Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Stimulus Absurdity

In the final stages, it's like watching two teams of squabbling sculptors shaping a huge graven image to appease the gods of economic destruction, slicing billions of spending here, sticking back tax cuts there, while chanting the mantras of their competing belief systems.

In the Senate version, which stands to win no more than three Republican votes as opposed to the House bill, which won none: Forty billion of state aid is out and seventy billion to spare thousands of middle-class Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax in 2009 is in--heading a laundry list of cuts for education, sciences, the environment and health care

Why? To make the bill filibuster-proof in the Senate and then hammer the misshapen thing into some final form that will end up on the President's desk to be signed by the middle of the month.

The final product, despite the expensive buying-off of Sens. Specter, Collins and Snowe, will be owned by the Democrats because Republicans sense more political profit down the road by blaming Democrats than signing on to a half-hearted bipartisan effort.

The bottom line on the stimulus is that nobody, nobody--Democrats, Republicans, economists of all stripes--actually knows what will and won't work but all agree that doing something is vital.

The absurdity is seeing them wrestling over the details while pretending to know what they're doing.

2 comments:

Stimpson said...

There's irony for ya: The GOP is going to blame the Dems if the stimulus package the GOP got shrank doesn't work.

The Intellectual Redneck said...

According to the CBO, the stimulus bill will actually hurt the economy in the long run. However, there is the possibility it will stimulate illegal immigration. In addition to providing up to 300 thousand construction jobs for illegal aliens, the bill will bail out irresponsible states like California. This will allow them to avoid dealing with one of the primary reasons they have a budget deficit. That reason is the extensive and expensive social net they have extended to illegal immigrants. Obama's stimulus will stimulate illegal immigration