Posts Tagged ‘shovel ready’

History Recording The Obvious: ‘We Have Come To See A Littleness, Not A Greatness, In Barack Obama’

August 24, 2011

I don’t have to say that “History will record that Barack Obama was a tiny, little man when we needed greatness.”  Because it’s already a fact of history right now.

Barack Obama: He’s come undone
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Pittsburgh Tribune

The wheels are off the Obama bus. It’s up on the cinder blocks on some rental property in Martha’s Vineyard this weekend. It is the end of the summer of discontent for a president who’s clearly in over his head and whose wallowing is most unbecoming.

Mr. Obama’s economic policy prescriptions, textbook Keynesian mumbo jumbo, have failed. History would have been instructive had only he been learned in the discipline. Obviously, he’s not. Next month, he’ll return with yet another chapter of the novella best titled “Hocus Pocus.”

Policy failures aside, we can only wonder if America also should be worried about the mental state of this president.  Just prior to his Midwestern bus tour, at a private New York fundraiser, Obama’s reported to have likened opposition to his presidency to the persecution of Martin Luther King. Then, on tour, his maudliness plunged deeper as he compared his plight to the sufferings of Abraham Lincoln.

As Gettysburg College history professor Allen C. Guelzo reminded in National Review Online, Mr. Lincoln rose to the challenge and exhibited greatness in his leadership. But, “In our current national agony … we have come to see a littleness, not a greatness, in Barack Obama.  And it is not for him that we feel sorry, but for ourselves.”

For it is a tragedy of our own making.

In 2008 America foolishly elected a Marxist community organizer who had never led anything important in his entire life.  We literally voted for “God damn America.”

Three years later, we find that this candidate of “hope and change” whose core promise was that he could rise above partisanship and unite America  was never anything more than the very worst kind of fearmongering demagogue.  We now know that his “promise that he can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years” amounts to pointing a finger at half of the country and demonizing them while he does every single thing he possibly can to further divide the nation.

Obama promised that if his massive $3.27 trillion stimulus was passed – the most massive stimulus in the history of the entire human race – that he would solve our economic and unemployment problems.  He promised again and again “shovel-ready jobs.”  We now know as a fact that it was all a lie.  And Obama’s response was to joke that “Shovel-ready was not quite as, uh, shovel-ready as we expected.”

Obama promised his purging of fossil fuels and his pursuit of a “green economy” would create jobs.  Now even the überüberleftist New York Times is admitting that “Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show.”

Obama claimed that the problem was lack of regulations and set up the most massive regulatory burden for business in American history.  And now even his own chief of staff is saying, “Sometimes it is hard to defend the indefensible.”  Because it IS indefensible to anyone but a rabid true-believer in statist socialism.  ObamaCare gave us 159 new bureaucracies and thousands of pages of new regulations.  The financial regulatory bill known as Dodd-Frank has so far generated 447 new regulations all by itself – and it’s STILL being written!!!

Obama promised he would be in the pocket of the hard-core union agenda and the SEIU.  We now know that even Obama’s OWN JOBS CZAR is saying that what Obama is doing is stupid.

Barack Obama is a little, little man.  When we needed a giant.

When Bill Clinton’s policies wildly failed in 1994 – leading to a historic election in which Republicans swept both the House (for the first time in decades) and the Senate – Bill Clinton admitted that “The era of big government is over” and steered a course with Republicans that led to prosperity.  Obama is far to petty to make such an admission and such a course-correction.  Instead all he can do is double-down on already failed policies and demonize his opponents in diametric opposition to his bogus campaign rhetoric.

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Obama Stimulus Actually Raised Unemployment

February 25, 2010

An Investors.com article entitled The ‘Stimulus’ Actually Raised Unemployment should be required reading for every American:

By ALAN REYNOLDS Posted 02/19/2010

President Obama seized on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as an opportunity to take credit for the belated and tenuous economic recovery.

But the economy always recovered from recessions, long before anyone imagined that government borrowing could “create jobs.” And we didn’t used to have to wait nearly two years for signs of recovery, as we did this time.

A famous 1999 study by Christina Romer, who now heads the Council of Economic Advisers, found the average length of recessions from 1887 to 1929 was only 10.3 months, with the longest lasting 16 months.

Recessions lasted longer during the supposedly enlightened postwar era, with three of them lasting 16 to 21 months.

Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked in this country, just as they never worked in Japan.

The issue of “fiscal stimulus” must not be confused with TARP or with the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates and pumping up bank reserves.

One might argue that those Treasury and Fed programs helped prevent a hypothetical depression, but it’s impossible to make that argument about ARRA.

The “fiscal stimulus” refers only to a deliberate $862 billion increase in budget deficits. Importantly, only 23% ($200 billion) was spent in 2009, with 47% in 2010 and 30% in later years (according to the Congressional Budget Office this January).

How could the initial $200 billion have possibly had anything to do with the 5.7% rise in fourth-quarter GDP?

The Keynesian fable presumes that faster federal spending and consumers spending their federal benefit checks were the driving forces in the rebound.

Yet the GDP report clearly said the gain “reflected an increase in private inventory investment, a deceleration of imports and an upturn in nonresidential, fixed investment that was partly offset by decelerations in federal government (defense) spending and in personal consumption expenditures.”

Since federal spending accounted for exactly zero of the only significant increase GDP, how could such spending possibly have “created or saved” 2 million jobs?

The bill was launched last year amid grandiose promises of “shovel ready” make-work projects.

In reality, as the CBO explains, “five programs accounted for more than 80% of the outlays from ARRA in 2009: Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security … grants to state and local governments … and student aid.”

In other words, what was labeled a “stimulus” bill was actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.

First of all, believe it or not, America actually recovered from every single recession in its history without Barack Obama.  And the longest recessions we’ve had have occurred during the period when elitist big government liberals were frantically pulling levers and pushing buttons.

UCLA economists have calculated that FDR’s policies actually prolonged the Great Depression by 7 years, a conclusion validated by Roosevelt’s own Treasury Secretary in his remarks to the House Ways and Means Committee:

“We have tried spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.  And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job.  I want to see this country prosperous.  I want to see people get a job.  I want to see people get enough to eat.  We have never made good on our promises…  I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!” – Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, May 1939 (Morganthau Diary, May 9, 1939 entry, Franklin Presidential Library)

For the record, the unemployment rate the month before this mea culpa had been a sky-high 20.7%.  More than six years after FDR’s New Deal, more than 1 out of every five workers was unemployed.

Obama’s own expert (Christina Romer) pointed out that pre-FDR, pre-New Deal, pre-stimulus, and pre-Obama, recessions only lasted an overage of 1o.3 months.  This one’s going to last a helluva lot longer in the age of Obama.

The next thing to consider is that the $24 trillion in TARP and other federal programs makes the $862 billion Obama stimulus – with only some $200-plus billion having been spent so far – look laughably puny in comparison.  Obama’s claim that his stimulus saved the day is rather like the gnat telling the elephant, “I was pushing too.  And it was my efforts that saved the day, not yours.”

Obama’s claim is laughable.  And so is the mainstream media that has largely allowed Obama to continue making such a claim.

A third point is that it is simply a fact that all the Obama and Democrat claims of “shovel ready jobs” is just a lie.

From an Associated Press article:

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP’s analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.”

Which is to say, the only thing that was ever “shovel ready” about the stimulus was bull crap.  And the Democrats shoveled it high and deep.

Virtually all of the nowhere near 2 million jobs that were “saved or created” were government jobs.  And government jobs are parasitic upon the private sector which taxes PAY for those government jobs.  In other words, the government sector doesn’t produce; government jobs exist ONLY because of the productive output of the private sector, and the private sector taxes that provide the money for the government sector and all the bureaucrats on the payroll.

And what we have here is a case in which $862 billion plus interest has been sucked out of the private sector which actually creates the jobs that produce and given to the government.  Which means less wealth for the private sector.  Which means fewer private sector jobs.  Which means less productivity.  Which means lower tax revenues which fund the government payroll.

Which means we are in a vicious cycle.  Obama is going to need to keep borrowing to pay the government workers on the government payrolls, which means less money for the private sector, which means fewer private sector jobs and less private sector productivity, which means lower tax revenues, which means more borrowing to fund the government sector jobs.

Which is why “Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked.”

Let’s look at the gigantic mess that Obama left Illinois in as an example of why this crap doesn’t work, and how Illinois has an $85 billion black hole of unfunded public employee pension obligations which it can never possibly hope to repay.

First of all, the government has a way of rewarding itself at the expense of the private sector over and over again.  Thus:

“The level of pension benefits provided by the state’s plans generally exceeds those available in the private sector — i.e., available to taxpayers who pay the state’s bills,” the Commercial Club’s Martin contended in his report.

But at the same time government sector union benefits dwarf those of the private sector employees who pay for those massive benefits, another thing happens: the government, being an inherently amoral and short-sighted enterprise, can’t help but constantly rob Peter to pay Paul in a neverending attempt to eat their cake, and have it, too.  Hence the Pension Modernization Task Force investigating the black hole of Illinois pensions was forced to conclude:

“Not wanting to implement dramatic cuts in spending on essential services, the legislature and various governors elected to instead divert revenue from making the required employer pension contribution to maintaining services like education, health care, public safety and caring for disadvantaged populations,” the center argued. “Effectively, the state used the pension systems as a credit card to fund ongoing service operations.”

Which is to say that first the government makes impossible promises, and then it engages in unsustainable and frankly insane policies to play their equivalent of budgetary Whac-a-Mole in order to juggle all the impossible competing spending priorities they’ve been insane enough to commit themselves to.

Which is exactly what happened in the case of the Obama stimulus.  It was advertised as a “shovel-ready” package to create jobs, but instead it was “actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.” And so money that was supposed to fund job creation instead went almost entirely to “Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security … grants to state and local governments … and student aid.”

And jobs got sucked out of the economy.

To the extent that the Obama stimulus actually did any good, any benefit will be entirely consumed by the far greater harm it will do to the economy shortly down the road.

Fortunately, the claims that the Obama administration and the Democrat Party have made have been so inherently contradictory and so over-the-top fallacious that only six percent of Americans believe that Obama’s stimulus has created any jobs at all thus far.