CFIF.org: Spending is illegitimate way to motivate economy

Why Massive Government Spending Is Ineffective “Stimulus” – A Primer
Barack Obama, economically uninformed and obviously confusing his temporary personal approval rating with some sort of permanent mandate to do whatever he pleases, crudely justified his unprecedented spending proposal by grunting, “I won.” Shortly thereafter, Obama rationalized his agenda to House Democrats attending their retreat last week with the following irrational and simplistic attempt at humor:

“So then you get the argument, ‘well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill.’ What do you think a stimulus is?! (Laughter and applause.) That’s the whole point! (More laughter and applause.) No, seriously! That’s the point! (More laughter and applause.)”

Clearly unable to defend the indefensible, Obama instead retreats to sarcasm and juvenile humor as if his premise is self-evident.
Tossing aside that Obama's comments goofily ignore 1/3 of the bill, that minority which is tax cuts, this strikes me as a core argument against Democrats who argue that spending is the only way to go. That Obama, even in front of his own party, ducks the issue, suggests he does not get it. Democrats, mostly, seem to think that more government control is the solution to an economy problem created by government not doing its existing tasks of responsibly regulating fields where greed runs rampant.

The comments in the quote are from CFIF.org, a group I am personally not very informed about, but which is interested in individual freedoms, thus smaller government, above all else. Apparently, these days, that automatically makes you a conservative, probably an extreme conservative, to liberals.

I think the above quote defines the faltered argument behind rushing to spend with the stimulus. In this age of wireless, computers and a widely educated American populace, I think the stimulus ought to FOCUS on four things:
  1. lower taxes for consumers and businesses,
  2. relief for the unemployed and otherwise impoverished,
  3. freeing of the frozen banking and finance industry, and
  4. adapting to the crunch to open up free enterprise, such as making credit available.
Instead, billions are being spent on -- not wrong but wrongly involved in the stimulus -- infrastructure programs that ought to be a part of a real budget or other bill. Some of those programs, such as bridges, have indeed been put off too long since government is not the answer, but part of the problem.

Bridges and roads are failing because government has avoided offering bills to get spending for them, too focused on pet agendas to do the business of the nation responsibly. Just as the gov't ignored subprime mortgages since they felt good about letting the poor and real estate prospectors (oops!) get mortgages on the upside down financial concepts behind those bad ideas. Just as gov't ignored rampant abuses of the financial markets, derivatives and hedge funds and Madoff-style ripoffs. Just as they ignored runaway deficit spending.

Have you noticed that subprimes promoted the use of those nasty derivatives, so people could keep the madness going, handing off the bad mortgages, like financial musical chairs. It alone proves that governmental liberal, short-sighted ideas to give people things they cannot afford are BAD! They will fail us, and today, they have led us into a bigger failure than they alone could give!

Gov't ignored regulation in areas of money and investing, and offered illogical programs for mortgages, the best places for greed to swell for the ethically abstract among us, and it ignored infrastructure. Two kinda obvious things gov't ought to always be dealing with, and overtly. And yet, gov't says now that they ought to be able to be in complete control, according to Democrats. How rich!

Caution against big government of all cautions, when we're all sweating to begin with, the government slips in the programs that they are too chicken to pass in good times. How does that get me a job, exactly, unless I am in those fields or can do -- physically can manage to do -- those jobs? I am sure lots of unemployed folks over 40 will be thrilled to know they can help build bridges out in the summer sun for ten-hour days when they've been living in a cubicle for 15 years or more.

Isn't it ironic, and eery, that a belief the small, regulatory role of government in trade is viewed as old-fashioned and part of a "failed" economic model by the Democratic leadership? What's the option, in their view? Isn't our government TOO BIG now?!! They blame GW Bush for making it larger, through the creation of Homeland Security, leaving out that the motivation was the greatest attack on our shores in 60 years. But they want to make government control of things greater, not just in what they have failed to do and should have regulated in finance and banking, but overall.

Where will they stop? Hugo Chavez' and Castro's model? China's model? Sweden or France's model? How long has it been since either of those last two states "wore the pants" anywhere in the world? The American liberals seem to forget that, on top of being in an economic down trend, we are also the only thing keeping Russia, China and other big, not very nice nations from running the whole show. I guess they'd want to stop just short of that. And, Sen. Kerry and fellow wealthy liberals who think government is the answer, where exactly would you stop? Do you have a specific thing in mind, or would you simply guess where we ought to stop?


- jR

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