Stimulus legislation - "an exercise in wretched excess"

Stimulus math for the GOP


... congressional Democrats have turned the 647-page stimulus legislation into an excuse for something that never needs an excuse — an exercise in wretched excess.


The [GOP's] duty is to assert inconvenient truths, one of which is that the truth shall make you modest. There never is a moment when an open society that wants to remain such does not need the wisdom of Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who said: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." So the deference accorded this president should be proportional to his willingness to acknowledge that neither he nor anyone else can know whether the stimulus will work.

Comment: Before they vote it they should have a high degree of confidence it will work! More from Newsweek:

Obama Ducks Hard Choices


Among the many claims made for the "economic stimulus" package now before Congress is that it will "jump-start" a "bigger, better, smarter" electric grid, enabling Americans to use energy more efficiently. The package commits $4.5 billion to this, which (says the White House) will help finance 3,000 miles of transmission lines and 40 million "smart meters." Sounds great.

But it may be mostly hype. For starters, $4.5 billion is a pittance. An industry study in 2004— surely outdated—put the price tag of modernizing the grid at $165 billion. More important, says a report from J.P. Morgan, the "smart grid" isn't mainly a matter of building new transmission lines or installing new meters. It's more "communications and information processing technology" that allows for more efficient transportation and use of power.


As it turns out, President Obama didn't make the tough choices on the stimulus package. He could have either used the program mainly (a) to bolster the economy or (b) to advance a larger political agenda, from energy efficiency to school renovation. But Obama wanted both, and, superficially, the two can be portrayed as an enlightened partnership.

"This is not just a short-term program to boost employment," Obama said recently. "It's one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education, health care, and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century."


The $819 billion program passed by the House would only slowly provide stimulus. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in fiscal 2009 (through this September) about 21 percent of the new spending and tax cuts would flow to the economy. For 2010, the estimate is an additional 44 percent. The total of 65 percent means that, by the CBO's estimate, about a third of the $819 billion package would be spent after fiscal 2010. That falls far short of Obama's stated goal of 75 percent in the first 18 months.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic