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  • Why the Left Loves to Waste Taxpayer Money

    Earlier this month we asked, “Why Is the Left So Eager to Waste Money?” Last night on the News Hour, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, was nice enough to explain it to us:

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right. Well, let’s talk about the stimulus package that is on the table, and the battle has clearly been joined now. Dean Baker, what do you see as the key thing that must happen to get jobs out of the stimulus package?

    DEAN BAKER: Well, basically, to put it crudely, you have to spend money. You know, we heard a discussion, is this a good way to spend money, sod on the mall? I mean, I actually don’t mind the mall looking nice. But the point is, you’re employing people.

    Even if it’s wasteful, there’s a line — you go back to Keynes — there’s a line where he says, “We could pay people to dig holes and fill them up again. At least we’ve employed them.”

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Why the Left Loves to Waste Taxpayer Money

    1. Dave Johnson, Califo says:

      Why is employing people "wasting money?" I don't get it.

    2. Adrian del Rio says:

      Dave Johnson,

      In answer to your question their is no return for

      jobs that are created by the government when there is no demand for the job. It takes tax payer dollars that could be used by spending in the economy to create a needless job in the government. By improving our streets, roads, and bridges it doesn't bring in new retailers, office tenants, businesses etc. Decreased costs of business, travel, and overhead create jobs without any government assistance and without new streets, besides that is why you pay .10 cents to the state & .15 cents to the Federal in a street improvement gas tax and yet our roads are worse off and now they will be coming to the tax payers for more money. Keyensian economics has never worked and has failed including during FDRs "New Plan" which we are still paying for today. Futhermore, the private industry could complete the proposed government jobs faster, more efficient, and for less cost than the government. In a nut shell it is bad policy that creates more dead weight loss in the economy. The only thing the government should be involved in is reducing our taxes and reducing the amount they steal out of our pockets everyday for these useless programs.

    3. Bea Chorr, AZ says:

      If people are employed to do an unnecessary and worthless job, it's a waste of money (especially if the government is the employer; then it's a waste of *taxpayer* money).

    4. bob pollack collierv says:

      Here is a unique idea, government is the problem, instead trillionas of dollars in pork barrel spending,reduce government. The Obama administration and the left have never met a program they did not like. Trouble is, no one will stand up and this hallenge this foolishness.

      Call a spade a spade and go after their foolishness. and go after their cronies like the boter fraud group ACORN.

    5. Ben Franklin, IN says:

      Correct. The government canNOT "create" a job, because it makes no product, nor does it provide a service that people are willing to pay for, therefore, it can make no profit off of the labor it is paying for. All the government can do is move money around. So, it takes money that belongs to one group of people and gives it to another group of people.

      There are cases where that's OK, because we collectively are willing to pay people to do things we can't do ourselves: soldiers, FBI agents, and border patrol, to name a few.

    6. Nancy Blalock, Arcad says:

      Every dollar that goes into Washington DC returns to the people as pennies. Who's gettng bailed out? Washington? I'm not against helping my neighbor. If I see a neighbor in need, I will help and every dollar I give goes directly to her. The government takes the joy out of giving. This bail out is nothing more than Socialism snuck through the back door.

    7. Phillip Tapp says:

      Twenty years of Liberal legislation in One fell swoop. The Libs I'm sure are beside themselves with excitement and anticipation.

    8. Max L Perry, Belling says:

      If getting the economy is "congress'" direction, then giving taxpayers immediate relief would provide much infusion into the economy and keep politicians interference and control at a minimum.

      The reason this will not happen is the "spending" spree of congress and the president is about control and payoff to supporters with our children and grandchildren saddled with a huge debt. The excesive printing of money will also lead to inflation, soon!

      M. Perry, Washington state

    9. Cob City Trooper, IA says:

      Balogna! Pissing money away is pissing it away. Period. No matter which side of the eisle your on. If you waste it, I pay for it!

    10. joe s, douglassville says:

      ummmm. very simple here. more programs run by dems = more dem votes. how about drastically slashing our corporate taxes. you want to see growth. less government = big liberty!!

    11. Bruce Somes says:

      How about no income tax and no capital gains tax?

    12. b gawlik says:

      Exactly Mr. Pucket, talk to your Senators, Congrssemen and whomever and let them know what you think and keep the pressure on. They whine that W put us in a trillion $ hole in the 8 years he was there and MoaBama wants to do it in 1 day

    13. Cindy Reardon, Plymouth, Massachusetts says:

      well at least the billions are being spent in the United States of America and not pissed away in Iraq.

    14. Gretna Bear, PA says:

      well at least the billions are being spent in the United States of America and not pissed away in Iraq.

    15. Pete Nick Yorba Li says:

      Per Ms Reardon, I suggest that as part of the stimulus package and in conjunction with President O'Carters new openness to our sharia-law loving friends, we invite Al Quaeda to demonstrate their jihadist skills in Plymouth, Mass. And then we can stimulate the economy with all the bomb blast reconstruction. Better spent here than in Iraq, right ??

    16. Al says:

      Employing people to lay sod is temporary. Hire 100 Mexican illegals in the state of Texas and they can have the sod laid in a week.

      Small business is the foundation of this country provide tax breaks and loans so they can buy equipment and hire people will provide stability and is sustainable.

      Subprime loans are at the heart of the financial crisis. I've seen billions go to bailout Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and numerous banks that refuse to lend yet have paid billions in bonuses ie Merrill Lynch 1 month in advance and 3 days prior to the Bank of American acquistion.Yet I haven't seen any provision in the bill to provide financial assistance to rework mortgage so families can stay in their homes.

      Now the fed want to buy all the toxic waste paper and put it in a bad bank fund – where is that money coming from?

      Nancy Pelos, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Barney Franks and their group of bandits are in the process of bankrupting this country and placing the heaviest debt in history on the shoulders of your children, grandchildren and great grand children.

      We are already in debt to China and they warned fix you financial problems – or else. Pretty strong language but congress isn't listening which is no surprise.

      Obama, if he has the backbone should veto the bill.

      Each of us have a responsibility to contact both our Republican and Democratic representative by any means available and oppose the bill. It is time for them to become fiscally responsible.

    17. Steve, Ca. says:

      Obama says he will create 3.2 million jobs. With 800 billion dollars, he can just give them $218,000 each.

    18. Jacquie Smith says:

      How about a president that doesn't squander our money by giving it to Acorn.? It is amazing how well he talks out of the other side of his mouth

    19. John Rosky , Andover,Minnesota says:

      If Congress can only spend $200 billion in the first 18 months than that should be all that they
      go for and look at any other money later. There is no reason to give them $825 billion to be shoved into hidden pork or a national health care system. The tax break for tax payers is too low and should actually go to people that pay taxes.
      Only $30 billion for roads and bridges when this whole thing was to be for that and jobs.

    20. H L PUCKETT VA. says:


    21. Bo,nc says:

      So, we got sick and tired of wasteful spending and replaced the Republicans for Democrats with the same mindset as the likes of Pelosi,Reid, Frank,Dodd,Schumer,etc.,etc.etc. Well,we showed them,didn't we. Frankly,I'm with H L of Va. If the liberals in Washington can collectively spend us back to the stone age, we collectively should be able to do something about it.

    22. carol ambrosini/Cali says:

      I thin we are on a very fast track to hell; without a return ticket. No one has improved economy with a socialist program. The libs want it there way. Mommas must have dropped them on their heads. Of course it doesn't help with all the lib proffessors teaching stupity in the universities. God help us all. He gave us our own will and it may be our last.

      Debt to China is one thing, but debt to Mexico is something else. You will all probably all live to see the one world government. Try that on.

      Pelosi should get there first.



    23. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      Yeah, there's that line where Keynes says "We could pay people to dig holes and fill them up again. At least we’ve employed them".

      However, there's also more where that came from Keynes, which Leftist government elitists consistently forget about or omit, where, while Keynes tries so hard to write about government spending as if it somehow magically becomes "the thing to do" during any economic problems, he "lets slip" with how it misses being "the thing to do", such as how it tends to "lag" as in fail at really taking any effect until after recoveries are already beginning or happening anyway…which of course both exposes one of the fatal "Achilles’ heels" of "Keynesian economics", at least in what’s supposed to be a non-Socialist United States, and "blows the cover off" Leftist government elitist money and power-grabs through it.

      Unfortunately the Left has so succeeded at dumbing-down indoctrinating so many people into lazily allowing themselves to be "spoon fed" by them, that, even as I share this response to the article above, I'm wondering how many will show their ignorance and laziness through "towing the (Leftist) Party line" and attacking and denying like the Left's Comrades in the media (including Hollywood) would do, and how many more will further verify and agree with the article above and thus also show how the Left hasn't so succeeded at dumbing them down and indoctrinating them into lazily allowing themselves to be "spoon fed" by them.

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