I told you so: now the Democrats want another budget-busting stimulus jobs creation bill!

I asked, on October the oneth, if we would see the “son of stimulus” bill.

President Obama has argued that without the 2009 economic stimulus bill, our economy would have been in even worse shape. Well, there’s no way to know that or prove that, but he’s the President, so his opinion counts for something. But the article I linked cited increasing job losses, and the Department of Labor is scheduled to release the September unemployment figures; odds are that they’ll be no better than August’s 9.7%, and possibly worse.

Yeah, worse was what it was, 9.8% for September, and 10.2% for October; November’s unemployment statistics are scheduled for release just a few days after the President explains his new Afghanistan strategy, so those numbers might get drowned out of the news if they are worse than 10.2%. (If they’re better, then you can count on the Administration trumpeting their great success, and that will dominate the news.)


Obama eyes jobs package for 2010¹

Lawmakers conceded the stimulus was insufficient. Job creation is needed to attack surging unemployment.


By Peter Nicholas, The Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON – Troubled by the rising jobless rate, President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress are assembling a jobs package that would devote billions of dollars to projects meant to put people back on payrolls in 2010 and keep them working.

Discussions over the scale of the bill were fluid, but lawmakers said the intent was to move swiftly and get a jobs bill to Obama’s desk as early as January.

The renewed push to create jobs is driven by a recognition that the $787 billion stimulus program enacted in February is not a sufficient remedy for an unemployment rate that stands at 10.2 percent.

Nearly 16 million people were unemployed as of October, and 3.49 million jobs have been lost since January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The stimulus boosted employment but “did it in a way that was not as highly visible as a lot of people would like,” said Rep. Betty Sutton (D., Ohio), one of the House members devising the jobs bill. “It did so in somewhat of a scattershot approach – a job here and a job there, trickled out over time. . . . Far too many Americans are without a job, and far too many more are worried about what tomorrow is going to bring.”

Oh, so the Porkulus Plan did create jobs, but just didn’t do it in a way that was highly visible? What explains, then, the President’s initial assertion that passage of the Porkulus Plan would hold unemployment to 8%, and that we’d see a whopping 9% unemployment if we didn’t pass that huge budget-buster?

This was what the President promised us, compared to what was actually achieved:

I wrote on the third of last month:

President Obama claimed that he was going to fix our economy, and that his plans for massive government spending would work. He told us what tragedies would come to pass if we didn’t pass the Porkulus Planm, and how some of them would be alleviated if we passed this massive, liberal-friendly spending plan. yet now the unemployment numbers are significantly worse than what the President claimed they’d be if we didn’t pass that bill.

That leaves us with two possibilities:

  1. Either the President and his economic team knew what would happen if the bill wasn’t passed, projected it correctly, and the passage of the bill acually made things worse; or
  2. The President and his economic team had no flaming idea what would happen with the economy, which means that we can’t trust them and their statements and projections, because they have no idea what they are doing.

So, what do we have here? We have a President who either knew what the economy was doing, and whose policies actually made things worse, or who had no flaming idea at all about what the economy was doing and had no idea how to fix it, and now, after transferring hundreds of billions of dollars of future taxpayer productivity into the hands of the Chinese, wants to pass yet another multiple tens of billion dollar stimulus plan — though, this time, they’ll call it a “jobs creation” bill — because the last time the Congress went along with the President’s plan, it didn’t work at all well enough.

Congressional aides said the new program could cost tens of billions of dollars. Democratic House members who were disappointed that the stimulus was not larger said they would press for a substantial spending plan this time.

“I hope we don’t play around the edges with this and we do what will work. Invest the money now,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), who is chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “We have to create jobs, and we have to create them right away.”

Now, from that I have absolutely no idea what the Democrats want to borrow and spend. Is it “tens of billions of dollars,” or something even larger than the last, $787 billion bill? The language of the article is way, way too vague. Then again, it may be the Democrats’ ideas which are way, way too vague.

And, of course, if passed this will be on top of a God-only-knows how expensive health care destruction bill.

Our friends on the left will say, “You can’t complain about deficits, because you weren’t complaining about them when George Bush was president.” It’s true that we weren’t vociferous enough, but part of that was due to the fact we knew that, no matter how bad the Republicans were at overspending, they weren’t anywhere near as bad as the Democrats would be. And shazamm! look what has happened to the deficit since the Democrats took control of the Congress following the 2006 elections:

Remember, though deficits were too high, they were coming down again when the Republican-controlled Congress passed its last spending bills (FY2007). The Democrats took control of the Congress in time for the FY2008 budget — if you can call it a budget — and up went the deficit. Regrettably, it was President Bush who signed the FY2008 and some of the FY2009 spending bills, but he couldn’t spend a dime that wasn’t appropriated by the Democrat-controlled Congress. Republican fears that the Democrats would be far, far worse on spending have been proven with a vengeance.

And we are already seeing the downside of the out-of-control spending:


Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government


By Edmund L Andrews, The New York Times
Published: November 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true.

But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.

Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.

Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

More at the link; hat tip to DRJ. The Times article continued to note that an additional $500 billion per year for debt service would exceed the combined budgets for the Departments of Education, Energy, Homeland Security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Remember the financial system collapse that triggered the unfortunate 2008 bailout, the one brought about by irresponsible mortgages? Well, the federal government is about to do the very same thing to itself:

“The government is on teaser rates,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates lower deficits. “We’re taking out a huge mortgage right now, but we won’t feel the pain until later.”

Due to the weakness in the stock market, the Treasury has been able to sell T-bills at very low interest rates. But if investors start to see decent stability and returns in stocks, they won’t be satisfied with 1% returns in T-bills, and the prices will drop.² In effect, the government is dealing in its own version of the adjustable rate mortgage: as shorter-term T-bills were sold, to take advantage of much lower interest costs, the government will have to issue T-bills again, sooner, to pay off the short-term notes as they come due. I wish that I still had the picture that Ken once sent me, of a cute blonde girl wearing a t-shirt which said, “Can I pay my Visa with my MasterCard?”

I understand the motivations of the Democrats as far as this jobs bill is concerned: they want to ease the pain people are feeling — as well as enhance their chances in the 2010 congressional elections. But even if it worked — which seems unlikely, given that the first stimulus bill didn’t — it would simply postpone the pain: we would have to have much higher taxes in the near future, to pay these huge debts, and te American people would be, in effect, sending more of their money to help the Chinese economy, and taking their own hard work out of the United States.

Remember the 1971 Fram Oil Filter campaign with the auto mechanic telling you that, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later?” where car owners were advised to get regular oil changes and service, to avoid major repair expenses in the future? It’s time to try and pay now, because we already have way, way, way too much that we have to pay later.
__________________________
¹ – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, 27 November 2009, p. A-1
² – Treasury Bills are sold at discounts of their face value at maturity. When the price drops, the effective interest rate increases. This means that the Treasury has to sell more delayed face-value to raise the same amount of immediate cash, meaning that the amount added to the national debt is greater than the amount of deficit financed.

28 Comments

  1. York, imagine Barack Obama (SoA) is a secret Muslim jihadi out to destroy the Great Satan. He gets himself elected President of the USA and sets about the very serious business of bringing the US economy to its knees.

    Yet, he must do it in such a way as to hide his Islamic identity and conceal his violent jihadi motivations. Only so long as he can remain unmasked can he continue to strike additional blows for the victory of Islam and the glory of Allah.

    If you can imagine all that, you can answer your own question.

  2. ropelight:
    York, imagine Barack Obama (SoA) is a secret Muslim jihadi out to destroy the Great Satan. He gets himself elected President of the USA and sets about the very serious business of bringing the US economy to its knees.

    Yet, he must do it in such a way as to hide his Islamic identity and conceal his violent jihadi motivations. Only so long as he can remain unmasked can he continue to strike additional blows for the victory of Islam and the glory of Allah.

    If you can imagine all that, you can answer your own question.

    And from Manchuria????

  3. Yorkshire – “Wonder what BO’s plans for the country are after he buries it in insurmountable debt?”

    But isn’t that the point? I mean if you’re a true Alinsky-ite?

    If the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress were really interested in turning this country around, all they’d need to do is stop everything they are currently doing. And if they really were in the mood to help – do the opposite.

    That is of course IF the goal is to actually ‘to turn the country around’. Having seen no sign of that, it’s apparent they must have a different goal in mind. Maybe they’re just simply too stupid to understand it. After all, wasn’t it our great VP, Joe Biden, who stated we needed to “…spend more to keep from going bankrupt?” Sure – that’s what every business owner does when the chips are down Joe.

    “Liberty is the Basis, and whoever should dare to sap the foundation or overturn the Structure [of the United States], under whatever specious pretexts he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest execration, and the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured country.” – George Washington, 1783

  4. Joe Shallenberger:
    Yorkshire – “Wonder what BO’s plans for the country are after he buries it in insurmountable debt?”

    But isn’t that the point? I mean if you’re a true Alinsky-ite?

    Frankly, I don’t know what he is anymore, except I know he is not looking out for our best interests. He has/had communists advising him, he has a tax cheat for Treasurer who was head of the Fed in NY and was Clueless, he now has a Union President as head of the Fed in NY, he has a tax dodger in the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, now an incompetent Secret Service, he has not spent the first stimulus before he’s on to the next, he’s alienating our friends and making friends with our enemies, he bows to inferiors, Chavez and Castro love him, he screwed up Honduras, he can’t make a decision in Afghanistan and when it’s made I’m sure it will be the wrong one, he uses the Armed Forces for photo ops(his admission), won’t call terrorist acts when they are terrorist acts, he has a goofball for VP, is letting the House and Senate write the Healthscare Bill that will bankrupt us, ration care, and make things worse, and I just scratched the surface of this incompetent maladministration.

  5. I don’t believe in any such conspiracy theories: Barack Hussein Obama has the top job in the world right now, and the last thing he wants to do is ruin it. No one wants to go down in history as the biggest failure ever in the White House, and no one wants to be known in history as a president who was thrown out by the voters after one term. The Democrats in general, and the President specifically, are dreadfully afraid that this economy will get them thrown out of office in 2010 and 2012 if they don’t do something about it.

    So, they’ve got to do two things: they have to deliver on health care reform, and they’ve got to dramatically reduce unemployment. Thus, we’re going to see a health care reform bill that won’t take effect until 2013 — but, of course, the taxes for it will start much sooner — and some make-work, prop-up jobs bill that will reduce the unemployment rolls temporarily, but add another mountain of debt which has to be repaid. And if they can just paper over things enough so that they can put off the collapse until 2017, then it’ll get blamed on the next Republican president.

    Basic fact number one: they simply don’t know what to do to get out of the economic box they’re in, but they think the option of just stopping, just doing nothing at all, is impossible.

  6. Dana concludes:“Basic fact number one: they simply don’t know what to do to get out of the economic box they’re in, but they think the option of just stopping, just doing nothing at all, is impossible.”

    I think this is correct, and, I agree with most of the rest of your statement.

    The fact that Yorktown and Joe S wish to overlook with their negativity and conspiracy theories, is that our economy has tanked because of excesses on the part of both Wall Street and American families.

    Wall Street created overly risky investment vehicles leveraged as high as 30:1, fueling unrealistic speculative bubbles.

    American families created overly risky borrowing practices based on easy, low interest mortgages and car loans, and maxed out credit cards.

    When the crunch came and jobs were lost, financial collapse across the board was the result, fortunately not total collapse due to the coordinated intervention of governments globally, with the burden resting mainly on the main culprits, us Americans.

    You never hear the Yorktown’s and Joe S’s talking about this, because for ideological purposes they wish to put all the blame on the current administration. Moreover, the only solution offered is to return to the status quo anti, which is so obviously foolish as not to deserve serious consideration.

    During the Obama administration so far, the stock market has bottomed and then risen 60%, apparently a good sign. Not to me, as I see another bubble building, fueled by Wall Street hype. How often do we here that the performance of Corporation X exceeds Wall Street expectations, and the stock price shoots up? In my view, this stock market performance is inconsistent with the performance of the economy. Jobs continue to be lost, unemployment continues to increase.

    It is irrefutable that Bush then Obama saved the globe from financial collapse, if one believes the experts about how close we came, thus no Great Depression so far, only a Great Recession. It was a gamble that has paid off, but the gambling is not over, because a shift to more stimulus of Main Street is badly needed now. We must stimulate job creation. We’ve done this before, successfully, in the ’30′s. There is simply no other choice short of further serious economic deterioration!

    If this new stimulus turns unemployment into employment, then we are on the right track, and can then attack the massive deficit and debt we have created by borrowing and printing money. If this gamble fails, we will continue to flounder economically for some years ahead, lowering our standard of living, forcing us to do more and severe belt tightening, and impacting the well-being of our children and grand children.

    So now to all you ideological naysayers and conspirators, were you in Obama’s position, what would you have done? What would you now do? I haven’t been hearing many solutions from you folks so far.

  7. Vintage Perry: So now to all you ideological naysayers and conspirators, were you in Obama’s position, what would you have done? What would you now do? I haven’t been hearing many solutions from you folks so far.

    *Yawn*

  8. Perry concluded:

    So now to all you ideological naysayers and conspirators, were you in Obama’s position, what would you have done? What would you now do? I haven’t been hearing many solutions from you folks so far.

    Actually, you have. Were I President, I would not have proposed the Porkulus Plan, I would not have proposed nationalizing health care, and I would not be proposing a second stimulus plan. I would tell the public that yeah, it’s going to hurt for a couple of years, but I wouldn’t have added two or three trillion to the debt, so that we’d at least have a chance to get out of this in the future. I would not have bailed out General Motors, but let it fail, knowing that Ford would take up most of the slack with future sales of American cars. I would not have released the second half of the TARP money — President Obama had no control over the first half — and I would have radically cut federal spending.

    Regrettably, what I see is us inflating our way out of our foreign debt. That would serve the purpose of reducing our foreign debt in real terms, and making imports much more expensive, to the point that American industry might find it profitable to produce again. It would mean a big increase in oil prices, which I would attempt to moderate by opening up every possible source of domestic oil production to the oil companies. I would do everything I could to eliminate wasteful, non-productive spending on carbon emission control and the like.

    This would cause some real pain to American citizens, but sometimes you can’t be afraid of pain, sometimes you have to go ahead and take the pain now, and get it over with, to be able to move on.

  9. as much ink as you spill over trying to justify yourself here, it really is true that nobody who supported Bush has any grounds on which to claim to have suddenly seen the light about deficits. to say nothing of the Cult of Reagan, i.e. Mr. Deficit.

  10. So, cmbc, since you are saying that we Republicans, because we didn’t oppose President Bush — even though we knew that the Democrats would have been much, much worse — can’t complain about the deficit, doesn’t that mean that I should be able to go over to the Iowa Liberal and find just scads of articles by Messrs Ganzeveld and Brown complaining about the many-times-higher deficits being run by President Obama? With a Democratic Congress, and about half of the spending bills delayed by the Congress until Mr Obama became president, the FY2009 deficit came in at $1.42 trillion.

    For the entire portion of the Bush Administration in which he had a Republican Congress, there was a cumulative deficit of $1,547.062 billion.1 Once we had a Democratic controlled Congress beginning the budget (FY2008), we had, in just two years, a cumulative deficit if $1,878.555 billion, and we can count on another over-a-trillion dollar deficit for FY2010.

    Please, tell me when I’m going to see the Iowa Liberal, on which site you are the number one commenter, complaining about the deficit.
    __________________________

    1. This includes FY2001, signed by President Clinton, but with the 2001 tax cuts made retroactive to 1 January 2001. [back]
  11. cbmc:
    also, lol@Yorkshire being clinically insane

    Insanity is doing the wrong thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you believe the Bush deficits were wrong, doubling them won’t make it better.

  12. Perry – “American families created overly risky borrowing practices based on easy, low interest mortgages and car loans, and maxed out credit cards.”

    No Perry – banks and government collusion created them and American families allowed themselves to be suckered into the scheme. Do we really need to go back through the whole Freddy Mac/Fannie Mae, Jimmy Carter, Franklin Raines, Barney Frank, Chris (Countrywide) Dodd thing again?

    If so – http://loanworkout.org/2008/08/fannie-mae-freddie-mac-failure-the-lies-the-cover-ups-and-the-making-of-a-disaster/

    While folks like our dear friend Perry would like to believe Big Government Social solutions are the answer, history shows just about everything they’ve ever gotten their grubby hands on turns to shit. Social Security – BANKRUPT!, Medicare – BANKRUPT! And now since these two ‘Government-designed’ Ponzi schemes have worked so well, we need to create the MOASP (Mother Of All Social Programs) – Single Payer Health Care.

    Amazing how some like to perpetuate this business vs government scenario, like there’s some clean line of demarcation between the two, when the fact is they’ve been in bed together throughout it all.

    It truly is us against them. We The People vs Big Government and Big Business collusion. And No, I do not simply blame this administration as the sole perpetrator of bad policy. It has taken decades of this, across many administrations, both Democrat and Republican. The only reason I’m on Obama’s case is because he’s in office and is the current purveyor of continued bad policies. And boy what bad policies they are! Perpetuating and inventing more of the same bad policies that led us where we are today, in a manner the likes of which have not been seen in human history.

    In less than one year this man has supported policies/legislation that will have quadrupled the national debt. Accumulating more debt in his first year of office than all presidents combined, beginning with George Washington. This is a president that has broken virtually every campaign promise he’s made, except for one of course; CHANGE.

    How about the thousands of earmarks that weren’t going to be in the Porkulus plan? How about not allowing lobbyists into the process? How about the $100M bribe to Mary Landrieu for her latest vote.

    “Oh, but Joe – Don’t you know? That’s how business gets done in Washington! It’s common practice to redistribute taxpayer money as bribery to buy votes.” One of many things both Washington and Chicago have in common.

    Hate to say this Perry, but you and your lot really need to wake up and smell the coffee here. The foxes are in the henhouse again and you’re holding the door open for them to get in. You guys are falling for the old slight of hand once more. While you sit here and point the finger at Wall Street, speaking in partisan tongue, the government’s robbing us and our grandchildren blind! At this rate, the Chinese won’t ever have to lift a military finger, since they’ll soon own us outright.

    Here’s a stock tip for the day – Rosetta Stone; since I figure they’re on the verge of selling a couple million copies of their Chinese Mandarin version.

    [Edited to fix hyperlink (Joe advise if "fix" is satisfactory) -- JH]

  13. Comrade York, always remember the words of George Orwell:

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

  14. Thing is, regardless of whom you want to blame for the subprime mortgage mess, that is exactly the thing the Obama Administration and the Democrats want to do now, to create jobs and provide health care and all of the good things they think they can accomplish.

    We can argue forever about what party was responsible for subprime, and never persuade our opponents. OK, fine, Republicans will blame Democrats and Democrats will blame Republicans, but so what: that’s over. The question is: do we want the government to repeat, as a government, the same mistakes all of those subprime borrowers made?

  15. JoeS wrote: “No Perry – banks and government collusion created them and American families allowed themselves to be suckered into the scheme.”

    No, Joe, here is what I said: “Wall Street created overly risky investment vehicles leveraged as high as 30:1, fueling unrealistic speculative bubbles.

    American families created overly risky borrowing practices based on easy, low interest mortgages and car loans, and maxed out credit cards.”

    My point, this is an American problem, one which requires a change in both government and citizen behavior, so I agree with you here: “It truly is us against them. We The People vs Big Government and Big Business collusion.”

    I had hoped that Obama would bring a significant change to this dynamic, but a year at it has demonstrated that the “Big Government and Big Business collusion” dominates even a President, which is not saying much positive about the near future for our country.

    Bush-Obama had to rescue the financial sector which was on the verge of total collapse according to the experts. However, once rescued, money had to be put directly into job creation. So far, that has not been done.

    It is only with an infusion of jobs that we will be able to turn this economy around and then begin to attack our huge deficit. Jobs are what ended the Great Depression, when the debt, after WWII, had risen to about 120% of GDP, whereas we are now at about 75% of GDP, as you can see right here.

    I don’t know how we will break the Big Government – Big Business conglomerate, but we need to do something big. I believe this is our most serious problem of all. If we, as voters, don’t elect representatives who are relatively free of this deadly connection, we are really doomed, in my view.

    In the meantime, let us press our representatives to target stimulus money into job creation, otherwise we are doomed before the next election, it seems to me. “Doomed” means that our standard of living for the middle will decrease significantly, causing as a response civic chaos, thus compounding our problems. We cannot let it get to that, which is why immediate stimulus action must be taken.

  16. Dana makes funny:“… even though we knew that the Democrats would have been much, much worse [than the Repubs during Bush-43] …. “

    Dana, what in heavens name did you drink for breakfast this morning? The Dems would not have attacked Iraq, so take at least $0.8T off of the debt, save at least 4K lives, and save at least 20K serious injuries to our troops, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost and maimed and the infrastructure damage inflicted. Please tell me what there is to be proud of here? That should be enough to have you voting Dem for the rest of your life!

  17. Knowing that the Democrats would coddle dictators and terrorists is enough to have me voting Republican for the rest of my life! I am very proud of the work we have done, ridding Iraq of a brutal dictatorship and trying to restore freedom and democracy. The money we have spent in Iraq is at least worth the investment.

    Of course, President Bush and the Republicans should have balanced the budget, by slashing social programs; that would have been the responsible thing to do. As for the additional debt created by the war in Iraq, that pales in comparison to what the Democrats are going to generate.

  18. Perry, you have seen part of the problem and you have seen the goal of fixing that problem. That much I like. But you’re going about it the wrong way. To break the BigGovernment-BigBusiness collusion, shrink the government. There will necessarily be fewer hand-holds for BigBusiness.

    As far as the amplified FDR-style spending, economists at UCLA deemed FDR responsible for extending the Great Depression, not relieving it. So, no, we don’t need BigGovernment saddling more generations with greater debt so it can grow even bigger and siphon off some of that money for the bureaucratic process of spreading a thin layer of it to targets of their choice. We need BigGovernment to STOP SPENDING other people’s money in unconstitutional manners.

  19. Perry wrote:

    In the meantime, let us press our representatives to target stimulus money into job creation, otherwise we are doomed before the next election, it seems to me.

    But that’s just it: the last stimulus bill didn’t create any jobs; unemployment has surged well beyond what the President said it would be if we did nothing. All that a “son of stimulus” bill would do is to add another huge chunk to the deficit and the debt, far more than the taxes paid by make-work workers would return, and the problems would just get worse.

  20. Perry wrote:

    Jobs are what ended the Great Depression.

    True enough, but think what fueled those jobs. We had a world situation in which several nations had a significantly increased demand for rapidly expended and needing to be replaced manufactured goods, at the same time as their own industrial plant was experiencing rather significant degradation. Our economy took off because we were selling war materiel, and the people who needed it were seeing their factories being blown to smithereens. By the end of the war, the United States possessed something like 45% of total world industrial capacity.

    I’d guess that our economy would take off again, if we blew up the industrial plants in China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and Russia. Think we ought to try it?

  21. No, Dana, please, Iraq and Afghanistan represent enough mistakes to last until your grandchildren are full grown adults! I plain do not think it is our place to go in and replace dictators, just as you would not like a foreign power to come in and replace Obama, even considering how much hate the Right has for the man.

    Of course a job stimulus would not be as big as WWII was for FDR. All we need is for it to be big enough to get employment to increase and the economy growing, however much that is. This is a gamble that we have to take, otherwise we will be in deep dodo for a long time. We have no choice. We already know that going back to the Bush approach did not work and will not work. And the job creation part of the last stimulus was not large enough, nor was it properly targeted. It should have been targeted at areas in the country that have the largest unemployment and are the most intransigent for normal recovery to occur.

    John, you say “shrink the government”. Like what part. Abolish Social Security? Abolish Medicare? Abolish the DoD? Abolish Homeland Security? Abolish SCHIP?

    And John, btw, I did enjoy your piece on your track experiences, very interesting, very well written, very informative.

  22. Perry:
    John, you say “shrink the government”. Like what part. Abolish Social Security? Abolish Medicare? Abolish the DoD? Abolish Homeland Security? Abolish SCHIP?

    The Left likes to point to the General Welfare Clause for programs. If the program can not and does not help all, then I see it as specific welfare, and not “general” welfare. So, start there.

  23. Get rid of the Department of Education for starters and return the schools back to the states and communities where they belong. Get rid of leave no child’s behind. As long as there is one Federal Dollar given, the local DOE must write a thousand reports on how it was used, and was it used with the Federal strings attached.

    I’m always amazed how when Federal “help” comes, so comes a larger local staff, and that staff trickles down. Baltimore had a small central staff in the 60′s when the population was near a million. Now with the population down to 650K, the staff became so large they had to leave their HQ on 25th St. and move to the just abandoned large POLY HS building and the building filled with staff to meet the size of the building.

  24. The bigger government gets, the more strongly attached big business gets to big government. For each new government control and each new government program, big business will be there getting a carve-out, a discount, a bene. And then big business will jump on the bandwagon of support for the new government attack on the private sector. They feed off each other.

    On the other hand, if government were to return to its highly restricted past in this nation, restricted like the framers of the Constitution wanted (and the Constitution could not have been passed had it not been highly restrictive of the government), there would be little reason for big business to sally up to the trough.

    But you’re right in one thing, Perry. If you want an expansive and expanding government, there is no visible way to cut big business out of the equation.

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