Economics

When $1.4 Trillion Just Doesn't Get the Job Done, It's Time for Stimulation

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants you to know that there is no lock on the U.S. Treasury:

With the jobless rate rising and the economy continuing to slow, Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters: "We have to keep the door open to see how this goes."

Pelosi's remarks came after senior House Democrats met behind closed doors with four prominent economists, who praised the actions taken by Washington to ease the effects of a recession that threatens to be the most severe since the 1930s. The $787 billion stimulus package, a $700 billion bailout for the U.S. financial system and President Obama's proposal to stem the tide of residential foreclosures are all sound policies that should begin to make a difference in the coming months, they told lawmakers.

More here.

The largest threat to trees is now officially the government, which will likely need to clear cut the planet just to print enough money to put us all back to work, back in homes, and back in brand-new Chrylser LeBaron coupes.

This sort of endless war-gaming, pump-priming, and jawboning, even before earlier rounds of intervention have fully come online much less been proven disastrously ineffective, is precisely the sort of "bold, persistent experimentation" that helped extend and exacerbate the Great Depression. For more on that, go here or watch below:

An alternative script is to acknowledge problems and say that we need to stop running around constantly, fretting over every burp, hiccup, and fart in the Dow, the unemployment rate, you name it. An actually better script would have been to show fiscal restraint now on the spending side, return the payroll tax or other large sums of money directly to the people, and then figure out which welfare programs to fund to ameliorate short-term dislocations due to recession.

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  1. …House Democrats met behind closed doors with four prominent economists, who praised the actions taken by Washington to ease the effects of a recession that threatens to be the most severe since the 1930s.

    I see the University of Phoeenix grads are starting to hit the job market…

  2. That’s Phoenix!!!

    Damn you, Joez law!

  3. You can say that again.

  4. Yo, fuck Chrysler LeBaron coupes.

  5. Plus, they should be allowing private charity organizations to flourish by removing any government obstacles in place, and using the bully pulpit to challenge the private sector to develop innovative solutions to help deal with rising unemployment. They could even repeal the minimum wage laws! yeah, right.

  6. You know, for an Administration that just on Monday promised

    To ensure that in this new Administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology; and that we are open and honest with the American people about the science behind our decisions.

    …the President certainly isn’t interested in applying any such ideology-free standards to the dismal science.

    There is zero empirical evidence in history to support the notion that massive government spending will bring economies out of recession or depression. And what theoretical evidence there is would call for a stimulus that is much sharper coming and going than the slow and game-changing behemoth of a “stimulus” package passed into law last month.

  7. That’s Phoenix!!!

    Damn you, Joez law!

  8. There is zero empirical evidence in history to support the notion that massive government spending will bring economies out of recession or depression.

    But-
    but-

    What about the WAR?

    Everybody knows the war fixed the economy and ended the depression.

  9. four prominent economists, who praised the actions taken by Washington to ease the effects of a recession that threatens to be the most severe since the 1930s.

    This causes a nearly overpowering urge to go Godwin.

    Wasn’t it Dorothy Parker who said, “If you laid all the economists end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion.”?

  10. I heard a newsperson ask this morning whether capitalism was dead. I mean, really, what a stupid idea that is.

  11. I’m getting better. I think I’ll go for a walk…

  12. The largest threat to trees is now officially the government, which will likely need to clear cut the planet just to print enough money

    Paper money is not paper. It’s 25% linen and 75% cotton.

  13. Pelosi’s remarks came after senior House Democrats met behind closed doors with four prominent economists, who praised the actions taken by Washington to ease the effects of a recession that threatens to be the most severe since the 1930s.

    Certainly this says more about the reporter than about the four “prominent” economists, who are not enumerated.

    One of the economists is Mark Zandi, who is “prominent” because he was the go-to guy for stimulus proponents and reporters because he was an adviser to McCain’s campaign. Only after asking some, shall we say, pertinent questions was it determined that he is a registered Democrat who McCain put on his team solely to diversify it.

  14. To be fair, Obama Inherited? Nancy Pelosi.

  15. True.

    But it is striking that Obama has assembled a pretty smart, though ideologically biased, team of economists. Yet when it comes to the stimulus package — as well as apparently every other piece of spending legislation — he is completely punting the whole thing to Pelosi and Reid.

    As a result, from the article, …

    Several economists have said the stimulus package will not meet the administration’s goal of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year because the final package was smaller than expected and contained several provisions that they say are unlikely to be particularly effective.

    Is he so unwilling to spend any of his political capital to at least act like he runs his party?

  16. Then we’d better hope the economy gets better and fast. Anyone still rooting for Obama to ‘fail?’

  17. There were two main factors which caused the Great Depression: Bank failures and protectionism. In the current crisis, it appears that neither is going to happen (yet). Obama would never try something as totalitarian as the National Industrial Recovery Act, which probably extended the Depression for as long as it was in effect.

    So I would guess that this recession would be over in a few years absent government intervention. And my theory is that all this borrowing in 2009 will hurt our recovery as foreign lenders charge more punitive interest rates. Only time will tell of course, so make sure you don’t let your elected officials revise history.

  18. Anyone still rooting for Obama to ‘fail?’

    His appalling policies re: spending and stimulus packages will certainly fail, regardless of whether anyone wants that or not. Of course, failure will almost certainly be touted as success by Obama, a “Mission Accomplished” moment. I mean, “jobs created or saved” says it all — no matter what happens, he can claim he made things better.

  19. Is he so unwilling to spend any of his political capital to at least act like he runs his party?

    He has gotten this far by steadfastly avoiding taking any firm positions or doing anything to piss anyone off. It has worked wonders so far…why change now?

  20. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

  21. An actually better script would have been to show fiscal restraint now on the spending side, return the payroll tax or other large sums of money directly to the people, and then figure out which welfare programs to fund to ameliorate short-term dislocations due to recession.

    Yes, but but you just described was the stimulus and

  22. Lemme guess – the politicians concluded there is no real political solution to an economic problem and decided to do nothing.

  23. No matter what I do, it would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t done it.

    Really.

  24. Anyone still rooting for Obama to ‘fail?’

    If by “fail”, you mean fail to get his policies enacted into law, then yes, I am.

    If by “fail”, you mean his policies fail to achieve their actual objectives (creating a permanent (Social) Democratic majority in a Euro-style elite redistributionist Total State, well, then yes, I’m definitely hoping he fails to achieve that goal.

    Do I hope that his failures will cause suffering amongst the populace as a whole? Of course not. Do I think they will? No. Failing to achieve his legislative agenda and cement a permanent Social Democratic majority won’t cause suffering. Achieving his legislative agenda and having it fail, as it inevitably will, will cause suffering, but that will happen because my hopes for his failure haven’t come to pass.

    Of course, people asking this question use a different meaning of “fail” – namely, that his polices are enacted and fail to achieve their stated objectives. I’m not rooting for that, more like resigned to it; that’ll happen whether I root for it or not.

  25. Wasn’t it Dorothy Parker who said, “If you laid all the economists end to end, they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion.”?

    I think she said that if you laid all the economists end to end you still wouldn’t have an orgasm.

  26. I wish Obama would just stick to fisting himself instead of fisting America.

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