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  • The Big Lie at the Center of Big Spending Stimulus

    Barack Obama is trying to convince the American people that when it comes to his economic stimulus plan, “We’re guided by what works, not by any ideology or special interests.” But as the  New York Times reports today, nobody has any idea “what works.” First the Times reports:

    Nearly every economist who spoke here agreed that a dollar invested in, say, a new transit system or in bridge repair is spent and respent more efficiently than a dollar that comes to a household in a tax cut.

    Awesome. That’s good to know. There must be tons of great research to back this belief up. But then the Times reports:

    There was concern, however, that the nation lacked enough “shovel ready” projects that could be ramped up quickly, generating jobs.

    Wait, what? I thought we were just told that as long as the government is doing the spending, that money  is “spent and respent more efficiently than a dollar that comes to a household in a tax cut.” Now all of a sudden, it matters whether or not the projects that government money is poured into is “shovel ready” or not? If a government project is not “shovel ready” does that mean government spending is no longer more efficient than tax cuts? The Times doesn’t tell us. But apparently that is because all these government spending loving economists have no idea what they are talking about. The Times reports:

    What is more, the economists did not agree on the best projects to pursue. As Mr. Auerbach pointed out, after a generation of ignoring public spending in their research, the nation’s mainstream economists lacked the expertise to help guide the process. “We have not figured out the right course of action,” he said.

    There were plenty of proposals at the three-day convention. Some argued for a big investment in broadband. Others proposed recruiting young people for two-year stints weather-stripping and upgrading privately owned and public buildings. Still others argued that government should step up subsidies for basic research and product innovation.

    Got that? All the economists that Obama is listening to so that he makes sure “that the investments are made wisely and managed well” are just making stuff up. There is simply no research that exists to provide “the expertise to help guide the process.”

    So we’re left with Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) truth: “Those aren’t stimulus. Those are ideological accomplishments in the guise of economic stimulus.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    38 Responses to The Big Lie at the Center of Big Spending Stimulus

    1. benintn says:

      Ever hear of an RFP? Duh.

      This is silliness. Projects will be proposed and considered. Some will be accepted. Others will be rejected.

      Do we trust our elected officials to make good decisions? If not, why did we elect them?

    2. Tom Nally, New Orlea says:

      It's extremely hard for me to believe that government spending "stimulates" the economy, or "creates jobs" for that matter. I am much more inclined to think that government spending destroys jobs.

      One dollar spent in the private sector will purchase one dollar's worth of goods services. The same dollar spent in the public sector will only purchase seventy-five cents (or less) worth of goods and services because of the wealth-consuming requirements of bureaucracy: meetings that have to take place, signatures that must be obtained, purchase orders that have to be reviewed, vendor evaluation that must take place, purchase-order cataloging and auditing, etc.

      Therefore, dollars lose a portion of their purchasing power in the hands of government. In turn, a portion of the jobs which would otherwise be created by private sector purchasing will never come to life once those dollars are transferred from private hands to government hands.

      Result: government spending does not create jobs. It destroys them.

    3. DFCtomm says:

      Doesn't it take years to prepare for a major infrastructure project these days? The environmental impact studies, the safety studies, court cases….etc. Isn't it more likely that the government will simply create a lot of paper pushing jobs simply because it's expedient?

    4. Rob Sanderson, Utah says:

      "We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. "

      Winston Churchill

    5. Sparky, California says:

      Let's see…what federal program is really efficient?…hahahaha! The purse strings are in hands of the liars and cheats who work in the House and Senate…oh that's good..they never waste money. Let's give them a trillion dollars..I like it! For sure, the Feds know best..about everything, including how to fix the economy. There you have it!

    6. m says:

      It's shovel ready politics. Consider the Chicago way, all construction projects are awarded with a down payment, which in turn stimulates the politician to award, the project. Chicago politics on a national level, amazing!

    7. PierreLegrand says:

      How absurd and silly we are in the United States. When a politician, in extremely flowery language, tells us they will take 5 dollars from our right pocket, take one dollar for a service charge, then put the remaining 4 dollars into our left pocket we believe them when they say we are 4 dollars richer.

      We absolutely deserve the punishment that is coming.

    8. TB, California says:

      "Nearly every economist who spoke here agreed that a dollar invested in, say, a new transit system or in bridge repair is spent and respent more efficiently than a dollar that comes to a household in a tax cut."

      This might make a small amount of sense if most transit systems in America didn't suck up far more government money in their day-to-day operation than any revenues they generate.

    9. Larry Poe, Michigan says:

      This whole "economic catastrophe" the MSM and the Democrats have cooked up is the myth. While the economy is definitely very soft and overdue for a significant recession of six to nine months duration, the 92% of Americans who still have jobs are considerably better off than last year at this time: they are spending far less on fuel and energy. By the time the Dems spending comes on line we'll be on the upswing and the "stimulas" will mostly stimulate inflationary pressures and crowd out private investment.

      Most of this doom and gloom is intended to soften up the American public for the trillion dollar crap sandwich the Dems are cooking up in Washington. Telling a liberal that they can spend a trillion dollars on "stimulus" is like giving a teenager a case of beer and the keys to the family car and telling them to have a good time.

      A huge amount of this money will disappear down a rat hole, with the taxpayer left holding the bag.

    10. Jeff i nPhoenix says:

      The Times make another pathetic attempt to further the lie that a dollar spent by the government is worth more than a dollar spent in the private sector. At this time in Amreican and world history, every dollar Obama adds to his "stimulus" and to the 2009 budget brings us more than a dollar closer to depression and national bankruptcy. Someone had better tell the Federal Reserve that we can't print our way out of this one.

    11. Joseph A. Wood, Edwa says:

      Unfortunately this is a political answer to an economic problem, and it will not work, except for the folks in the House and Senate. Are these "experts" on the economy, the same ones who advised Obama to appoint Leon Panetta as CIA Chief?

    12. Chris Berg, Albuquer says:

      We're letting crooked politicians destroy the U.S. economy. 100 million Americans are on the dole, getting great benefits on the backs of private sector workers. They don't care if they're putting Americans out of work, they just want to elect crooked politicians who will continue raising taxes and deficit spend to fund their free ride. Join mensunion.org or I'll see you on the soup-line. Hyper-inflation and high unemployment coming. Get ready for the Greater Depression.

    13. M. says:

      The politicians, this time, need to be thrown into the harbor. Keep the tea.

      Keep it up America… keep voting in your incumbent politicians.

      "jack" hats!

    14. pk,sj says:

      benintn get a grip these clowns aren't elected they are chosen by the dope smoking media and the sheeple buy that crap!

    15. S. Bray Cincinnati, says:

      I still find it hard to believe that that so many are so disillusioned. I am a truck driver that has been laid off since October 2008 due to the economy. No one is bailing out my place of business. I am also a union worker and was upset when our Union President decided to support Presidential Elect Obama but it is even more disheartened to see that the Teamster's President James P. Hoffa is also spreading the lies for the Future economic plans for America and it scares me even worse for my own future. He state's in the Dec. 12, 2008 The Huffington post article that by bailing out the banks and auto makers and fixing bridges and repaving the roads in America, it will create jobs including jobs for me. I am not seeing how this all will help me, America or get me making a living again to feed my family and put a roof over my families head. I do not have anything to fall back on while I wait for the roads and bridges to be built. I know that it takes forever here to fix the roads. I will be homeless before any of this happens and then when they are repaved where I am I going to be going in my truck and what am I going to be hauling?

    16. Ryan, San Francisco says:

      Why don't we just let the government run everything. Since they can stimulate and affect the economoy so much better than the people, why don't we just let government take over all the spending in our country and we can just get in line for what they'll give us in their infinite compassion.

      Apparently these are the same people that called supply side and trickle down economics "Voodoo Economics". Apparently when a dollar goes through government programs many times, it's clear as a bell. When it goes through the private sector, all of a sudden those same people become conveniently incapable of understanding.

      What a total joke.

    17. Brenda, Saylorsburg says:

      I am just disgusted at this stimulus recovery package. It is just common-sense that one can not spend themselves out of debt. The government has not ever spent money wisely and now liberals are going to go wild with our tax dollars and not even ask us about it. The media talks as if this is a done deal, which it will be because the president elect is so loved and cherished by everyone that he must be correct. Since all of the little guys have to feel the pain, how about voting down the recent congressional pay raise they voted on without any delay, vote out their massive lifelong pension and expensive healthcare plan. They, congress, seem to look down on anyone who makes any money so why should they be any different then the rest of us debtors?

    18. JAQUEBAUER says:

      Firstly, start by putting those in congress and wallstreet that are responsible for this mess on the unemployment line.( or in jail, but that is another expense )

      Then, fire the rest of congress in its entirety, yes all of 'em. Congress is responsible for EVERYTHING that is WRONG with America.

      Thirdly, repopulate congress with the US's brightest and experienced leaders in business and education. Make it a mandatory two year assignment, ie; draft them.

      And last, make a drug and IQ test a requirement to run for and hold public office. I am convinced many members of current and past congress are on drugs-or abuse drugs. Watch C-Span for more that 5 minutes and you will see what I mean.

    19. info5partan, WA says:

      Things won't change. Let me know when you get tired of preserving this pipe dream that liberals are going to adopt conservatism. I can't wait to real men and women step up and say if you continue down this path we will be forced to succeed from the union.

    20. Wise Old Lady, Jacks says:

      Why can't anyone see that spending money we dont have is how we got into this mess in the first place. There IS one REAL solution. If we permit oil companies to expand their drilling and refining capacities, everyone wins. This would create thousands of new jobs, reduce energy costs considerably, stop the flow of millions of U.S. dollars to Musims, and it won't cost the American taxpayer one thin dime. Oil companies are loaded. They would be happy to bail us out.

    21. Paul Dale , Dupont P says:

      It just seems to me that we going down for the last time and all we can do is watch . We have no voice thanks to the media , the average American is not going to benefit from a new bridge . This is nothing more than throwing a bone to the unions

      and the thugs . Democrates are taking advatage of the crisis they created to send us all into a panic so they can save us . God help us all.

    22. MATT, PITTSBURGH says:


    23. Mskate, Pennsylvania says:

      'shovel ready"? Oh there's gonna be a lot of shoveling all right.

      GET THE HIP WADERS OUT EVERYONE! We're going to be Eyeball deep in the sh*t

    24. Cat says:

      What scares me is that those who would chose to stifle us are probably reading these comments and preparing their case for the Fairness Doctrine…."we can't let this kind of verbal freedom exist if we are going to puppetize the people". Scary, and you know what "they can all stick it up their buckets". They're screwing us and they know it. I am so sick of hearing about billions and trillions and these crooked pols and Madoff types. Capitalism is good, but now it's over the top in greed, and the socialists are gonna strike while the iron's hot. I read Chris Berg's 1/7 post above and his dissertation on mensunion.org, and MAN HIS IS ON POINT! He said what I know, but am not good at expressing it. Mr. Berg, you need to get on Michael Savage and let his huge audience hear you! You are so 100% right.

    25. Andrew, St. Charles says:

      The stimulus package will do nothing. Obama is a politically smart moron. I remember the day the package was first vetoed, our stock market went up 1600 points. The day after, it went down. Blame the economic downturn on the Dems and their media outlets. Wake up stupid Americans, it's the democrats who are responsible this mess.

    26. Sabastian says:

      America is in a very dangerous position, most of these idiots in Washington have never had a real job or owned a business, they are not economists, and have no idea what they are doing.

      There is no such thing as "stimulus", except freedom and security. Printing money and throwing it into the wind does not create wealth, it destroys it.

      Production must come before consumption, and profit from good real production and growth can be spent at the malls – in other words consumtion is the reward for making a profit. These idiots have it all backwards.

    27. srr, IA says:

      If you can swing it, stock up: start buying silver, water filters (Berkley), freeze dried food, dried beans, canned meats, solar lamps, kerosene lamps, detergent, canned/dried milk, water, seeds for gardening, whatever you can think of that will last a few years.

      The dollar will run out and the price & shortage of food will skyrocket. Don't laugh, it may be your last one.

    28. Robert - Richmond, V says:

      People did not vote Obama for his smart politics, nor did they vote for him because of his use of the English vocabulary, they simply voted for him because he is black plain and simple. The average person that votes for these stupid demoncrats don't even know who Nancy Pelosi is much less what Obama really stands for and wants to do. A comment was made further up about the media controlling everything and this is true but what I don't understand is how we the American People let this morons take our money and do with it is as they please after we said no. They are elected that's it. We have a more power than they do not they other way around, we shut them up not the other way around. This is our government not theirs and we put them their and decide if they should stay there. I have no right to come onto your property and take something of yours and give it to someone else and neither does the government have the right to take my money and give it away to some terrorist American hating nation with out my permission.

      The government was built by the people, is run by the people, and is for the people. If we don't like the way things are then why can't we as Americans declare the government corrupt and stop paying our taxes and create a new one. The problem is simple. They run for office and will say anything to get your vote and even know your name but I wonder how many people up there even remember 'ol Joe the plumber. If we don't act now then you are waving your white flag and you must as well bend over because your name will be changed to Musthav a rodupyourpooper.

    29. Gary, Texas says:

      The worst of this is the massive debt we are building up for the benefit of the baby-boomers… will be conveniently handed to my kids and "their" grandkids. This is a pile of debt that will destroy all our children's opportunity and stiffle their future. Our current politician's continue to spend money that does not exist because we allow it and do not yet love our children enough to save them from this horrible burden.

    30. Shirley, Ohio says:

      This so-called stimulus plan is nothing short of absolute INSANITY. Everyone in Washington is to blame for this incredible mess America finds itself in. To think that spending even more money that we DON'T EVEN HAVE will help is so ludicrous, it defies my capacity to process. We are all in deep, deep trouble as a country. I find myself having difficulty sleeping at night because of it. Just as frightening is what else is right around the corner…nationalized health care. We are living in a nightmare while the blind electorate needs to wake up and figure out what is going on right under their noses. Washington DC is filled to capacity with criminals intent on gaining power and robbing the middle class family. The media is just as criminal, imo. What a travesty. I weep for my country.

    31. George Serniuk, West says:

      Taxes, Fees and Regulations have the same relationship to business as a bucket of water has to a camp fire! To stop a recession, you have to eliminate the CAUSE and that is government interference in business activity. Massive doses of federal money only mask the disease and bring with it those unintended consequences. Those secondary infections can make the econony worse. Take a look at what the illadvised intervention during the Great American Depression did to prolong the suffering of this nation. Also, the Federal Reserve System played a promenent role in that debacle as it is playing in this one. I realize that our money is based upon debt but that debt will eventually strangle all of us as we smile going down in complete disbelief of what is happening to us.

    32. H Markey, Enfield, C says:

      This is so simple, no wonder the theives in Washington don't get it! The Government does not create anything! They don't make "things" for the market to buy or invest in so any "job" the government creates must be funded by the taxpayer. The Government are not responsible for maintaining a bottom line, or satisfying stockholders. The only way to stimulate our econmony is to stimulate investment. Someones butt has to be on the line before any kind of motiviation can be created to get things moving again. Obama is an idiot who knows nothing of the real world. I didn't vote for him so don't blame me!

    33. U NO HOO, USA says:

      It is going to snow over the weekend, stop by my house, I'll have a "shovel ready" project ready to start.

    34. JohnWendell says:

      We must all make our best effort to convince our congressment that the only "investment" that will have immediate results is the lowering of income tax withholding from workers and a major reduction of corporate taxes.

      These two moves put cash into the buyers pockets and lowers business costs that must be passed on to consumers. The result would put a huge amount of cash into the free market without the government spending the bulk of money on "administration".

      Sending checks to non-workers is not an investment. It is vote buying.

    35. Houston, Texas says:

      This is one of the reasons I have read the New York Times may be months from bankruptcy. We can only hope.

    36. U NO HOO, USA says:

      Is it true that a lot of people made it through The Great Depression by doing each other's laundry.

      Maybe someone should suggest this to Obama and he can have the givernment do our laundry.

    37. Ms Conservative, CO says:

      It's going to be a huge waste of money!! For one thing, we all know how honest and incorruptible people are with government contracts in the offing. For another thing, they're still giving the money to the people at the top instead of to the people who actually make the country run, the EMPLOYEE.

      They rail against the excesses of big business (Big Oil, Big Auto, etc) but THEY ARE RUNNING THE COUNTRY JUST LIKE THOSE BUSINESSES ARE RUN; everything for the execs, nothing for the workers. And they railed against the free spending of the Bush administration, but all of a sudden now that BO is in office we need more spending?? Deficits are a good thing??

      It's all a scam to drive everyone out of the private sector and have everyone work for the government. Just you watch.

    38. Al Bullock Sterling says:

      BS is at the center, nothing more and nothing less. As long as we, the opposition,look at the solutions with a jaundiced eye we will right.

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