Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Carping on the Stimulus

Today the House approved a $816 billion economic stimulus plan along party lines with 11 Democrats and all 177 Republicans voting against it. Next week the Senate considers a separate bill for $900 billion. A final bill would undoubtedly be hammered out in joint committee. This is on top of the so-called TARP bank bail-out bill which already passed to the tune of $700 billion. (Which to date hasn't freed up the credit markets one little bit, or recovered any "troubled assets" either, unless you happen to be the bank itself.)

How much of our money is that, exactly? Let's see, $700 billion plus another -- let's split the difference between the House and Senate bills -- $850 billion, carry the trillion, bring down the $50 billion ... that's at least one and a half trillion dollars. I can't honestly imagine that much money other than an abstract number, and I doubt you can either.

The entire U.S. GDP measured $14.33 trillion in 2008. So that's about 9.25% of our entire GDP that we have or are about to allocate before the rest of the economy, public and private, does anything at all. For comparison, the U.S. Government has averaged about 20% of GDP since 1980.

Now I'm sure someone who is better at both math and economics will pick apart these numbers, but the indisputable point is this: that's a whopping large amount of money which is coming out of the U.S. taxpayers' pockets.

I just don't think that creating more Government jobs will solve the problem; it just kicks the can down the road because it drives us deeper into debt as a nation which actually weakens our national security.

I dislike these huge omnibus bills, because there's always enough pork in them to put Jimmy Dean to shame. It's getting rammed down our throats due to the "emergency conditions"; all or nothing, and we can't do nothing. Feh.

And no, I don't have a better idea; but the day of reckoning will be hard. Who knows, maybe the Parousia will come first.

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