It was FDR that said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” And it’s Barack Obama who is throwing aside FDR’s words and trying to scare the living crap out of everyone in an effort to pass the largest deficit spending bill in the history of mankind.
Obama wrote an Op-Ed today in the Washington Post. Instead of laying out exactly how his massive stimulus would create the jobs he’s promised, he used the pages of the Post to not only incite exaggerated fear, but also to spew heavy rhetoric. The polls show that public approval for the stimulus package is falling, and fast, and Obama would like to change that trend.
So he wrote a scare tactic article in the Post. He provided no evidence that his package would create jobs, he provided no evidence that it would solve the problem, he simply scared the bejesus out of everyone in hopes to boost public opinion.
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives — action that’s swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.
Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.
I agree, we do need action to help our ailing economy. But apparently Obama has simply brushed aside the findings from the Congressional Budget Office. They found that 79% of the spending in this bill will take place in 2010 and beyond. Furthermore 74% of all the direct spending won’t happen until 2010 or later. And according to the Wall Street Journal, only $90 billion of the $825 billion in the package could reasonably be considered stimulus.
That’s why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.
I find this section rather peculiar. For starters I don’t believe you can seriously put a number on how many jobs a bill is going to save or create. The same goes for the Republicans, who claim their bill, using the Democrats algorithms, will save 6.2 million jobs.
However, the real kicker in this paragraph is the notion that the stimulus bill will provide “immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers.” For starters, notice how he says “American workers.” Second, it’s certainly not immediate, some of the credits, like the “make work pay” credit could be implemented quickly by implementing it through reduced withholding, otherwise it would take a year it to take effect.
I might also add that all of the tax provisions in the stimulus plan are credits and most are temporary.
At least Obama admits in his article that he’s using the stimulus bill to advance his left-wing ideas.
In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis — the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.
It’s not that I’m surprised that Obama is attempting to pass renewable energy proposals or health care reform, I simply don’t believe that an emergency stimulus plan is the venue to do that. Obama, and the Democrats, are utilizing an economic crisis to pass through all of their liberal reforms without debate. Because this bill is dubbed the savior of our economic prosperity, and because it has to be on the President’s desk by President’s Day Weekend, there will be none of the normal debates that the average bill goes through. Thus the Democrats socialist proposals will be written into law with limited debate from Congress. Does that seem fair to the American people?
Obama also says that tax cuts cannot solve our problems. Again, let us refer to history to see how tax cuts (an actual rate cut, not a tax credit) can spark economic growth.
George W. Bush found himself in a recession after 9/11. It lasted from 2001 until 2003. But why were we lifted out of the recession? Quick answer, tax cuts. Six quarters before the tax cuts the GDP growth was at +1.7%, non-residential fixed investment was down 7%, and we had lost 267,000 jobs.
Six quarters after the tax cuts of 2003 were signed into law, the GDP grew by +4.1%, non-residential fixed investment was up 7%, and we had added 307,000 new jobs.
I’ll also point out, as I have in the past, the tax cuts during the 1920′s. It was Andrew Mellon, Coolidge’s Treasury Secretary, that fought to lower taxes, and it was tax cuts that made the roaring 20′s so roaring.
Then Obama turns up the rhetoric. He goes from high rhetoric to simply out of control.
I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our health-care costs still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage. We’ve seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail.
I’m sorry, I really don’t like having a cocky and arrogant President. Yes, Obama won the election, but so did 535 members of Congress, and they have a right to defend the beliefs of their constituents. We held an inauguration on January 20, not a coronation.
I understand there are issues of health care, energy and education that need to be addressed. But we do ourselves no favor by addressing them in an out-of-control, unorganized, accelerated fashion. Those are serious issues that need to face serious debate and oversight. Pushing them through in an emergency stimulus bill is irresponsible.
Now is the time to protect health insurance for the more than 8 million Americans at risk of losing their coverage and to computerize the health-care records of every American within five years, saving billions of dollars and countless lives in the process.
Now is the time to save billions by making 2 million homes and 75 percent of federal buildings more energy-efficient, and to double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy within three years.
Now is the time to give our children every advantage they need to compete by upgrading 10,000 schools with state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries and labs; by training our teachers in math and science; and by bringing the dream of a college education within reach for millions of Americans.
No Obama, now is not the time.
He spins those three proposals as “money saving” initiatives. What he fails to mention is that it will cost money to achieve those goals, money we don’t have and money that, if we spend, will increase inflation and add to our mountain of debt.
We learned in the Great Depression that a recession (or a depression) is no time for the government to spend heaps of cash. Handing consumers money doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll turn around and purchase. Hence why the personal savings rate in the last quarter of 2008 was the highest in six years. People don’t see good times ahead, so they do as they were taught, save money.
And it’s a smart move. Because with all this spending inflation will be crazy in a couple of years.
Then we’ll all need a bailout just buy a loaf of bread.
Obama warns need to stimulus bill right away
Spread Sheet of Stimulus Spending
CBO Stimulus Report
CBO Stimulus Report: Charts
Breakdown of Tax Credits in Stimulus
Effects of the 2003 Tax Cuts
2008 Fourth Quarter Savings Numbers