Defending the indefensible: More stimulus garbage
As if beating a horse long dead makes any sense, President Obama's politically pandering Council of Economic Advisers is still defending the indefensible by insisting that the $763 billion stimulus, five years ago, delivered the U.S. economy from depression.
Not only is this pure spin, it's dangerous because it provides an excuse for this or future administrations to attempt the same logic-stunted mistake. And that has a debilitating cost — namely, an economy that last year grew at an anemic 1.9 percent during what's been the most painfully slow recovery since World War II.
But the salesmen of the stale stimulus insist that for every dollar government increased spending, the economy grew by more than that buck because of the so-called “multiplier effect”: that dollar magically grew into a larger sum as it was passed along. What the savants of government spending neglect to point out in their tin-to-gold economic alchemy is that to give away all those dollars, the government must first take that money out of the economy, through taxes or borrowing.
“So for every dollar the government spent, someone in the private sector didn't have that dollar available to spend,” writes Curtis Dubay, a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation.
And if, in fact, the stimulus was such a stunning success, then why does Team Obama insist on extending jobless benefits to the point of absurdity — for up to 99 weeks?
Somewhere, we're sure, the select beneficiaries of government's last stimulus must be smiling.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.