Some Really Lazy Blogging About How I’m Awesome…Just Like the Stimulus Bill

I know. I’m so good, it’s scary. Like macroeconomic scary and shit. Congressional Budgetary Office take me home please:

The Congressional Budget Office late Monday said it estimates that the federal stimulus package sustained between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs in the third quarter, and raised gross domestic product by 1.2 to 3.2 percentage points higher than it would have been without the program.

That sound you just heard was Glenn Beck’s head exploding.

For all the talk about skyrocketing budget deficits, the massive expansion of government, and the spread of the socialist “disease” it looks the President’s stimulus bill is *gasp* working. When the Wall Street Journal is reporting that democratic economic policies are working, you know the GOP is in trouble. Oh well, so much for Republicans getting their Christmas wish this year. (Clearly they’ve been naughty). I suppose the country will just have to avoid collapse one more day. *sigh* Sadness.

But as Ezra Klein notes, the CBO analysis provides even more oh so interesting information for Democrats:

Leading the list of high-multiplier items is direct spending by the federal government, infrastructure aid to states and localities, other types of aid to states and localities, and transfer payments (think unemployment insurance and food stamps) to individuals. At the bottom of the list are corporate tax cuts, the new homeowner’s tax credit and individual tax cuts.

In other words, the breakdown of the stimulus shows us that the most effective parts of the stimulus were those championed by progressives (government spending, state aid, infrastructure investment) while the least effective were conservative policies democrats included in order to draw bipartisan support (that never showed up).

Government Spending: 1,649
Tax Cuts: 3

Damn it feels good to be a gangster.


The Hedonism of Conservative Economics: The Tax Cut Fetish

Okay, this bothers me.

There’s two parts that make up the foundation of conservative economic policies. Tax cuts and eliminating deficits. (Conservatives allegedly support decreasing government spending, but every Republican president since Eisenhower has substantially increased federal spending.) Two policies that people often figure go hand and hand with one another. Except the problem is they don’t go hand and hand. In fact, the two are mutually exclusive.

Let me explain

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Sanford Caves…Accepts Stimulus Funds

So much for his conservative “principles”:

Gov. Mark Sanford will comply with a midnight Friday stimulus deadline and become the last governor in the nation to seek millions of dollars in federal economic-recovery funds for his state, aides said late Thursday.

I’m sure the people of South Carolina are relieved that Sanford’s 2012 political ambitions won’t permanently entrench the state in poverty.

Bobby Jindal: What A Jackass

Jindal: “Hurricane Katrina proved that government can’t work. Erm, yeah. Bush government.”

— Dana Goldstein

Ain’t that the truth. It might be me, but I swear that when I listen to Bobby Jindal I feel like a he’s trying to sell me a used car. And in some ways, that isn’t too far off from the truth.

Example 1: Hurricane Katrina is not proof that Government doesn’t work. Its proof that President Bush was a bad president.

He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go – when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn’t go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, ‘Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.’ And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: ‘Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!’ Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.

There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government.

If you recall, Democrats were the most vocal critics of the president’s Bush’s “response” to Hurricane Katrina. Amongst his major failings Bush: A) Appointed a FEMA director who had little to know experience in emergency management B) Had him order his vice president to personally call public utilities in Mississippi and have them divert power to Texas so that, Texas wouldn’t “lose” valuable energy. Apparently when Dick Cheney made the call the public utilities companies were in the process of restoring power to two hospitals. And no, I’m not kidding. C) My personal favorite…when Katrina hit, an event the media followed for weeks before it hit, the President was on vacation in Crawford.

But aside from that, state and local governments were responsible for A) Failing to Evacuate their citizens B) Rejecting the Federal governments request to integrate Louisiana’s National Guard into the overall recover plan and C) Deprioritized and mismanaging funding to the Levee system.

Example Two: Tax Cuts are not the solution to every problem:

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you – the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.

That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families … cutting taxes for small businesses … strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers … and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.

First of all, the stimulus plan passed by a democratic Congress, and signed by President Obama includes one of the largest tax cuts in American history. So sorry, I’m not buying this bullshit rhetoric on tax cuts.

And by the way, tax cuts aren’t free jackass. You have to pay for them, and the tax cuts you proposed, in addition to being bad policy were estimated to cost American taxpayers $6 trillion. Umm, thats a lot. On top of that, countless studies have concluded that government spending is a more effective stimulus to the economy.

Finally, can we please stop this meme that “government” and the people are two different entities. They’re not. A government is a coalition of individuals working together in order to institute change on a larger scale. When the government spends money they do so because they believe that the American people are worth investing in. Education, health care, Energy these are issues that must be addressed on a macro level. Because sometimes giving some an extra $200 isn’t as efficient as building a new school or creating new sources for renewable energy.

Example 3: Contrary to popular republican belief, government spending does create jobs. OR You can’t criticize the stimulus and then accept the money.

But Democratic leaders in Congress rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history – with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a ‘magnetic levitation’ line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring.’ Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, DC.

The government is planning on spending $300 million on an energy efficient fleet of cars that will decrease maintenance costs and reduce the negative impact on the environment. Companies will make these cars. Workers will be hired. State tax revenues will be increased. And this is bad because? Congratulations Governor Jindal. You’ve gone through the stimulus bill and proven that you can read. Unfortunately your analysis of the stimulus bill leaves much to be desired.

But it gets worse. Governor Jindal has set himself up as a vocal critic of the stimulus bill, saying that the stimulus package is irresponsible. However, in reality Governor Jindal doesn’t have a problem with 90% of the stimulus bill. In fact despite his vocal criticism Jindal is still accepting billions of dollars in federal aid.