Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bad stimulus

Welcome to Pork City:
Amid a drumbeat of grim economic reports, President-elect Barack Obama's top economic advisors met Tuesday to refine plans for a massive stimulus proposal, promising the money would not go toward dubious pork-barrel projects.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden met with seven advisors for an hour [in Washington] as Obama vacationed in Hawaii. With the incoming administration acknowledging the stimulus plan could cost as much as $775 billion over two years, Biden seemed intent on reassuring Americans the money would not be wasted. . . .
"It's important for the American taxpayer to know that . . . this is not going to be politics as usual," Biden told reporters. "And we will not tolerate business as usual in Washington."
Biden singled out special-interest projects. "There will be -- I will say it again -- there will be no earmarks in this economic recovery plan," he said. "I know it's Christmas. I know it's the Christmas season. But President-elect Obama and I are absolutely determined that this economic recovery package will not become a Christmas tree."
Right. Can we get a show of hands of everyone who believes that the federal government is going to spend $775 billion on "stimulus" without a dime of pork? Anybody?

Pork as usual, however, is not nearly as worrisome as the evident delusion that the government can, by neo-Keynesian methods, create jobs arbitrarily:
Biden reiterated that the incoming administration had revised its early goal of creating or saving 2.5 million jobs in the next two years. With economists projecting a grim year ahead, Obama recently raised the number to 3 million.
Hey -- 2.5 million, 3 million -- why stop there? Why not 200 million jobs? Jobs for everyone!
"Economists rarely agree, but on this score, there is overwhelming agreement that we need a robust and sustained economic recovery package," Biden said. "There's virtually no disagreement on that point with economists from left to right. The greater threat to the economy lies with doing too little."
So, whatever they do, the Obama administration will not be "doing too little." Massive interventions in the economy will be the order of the day. And there is one thing we know about such a plan: It won't work.

No comments:

Post a Comment