Jul
08
2010
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#rsrh Letting Other People Do It: Stimulus edition.

I am so incredibly glad that the CA primary is over: I can link to Mickey Kaus again.  I think that I’ve mentioned it before, but I wasn’t willing to risk losing the pickup in November by making him look like a viable alternative to Barbara Boxer.

Anyway, Mickey’s bringing up this quote from Jon Alter’s book The Promise:

The biggest frustration involved infrastructure. Obama said later that he learned that “one of the biggest lies in government is the idea of ‘shovel-ready’ projects.” It turned out that only about $20 billion to $40 billion in construction contracts were truly ready to go. The rest were tied up in the endless contracting delays and bureaucratic hassles associated with building anything in America. [E.A.]

…and asking:

Did Obama really not know this back in January, 2009? I mean, Alter’s book pretty convincincly demonstrates that the President is a very smart man. But a smart man would have to have had virtually no contact, direct or vicarious, with government not to realize state and federal  construction projects are bound up with time-consuming rules (like the Davis-Bacon Act’s “prevailing wage” requirements) that undermine their Keynesian utility.

(more…)

Dec
28
2009
4

Rasmussen: plurality now opposes ‘stimulus.’

This is not the most important passage from the article, though:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30% of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38% believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact.

This is:

The Political Class has a much different view than the rest of the county. Ninety percent (90%) of the Political Class believes the stimulus plan helped the economy and not a single Political Class respondent says it has hurt. (See more on the Political Class).

If you’re wondering why the Democratic party’s leadership seems so determined to keep marching over the cliff: well, there you go.  On the other hand, Rasmussen’s ‘Political Class’ designation is subject to criticism and controversy.  On the gripping hand, that criticism and controversy is usually from people who either don’t want to be identified as elites, or resent not being identified as populists…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Nov
16
2009
4
Aug
26
2009
1

The Washington Post discovers fiscal responsibility.

The Washington Post, alas, gets this editorial wrong in the very first sentence:

NO ONE LIKES to be the bearer of bad news — especially when it could threaten your multibillion-dollar health-care reform bill.

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: considering the amount of time that the Right’s bloggers, pundits, and legislators have spent explaining why the Democrats in Congress needed to institute a Stop spending money we don’t have, you idiots policy, well.  We do live here, too, so our liking is hardly unalloyed – but we did say that this wasn’t going to work*.  Moving on:

And so the Obama administration did not exactly rush to publish yesterday’s required mid-session update to its federal budget estimates of last February. Still, once the numbers finally emerged in the dog days of August, they retained the power to stun: Instead of a cumulative $7.1 trillion deficit over the next decade, the White House now projects a $9 trillion deficit. These figures imply average annual budget deficits greater than 4 percent of gross domestic product through fiscal 2019, a rate of debt accumulation faster than projected GDP growth. This is not a sustainable fiscal path.

(more…)

Aug
14
2009
2

Where it went wrong: Obama and Congress.

For the benefit of any hypothetical researcher from, say, the 2050s or so – hey, how are you folks doing, up there?  Have the Cubs won a World Series yet? – let me just note the two major mistakes that the current administration made that seem to have seriously complicated the passage of their health care rationing bill.

  • Choosing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approach on the ‘stimulus’ over that of Rep Walter Minnick’s;
  • Allowing Speaker Pelosi to replace John Dingell on Energy with Henry Waxman.

(more…)

Aug
03
2009
14

Stopping the spin, or being shaken awake from deficit shock.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.

At some point this August (or later), you might hear somebody ask you – probably with at least a sniff in their voice; possibly with an outright sneer – why it is that all of a sudden conservatives/Republicans now are worried about deficits. What were we, asleep?

Not particularly, of course – nonetheless, I think that this (alas, anonymous) comment about the Columbus Tea Party (H/T: Instapundit) pretty much covers the specific objection:

They might have been asleep for the last 8 years, but when you triple the national debt in 6 months with political handouts, calling it stimulus, it tends to wake people up.

Use of this Heritage graphic optional, but probably satisfying:

wapoobamabudget1

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Jul
27
2009
3

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the ‘big mistake’ of the stimulus.

(H/T: Instapundit) He does a discreet amount of I-told-you-so in this bit about just how useless that ‘stimulus’ package was for the economy:

…which is perfectly within his rights to do so, given that he turned out to be correct. But it’s actually not too late to do something about that; as Senator Kyl (R-AZ) notes, we’ve not even spent 10% of the money allocated as of yet. We could stop, reset, and try again with something that’s something more than merely a vast payoff for Democrat-friendly groups and factions.  Something efficient, cheaper, and targeted with specific goals in mind.  Easiest thing in the world to do, really.

All the President has to do is get up there and admit that he was wrong, and that we were right, and he needs our help to fix his mess.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Jul
22
2009
1

Where are the jobs?

That’s House Minority Leader John Boehner’s response to CoS Rahm Emanuel’s rather… well, sad… statement that the White House has turned the economy around:

(more…)

Jul
17
2009
2

The GOP’s done an absolutely awful thing to POTUS…

Yup. Come up with an ad that quotes him.

The inhuman fiends.

Via American Power.

Crossposted to RedState.

Written by in: Politics | Tags: ,
Jul
12
2009
--

New York stimulus money not stimulating… anything, really.

(Via Hot Air Headlines) Treating the symptoms, and not the disease.

Stimulus money plugs budget gaps while little goes to road construction in New York state

New York state has used most of its economic stimulus funding so far to plug holes in its budget and has spent very little on new highway construction, according to a federal watchdog.

New York has used $6.2 billion to close gaps in the state budget. The federal government intended for states to use the money to stabilize their budgets and it was especially important to New York since the state took a historic revenue hit from the collapse of Wall Street.

But the extra state money will soon run out, leaving behind the same state government machine that spends billions more than it takes in. Gov. David Paterson’s staff said it was working on an exit strategy to be revealed at the end of the year, when the next budget proposal is introduced to the Legislature. The state counties association, school districts and members of Congress have warned the state it needs to plan for the federal stimulus money to dry up.

I had a tedious metaphor all set and ready to go, but it’s not really necessary: the answer to New York’s problem is actually not complicated.

  • Stop spending money that you don’t have.
  • If you want something that you can’t have because you don’t have the money, get more money.
  • You cannot turn a luxury into a necessity by wanting it sufficiently enough.

Yes, I’m amazed that I have to write out all of this.  I’m also mordantly certain that it won’t make much difference – or any difference at all – that I did.

Moe Lane

Jul
11
2009
2

NAME! THAT! PARTY! – Colorado Governor category.

It’s not what you know…

it’s who you know.  Isn’t that right, Governor Bill Ritter (D-CO)?

Gov. Ritter Steered Stimulus Money To Ex-Employer

DENVER (AP) ― Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter has awarded some of the state’s first stimulus money to his former employer in a no-bid contract.

Ritter hired his former law firm, the Washington-based Hogan & Hartson, in a no-bid contract to review stimulus spending, The Denver Post reported Friday. It said the firm was paid $40,000 in stimulus money through June.

In this case, ‘who’ is a law firm full of political donors of Governor Ritter’s (D), including at least two “who work directly on the state’s stimulus issues.”  The Governor’s (D) office is claiming that the deal was righteous, as well as legal… although they didn’t go into explaining why they paid six times what they would have if they had run things through the Attorney General’s office: (more…)

Jul
07
2009
1

Metal manufacturers pay the price for Joe Biden Opening His Mouth.

It was apparently their turn.

The annoying bit is that we can’t even put the Vice President in an undisclosed location, given that he’s already gone out and disclosed it. I would write that it’s days like this that make me miss Dick Cheney, except that doing so would imply that I’ve ever stopped doing so since 01/20/2009.

Biden comments drive metal manufacturers lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of major metal manufacturers traded sharply lower Monday, a day after Vice President Joe Biden said the White House “misread” the economy, prompting concerns that an economic recovery could be slower than expected.

[snip]

During the second quarter, commodity prices “went through the roof,” and investors snapped up metal makers stocks on word that the economy was “less bad” than before, he said.

But, now, the market has switched its thinking amid broader concerns about the economy, he said.

See here for a link to the interview (Hot Air for the H/T). About the only thing that you can say about it is that at least the White House hasn’t sent out people to retract the economic portions yet – unlike, for example, the VP’s recent comments that could be read as the USA giving permission to Israel to bomb Iran (via Sense of Events). But the ‘pace of the ball is now going to increase,’ at least – and if you know what that actually means, I’m not sure whether to be envious of, or worried about you.

Just another Monday in this, the best of all possible worlds…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

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