Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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The WH Economists will not testify on Stimulus

So what’s new? That bull will cost us tax payers over $1 trillion and in general only helped demcorat constituencies, lobbyists, operatives, and campaign coffers, to name a few, so it is no surprise that the WH wants to stay away from this hearing.

Republicans say that they plan to use the hearing to examine the effects of the stimulus plan on the economy “and how its results compare to projections made by administration officials.” GOP staff said that they didn’t think that witnesses from individual federal departments would be able to answer these questions.

Evil bastarges! They want that boondoggle to actually have a positive effect? Who the hell do they think they are? Maybe someone should remind them they should have had the same enthusiasm when they held all 3 branches, and America wouldn’t have president Obama and his agenda to turn us into a banana republic today. Pfeh. At least they are exposing the drunken binge the donkeys have been on since they told us the age of conservatism was dead and progressivism would create utopia on earth after the 2008 elections. They sure are setting a record pace in their efforts to create a Soviet style utopia it feels like. Why do I feel that they will continue to ignore reality and pretend this theft of tax payer money thing they told us would save America was a good idea too, huh?

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/16/11 at 02:05 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 02/16/11 at 09:28 PM from United States

I must say that I was a direct beneficiary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or stimulus.  I performed design and construction administration for several airport improvement projects in the northwest.  I will say that I disagree that it was as bad an investment as the doom-and-gloomers proclaim.  The money I dealt with went to real, previosuly planned projects that I can take you out tomorrow and point to.  There is a tangible product for the money I helped spend.  I can’t say it “created” or “preserved” a large number of jobs but it was, in my opinion, as beneficial a program as this sort of thing can be.  It certainly helped me as an engineer.  It helped construction contractors who had to win projects the usual way, through competitive bidding.  It helped clients who truly benefitted from a fair and well prioritized spending allocation.  And I can also tell you that the money was tracked like nothing I’ve ever seen from beginning to end.  There were several layers of audit and review for spending the money.

I get the argument that we shouldn’t spend the money at all but I would also say that if people are going to bitch about federal “assistance” over the last few years I’d rather they bitched about the bank bailouts and AIG.  The “stimulus” money was a drop in thebarrel compared to those programs, programs that can show NO TANGIBLE, PHYSICAL return.  Bitching about ARRA or stimulus infrastructure projects is, in my opinion, allowing yourself to be somewhat distracted lest we really focus on the much larger wasteful spending.

Posted by on 02/17/11 at 03:12 AM from United States

TxAg94

interesting post, it’s kinda like fortune telling, they get it right some of the time, but from what I have seen, some of the “stimulus” money might have been wasted, they repaved roads that could have waited, then they did a crummy job at that, watch the result of using tar/gravel on an interstate road, don’t know if that was part of the stimulus money, but stupid none the less. From what you indicated in your post, the projects you were working on were in the queue already, they just got push forward sooner rather than later, what do you plan on doing for an encore? I originally thought the same, double or triple the road work budget, but I have since changed my mind. 
Most of the Government is enforcing regulations, most of which could disappear and not too many people would know they were gone, SEC for one, really did a good job with Madoff, even when they were warned.

Posted by on 02/17/11 at 10:13 AM from United States

There was no doubt, from anyone, that the ARRA would create some (temporary) jobs, how could spending $787 billion not, forchrissakes. I could drop that amount of money out of an airplane at 15 thousand feet and it would do some good, most would either be destroyed in the atmosphere, lost at sea, or eaten by hungry forest animals, but yes, some lucky folk might find a small percentage of it and temporarily enhance their wealth.

But that was never the real issue, was it? The blow back from the ARRA was always can we afford it, is this the best and most efficient application of this large amount of wealth, do we really want the federal government spending borrowed money to do what the private sector could do much more efficiently and ultimately what bang for our buck, knowing that government involvement always bring with it fraud, waste, duplication and little accountability, we would get in the long run.

And I disagree with your “programs that can show No Tangible Physical Return” assertion. You can argue the wisdom or folly or ANY government bailout or ANY industry, but the bank bailout was actually a good investment for the tax payers since most, not all but most, of those banks have paid back the lion share of that money with interest. Railing at the Fannie/Freddie bailout would bolster your argument better, now there is a good example of that money/rat hole problem.

And what assurances do you have that those ARRA jobs will last after the money runs out? Why do you think many state governors refused stimulus money in the first place? It did not take a genius to figure out that the crack the government was giving for free now would ultimately turn into an expensive and debilitating drug habit in the future, where they would be on the hook to sustain these federal programs when the fed. money runs out.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it task the federal government with employing people. Otherwise we could just borrow another $15 trillion from the Chinese and pay all the unemployed people of America a decent wage to dig holes, then fill them up again, over and over and over. That would really cut that unemployment rate.

Posted by on 02/17/11 at 10:18 AM from United States

TxAg94

Interesting to hear that you believe the money was well tracked on your projects. As an engineer, even at a project engineering level, are you really involved in the financial and purchasing details to definitively say that project spending was that “well tracked” and well spent? Was high-priced union labor a forced requirement in your projects? I’m questioning this, because I’ve never seen any branch of govt manage spending very well, so this would be a first. And were those airport projects really desperately needed, or did they fall into the category of nice-to-have-but-not-must-have? No disrespect..I’m just asking

Anyway, infrastructure spending was only a little over 10% of the stimulus, with the rest going to Medicaid aid and other fiscal relief to states who had reckless spent their way into debt, Pell grants, green energy incentives (subsidizing “green” solutions before they’re economical), increased unemployment benefits, and other wasteful spending.

Posted by AlexinCT on 02/17/11 at 12:10 PM from United States

I must say that I was a direct beneficiary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or stimulus.  I performed design and construction administration for several airport improvement projects in the northwest.  I will say that I disagree that it was as bad an investment as the doom-and-gloomers proclaim.  The money I dealt with went to real, previosuly planned projects that I can take you out tomorrow and point to.  There is a tangible product for the money I helped spend.

I have a bunch of those right here in my stat: $5-10K highway signs proclaiming Obama’s coming seem to be the bulk of the “work”. Not saying that your experience doesn’t count, but the bulk of the spending did not deliver. They could have given people in need the money directly, and I believe it would have produced better results. Mostly directed at those selling booze, sex, and drugs, but it would have been economically better.

And I am a lot more concerned what other tangible benefits we would have gotten, including a much faster recovery, if the money had not been spent in this way in the first place. As was pointed out: the bulk of the money went to prop up donkey interests. The share that actually went to anything that might have created jobs was miniscule. So I wasn’t surprised when no real benefit of any kind, especially jobs other than those in government, was garnered from this scam.

Posted by on 02/17/11 at 08:42 PM from United States

The “stimulus” money was a drop in thebarrel compared to those programs, programs that can show NO TANGIBLE, PHYSICAL return.

Well that’s not entirely true. Much of the TARP has been or will be repaid back. As of the time of article below it was 70%. Now I agree we should not have bailed them out. They should have been dismantled in an orderly fashion even if some government money would have been needed to keep the operations going and avoiding complete meltdown, but that’s just my opinion. Some of the biggest problem companies remaining are the ones involved with the government such as Fannie and Freddy. Now if we want to talk about why we can’t be given full information about all the money the FED has been printing, I agree with you completely.

Link

As far as the stimulus, 1 trillion is huge no matter what, and since we were told it was absolutely critical to rush this though, I’d like to know where my future debt went especially since unemployment was supposed to never reach this point. At least that’s what I was told.

There is no doubt some money went for good and fair projects, but

1) Is it a trillion dollars worth?
2) How much of it did go to fair and good projects?

I mean in all honesty I could shit in the middle of the sidewalk and based on the law of averages, given enough people walking by, someone will see a benefit in it, just like throwing enough money at something, some will go to good use. The question is did the benefit outweigh the cost or even come close to it?

Posted by on 02/17/11 at 08:52 PM from United States

Maybe the Rethuglicans could do some hearings on why after the Bush tax cuts we ended up in a depression requiring the stimulus to “bail out” the economy.

The nerve of those jerks.

Posted by on 02/17/11 at 09:54 PM from United States

Maybe the Rethuglicans could do some hearings on why after the Bush tax cuts we ended up in a depression

Is that what DailyKos told you to think so you accepted it as “established truth”? Bush tax cuts were passed in 2003 and an economic boon followed from 2003 - 2007. That’s a fact. I disagreed with Bush exempting so many people from paying taxes even giving rebates to those who paid no income taxes. That was a major fckup that Obama has expanded upon.

But it can’t be credibly argued that Bush tax cuts “caused” the depression when the opposite occurred. Obamanomics is extending the depression much longer than it needed to be with their extreme deficit spending.

Posted by on 02/18/11 at 12:09 AM from United States

Bush tax cuts were passed in 2003 and an economic boon followed from 2003 - 2007. That’s a fact.

Wow… you still haven’t figured out that the boom wasn’t based on any true sound economic growth… WOW...DUDE???

Posted by on 02/18/11 at 10:33 AM from United States

Wow… you still haven’t figured out that the boom wasn’t based on any true sound economic growth… WOW...DUDE??

I responded to your dumbass claim that Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were the “cause” of a depression. Some delayed reaction there, huh?

Posted by on 02/18/11 at 12:13 PM from United States

Wow… you still haven’t figured out that the boom wasn’t based on any true sound economic growth… WOW...DUDE???

Like a deaf & blind idiot, you have stumbled on the truth, though you likely have no clue why it is true.

If I wanted to “blame” the massive 2003-2007 expansion of the economy on a single person, I might choose Greenspan, who kept interest rates far too low for far too long, creating an environment in which everyone and their retarded dog could borrow money to buy a house (leaving alone for the moment the other government interference in that market) or start a business.

Low - nearly zero - interest rates were helpful in stabilizing things after 9/11 and heading off a worse recession, but not to have raised them substantially until 2004 was horribly irresponsible.  It created a boom based more on easy credit than on sound growth in production or value.

Posted by on 02/18/11 at 01:01 PM from United States

If I wanted to “blame” the massive 2003-2007 expansion of the economy on a single person, I might choose Greenspan, who kept interest rates far too low for far too long, creating an environment in which everyone and their retarded dog could borrow money to buy a house

Bingo. Greenspan’s ‘easy money’ monetary policies set the stage for the tech bubble and the housing/debt bubble to inflate then collapse. I’d also heap considerable blame on govt interference to pressure more home loans for the “underprivileged” who would have otherwise been considered uncreditworthy for a home purchase. Soon afterward, the lowered lending standards worked their way up to the upper income home loans too which made the blowup even more severe.

Again, Bush’s tax cuts were not the “cause” of the problems. Artificial suppression of interest rates combined with wildly out-of-control govt spending at all levels is what created our current disaster. Bernanke is trying to up the ante with lower interest rates and more money printing in an attempt to reinflate another bubble. It will not end well.

Posted by on 02/21/11 at 05:19 AM from United States

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