Even the people promoting this Massive Government spending spree don't have anything good to say about it. I watched "This Week with George Stephanopolus", and heard the former Secretary of Labor for the Clinton Administration and a proponent of the "Stimulus Bill", Robert Reich, say the following about the bill after chastising Republicans for their lack of bipartisanship in helping to pass it:
"They [ Republicans] realize in two years even with a Stimulus, even with a Big Bank bailout the economy is very unlikely to be better than it is today. If you don't have a stimulus it's going to be much worse."
My first thought was to wonder why the Democrats wouldn't want all the credit for this masterful legislation that is going to save us from the certain doom that they tell us is surely heading our way? I thought about what he said, and replayed the segment again just to make sure of what I had heard him say. The Democrats are telling us that we must pass the Stimulus, because if we do then things will stay about the same for the next two years and if we don't we are all doomed! So far I wasn't sold on his line of reasoning for passing this boondoggle of a bill. Maybe it would improve. I hoped so.
But then he said:
"We can not underestimate how bad the economy is right now, it is falling off a cliff, I mean if there is ever a time for bi-partisanship, people joining together and saying we don't know if we got the right answer but we got to do something and this looks like the right direction, it is absolutely now. When I said before that by midterm elections we are not going to see an economy that is better than now I mean not that the stimulus program will have failed but that even if the stimulus succeeds it will not actually kick in... it will not get the economy better than it is now... without the stimulus the economy could be far worse than it is now."
So Mr. Reich is saying that after borrowing a Trillion dollars to spend on a series of programs to stimulate the economy, the best we can hope for by the mid term elections in November of 2010 is for the economy to be falling off a cliff. Was that meant to reassure me ?
Here is where he tries to play economist trotting out his best "Keynesian Bond Illusion" speech:
"We know that the real problem right now on the demand side of the equation is that businesses and individual consumers are not buying. That is rational they are not buying because they don't have the money and they don't want to go deeper into debt. But if they don't buy, government is the purchaser of last resort. Now that is old fashioned Keynesianism, but it is correct for today."
Here he is saying that businesses and consumers are being rational by not borrowing money and going further into debt in order to support consumption. Evidently, when people act rationally it is time for the government not to! So now it's the governments turn to act irrationally, borrow money, go deeper into debt and spend it because consumers aren't. I'm still not persuaded by his line of logic . He continues on:
"I'll give you two reasons Because we tried a little bit of that last spring with that tax rebate and it turns out that people rationally paid down their debts and they saved and that's good for the individual but that doesn't get spending out there, that doesn't create jobs."
So again he says when the people are rational, rebates don't work and the government needs to step in and be irrational for them. If Jay Leno said this we'd all know he was joking, but when Robert Reich says this it is serious government policy. I guess it's all in the delivery! To me it sounds as though he is making an argument for removal of the rebates and credits from this bill.
Here is what the guy who is a heartbeat away from the Presidency had this to say about the Stimulus Bill. Notice it is chock full of escape routes in case it fails. I wish he would just go into hiding somewhere, and I'm willing to bet you that Obama wishes the same too! Joe Biden, in a speech the other day, said the following:
" You know if we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and make really tough decisions, there is still a 30% chance that we are going to get it wrong."
What are the odds that the government is going to get everything right? When do they make any tough decisions? What surprises me the most is that politicians, who are usually so certain about everything, aren't the least bit sure about the effects that over a trillion dollars of additional spending will have on the economy. If they don't do everything right that means the odds that they are going to get it wrong will go up. Maybe there will be a 50-50 shot that they get it right? I think it's way past time for a reality check when our Leaders are telling us they must borrow and spend a $1,000,000,000,000.00, and the odds of them getting it right are only as good as a coin toss or worse. This sounds to me like heads I lose, tails they win !!!