Even though I look far more like a manatee than an overgrown rat, I live in Pennsylvania, went outside this morning, saw my shadow, and feel confident in proclaiming that this economic winter is far from over.
During a meeting at the White House this morning with the Republican governor from Vermont, President Barack Obama took a moment to speak with reporters and explain to them that the ideological differences regarding the now $900 billion so-called “economic stimulus” package are actually “very modest,” and that he is confident that both Republicans and Democrats will act quickly and ensure that the bill pass the Senate as it passed the House last week.
For the life of me, I cannot understand how the writing on the wall is so illegible to so many supposedly intelligent people. History has shown us, time and time again, that this sort of plan just plain will not work. We can look at how spending by FDR in an attempt to bolster the economy out of concern for low prices and low wages led to the extension of the Great Depression for more than six years. We can look at how similar infrastructure spending in Japan during the 1990s led to a sustained recession and what the Japanese call the “Lost Decade.” We can even look at the $750 billion TARP bailout plan, and how our economy is still spiraling downward like the Arizona Cardinals’ hopes in the final minute of last night’s Super Bowl.
It. Will. Not. Work. Plain and simple.
And the differences, by the way, are far from “modest.”
Conservatives in the House and Senate want tax cuts, and want any spending to either immediately impact the housing market or to fund construction projects ready to go immediately. Democrats, however, want to simulate the economy by telling us how to avoid gonorrhea, by researching global socialism masquarading as junk climate-related science, and by preparing doctors and nurses and hospitals and insurance companies for the inevitable decline in quality in our envy-of-the-world healthcare system.
Sure, they feel as though infrastructure is vital to our economic recovery, yet they only provide it with $30 billion of the $900 billion in what is looking more and more with each passing day like monopoly money. According to The Wall Street Journal, only ten percent of the spending set forth in this entire so-called “stimulus” bill will be earmarked for projects and items which could be considered even remotely stimulative, and much of that may not even be spent for more than a year. Even if mass infrastructure spending would work, the only targets for mass spending now being proffered by the Democrats smell more like bacon than asphalt.
By coming out today and glossing over the major ideological divide, and by refusing to do the right thing and pull this bill and advance his own ideas for economic stimulus–carefully crafted and incorporated with true bipartisan support, of course–rather than those put forth by Nancy Pelosi and her cabal of bitter hippie liberals, President Obama is ensuring that it may be a long, long time before our economy, frozen and on the verge of shattering, even begins to thaw.