Not Feelin’ The Stimulus …

CNNMoney.com writes Stimulus spending short sighted – watchdog:

Fiscally-stressed states are using their stimulus dollars to satisfy immediate needs rather than undertake longer-term reforms, according to a government report released Wednesday.

For example, states are spending education funds to prevent layoffs and maintain programs, a Government Accountability Office report found.

Trying to survive one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, state and school district officials say they don’t have the money to undertake projects such as building new schools and expanding early-childhood education.

Similarly, states are using nearly half their infrastructure funds for pavement improvements, which can be implemented quickly and don’t require environmental clearances and in-depth design work.

The $787 billion recovery act walks a fine line between trying to get funds out quickly to stimulate the economy and spurring longer-term initiatives.

In Flint, Mich., for instance, no new school buildings have been constructed in more than 30 years. While the district would love to use stimulus funds to renovate its facilities, the cash-strapped city must use the money to maintain current programs.

Near 2,000 teachers will retain their jobs in Florida’s Miami-Dade district because of stimulus funds. Officials in half the states surveyed said recovery act money will prevent layoffs.

The recovery act’s architects had hoped districts would use the funds to put in place longer-lasting educational reforms that improved student achievement. In order the receive the funds, schools must assure they will increase teacher effectiveness, provide support to turn around troubled schools and advance in creating college-ready and career-ready standards.

The budget crisis, however, is putting those efforts on the back burner.

“Many school district officials also reported that using [stimulus] funds for education reforms was challenging given other more pressing fiscal needs,” according to the report.
GAO finds flaws

The GAO is charged with tracking stimulus spending in 16 states and the District of Columbia that combined will receive two-thirds of the funds. Wednesday’s 161-page report is the second it has released.

The federal government is pushing out stimulus funds slightly faster than expected. As of June 19, $29 billion was given to states and localities — 90% of which has gone toward Medicaid and education.

The money is helping states deal with their budget crunches, Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told a congressional committee Wednesday.

Still, the agency found that some states have been giving short-shrift to a recovery act requirement that infrastructure projects be located in economically distressed areas. Officials in many states told the GAO that they had picked the projects based on other priorities and only later gave consideration to ones in economically troubled areas.

And some stimulus money is going untouched, in part because state agencies are still waiting for federal guidance or approval or are still soliciting bids. For instance, public housing agencies have only spent 1.1% of the federal money made available for rehabilitating apartments.

States are also cutting back on staffing, leading to concerns about how well they will be able to report their use of stimulus dollars. Officials are finding it tough to create initiatives — such as a summer youth employment program — in the tight timeframes required by the act.

“Once the recovery act was passed, states and local areas had only about 4 months to get their new summer youth employment activities up and running — a process that officials told us would normally begin many months earlier,” according to the report.

The GAO report recommended the White House improve reporting requirements and ensure more direct communication with state officials. It also raised red flags about the reliability of the data on the government’s site, www.USAspending.gov, and the level of accountability for monitoring the funds’ use.
What about the jobs?

Lawmakers, however, were more interested in grilling Robert Nabors, deputy director of the White House budget office, about the number of jobs the stimulus funds have created or saved.

The administration has said stimulus funds have already created or saved 150,000 jobs, and should create another 600,000 by summer’s end. The figures are based on estimates that each $92,000 in stimulus money spent creates one job.

Nabors said that while America is still losing jobs, it is doing so at a slower pace because of stimulus money. The number of positions that disappeared in June, 467,000, was fewer than the monthly job-loss pace of 691,000 in the first quarter.

“We are making progress, but we have a long way to go,” Nabors said.

Republican lawmakers lashed into Nabors, questioning his figures and saying that the recovery act hasn’t lived up to President Obama’s promises.

“How can you justify that?” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, of the estimate.

What a bunch of nonsense. Created or saved 150,000 jobs? What is that even supposed to mean? It is based on the assumption that taking $92,000 from a taxpayer and spending it on fixing potholes will create new jobs. What they are forgetting is that when the money is taken from somewhere else it will be missing somewhere else, curb consumption there and cost jobs there. It substitutes bureaucratic jobs for productive jobs. It is sad to hear these mindless statements made with impunity again and again. It is annoying to see people act surprised about 100% predictable outcomes.

As I said before, this stimulus bill won’t fix a darn thing …

The $800 billion spending bill that is currently being discussed will not fix the US economy. Just as too much government intervention caused (not fixed) the Great Depression in 1929 and the following years, just as the Bush administration’s spending spree which turned surpluses into deficits, just as the rise of government expenses over the past 100 years, more government spending will not solve a darn thing. Quite the opposite. It will dig us a deeper hole. There is no way around this truth. There is no point ignoring or denying The Trouble with Bureaucracy.

There is no “Change” in having the government  spend more money. If government spending was good for the economy, the United States should by now have the best economy in the universe. Spending more money is in fact precisely the opposite of change. It is more of the same.

In fact, the administration itself realizes that the “stimulus” is obviously not working. What solution do they have on the table now? Of course, a second stimulus:

The U.S. should consider drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small,” said Laura Tyson, an outside adviser to President Barack Obama.

Insanity? Why, yes that’s exactly what this is. And guess what: If there were to be a second stimulus it won’t work either. And what will be the proposed solution after that? You know it.

Which brings us back to the likely outlook for the US over the next years:

Thus the long term outlook for the US economy is the fate Japan took: A long lasting correction supercycle with one failing “stimulus” program after another, and with on and off periods where the economy slips out of and back into recessions from time to time.

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Stimulus for Everyone

The US faces the most severe crisis in history. Everyone is facing the threat of bankruptcy. If everyone were to go out of business, everyone would lose their jobs. Everyone is too big to fail. It is not just those who are directly employed by everyone, millions of people are contractors and vendors who supply everyone. They, too, would be affected.

Unfortunately the stimulus for everyone faces strong opposition in Congress. Only a few brilliant public figures have realized how severe the situation is:

Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank had the following to say:

“If we don’t help everyone, we will see a disastrous ripple effect that will affect everyone. In a crisis like the current one we cannot afford this.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“Bankruptcy is simply not an option for everyone. It takes way too long to go through the Chapter 11 proceedings for everyone. There is too much at stake here. We’re not just looking at anyone here, we’re talking about everyone!”

President Barack Obama:

“We need a stimulus for everyone. Everyone employs roughly 100% of the American workforce. We can’t afford unemployment to jump up to 100%.”

A businessman from Detroit who sells stuff and is directly affected by everyone’s financial problems:

“Imagine you buy something from everyone and then it breaks. Who’s going to fix it when everyone goes out of business?”

The money for this historic stimulus would of course have to be raised through taxes, levied upon everyone. It is imperative that the government step up to the plate and take money from everyone in order to stimulate everyone, whether everyone likes it or not. Now is really the time for everyone to set aside their selfish greediness and do what is right for everyone.

Thus, this April 1st let’s all get together and stimulate everyone.

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Strategy Room with Judge Napolitano, Ron Paul, Peter Schiff

Great panel discussing the scams, boondoggles, and crimes perpetrated by the Bush and the Obama administrations.

Part 1/6:

Part 2/6:

Part 3/6:

Part 4/6:

Part 5/6:

Part 6/6:

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DeMint Unveils ‘The American Option: A Jobs Plan That Works’

The intentions behind this proposal are good, but the execution of introducing it is pretty sad. He suggests tax cuts but doesn’t dare to touch the holy cow, spending. As long as republicans approach their counterparts in Senate or the President in this manner their demands will fall on deaf ears. Spending has been the main problem that has driven the US economy into a ditch. Democrats are now offering the solution: More spending!

The only conclusion they can draw from the examples of The Great Depression, the 70s crisis, or the Japanese crisis is that they didn’t spend enough.

After all $800+ billion are spent and as all these new measures fail miserably, their only conclusion will be that we need more spending. This is a far greater disaster in the making.

This spending plan will forever be remembered as President Obama’s Iraq War.

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Obama Makes an Unnecessary Gamble

The $800 billion spending bill that is currently being discussed will not fix the US economy. Just as too much government intervention caused (not fixed) the Great Depression in 1929 and the following years, just as the Bush administration’s spending spree which turned surpluses into deficits, just as the rise of government expenses over the past 100 years, more government spending will not solve a darn thing. Quite the opposite. It will dig us a deeper hole. There is no way around this truth. There is no point ignoring or denying The Trouble with Bureaucracy.

There is no “Change” in having the government  spend more money. If government spending was good for the economy, the United States should by now have the best economy in the universe. Spending more money is in fact precisely the opposite of change. It is more of the same.

Comments on some of President Obama’s flawed statements from today:

“We’re not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” he said. “We can’t embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face…”

The idea to drastically cut government expenses and use the cost savings to cut taxes is not more of the same. Why would it be? Who ever suggested that the Bush administration cut spending and subsequently cut taxes significantly? It simply didn’t happen. If, of course, you cut taxes by a little bit and borrow and spend ever more nothing will change. This is what happened. The tax cuts were completely insignificant, the spending kept on growing. In fact, the only period in the post war history of the US where taxes where higher than now was from 1997 through 2002. That aside, taxes are at an all time high right now. So please , everyone, stop spreading the nonsense that what has happened in the past 8 years is a proof that a policy of limited government, little government spending and low taxes has failed.

The idea to return to a sound monetary system is not more of the same. It is the opposite. What has led to this crisis is credit expansion and the inevitably ensuing business cycle, caused by excessive money printing by the Federal Reserve Bank, an institution detached from reality and from any checks and balances. There is no change in more deficits and government debt, monetized by an unchecked Federal Reserve. It is more of the same.

The idea to cut taxes on small incomes, payroll taxes, capital gains, dividends, and interest has nothing to do with “trickle down” economics. Who pays the payroll tax? It’s the little guy, the worker, who receives a monthly paycheck which has a large chunk deducted for income and payroll taxes immediately. It’s him who saves part of what is left in stocks and bonds to receive interest and dividend income for his retirement. How is this “trickle down” economics? In fact, I can’t see a better example for “trickle up” economics than this one.

To critics who argue that the government shouldn’t be spending billions with a large and growing deficit, Obama said, “I found this national debt doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.”

The American people called for change in November, he said, “and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”

The Americal people voted for your program which promises fiscal soundness. They didn’t vote for another $1 trillion additional spending. In case anyone cares what they think on this specific issue, please consider Public Realizes – Stimulus Won’t Work.

Obama rejected calls for more tax cuts and significant slashing of the bill’s more than $800 billion price tag, and said complaints the package was a spending bill rather than a stimulus bill were off base.

“What do you think a stimulus bill is?” he said. “That’s the point.”

Well, Mr. Obama, you keep talking about the “failed policies that doubled our national debt”. What do you think it is that doubled the debt?? What do you think it is that the government has been doing for the past 8 years and beyond that? What do you think has led us to where we are right now? That’s the point.

“They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn’t vote for phony arguments and petty politics, and they did not vote for the status quo.”

President Obama promised change. Cutting taxes and spending would be change. Keeping taxes as insanely high as they are, even considering to raise them, and spending more money is not change. It is the exact opposite of change. It is more of the same. More of the same failed policies that have led to the demise of the US economy.

Considering the facts that

a. the public opposes this bill and
b. it will not work and make things worse,

Obama is gambling with the future of his administration. If he doesn’t deliver true change, things will get worse and worse. If he shoves this bill down the throats of the American people, it will be him and Democrats in Congress who will have to share the blame. This bill was never his bill. It was the Congressional Democrats’ bill, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Now Obama has made it his bill. All the scandals, wasteful projects and corruption that will be uncovered under the projects funded by it will be associated with him. His partisan speech today might very well have marked an early end to bipartisanship for the rest of his tenure.

His fundamental misunderstanding on this matter is that he believes these disagreements are nothing but political games. They are not. They reflect sincere and deep-rooted concerns of the direction where this country has headed. They represent the voices of millions of frustrated workers, businessmen, housewives, students, and retirees calling their representatives, jammed fax machines, letters, town hall meetings, and the like. The movement for liberty is not one of political expediency. Its members are not in it for personal, monetary, or political gain. They are in it for true conviction and with all their heart. But on top of that, it is a movement of substance, reason, logic, and sound understanding of historical and economic facts. There is nothing in the world that could change some one’s mind, once one has understood the true blessings of Freedom, Liberty, Peace, Prosperity, and Happiness. It is a patient movement. It is not in a rush. It isn’t going away. It will grow stronger year by year. To ignore it would be the biggest mistake Obama could make now.

If he continues doing it, the political retaliation will ensue sooner or later in the next Congressional elections and maybe in the next presidential elections. This is an unnecessary, harmful, and avoidable political gamble.

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