The Stimulus Was An Utter Disaster

College of Political Knowledge

Federal Deficit Series

We hear these words daily coming out of the mouths of Repubs…..Obama’s plan is a bust…the economy is worse because of his policies….on and on…..they prattle  and they prattle and we sink deeper into the hole that the Washington crowd has dug, all of them not one party over another….all of them!

But was the American Recovery& Reinvestment Act (the stimulus) really a failure?  Not really….why?  CBO (or maybe it was the GAO)…..anyway their report on the stim plan shows that 1.3 to 3.0 million jobs were either created or saved and that it created $2 billion of economic activity and  that it has added about 2% of the country’s GDP.  NONE ot that sounds like a failure….yes, it could have been better but at least it did stop some of the slide to the economic abyss.

The failure that one may be thinking of is that of the Bush presidency’s bank bailouts…..these institutions were bailed out so that banks would start lending the money and re-start our economic engine….guess what?  It did NOTHING to improve the economy….it did however, save a bunch of gambling banks from disaster for the games they were playing with the people’s money…..

Maybe we should stop calling everything a failure and just stick to the facts…….or at least fix the designation to the thing that was the real failure and stop playing political games for electoral advantage…..

From Rep. Ryan: Cancel Remaining “Stimulus” Funds

Inkwell Institute

Federal Budget Deficit Reduction:

Paper #2

In continuing with the series on fighting the Federal deficit according to the office of Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan….next this all seems to be the same song different Congress from the GOP……This installment is entitled:

Cancel Remaining “Stimulus” Funds

The cancellation of the program would save $273 billion over 10 years.  The savings would be directed to the reduction of the Federal budget.

I will agree with Rep. Ryan, which I seldom do, that the stimulus money should be rescinded from its current proposals…I do disagree with Ryan in that it should be used to stimulate demand….instead of the programs it is trying to fund now…

With demand created…jobs will be created….production will increase…..and revenue will be increased……I know how to create demand?  One way could be refunds to people who make less than the official poverty level….they will spend any extra income they have …..this is not perfect but it will create a demand and could kick start a sluggish jobs market and create a bit of a recovery from below……the recovery from above that Ryan and his cohorts helped to create has done NOTHING to improve the lives of the American people…all it has done is save some massive corporations from taking a dirt nap.

I may agree with Ryan, at least somewhat, but the stim money would be spent on infrastructure and if it is canceled then the states will have to make up the cash shortfall and the way these self-indulgent people are acting….the only way to make it up is by slashing all funds for services.  Ryan’s idea sounds pretty good but in the long run may help bankrupt more states than California.

What Are They Yelling About?

Daily Agitator

I am referring to the Tea Party folk……I see the signs about over-taxation and taxed too much and taxation without representation and on and on and……..ad nauseum!

But the TRUTH and I hope you realize the emphasis on the word TRUTH…..is something a bit different than what the GOP and the TP would have us believe……

You wouldn’t know it from the clamor of anti-tax protests, but Americans turned over a lower share of their income to the taxman last year than at any time since the Truman administration, according to a USA Today analysis. State, local, and federal taxes took up 9.2% of income last year, the lowest proportion since 1950 and well below the average of 12% over the last 50 years.

The tax rate paid by all Americans has shrunk 26% since the recession began in 2007, largely because of tax cuts in the stimulus package and lower consumer spending reducing the amount of sales tax paid. Do the figures mean all those Tea Party tax protests are wrong-headed? Not so, says Adam Brandon at protest organizer FreedomWorks. The real problem, he says, is runaway spending and the huge deficit, which is going to have to be paid for by future taxes.

That from a post on Newser on 12 May 2010.

Just what are they worked up about?  If the taxation thing is not it, then what?  Could it be a color thing and the tax thing is just a cover?  What are these uninformed people really protesting?

A 2011 Prediction

We see daily that the media wants us to believe that the economy is recovering, slow but slowly……but is it really in recovery mode?

A good question that has numerous good answers…..if you were around for Reagan then you should be acquainted with the name Laffer…if not then let me help…Laffer is the father of trickle down economics, where if the wealthy get big tax cuts then the benefits will filter down to all strata of the economy…….bullsh*t!……I am still waiting for it to trickle down to my strata!  Anyway Laffer has some predictions for 2011…..

Arthur Laffer, President Reagan’s favorite economist and creator of the famous Laffer Curve, believes the economy is headed for a “train wreck” in 2011. And he thinks it will be so bad that the current recession look like the good ol’ days by comparison.

Human Events reports the details:

In a wide-ranging discussion about where the economy is headed, and the fiscal, tax and monetary reasons why, Laffer gives a bleak forecast of where President Obama and his administration are taking the country in the next three years — which he predicts will end with Obama’s defeat in 2012.

“Obama is a fine, very impressive person. He really is. Unfortunately, everything that he is doing in economics is exactly wrong. He is a crappy president,” Laffer said.

Personally, I do not put much faith in any of his predictions……but there are days when hell freezes over and today is one of those days…….I will agree with Laffer that it is NOT over…..commercial paper is close to exploding, and the great Satan of the current crisis, derivatives are still being done by the large players in our economy and there seems to be NO taste for financial reform in Washington…all that leads me to think that it can only get worse, but it will give a false sense of confidence first before the sh*t hits the fan….again!

The Games Politicians Play

I have been trying to point out as much of the pure manure that the politicians are spreading…..I do so with the hope that both sides will read it and start asking questions on why they are still in power……why they are so damn partisan…..and why they are ALL hypocrites…..

We all have heard the bitching by the Repubs and some Dems that the stim was a waste of time and money….that it has accomplished very little with the exception of driving up the deficit…..you know…the usual BS….

Thinkprogress.org has a great report:

ThinkProgress has investigated opponents of the Recovery Act, reporting throughout the year that many of the lawmakers who tried to kill the legislation have been returning to their home states to claim credit for popular stimulus programs. In a new research report, ThinkProgress finds that over half of the GOP caucus, 110 lawmakers — from the House and Senate — are guilty of stimulus hypocrisy. Among some of the key findings:

Top Republican Senate Recruits Are Stimulus Hypocrites: As ThinkProgress reported, Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), a candidate for Senate, touted over $5 million in stimulus programs he voted to kill. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the GOP nominee for Senate in Illinois, signed a letter urging Gov. Pat Quinn to provide “Recovery Act (ARRA) funding to expand the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network.”

GOP Leadership Leads The Way In Hypocrisy: Although he regularly slams the stimulus as a waste while in DC, McConnell has returned to Kentucky to take credit for stimulus programs, even taking time to request more funds. ThinkProgress attended two job fairs held by Cantor, where we found dozens of employers able to hire directly because of the stimulus. Indeed, even Boehner’s office released a statement boasting that the stimulus will create “much needed jobs.”

The Audacity Of Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds: Many opponents of the stimulus have been quite brazen with their ability to try to claim credit for the program. For instance, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) spent the morning of July 28th railing against the stimulus, yelling “Where’s the stimulus package? Where’s the jobs?” on the House floor. On the same day of his rant, Kingston’s office sent out multiple press releases bragging that he had secured hundreds of thousands in stimulus funds to hire additional police officers in his district. Other stimulus opponents, like Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) — who has called the stimulus a “trillion dollar debt bill” — have printed out jumbo-sized ceremonial stimulus checks to present to local communities to try to garner positive press.

Individually, over half of the entire Republican caucus has hailed nearly every aspect of the stimulus as a success — from infrastructure funds, to food programs, to education grants. But politically, admitting its success might harm the GOP’s chances in November. So with Republicans fixated on winning politically, they have focused on deceiving the public by calling the stimulus a failure, while pretending successful programs aren’t stimulus funded.

Some of us bloggers have been yelling about the hypocrisy in the Congress and now we can see that we were right….too bad others will not see them for what they are….HYPOCRITES!

I wish I could say that was all the silliness that there is to report…but that would be an outright lie….Yes, Irene there is more stupidity!

Stealing a page from President Obama’s transparency book, House Republicans on Wednesday asked Democratic leaders to hold an on-camera meeting with them on the economy and how to create jobs.

“Despite our differences, we believe that it is imperative for us to begin discussions and work together toward a shared goal of putting Americans back to work,” the House’s top two Republicans wrote in a letter to the House’s top two Democrats.

House Republicans want another chance to air their opinions and policy suggestions on public television with their Democratic counterparts.

Does anyone else see the stupidity of this statement and proposal?…..(insert long pause for reflection here)…….waiting….waiting….oh crap that is enough time…..

I believe that the two house of Congress are there for debate and CSPAN is there for transparency……this is just yet another BS move to look like they are being froze out of the process……it is BULLSH*T!…..plain and simple……the crap they want is already at their disposal and they will NOT use it…….

Someone once said, “stupid is as stupid does”….pretty much says it all…..for those that are saying the stupid crap and those that believe the stupid crap……

Yet Another Stim Plan?

Many on the Left as well as others have been mouthing that there needs to be yet another stim plan to help us out of the recession that is crippling the US…….of course there are others, mostly on the Right, that say it will be way too expensive and it would expand the deficit even further……

So Professor, will there be yet another stim plan?  Easy and simple answer is YES……but it will not be called that…..there will be some other cutesy label put on it to try and make it look like something other than what it is…..another stim plan…..

Professor, please qualify that answer…….sure thing people……let us begin with demand….there is NO demand……with no consumer demand there will be little to no jobs created…..no jobs then no expansion of inventories and then NO recovery……it is just that simple….

Then how will the economy recovery?  The new stim plan will not use that label but it will employ such tactics as cash for clunkers, extension of unemployment benefits, etc….things already used that have helped the economy in a minor way…there is already some indications of this will be their tactic….like the cash for caulkers, which is suppose to help people spend money on weatherizing their homes and businesses….

Basically, this is an end run, to use a sports analogy, to help the economy to start its recovery…..personally, I do not think this will do all they intend…..the first stim plan should have been used in other ways than they used it……as I have always said…..it is always good to create demand….without it there is NO recovery….

But this is not just an idle issue…..

More than 230 mayors are in Washington for the winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, and many said they had been forced to impose layoffs, furloughs, service reductions and fee increases to deal with falling municipal revenue. The next fiscal year looks even worse, they said.

“We are in the middle of a ‘jobs emergency’ that demands decisive and swift action,” said Elizabeth Kautz, the mayor of Burnsville, Minn., and president of the conference. “We need the Senate to pass a Main Street jobs package now.”

Mayor Kautz is a Republican, and while many Republicans in Congress oppose a second stimulus package, many of the Republican mayors here support it.

The economy is NOT looking good….but is a second stim plan really going to help or just be another massive bailout of gamblers and thieves as the first one was?  We have heard lots of lip service about jobs….but where are those jobs?….what sector is employing people?  This is just another “gimme” to Wall Street!

What Happened To The Shovel Ready Projects?

I recall at the beginning of the process, the stim plan would create jobs because of the state’s shovel ready projects that need funding….remember?…..almost all governor’s said there were many, many shovel ready projects in their state that could use funding and that the stim plan would get those projects up and working……..and especially putting Americans back to work……that was then….this is now…..

As reported on ABC:

Ten months into President Barack Obama’s first economic stimulus plan, a surge in spending on roads and bridges has had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, an Associated Press analysis has found.

Spend a lot or spend nothing at all, it didn’t matter, the AP analysis showed: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama’s argument that more road money would address an “urgent need to accelerate job growth.”

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP’s analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.

So basically, there is NO change in the status quo of the projects and the promised employment has NOT changed in the least.  So if infrastructure projects would be a boom to the economy, why is it not helping?

Basically, because the bulk of the stim money is being spent saving the gamblers on Wall Street….which I have said many times is NOT creating what the economy needs…..DEMAND!