A few weeks ago, shortly after his inauguration, Barry “The President” Obama panicked: the Republicans might talk the people out of the stimulus bill.
Barry moved quickly. But Barry is an organizer, not an engineer. He’s the cheerleader, not the quarterback. He moves mobs, not nations. And when panicked, he fell apart.
Barry decided to announce that life as we know it would economically end the Day After The Stimulus Bill Is Defeated. The “greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” was a convenient bludgeon for Barry to use as a candidate against the two men least responsible for it: Bush and McCain. Now, that crisis was his to fix.
“A crisis into a catastrophe"
His words. If Congress failed to pass a near-trillion dollar spending spree, then financial ruin would be upon us.
Congress passed it. The economic slide into depression accelerated.
Thanks, Barry. Even Robert J. Samuelson – who was our Krugman when I was in college – is kind of appalled at the whole unseemly creation of this Frankenstienian spendfest.
Judged by his own standards, President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus program is deeply disappointing.
Samuelson has more bad news for those who that the trillion dollars would do anything before the next election cycle.
His [Obama’s] politics compromise the program's economics. Look at the numbers . . . At his news conference, Obama argued (inaccurately) that the two goals don't conflict. Consider, he said, the retrofitting of federal buildings to make them more energy efficient. "We're creating jobs immediately," he said.
Yes -- but not many. The stimulus package includes $5.5 billion for overhauling federal buildings. The CBO estimates that only 23 percent of that would be spent in 2009 and 2010.
Politics Over Principle
Were Samuelson not on the left, one imagines, his critique of Barry’s first major act as president would be scathing.
By using the stimulus for unrelated policy goals, spending will be delayed and diluted. There's another downside: "Temporary" spending increases for specific programs, as opposed to block grants, will be harder to undo, worsening the long-term budget outlook.
The reason so many are vowing to attend Tea Parties to protest wasteful spending, skyrocketing debt, transfer of wealth, and creeping socialism is because we cherish freedom, not because we’re greedy. Most of the people at the rallies have a net worth that dwarfed by Obama’s cabinet’s daily checking account balances. We know the value of a dollar, and we to keep the few we earn.
It’s Socialism, Stupid
Obama is an old-time socialist with new-fangled toys what whir and sizzle. But the magic is getting old fast.
What a tiny, tiny honeymoon for Uncle Barry’s Adding Machine Stimulator Regulation Gimmick. Got my cynicism early, wouldn’t you?