Corporate Welfare

Nobody Said "Stimulus 2." The Words "Stimulus" and "Two" Have Not Been Said In That Order By Anybody.

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Gary Locke: A portrait in terror.

Faster than you can say "This time it's for the great-great-great grandchildren," Commerce Sec. Gary Locke has accused himself of being "imprecise" when he described plans for a second stimulus package earlier today.

From Bloomberg:

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Locke said today: "If there is to be another stimulus—and that's being hotly discussed and very seriously considered within the administration as well as members of Congress—it needs to be very targeted, very specific and we need to be very mindful of the deficit as well."

Locke is now back under wraps, with a Commerce Dept. spokesman specifying that he was referring to "all the different job-creating measures being considered" in Washington, D.C.

In an appearance on Meet the Press yesterday, Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner did not refer to any job-creating measures while making his own denial of a second stimulus package. An excerpt:

David Gregory: Do you need more stimulus?

Tim Geithner: I don't think we need to make that judgment yet, David. There's about half of the money committed by the Congress is still working its way through the system—by design; it was designed to work over two years. So we're not in a position where we need to make a choice about whether it's gonna take more than that to bring growth back. And again, that's only a bridge. You're not gonna get real recovery until it's led by the private sector, by business.

David Gregory: I want to be clear. Additional stimulus you don't think is needed right now.

Tim Geithner: Not yet. Now Congress is looking at extending unemployment insurance, some other targeted programs that would expire without additional action. You saw Congress this week start to talk about extending the first-time home buyer tax credit, some other measures. We think those would be helpful things for the economy as a whole. And that will also provide some added support.

Although the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—unlike the $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (which produced the Troubled Asset Relief Program) or the $400 billion Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act (which pumped funds into the then-government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)—did appear to have popular support when it was signed in February, even at the time polls differed on whether that support amounted to a majority.

Since that time, the stimulus concept has become so unpopular that even supporters accuse the Democrats of using euphemisms such as "initiatives" or "programs."

But if the case for stimulus was strong in February, it is surely stronger today, as unemployment approaches 10 percent and rates of default in nearly all credit markets continue to grow. And if, as Council of Economic Advisors Chairwoman Christina D. Romer claims, each dollar of stimulus spent produces $1.55 in growth for what Geithner calls the "economy as a whole," then what is the argument against a Stimulus II?

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  1. Wouldn’t a second “stimulus” sort of undermine the democratic claims that the first one they passed is working?

    1. Does taking a shower today undermine the claim that the shower you took yesterday worked?

      1. does a $787 billion dollar shower clean you any better than a $100 dollar shower?

      2. Stimulus: it’s like taking your daily pills …. for a terminal cancer patient.

        1. We’re all terminal patients. You and I and that lovely woman offering to be your mail order bride to the right of this page will all one day be rotting lumps of carrion under the earth.

          The only difference is, that I and the other progressives are trying to make the future world that we rot into the innards of, a better place.

          1. you’re trying to make the world a better place by mortgaging those future peoples’ earnings, before they’ve even been born?

            Wow, I’ve heard a lot of arrogant comments from “progressives”, but presuming that you know how to spend money for the benefit of a future society better than the members of that future society — that takes the cake.

            1. The members of the future society don’t have the opportunity to spend money we have now. Do you fault the members of the greatest generation for spending money to defeat the Nazis so that you could live in a world without Jew-killing?

              1. I do fault them for creating a compulsory tax-funded pyramid scheme that they called Social Security that I’ve paid into my entire life, but will probably not see a dime of.

                And I fault the Boomers for Johnson’s Great Society, and all of the associated social and financial ills that created. Good job creating a subjugated class of welfare recipients, rather than entrepreneurs!

                Once upon a time, people tried to leave more for their children than they had started with. Now we just borrow to our hearts’ content…”someday somebody might have to pay it, but it won’t be me, because I’ll be dead by then — Keynes said so!”

                1. I do fault them for creating a compulsory tax-funded pyramid scheme that they called Social Security

                  Again, that was not the greatest generation who did that – most of them were only kids back in the early 30’s when Social Security began. That’s not to say they haven’t supported the hell out of it all these years though.

                  And I fault the Boomers for Johnson’s Great Society,

                  Why? Johnson and his crew weren’t Baby Boomers – they were part of the “greatest generation.” The Boomers were the kids they sent off to fight in Viet Nam.

                  Clinton and Dubya were Boomers – and they sent the next generation to war. Do you begin to see a pattern there? You know – like the older generation fucks things up and the kids get to go fight the damned wars to “fix” things?

                2. Ahem, the oldest boomers were still not even eligible to vote when Johnson’s Great Society was created. The youngest hadn’t even started school.

                  We boomers may have possibly been the most whiny self-absorbed generation in history but it was 1990 before boomers started having any real political, as opposed to cultural, influence.

                  That said, the commenter calling itself torpid certainly is an arrogant self-righteous prick, isn’t he.

              2. also — what money we have now? every dime of the stimulus was borrowed…and so was TARP!

              3. joe, is that you?

              4. Do you fault the members of the greatest generation for spending money to defeat the Nazis so that you could live in a world without Jew-killing?

                Ok hahaha…you are one funny sock puppet.

              5. Stimulus: because not spending tomorrow’s earnings is like killing Jews.

              6. The members of the “greatest generation” aren’t the ones who spent that money, hotshot – they weren’t old enough to be part of FDR’s administration – just old enough to fight and die in a lousy goddamned war for him. The parents of the “greatest generation” were the ones making policy and spending money.

            2. Wow, I’ve heard a lot of arrogant comments from “progressives”, but presuming that you know how to spend money for the benefit of a future society better than the members of that future society — that takes the cake.<?i>

              Why be surprised? I’ve never met a thief yet who didn’t think he had a better use for someone’s money than the rightful owner.

              1. damned tags.

          2. I and the other progressives are trying to make the future world that we rot into the innards of, a better place.

            About all you and your ilk will ever accomplish is to turn the world into a rotten, rotting place.

            1. Yeah, and it’s gonna cost the fuck out of us to get there. Fuuuun shit.

    2. No.

      See, it’s working but things were much worse than we thought. A second one would just make up for how much worse of a mess we inherited.

      1. at what point will Obama have to own the results of his policies?

        Is it when his successor is being sworn in? Until then, it’s all Bush’s fault!

        1. Remember what Jack Kennedy said about the evil men do lasting long after they leave office?

          I suppose you hold Bush responsible for Social Security existing and old people not having to choose between working in the mines or eating cat food. He was president for 8 years, you can’t very well blame FDR for his government’s policies.

          1. Silly me, I thought that if you campaigned on rejecting your predecessor’s failed policies, and then you end up reaffirming the vast majority of those same policies, then they became your policies too.

          2. What’s more, I don’t blame Bush for Medicare. I do blame him for pushing for the largest expansion of Medicare benefits ever, and failing to pay for them.

            I don’t blame Bush for crappy public schools. I do blame him for NCLB, which made our crappy schools even worse.

          3. Torpid, are you really sd big a fool s you sound?

      2. What about the mess being created now? Tough shit for those who “inherit” that, eh?

        1. That’s Bush’s fault too, you racist.

          1. So, nothing can ever be “Obama’s fault”? Even if he goes two terms?

            Wow. What a gig.

            1. Hopefully we can get that amendment repealed. A mess this big might require 4 terms or more for Obama to fix.

              1. All we need is another war to seal the deal……

              2. Yeah, but who can/will be able to fix Obama’s fuck-ups once he’s done with the American people?

              3. You think Obama will even win a 2nd term?

                Shit, I am betting he is a lame duck by nov 5 2010.

                1. No, and I wouldn’t want Obama to spend eight years in a place he doesn’t belong.

                  Then again, his successor will likely suck, so we’re basically fucked.

                  Gosh, we get to choose between the pot of boiling water, and the pot of boiling oil. Just like every presidential election. Fuuun shit!

              4. Hopefully we can get that amendment repealed. A mess this big might require 4 terms or more for Obama to fix.

                Oh, man, BUSTED.

        2. It’s our little way of “sticking it to the Man.”

    3. The way to stop a second stimulus is to harp on this inconvenient fact: hundreds of thousands more foreign citizens got work permits than the number of jobs supposedly saved or created.

      Ponder that for a second: the first stimulus – according to the BHO admin – “saved or created” around 600,000 jobs. In the same time period, over a million foreign workers got work permits in the U.S.

      Despite how shocking that is, you won’t hear about it from this site or any of the other Beltway (or sub-Beltway) hacks. If you support American workers, you need to let your friends know what’s going on, and you also need to go to public events and “cross-examine” politicians about this on video.

      P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians. Dozens of comments here have shown that the phrase “fascist libertarian” isn’t an oxymoron.

      1. Vee are coming for your Johnson, Lonewacko!

      2. If you support American workers, you need to let your friends know what’s going on, and you also need to go to public events and “cross-examine” politicians about this on video.

        So, when can we expect the video of you boldly speaking truth to power, instead of masturbating into the ether?

  2. So, how much of this “stimulus” money is actually getting to small and medium sized businesses? You know, the ones that actually create jobs. Personally, I’m beginning to believe that the publicly traded corporate structure is a flawed business model.

    1. Most of it is going to Democratic Party clients. Construction unions and so forth.

      1. Try telling that to my buddy who’s in the Iron Workers Union, and another friend that’s in the Sheet Metal Union. The construction unions didn’t even get shit.

        1. Hazel said the “union”… not the “worker”. An increasingly important distinction.

    2. Even Mayor Daley was saying on an interview on NPR today that they’re wasting their money on temporary government jobs with the stimulus when they should be using the money to incentivize private sector job creation– of course a feasible method for that was not defined in the interview, however, the broader point is that not even fucking Chicago is on board with another bullshit stimulus. You know it must be a pretty awful idea if Chicago’s not trying to suck in more federal money.

  3. Stimulus 2:Electric Boogaloo

    1. If we get another hospital dance while Turbo’s on a gurney, it’d be SOO worth it!

    2. Stimulus 2: Looting the Dead

  4. We need another stimulus because $230,000 per job wasn’t enough.

  5. They really fucked up not opting for a WPA style jobs program with that stimulus money.
    Standard libertarian disclaimer:
    I f you are going to throw all that $$$ away might as well try to buy some votes with it.Too late now.

    1. Your comment presumes that the votes were not bought beforehand, and the stimulus was the payment on that debt.

    2. That’s a key difference between FDR and Obama. FDR stole our money and spent it on handouts to poor people. Obama’s stealing our money and spending it on handouts to rich people.

      -jcr

  6. I think a certain Congress sees some more ears need marked.

  7. the stimulus concept has become so unpopular that even supporters accuse the Democrats of using euphemisms such as “initiatives” or “programs.”

    I’m waiting to see “surge” or “enhancement”.

    1. If your economy has experienced a “surge” or “enhancement” for more than 5 hours, you should consult a physician.

      1. What if no matter how much Enhancement I take, my economy is still flaccid?

  8. David Gregory’s question, “Do you need more stimulus?”, seems bizarrely phrased. I mean, I know that Geithner and his pals at Goldman Sachs and the likes are the main beneficiaries of “stimulus”, but I didn’t think that inconvenient truth was being spoken of above a whisper among the political class.

  9. “But if the case for stimulus was strong in February, it is surely stronger today,…”

    It wasn’t strong in February. It was weak in February. It is week in every month on the calendar. There is not such thing as a “strong” argument for a ‘stimulus’. The very word is both a joke and a perfect example of newspeak – since everyone who knows anything need it would de-stimulate. That is why it was passed. If there is another one passed, the reason will be the same – to destroy the economy further.

    You are a total moron if you don’t understand why. If you believe them, you are the reason America is totla shyte these days – way to many jackassi like you.

    1. amazing how not proof-reading after spell-checking can undermine your assertions that your rhetorical opponents are “total morons”

      1. Perhaps he did proof-read after spell check. 😉

    2. There are a lot of new commenters around who don’t seem to understand this site’s style of sly rhetorical questioning.

      1. Sly? I don’t see it. Gay, maybe.

        1. That’s a very progressive sentiment…

          1. I thought he was a sock puppet but calling people gay as an insult makes me think he really is a progressive.

        2. Firefly reference alert.

  10. the stimulus that has been spent so far was mostly a big giveaway to the states that overspent and had to cut programs, i.e., public employees living high on the hog. The rest is headed towards pork. It was a bailout more than a stimulus. A real stimulus would be cutting income taxes, cap gains taxes and especially corporate income taxes, which would STIMULATE real growth in the economy. Of course, liberals don’t get to steal our freedoms that way, so they choose not to believe that they work.

    1. A lot of money did go to the states. Sure, many of them overspent to a degree, but the high unemployment has caused state revenues to tank. I doubt tax cuts would even help all the much. Many of the big companies are beginning to hoard cash as it is. What really needs to happen is the credit markets need to be cleaned up. Just exactly how you do that is open for debate. TARP sure as shit didn’t do a God damned thing.

      1. Sure, many of them overspent to a degree

        Bwaaaaahhhhaaa!!!

        I can’t speak for any states, per se, other than my home state of California, but to say that CA overspent to a “degree”, is laughable! They overspent by order(s) of magnitude. CA seems to to be somewhat of a bellwether for the rest of the country! This bodes ill for much of the rest of the country:(

        1. I’m not sure I consider California a state anymore.

          1. The Historical Region Known As California

      2. I doubt tax cuts would even help all the much.

        You really do not understand how business owners think or how businesses work do you?

        Every business owner i know is scared shitless about what Obama and company is going to do. They would not feel that way if instead of spending a few trillion on pork and bailing out friends that he gave a year long holiday on income taxes and capital gains.

  11. Stimulus II: Electric Boogaloo?

    1. You got beaten to the punch by 35 minutes:
      https://reason.com/blog/2009/11…..nt_1439063

  12. Stimulus II…

    …because there are still a couple of unions that have not been rewarded yet.

  13. It’s true — if the first stimulus is working, and it pulled us back from the brink, but we still have high unemployment, then we should add another stimulus, and as many as it takes to get full employment. Then every time the unemployment rate gets above 3%, just enact another stimulus, so that we have perpetually full employment. It’s simple, really.

    1. We also have a teeny tiny debt problem.

      I guess if we just put all that private sector debt onto the pubic balance sheet(i.e. the taxpayers), then sure, many of the states that overspent to a “degree”, and, (magic happens), We’re all good! Sweet!

      Bwaaahaaa!

      1. Don’t worry, it’ll all work out when we devalue the currency.

  14. Bag –> cat –>

    (Why in the fuck does the filter tell me cat is not English?)

  15. Um…is it just me…or does Obama look like he’s just yearning to bend over and suck fondly, but gently, on Locke’s neck?

    I wouldn’t doubt that that’s the case anyway.

    Well. I guess I can’t fap tonight.

  16. …if, as …Christina D. Romer claims, each dollar of stimulus spent produces $1.55 in growth …then what is the argument against a Stimulus II?

    Forgive me if someone else has said this, but: if each dollar of stimulus money produces a 55% return, what is the argument for leaving any part of the economy in the private sector?

    1. I recall watching Bab’s Boxer explaining this concept wrt electricity prices a few years back. Electrical power generators can buy and sell the electricity they produce from themselves, thereby raising the price they ultimately sell to consumers. So if it work for private industry, there’s no reason it wouldn’t work for the government.

      1. You are infering to a practice used by energy traders too clown the gov of california. They knew by law that cali had to execute immediate spot purchases if it needed power. So they would bid it up knowing that the idiots in Sac town would pick up the tab. This doesn’t really apply to economic stimlus and is more of an example of why the government should stay away. If government spending actually produced a multiplier of 1.55, like Christina “Dipshit” Romner assumes, we would all be speaking russian right now.

  17. Wouldn’t it be the third stimulus? Didn’t Bush have one?

    1. Clinton had one, too. Her name was Monica.

  18. Lonewacko: back up your assertions with something better than a link to your shitty website that no one is going to visit, or shut the fuck up.

    Or just shut the fuck up. They’re both good.

    1. For what it’s worth, here’s the link. His blog is as illegible as his comments here.

      http://www.numbersusa.com/cont…..orted-1125

  19. I’ve been waiting to see Timmy in a spandex costume and calling himself The Multiplier. I can see the green cape and fuchsia tights now. Timmy, I mean The Multiplier, clutching a Quicken box as he bolts out of a local Office Depot. Prepared to stave off growth and prosperity.

  20. And if, as Council of Economic Advisors Chairwoman Christina D. Romer claims, each dollar of stimulus spent produces $1.55 in growth for what Geithner calls the “economy as a whole,” then what is the argument against a Stimulus II?

    That the Democrats lose the house if they pass a 2nd one.

    1. Gee, good argument.

  21. “Stimulus” aside, the economy and the government both need a good shot of inflation right about now.

    That way nobody feels bad because their house value went “down”, and the government can get its debt down without “cutting” spending. The fact that inflation sucks by all other measures, is immaterial. The convergence of interests must make it inevitable.

    Longer term, the “Economy” needs ObamaCare and Cap and Trade to both die and go away. Including all their ghost-like cousins. Because both of these would not simply mess up the check book, like Bush’s Medicare fiasco. Instead, the Democrats want to change the rules of the game.

    But it increasingly looks like ObamaCare and Cap And Trade aren’t going to make it. Which means, the real long term problem is keeping government solvent.

    Which is why I don’t understand. Why are we not seeing real inflation, right now? Seems that Uncle Sam and We His People both have the motive, right now.

    Is it that for some reason they actually can’t make it happen? Or is there some reason they’re still holding back?

  22. Which is why I don’t understand. Why are we not seeing real inflation, right now? Seems that Uncle Sam and We His People both have the motive, right now.

    The theory is that deflationary pressures are outstripping inflationary pressures. At least that is what i got from one of Tim’s mostly illegible posts on the subject.

  23. I heard it. I don’t believe it. I do believe that when Uncle Sam wants it, it will come.

    I’ve seen arguments that government can’t benefit from printing money the way it did back in the ’70’s, due to the electronic nature of the financial system today. Idea is that the “middle man” financial institutions get the primary benefit from spending the dollars that are printed.

    Well okay, maybe so. Maybe.

    But even if Uncle Sam doesn’t benefit as much as he once did, the benefit of devaluing the debt is still huge from his perspective.

    What would make the government not want inflation right now? I mean something on the order of 4 to 5% annual? Somehow I suspect there is a motive, but I’m not enough of an international financier to see it.

    Delaying inflation now means the rate will have to be higher later on.

    1. “What would make the government not want inflation right now?”

      China.

  24. The theory is that deflationary pressures are outstripping inflationary pressures.

    The libertarian economic adage “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon” either is or is not true. Is the current economy proving it wrong?

    I think not. I think, they really aren’t trying to run the printing presses right now. They’re “just” playing with the debt.

    But if I’m wrong, then I have to wonder how many other things I “know” about classical liberal economics, is also wrong.

  25. The libertarian economic adage “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon” either is or is not true.

    I do not see how “The theory is that deflationary pressures are outstripping inflationary pressures.” Makes inflation a non-monetary phenomenon.

    There is inflation due to the government printing helicopter loads of cash only it is hidden in the daily drop of the value of your home.

    If you do not believe me then look at the price of gold and look at the value of the dollar in relation to foreign currencies.

    1. Well, yes, home values are going down. But why wouldn’t prices of other things be going up at the same time, if there was serious inflation going on?

      I mean the prices of things made here in the good old US of A.

      The value of the dollar has fallen internationally and anything imported is going to cost more accordingly. But if I’m not mistaken, the cost of things here are going down if anything.

      Ahhhh. 🙂 “Buy American.” If you wanted to make people buy American rather than imported, devaluing the dollar on the international exchange would help accomplish just that, by making imports more expensive.

      Not sure that’s really the motivation, but it’s nice evil though.

      I still suspect there’s some reason why Uncle Sam doesn’t want inflation right now. But I still concede that I might be proven wrong before it’s all done.

      1. You don’t do the grocery shopping at your house do you?

        1. I do some of it.

          I was also around in the ’70’s and I have definite memories of what real inflation was like. What we have today doesn’t look anything like that did.

          1. Inflation doesn’t just happen overnight. IMHO the fed did the right thing by injecting cash into the system during the fall out, but that is much different than the government spending, which is where the inflationary pressure will come from. Also the fed is buying alot of the new debt, through FOMC purchases, which is just hiding the effects. Remember one Milton unit was 6 months in terms of seeing the effects of policies. Its going to take a while for the inflationary presure to hit, but once you see interest rates start to rise due to the devaluation of the dollar it will come.

  26. You can also look at oil. Supplies are up and consumption is down yet prices keep rising.

    Only one word for that: inflation.

    1. I think that’s the dollar falling, actually.

      1. That’s what I thought.

      2. In the For What It’s Worth department, western European governments have recently bitched that the dollar needs to be strengthened. Because European imports cost too much in the US and that’s hampering recovery in Europe.

        This is a big issue for Germany whose GDP is hugely dependent on exports.

      3. How is the value of the dollar losing its value in relation to other things, be it oil or the yen not inflation?

        Are you guys daft?

        1. True. But it’s worth differentiating between fluctuations in the value of the dollar due to changes in international exchange rates, and long-term decline due to the Fed printing money.

          Both are occuring, but the current bump in oil prices is probably an exchange rate thing.

  27. This “stimulus” stuff is a pile of crap. Nowhere is it proven that these schemes work, but they are taken as gospel truth.

    If you always get a multiplier effect, when should the government NOT be running a “stimulus” plan?

  28. @Ebeneezer: The Fed has been printing money like crazy, but banks have been holding the new money as reserves rather than lending it out. When the banks start to lend all that cash into the real economy (and lots more dollars are chasing the same quantity of goods), then you’ll see the inflation.

    1. I’ve heard that idea too. But I’ve also heard it said that they think they can reel those dollars back in and prevent inflation down the road.

      Which seems like a really strange idea. “We’re going to print up some dollars and give them to you, but you can’t spend them and in fact, we intend to take them back before you ever get the chance to spend them.”

      Right. And my dog comes from Pluto.

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