Economics

Three More Reasons to Oppose the Stimulus Package, Based on Statements By One of Its Supporters

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1. Any spending bill this Mama Cass-sized should first be read by the people voting for it in Congress and by the people who will spend the rest of their lives paying for it. Supporters of the stimulus bill call it a "seismic shift in the role of government in our society." Isn't it worth taking more than what, two weeks to plow through the details? The only people who tell you to hurry up and buy now are scam artists. We're not on the Titanic, for god's sakes. Any more than we were last fall when Hank Paulson was crapping his pants on an almost hourly basis.

2. Because it's all about giving aid to other levels of government, the stimulus will create a ton more jobs in state and local level, which means that state and local governments will be even more on the federal teat than they are now. Taking proponents at the word, "the stimulus package could create or save as many as 4 million jobs by the end of next year….Many of those jobs will be created in state and local government." Which means that in a couple of years, when the idiots running things at the state and local levels have run through their bailout cash, we'll be back to the same situation: A bloated public sector that needs yet another bailout.

3. The stimulus, assuming it's an equal mix of spending and tax cuts, will really help people out sometime after the recession has already ended. If (and it's a big if) the government spending is mainlined into the economy and the tax cuts are actual in-your-pocket-right-now sorts of things (as opposed to infrastructure projects and tax rebates), "a year or two from now, they'll [consumers will] be in better shape to spend more." No shit? Since World War II, there have been 11 recessions (not counting this one). The average length was 10.2 months; only two lasted more than 15 months. If you go back to 1900, the average length is 14.4 months. The current downturn started in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is tasked with deciding these things. Do the math and figure you can bet on the future and never be wrong.

All quotes above come from Allen Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics, who appeared in this godawful story in yesterday's Washington Post, stumping for quick government action.

NEXT: Any Taxes You Pay Can and Will Be Used Against You

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  1. Recessions happen.
    They suck.
    They always end.

    Any questions?

  2. I’m sure the policy maker who regularly reads this site will immediately take notice and take action. What’s that? He no longer reads this site?

    Oh.

    Hey, Reason has a video camera, and is located in DC. If they actually want to do something, get on the Orange Line and go to Specter’s office and ask a policy aide – or even Specter himself – a question on video and upload it to Youtube. Make sure it’s a good question that makes him look as bad as possible.

    In fact, if anyone wants to actually do something, I’ll help convert their questions into something that won’t be easy to evade.

    See my stimulus coverage for some ideas, or just ask.

    Words are cheap. Let’s see Reason do something for a change.

  3. “so i’m thinking roger and me but with more of an ‘afraid of mexicans’ twist.”

  4. 1. That’s the plan. I don’t know how many Democrats really believe this bill will help anything other than growing government, but bigger government is their preferred cure for most ailments, and they know if voters get too long to look at the details, they’ll object.

    2. That’s also the plan. States bankrupting themselves with big government get bailed out, and more power and authority moves to DC.

    3. Irrelevant. If the stimulus passes, all good economic news in coming months and years will be credited to it by Democrats and a compliant press.

  5. I wonder how many state and local governments that have their own Medical MJ laws are likely to get federal money for making it illegal again.

  6. From the godawful WaPo article (just when you thought nothing could angry up the blood like the NYT editorial page):

    “Those who believe the government can be an effective, positive instrument for good will have another chance to try it,” said Sinai, a political independent.

    Conduct your creepy social experiments on your own time (and dime). Kthx.

  7. Mama Cass-sized?

    Classless.

  8. State government has always expanded in good times and contracted in bad times. That’s pro-cyclical, which sucks, but at least it made the silver lining of recessions the fact that they slowed down and in some cases reversed the inexorable increase in state and local spending.

    Now with this “stimulus”, the federal government is going to take away the ONE LIMIT on the growth of state government that has ever had any meaning.

  9. Mama Cass-sized?

    Classless.

    Ham-sandwich-that-brought-down-Mama-Cass-sized?

    (yes I know that’s a myth)

  10. Money: I guess it really does grow on trees.

  11. …Hank Paulson was crapping his pants on an almost hourly basis

    Well, this was only possible because he can afford to have people crap his pants for him.

  12. Supporters of the stimulus bill call it a “seismic shift in the role of government in our society.”

    Is this a dream? I want to wake up.

  13. Can someone explain to me, even via e-mail how the hell all of theese bailouts is NOT taxation without rep. I say it is, this is why we revolted against the english in the first place!

    LOL now i got the comment on the right article, lol

  14. PapayaSF, the site says at the top it’s not stuff in the bill, only projects eligible for grant money once it’s passed. Doesn’t the bill as written already direct the money? Anyone know where us regular humans can read what is actually IN the bill?

  15. Poor Mama Cass… choking to death on a ham sandwich is such an undignified myth to be attached to a woman who ate herself into a heart attack at 32.

  16. SpongePaul, do you mean because the people who will end up getting stuck with the taxes are not yet old enough to vote, many of whom are not even born yet?

  17. no, they take my taxes and give it to banks morgtage companies car companies etc etc etc, i do not gain ANY services or use from it. they are taxing without repersenting the people, or even helping them, its time for another tea party eh!

  18. “Those who believe the government can be an effective, positive instrument for good will have another chance to try it,” said Sinai, a political independent.

    How many chances do you fuckers get?

    Egypt – fail
    Greece – (partial) fail
    Rome – fail
    Facist Italy – fail
    Clovian Gaul – fail
    Germany – huge fail
    USSR – fail
    Modern Russia – fail
    Seljuks – fail
    China – fail
    Cambodia – fail
    Mexico – fail
    Venezuela – fail
    Inquisitor Spain – fail
    France – fail
    British India – fail
    British anywhere – fail
    Dutch or Portugese anywhere – fail
    Imperial Japan – fail
    Muslim middle east – fail
    Post-Colonial Africa – fail
    Colonial Africa – fail
    Colonial U.S. – fail
    Warsaw-Pact Poland – fail

    Seriously, how many chances? How many nice, free countries do you statist have to fuck up before A)you give up, or b) we’re all dead?

  19. Any spending bill this Mama Cass-sized should first be read by the people voting for it in Congress and by the people who will spend the rest of their lives paying for it.

    Read the Economic PATRIOT Act, Part 2? Balderdash! This needs to get out there right now, and that’s more important than it being “a good idea” or whatever other ideological garbage you have, Nick.

  20. Can someone explain to me, even via e-mail how the hell all of theese bailouts is NOT taxation without rep. I say it is, this is why we revolted against the english in the first place!

    Unfortunately not. You voted for these reps, and they’re taxing you.

  21. Read the Economic PATRIOT Act, Part 2?

    Book title idea:

    Vote for it NOW, or How Democrats Learned to Love the PATRIOT Act.

  22. Seriously, how many chances? How many nice, free countries do you statist have to fuck up before A)you give up, or b) we’re all dead?

    All of them.

  23. If the government really wants to get a stimulus going, and increase security for our country, and help win the war in Afghanistan, and lower the cost of medications for everyone – all in one fell swoop – address this drug problem we have in this country. Then tax it.

  24. Yo, fuck Allen Sinai.

  25. Nick, you are correct, I didn’t see that. But here’s the full text of what passed the House (Warning: 1.6 meg PDF.)

  26. But the bill is full of Hope and Change!

    You guys are just unpatriotic, that’s all.

  27. Any bill that is 680 pages should be shot down on prinicple.

  28. I have an idea guys. We could pool our resources and just buy a poor, small, sparsely populated country. Libertopia version 1.0!

  29. Like I said, talk is cheap. Obviously, Reason just wants to whine instead of doing something. Or, perhaps they’re trying to find out how to get in on the deal.

  30. Taking proponents at the word, “the stimulus package could create or save as many as 4 million jobs by the end of next year….Many of those jobs will be created in state and local government.”

    IOW, many of those jobs will not be economically productive jobs, no?

  31. The Federal Government used to prop up the state governments. It was called revenue sharing and block grants. Reagan killed most of them. They were a stupid program and a waste of money. They were so bad even liberals stopped defending them sometime in the late 80s.

    Now we are going to return to essentially the same thing. It is as if all of the lessons of the last 40 years, stagflation, the ineffectiveness of welfare, the limits on what government can and cannot do effectively, have been completely forgotten. I honestly think even an old time Great Society Liberal like Hubert Humphrey would choke on this piece of shit.

  32. “I have an idea guys. We could pool our resources and just buy a poor, small, sparsely populated country. Libertopia version 1.0!”

    That would be great until the 82nd Airborne showed up to shut down all of the off shore gambling establishments.

  33. John, so you’re telling me we’d have to hire Blackwater? I hear they’re looking for work.

  34. Nick,

    You better hire someone. The chosen one’s ratings are down and it is just a matter of time before he finds a country or a taco stand or something to knock over to bring about national unity.

  35. But a smirking lesbian on TV told me that this bill is necessary and only crusty old white men oppose it.

  36. Reason’s office in DC is closer to the Red Line.

  37. Supporters of the stimulus bill call it a “seismic shift in the role of government in our society.”

    I totally support a seismic shift in the role of government. Unfortunately this shift is in the other direction.

  38. There’s an up-to-$20 billion giveaway to the homebuilding companies in the form of a backdated tax credit for losses realized over the past couple of years:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/02/president-obama-to-speak-on-stimulus-at.html

  39. Orwell’s President yells doom at anyone who asks him why we need to spend so much and why so mcu of this appears to be payoffs to his pals. How quickly the Obamaists declared dissent is no long patriotic.

    He makes me wish for the integrity of Helen Thomas and the brillance of Biden and the smooth talking of Bush.

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