizens whose medical bills they won't pay and whose policies they will cancel. Many more citizens will face worse than bankruptcy, they'll face permanently impaired health or death, for lack of affordable medical coverage.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Of course the Republicans have an agenda, and it is fairly well published - and that is to roll back as much of Obamaomics and ObamaCare as they can, as quickly as they can.

Better yet would be an agenda to roll back many of the misguided and downright idiotic policies of the last 15 (at least) years.

Eliminate many of the ridiculous and onerous rules and regulations that have no purpose other than to strangle the economy, hamper businesses and take away our personl choices.

Get the effing government out of our lives!

Run on that platform and you are a dead bang winner.

Pogo said...

" Many more citizens will face worse than bankruptcy, etc., etc."

Heckuva job, socialist Democrats!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

personal....

sheesh...need. more. coffee.

seattleWa said...

I predict that Barack will enter the English lexicon like Quisiling, and Benedict Arnold. My guess is that it will represent repeated incompetence, or failure to acquire a skill set.

Oh, yeah....I heard his weekend address, and I think he coined his legacy:

The Dog President

w/v: brockedup....nah, just kidding

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

to force the Republicans to re-jigger the brand.

Good luck with that. I remember how hard we worked to get them control of congress. They were good for about a year, then they pissed it away. Couldn't keep their hand out of the cash drawer, couldn't keep their pants zipped up.

And the longer they stayed in the Beltway, the less conservative they became. Principles were abandoned to get a better table at Martha's Vineyard. They came to believe they could get away with anything as long as they were The Lesser of Two Evils.

I saw House Republican Leader John Boehner on FOX the other day. He looked very tanned and rested. His hair had that soft silky sheen of someone who's been pampered at a spa all week. My first thought was "looks like he's been eating well".

And I dont see a Newt Gingrich in our leadership. I think if one stuck his head up, the MSM would alinsky him the way they do Palin. So conservative leadership is now diffused and adaptive.

I think this is why the Tea Party is taking off. I know that corruption in government is not a bug. But there is a threshold that, once passed, this Republic will never recover from.

Congress is a big part of the problem. It doesn't need reform, it needs remodeling: throw out all congress-critters AND staff, ban them from government for 3 years, tear everything down to the foun

MadisonMan said...

As in: throw out all congress-critters AND staff

I think a useful law would be to limit Congressional Office Staff to no more than 3.

sonicfrog said...

The thing that kills me, is that for all the bluster of Democrats fighting against tax cuts because they supposedly don't work to spur economic growth, every time the President and congress offers up one of the many tax break packages during this recession, they are admitting that they do.

Calypso Facto said...

@ sonic: AND the proposal will apparently contain more than $50 Billion in new taxes, so as to be "deficit neutral". In other words, the Keynesian philosophy drum Dems beat mercilessly was just for show...

As many have pointed out, the president is apparently counting on the short memories of the citizenry in other ways, too:

"That's why we'll invest in priorities like ... a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century."
Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
American Recovery and Reinvestment
Thursday, January 8, 2009

And just like with health care, I will never understand politicians' cries of, "we've failed so miserably...we should make the program BIGGER!"

billm99uk said...

Here in the US, we used to think of health care as a proper business, rather than a utility to be plundered

Yes, I was using "proper" in the European and not the US sense there ;)

GMay said...

How come I can never line up my Althouse reading time when BetaLib, Bobbi Cook, and J-Boy are in the middle of rolling their faces across the keyboard?

Robert Cook said...

POGO offered this complete non-sequitur in re the depredations of the "free market" profiteers:

Heckuva job, socialist Democrats!

Pogo said...

"the depredations of the "free market" profiteers"

Ha ha ha.
"Free" market?

State-corporate collusion is not a free market. it's the fascist version of socialism, one step before outright nationalization, which is your wet dream, but a failure wherever it's been tried, every single time.

Robert Cook said...

Pogo,
You obviously do not read for nuance, or you would have noticed my snarky quote marks around "free market."

We do not have, have never had, and never will have a "free market." We live in managed economy, as every economy in the world is and must be. The question is: who most benefits from the present management of the economy?

At present, and for quite some time, that would be: the rapacious corporate oligarchs.

Bruce Hayden said...

Our economy is suffering from a lack of demand. Private sector demand is down. If we also cut government demand then it will worsen the economy.

Besides, bridges and roads are crumbling around the country. Who do you think rebuilds those? The road and bridge gnomes? No, we need to invest.

Transportation infrastructure drives economic growth, as well. As Dwight Eisenhower, the father of the interstate highway system
.

A surprising amount of liberal trope in a very short comment.

First, the problem has never been lack of demand. That is the classic justification for Keynesian stimulus. It wasn't the problem throughout the 1930s, and surely isn't the problem today. Indeed, this concentration on demand was one of the big reasons that the recession of 1929 turned into the Great Depression that lasted until WWII.

Secondly, the proposed infrastructure spending would do nothing about demand for several years, and if we aren't coming out of the recession by then, it will clearly be because of all the wasteful Keynesian spending already done. (well, ok, that is most likely part of why we aren't coming out already).

Third, you may have come correlation, but cannot show causation between the Interstate system and economic prosperity during the 19550s and 1960s.

Indeed, to be a bit flippant, if infrastructure spending were the key to economic growth, then West Virginia would be at the top, not down towards the bottom, when it comes to state wealth, thanks to the better than half a century that Senator "Pork" Bob Byrd represented the state.

Bruce Hayden said...

The infrastructure program would pay governments, state and local. Although private businesses would be the ultimate beneficiaries.

Actually, if you want to be a bit more technical, union workers would be the biggest beneficiaries, thanks to Davis-Bacon. And, government workers (often unionized) would likely come in a close second, since money, esp. in the government is fungible, and the feds paying for anything that the states would normally pay for allows the later to spend the money hiring more government employees, giving the ones they have raises, and increasing their benefits.

Of course, that is all 2-10 years down the road, and this is being sold as "stimulus".

Scott M said...

We live in managed economy, as every economy in the world is and must be.

Either you just grossly oversimplified, or it is an undeniable fact that we have the same economic structure as China, Luxenberg, and Andorra.

I suppose there's only one shade of blue too.

Penny said...

"The question is: who most benefits from the present management of the economy?

At present, and for quite some time, that would be: the rapacious corporate oligarchs."

Cook, surely the nearly 10% of Americans who are unemployed aren't benefiting. Do you find no irony that most of them look to those "rapacious corporate oligarchs" to hire them sometime soon?

We need MORE businesses, not fewer.

Bruce Hayden said...

We do not have, have never had, and never will have a "free market." We live in managed economy, as every economy in the world is and must be. The question is: who most benefits from the present management of the economy?

You simplify greatly to make your point. Yes, some government is necessary to, for example, make sure that contracts are honored, etc. But that is a long way from "managing" the economy.

What is especially worrisome here is that Obama and the Democrats truly are implementing Fascist (and therefore Nazi, since the later followed the former) style crony capitalism. The government works closely with the biggest companies. The government makes sure that the big companies thrive by imposing burdensome restrictions on the smaller companies trying to compete. In trade, the big companies help out the government.

The perfect example of this over the last couple of years has been GE, which tasked its media arm (NBC,et al.) to flog for the government. And it gave the Democrats strong support on such subjects as Health Care "Reform". In trade, GE's finance arm became a "bank" in record time, in order to get TARP funds. The government has also pushed, and even mandated, numerous technologies where GE is one of the top players - notably all those "green" initiatives, including wind, solar, etc.

And this sort of close working relationship between the biggest businesses was why the big German companies were using slave labor during the war to build armaments, helping with the extermination camps, etc., and the trains, for such a short time, were running on time in Italy.

Pogo said...

"rapacious corporate oligarchs"

Democrats and socialists are always deriding big business, and then they hike up their skirts and take Long Dong Silver Ltd. for a lusty ride, handing them the public treasury and a big wet kiss, promising more. Upstairs they're also bedding the union boss, making the same postcoital pledge.

AJ Lynch said...

Cookie:
The restaurant business, my dry cleaners, car washes, building contractors and landscapers are examples of free markets IMO. There are many many others including the local crappy newspaper, The Phila Inquirer.

AJ Lynch said...

"Rapacious corporate oligarch". You bet - I just added that title to my bucket list!

GMay said...

Bruce,

Though you do a wonderful job of dismantling the leftists here, your well-constructed and well-informed arguments will go unread or unaddressed by those who desperately need to read them.

michaele said...

Just reminding everybody...Back in mid 2005, Congress passed a massive almost 300 BILLION dollar spending bill. That was supposed to take care of rebuilding all our infrastructure and provide jobs galore.Is there EVER accountability? As a taxpayer, I am sooo tired of being a schmuck!

garage mahal said...

The real problem is the spending! Because, well, you know!

Pogo said...

Brilliant, garage.

I hope the Democrats use it over the next 6-7 weeks. Voting gold.

Original Mike said...

Saw a bumper sticker yesterday, in Madison, WI.

One
Big
Awful
Mistake
America

No one had vandalized the car yet.

Bruce Hayden said...

The real problem is the spending! Because, well, you know!

Not if you believe AL and his 75 years out-of-date Keynesian demand side economics. Or, I guess the Democrats running Congress and the White House.

Part of the problem with spending, esp. at the levels we have seen over the last couple of years, is that that money has to come from somewhere, and that either means taxes or borrowing. The Democrats have chosen borrowing, because they know that it is less obvious than taxing. But all that borrowing has many negative effects, including crowding out the private borrowing needed for the recovery, and guaranteeing that a significant portion of our children's and grandchildren's taxes will go to pay for it.

And for what? They made sure that the crisis didn't go to waste, and spread their largess to their biggest contributors - esp. government workers, where employment actually increased during the recession, raises were given, and benefits increased. And this helped the economy get out of the recession how?

Original Mike said...

"NEWSFLASH to the idiots on the right wing....the percentage of interest on the federal debt paid is lower than any year in the last 20 at the very least. why? the government pays no interest yield on bonds...or virtually zero...just a percent of two. This is the time you borrow and spend and Obama has figured that out and you jerks on the right haven't."

Can we please stop justifying borrowing on the premise that interests rates are low, so "it doesn't cost us anything"? If we borrow $1 trillion dollars at zero percent interest, we still have $1 trillion dollars to pay back.

Bruce Hayden said...

Can we please stop justifying borrowing on the premise that interests rates are low, so "it doesn't cost us anything"? If we borrow $1 trillion dollars at zero percent interest, we still have $1 trillion dollars to pay back.

Worse - we won't pay these notes off when they come due, because we won't be able to afford to. And that means that they will be rolled over at potentially a much higher interest rate.

blake said...

I almost feel bad for the statists.

It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to Keynes or Marx or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-Tea-Party sentiment or anti-free-market sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Bruce Hayden said...

It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to Keynes or Marx or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-Tea-Party sentiment or anti-free-market sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

What is a bit scary though is that the Democrats at the top of our government are not really following Lenin in their socialism, but rather, Mussolini. Why? My thoughts are that national socialism, and the invariably associated crony capitalism, make rent seeking much easier than full blown communism. And the rent seeking is where the politicians at the top make their fortunes.

And they do make their fortunes. LBJ was the poster child for this. But he was followed, in the Presidency by the Clintons, AlGore, and now Obama and Biden. How else can you explain the multimillion dollar wedding this summer, from a family that used to take tax deductions for used underwear, or a wife making twice what her husband made as a Senator in a job created just for her, and eliminated when she moved into the White House?

The point is that this sort of socialism is much better than the communist type, and, indeed, capitalism, for enriching those at the top of the government.

Bruce Hayden said...

Continuing my last post - Keynesian economics was discredited at least by the late 1970s. It was adopted by the Democrats running this country in order to not let the economic crisis go to waste, and thus pay off their political constituents, notably labor unions and government employees (who are, coincidentally, also members of unions that contribute heavily to Democrats, as well as providing most of their foot soldiers).

What I haven't been able to determine is how many of those propounding Keynesian economic solutions really believe in such, and how many of them cynically utilize Keynesian economics to enrich their friends. My guess is that AL, from his comments above, actually believes in such. And maybe the President does too, given his economic illiteracy. But Christine Romer? Former Enron Adviser Krugman? I think that much less likely.

Original Mike said...

"What I haven't been able to determine is how many of those propounding Keynesian economic solutions really believe in such, and how many of them cynically utilize Keynesian economics to enrich their friends."

I can't believe that any of the political elite believe it. But maybe I'm just giving them th benefit of the doubt.

But AL? Yeah, he's a believer.

Whiskey Jim said...

Accrued liabilities of the federal government are now well over $100,000,000,000,000.

Now if we can only jack it up a littler further, there will be no possible way in hell that free markets can pay it back. We'll have to collapse it.

I am now silly enough to seriously consider that this is the plan. Because any other explanation is also insane.

c3 said...

We're definitely in spaghetti-on-the-wall territory now?

Robin said...

Obama's plan to survive the November elections is to build a new false-fronted building in the Potemkin village.

Brilliant.

The original faux pork-laden stimulus bill was Obama betting that the economy would pick up from natural business cycles after they slathered some pork on their buddies. By their own estimates, it has not merely failed but made unemployment worse.

So now we get this ridiculous little additional spending bill to save us? It is like he's not even trying to be convincing. I think I saw Manny Ramirez do this same loafing half-jog to the ball once.

Robin said...

AlphaLiberal's lines about how many jobs "per month" were being lost is a great example of how the shills think that their cherry picked statistics impress people.

During Obama's "recovery summer", the monthly net job losses are:

June losses of 221,000 in non-farm payroll, July losses of 105,000 and August losses of 54,000.

That's a year and a half after Obama's porkulus spending.

So obviously the Potemkin village needs a Potemkin fresh slap off asphalt on the main street.

Bruce Hayden said...

I commented earlier on AL's statement:

Our economy is suffering from a lack of demand. Private sector demand is down. If we also cut government demand then it will worsen the economy.

This is further answered in: Reality vs. 'Stimulus' Snake Oil:

"Yet Tyson and congressional Democrats now want even more "fiscal stimulus" in order to boost domestic demand -- that is, total spending by US consumers, business and governments. For proof that we need more snake oil, they point to the the second quarter's weak 1.6 percent growth in real GDP. But that's just wrong: GDP -- gross domestic product -- doesn't measure domestic demand.

As the second-quarter GDP report clearly stated, "Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by US residents of goods and services wherever produced -- increased 4.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.9 percent in the first." Whatever the problems of the US economy, slowing growth of demand is not one of them.
"

Original Mike said...

"Yet Tyson and congressional Democrats now want even more "fiscal stimulus" in order to boost domestic demand -- that is, total spending by US consumers, business and governments. For proof that we need more snake oil, they point to the the second quarter's weak 1.6 percent growth in real GDP. But that's just wrong: GDP -- gross domestic product -- doesn't measure domestic demand."

I never tire of pointing this out. Laura Tyson, when she was in the Clinton administration, famously said that "A dollar in tax cuts is a dollar taken out of the economy.

And now she's advising Obama. Is it any wonder we're in deep shit?

rhhardin said...

Belmont Club:

The democratic process was intended to prevent nations from sharing the rise and fall of ancien regimes by creating an orderly process of destruction through the electoral turnover. Through the ballot, elites and their ideas could be gently dissolved and given the opportunity to rebuild themselves while a new one was tried. But with time a permanent elite found it could establish itself in institutions that were untouched by electoral cycles — the press, academe, unions and industry councils. They became a virtual aristocracy beyond the power of ordinary elections to clean out. And with them returned all the glories and disadvantages of nobility. Their collective obsessions have come to resemble the court fixations of former centuries and their effects the same.