Stimulus Bill What is it Good for? Record Debt, Bigger Government, No Recovery!

I don’t know if you are as shocked as I am (I would insert a tongue-in-cheek picture here if I had one) at reading reports from several media outlets on the latest findings of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  CBO, gasp, reports that the Stimulus bill is going to, hold on for the shocker, cost more than originally projected!

From the Christian Science Monitor blog we read:

Last week the Congressional Budget Office released updated budget projections — a treasure trove of information for budget wonks. For example, CBO released new estimates of the direct budget costs of the 2009 stimulus bill, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

CBO now estimates that ARRA will cost $814 billion from 2009 through 2019. That’s up from the original $787 billion estimate, but down from the revised, $862 billion estimate released in January.

Spending exceeded original expectations because both unemployment and food prices rose more than anticipated, driving up the cost of extended unemployment benefits and expanded food stamp benefits. On the other hand, spending estimates have come down because “recently enacted legislation rescinded some of the funds appropriated in ARRA and limited the period in which higher payments under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [formerly known as food stamps] will be available.” (CBO did not update estimates for the tax provisions in ARRA.)

Perhaps we should be grateful that the number has “gone down” from previous projections, still higher than originally “sold”,  but should we really?  When you consider that big government boondoggles like the ARRA helps no one but big government, we have little to be grateful for in the ARRA.

One could argue that some infrastructure projects may have been beneficial.  However, the benefit of those projects must be weighed against the cost to borrow the money to “give” to these projects. When all is considered, any net benefit from theses infrastructure projects are a wash at best and most likely a negative.

ARRA was full of bureaucratic dreams that had been asked for over the past 20-30 years but never funded.  Perhaps you will recall the $2 billion for the now underground group formerly known as ACORN? Or perhaps the $30 million for the Saltwater Marsh Mouse in Queen Pelosi’s district? We aren’t even scratching the surface on wasteful spending in the ARRA. It’s a stretch calling it a “stimulus” bill except for bureaucrats!

Of course if you listen to the President and his lackeys, you know that the failure of the ARRA to “stimulate” the economy is “Bush’s” fault!  You know, the war and all.  Not so fast says Mark Tapscott in the Washington Examiner Beltway ConfidentialLittle-known fact: Obama’s failed stimulus program cost more than the Iraq war

Expect to hear a lot about how much the Iraq war cost in the days ahead from Democrats worried about voter wrath against their unprecedented spending excesses.

The meme is simple: The economy is in a shambles because of Bush’s economic policies and his war in Iraq. As American Thinker’s Randall Hoven points out, that’s the message being peddled by lefties as diverse as former Clinton political strategist James Carville, economist Joseph Stiglitz, and The Nation’s Washington editor, Christopher Hayes.

The key point in the mantra is an alleged $3 trillion cost for the war. Well, it was expensive to be sure, in both blood and treasure, but, as Hoven notes, the CBO puts the total cost at $709 billion. To put that figure in the proper context of overall spending since the war began in 2003, Hoven provides this handy CBO chart showing the portion of the annual deficit attributable to the conflict:

Worth going to the link and reading the whole post!

We are not immune from such misrepresentation and drivel on the state level.  During the last recession in the early 2000’s, many in state government wanted to spend more because they said, “government has the responsibility to spend money to help the economy recover”. That sentiment has been wrong from the first time it was ever used. It was wrong when FDR employed it during the Great Depression, extending that economic malaise for at least 10 years from all the government spending and over regulation.  It was wrong in the early 2000’s in Missouri and the US. And it is wrong now!

JFK, Ronald Reagan George W. Bush had it right, cutting taxes gets the job done. As the Missouri House Budget Chair during the 2003-2004 when the Clinton recession was in full bloom, I saw the impact of tax cuts and how they hastened the recovery because businesses were freed up to make investments, not afraid to make them as they are now.

State government economists, now working for liberal organizations like Missouri Budget Project, kept insisting that the tax cuts would hurt the state.  Why, you can’t eliminate the marriage penalty and expect the state to survive! You can’t eliminate the death tax and have the state survive! These and other “dire” predictions were made over and over again. One thing that remains constant is the inaccuracy of those making the “dire” predictions.  These and other “dire” predictions were proven wrong, over and over again!

Government does not create jobs, except those paid for by taxpayer dollars! Private entities create jobs. If government would get out of the way, stop taking the resources that private businesses require to keep in business and need for expanding, we would see a recovery. As it is, ARRA and other extremely poor economic policies being foisted upon us from Washington are destroying jobs and limiting recovery.

Most Americans distrust their government in Washington.  Why should businesses spend any money beyond that necessary for basic survival when they are subject to the dolts in Washington, most of whom have never been responsible for making a payroll?!

Ronald Reagan had it right when he said,

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

Best thing for the U.S. and it’s future is for Washington to get out of the way.  November can’t come soon enough!

Carl Bearden
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