Here’s my new slogan for the day: “Serious times call for silly, self-serving solutions.” At least as it applies to Democrats and their approach to addressing the current economic downturn . The Wall Street Journal sorts it out very nicely in today’s editorial “The Stimulus Time Machine”:
The stimulus bill currently steaming through Congress looks like a legislative freight train, but given last week’s analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, it is more accurate to think of it as a time machine. That may be the only way to explain how spending on public works in 2011 and beyond will help the economy today.
According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, a mere $26 billion of the House stimulus bill’s $355 billion in new spending would actually be spent in the current fiscal year, and just $110 billion would be spent by the end of 2010. This is highly embarrassing given that Congress’s justification for passing this bill so urgently is to help the economy right now, if not sooner.
Furthermore, the editorial goes on to point out that the so-called “stimulus” is rooted in discredited economic theories. Rossputin puts it quite succinctly:
The Obama â€œeconomic planâ€ is neither. Itâ€™s a political spend-a-thon that lets government, particularly Democrats, buy more votes with taxpayer money and say theyâ€™re â€œdoing something.â€ Republicans havenâ€™t been right about much in recent years, but John Boehner hit the nail on the head: The ONLY thing the government should be doing right now is cutting marginal tax rates â€“ permanently.
But that didn’t stop Colorado’s newly unelected U.S. Senator from breaking his silence:
“Most people, if they haven’t lost their job, they know someone who has or don’t know what’s coming in the future,” [Michael] Bennet said. “We need to get the stimulus package done. We need to get moving and not just let that money sit in banks in New York City which is where the bailout money still is.” [emphasis added]
Huh? The event where this statement was held at a Denver museum, quite possibly in the Hall of Historical Illiteracy. And that would be the generous interpretation, as I see basically one of two possibilities for Michael Bennet and the hordes of Democrats lining up to support the Obama pork bill: Either they care much more about their political power than our national well-being, or their ignorance of the past figures to doom us all to re-learn some lessons of economic history.
Regardless of motive, it’s just simply a bad idea.