Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mr. Obama the barn is also “shovel ready” and is as useful to the economy as the stimulus bill

The President and Democrats have heralded the so-called “compromise bipartisan” stimulus bill passed by the House as curing what ails us. Obama lies to us that millions of jobs will be created and together with the tax cuts in the bill we will take our economy out of depression. But the truth is that neither will help over the long run.

There is indeed billions and billions of dollars for federal and state projects to build “infrastructure”; for example, money for biking and walking trails, building schools, renovating and building federal buildings, removal of fish barriers, to name just a few. Most of these projects are years away and require all sorts of government approvals such environmental impact studies before ground is broken and will do nothing to lift the economy now. Bill proponents tell us that many are “shovel ready” and could begin right away but regardless whether government projects start now or by the 2010 elections, they are still government jobs with finite time impact since once completed the related jobs go away unless fed with additional government money and new make-work jobs become part of our economic stream.

Government jobs were the basis of the “new deal” recovery plan during the 1930’s under FDR but they did not correct the national economy. The effective “economic stimulus” did not occur until the private sector geared up for a successful war drive and the economic recovery continued after the war because the free market system was energized with long lasting private investment which produced long term jobs and economic growth. The Obama make-work government projects in the “stimulus” bill will do no more lasting economic good than did the equivalent Roosevelt undertakings during the depression years before the World War. Only improving the private sector and its ability to create, maintain and grow profit-making enterprises will be effective to provide long term economic recovery and lasting jobs.

During his campaign for election Obama continually promised both jobs and “tax cuts for 95% of Americans”, omitting only the “fat cats” who didn’t need tax reductions because they are wealthy. Anyone with common sense would shudder in disbelief but there were more voters who believed what they wanted to believe as they listened to the dulcet tones of the “messiah” than those with the sense they were born with so Obama was elected to do his magic and “change” the country.

Obama did keep his promise of sorts; the bill passed by congress and to be signed into law shortly does include tax cuts (though it is not known if they apply to 95% of workers) but what are the tax cuts and will they improve the economy as promised? Not likely.

The new Economic Recovery Act (it’s no longer referred to in elite circles as a “stimulus” bill) is estimated at $787 billion by the Congressional Budget Office. It combines $281 billion in tax cuts with $308 billion in outlays funded by the appropriations committees and about $198 billion in spending for benefit programs such as unemployment assistance, $250 payments or millions of people receiving Social Security benefits, and extra money for states to help with the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled.

However the billions of dollars for tax cuts amount to no more than $400 for most workers, with couples getting $800. It is estimated that workers will see an additional $13 a week in their pay checks (at least those still with jobs) beginning in June 2009 and then $8 a week in 2010. Does anyone but the most ardent Obama acolyte really think these tax cuts will spur on the economy? With the increasing price of gasoline the “Obama tax cuts” are not even likely to fill the gas tank of your car.

Yes Obama filled his promise of jobs and tax cuts but like everything today’s liberals do, it is done with smoke and mirrors which would make the illusionist proud.

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