Monday, January 05, 2009

Not Very Stimulating

It's extremely nerve-wracking that a small minority is still dictating the terms of government in DC - and Obama not only isn't upset by that, by is more or less applauding it.

We know, as a goverment, what is and is not effective stimulus for the government. Small rebates, like the one the government gave out in 2008, do very little - most people choosing to put it towards their debts. Investing money in infrastructure is very good stimulus, ending up creating more revenue than the government spends by a wide ratio, according to nonpartisan congressional reports I've read in the past. (Feel free to google them). So much for all the "bold and swift" rhetoric coming from Obama's people - the actual new spending is going to be too tiny to do much in an economic period where we need to do a lot to kick start everything.

Obama is making a mistake thinking he can create this consensus he seems to place at a premium, wanting to appease Republicans in his signature bill. We live in a democracy, not in a society where 80-90% of everyone have to agree on whatever we do. Worse yet, these Republicans have shown that all they care about is their partisan agenda. We're not going to make friends with them - giving them concessions isn't going to help them give future concessions to us, it's only going to get us burned in the end. Just ask Paul Krugman.
Look, Republicans are not going to come on board. Make 40% of the package tax cuts, they’ll demand 100%. Then they’ll start the thing about how you can’t cut taxes on people who don’t pay taxes (with only income taxes counting, of course) and demand that the plan focus on the affluent. Then they’ll demand cuts in corporate taxes. And Mitch McConnell is already saying that state and local governments should get loans, not aid — which would undermine that part of the plan, too.
The American people voted for Democrats and for change; if we don't give them what they asked for, we're going to get our asses handed to us between 2010 and 2012.

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