Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Problem of Economic Stimulus

The Congressional Budget Office is raining on President Obama's stimulus parade. Less than half of the $355B requested for infrastructure and other discretionary spending will actually be spent by October 1, 2010, thereby undercutting the whole notion of an immediate, stimulative impact. This is exactly what a number of Republicans in the Congress have been saying.

I'm not against some fast spreading around of money on important and quickly begun capital projects. But when over half of the money allocated won't be spent until well after most economists see this economy as on the way up again, it seems like a plain waste of money.

I'd rather see the money NOT able to be spent as quickly applied to that tried and tested way of pumping more money into the economy....letting people keep more of it! Not some kind of temporary rebate that folks use to pay down debt, but a real tax cut that actually changes behavior (as in, causes people to spend money).


Mudge said...

And to beat my worn out drum even more: letting us KEEP it means none of that money gets skimmed in DC. So, in essence, for every dollar you let us KEEP, we get exactly one dollar of economic stimulus. Whereas for every dollar you "rebate", we get about 48 cents of economic stimulus. Of course this concept doesn't resonate in a Dem-dominated DC for two main reasons: (1) it doesn't sustain the government infrastructure (2) it doesn't reapportion wealth to those who don't pay taxes.

Sally said...

Okay, this is a little off-topic, but I'm listening to RFK Jr. on Fox News at the moment. He's talking about how going green is all we need to do to save the economy. But that's not my beef-has anyone heard this dude's voice before? UGGGHHHH

Sally said...

Okay, back to the topic. I just read that Obama's INCOMING CBO director sees things a little differently and this report is essentially wrong. So no worries, they can spend until the cows come home and the new guy will be able to put the appropriate spin on it.

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