The original $787 billion stimulus package was supposed to be about Joe Biden’s favorite three-letter word: J-O-B-S. Heck, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even said it herself, noting on the House floor that the bill was about four things: “Jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs.
Those jobs, and the economic recovery which would purportedly follow, would come because the nation was awash in shovel-ready infrastructure projects which, upon receiving a cash infusion from the federal government, would employ millions of Americans. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as it were, would save or create three million jobs, and would prevent the unemployment rate from climbing about eight percent.
Fast forward to the end of the year, however, and we see that the unemployment rate has risen above ten percent, with the true number of unemployed in America reaching 16 or 17 percent. So, the Democrats want another stimulus bill.
To justify spending another $130 billion or so, President Barack Obama is insisting that the first stimulus package was about stimulating the economy, and we need a separate measure to create jobs, and that there are more shovel-ready projects now than there were earlier this year. He is also warning Republicans to “stop trying to frighten the American people” and get out of the way.
First, as far as frightening the public goes, Republicans if anything have been speaking on behalf of an American people who would rather not watch a Democratic Party majority mortgage the financial futures of their grandchildren. If Obama is looking for scare tactics, after all, perhaps he should look over his shoulder at the next joint session of Congress. Recall, if you will, this lovely example of the House Speaker’s sheer brilliance and tendency to use fabrications and fear to elicit legislative action:
500 million Americans lose their jobs.”
Second, while there may very well be more shovel-ready projects now than there were in January or February, only a fraction of the $787 billion has been spent so far, with the largest disbursement of allocated funds to come in the next quarter, just in time to fund various projects in advance of the 2010 midterm eletions. Perhaps, instead of spending more taxpayer money, the president should look at the cash he pilfered from our wallets which have yet to be appropriated.
Third, insofar as the source of the money for this new legislation will be a surplus of sorts from TARP, the Bush-approved bank bailout which Barack Obama voted for–and advocated swift implementation of–as an Illinois senator, the Democrats are once again showing their spendthrift ways. Because they look at it as “found money,” it seems, it somehow makes it okay to spend — when in reality it’s not unlike having a 40 percent off coupon, buying a pair of $100 shoes for $60, and then spending the remaining $40 on underpants.
The way to truly create jobs in America is to eliminate the uncertainty seen by business owners large and small. No fiscally responsible employer in their right mind will commit to hiring new personnel when they don’t know what effect the twin disasters of health care reform and cap-and-trade might have on their bottom line. The solution is a simple one: Congress must cut taxes across the board, and then get out of the way.
That’s not a scare tactic. That’s reality. But, then again, reality has always frightened Democrats.