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pike doctor

"economic stimulus package"???

13 posts in this topic

In Earmarks Lies Salvation?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

December 09, 2008

In a deepening recession, what does the reasonable man do?

Seeing friends laid off, he will get rid of all but essential credit

cards, dine at home more often, terminate unnecessary trips to the mall,

put off buying a new car, give up the idea of borrowing on the vanishing

equity in his house. He will begin to save and start paying down debt.

A company that has reached the limits of its credit and is staring at

Chapter 11 will batten down the hatches, lay off nonessential workers,

cut employee hours, put off expansion plans, cancel year-end bonuses and

try to ride out the storm.

This is the natural behavior of people responsible for others in an

economic storm of the magnitude of the category 4 hurricane heading our

way. Yet, to see and hear our government, folks are doing exactly the

wrong thing.

For the U.S. government is set to borrow on a colossal scale,

unprecedented save in World War II, and to take America trillions of

dollars deeper in debt to pick up the slack in the economy caused by the

rational decisions of individuals and corporations.

The Fed, whose easy money policy created the housing bubble that has

exploded in our faces, is back printing money and shoveling cash into

the banks. And, though the Bush deficits are said to have been

responsible for our troubles, a new Congress and president have advanced

a deficits-be-darned, full-spending-ahead policy.

On top of Bush's $455 billion deficit and hundreds of billions in

bailouts for AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie and CitiGroup, Obama is

talking up a new stimulus package of $500 billion to $1 trillion.

Our governors and mayors -- who, facing deficits, had been cutting back

-- have now reversed field and are demanding to follow the federal

formula.

When Obama arrived at the National Governors Association Conference in

Philadelphia, they pounced. Led by Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell, they

handed Barack a bill: $138 billion. The governors want U.S.

taxpayers to relieve them of what U.S. families face: the need to cut

spending, pay down debt, make sacrifices, take pain and live within

their means.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the mayors have now followed the

governors' lead, declaring they have 4,100 projects "ready to go," which

they want U.S. taxpayers to fund.

What are these projects?

Under the ever-popular rubric "infrastructure," they include roads,

bridges, schools and public buildings. California Gov. Arnold

Schwarzenegger says he has $28 billion worth "ready to go," which he

would like folks in the other 49 states to fund.

Now, historically, bridges, highways, roads and public buildings have

been regarded as pork. In the campaign, they were "earmarks"

-- payoffs for powerful constituents, a form of political corruption

that reformers like Barack and John McCain were going to end.

Now, it seems, earmarks are our salvation.

Why are governments at every level doing this?

Because government believes that the restoration of economic health

requires us to act against our natural instincts in a recession, and

start buying and financing new homes and cars, and get back to the

malls, lest this Christmas season become a bummer for retailers.

After all, 70 percent of our gross domestic product is now based on

consumption, though Americans in recent years have had a savings rate of

zero.

The disconnect between the instincts of average citizens and the

policies of government could not be greater. Governments want us to act

prodigally, while natural instincts and inclinations are telling us to

act conservatively.

Conservatism and capitalism are giving conflicting signals.

Average Americans are behaving as though in rehab, trying to kick a bad

habit of spending more than they earn and borrowing more than they can

pay back, while the U.S. government is suggesting that what we really

need is to return to the auto showrooms and malls, and start spending

again, only in radically increased dosages.

Beyond the present recession, questions arise as to whether the U.S.

model is sustainable. If government spending were the remedy to

recession, why, after Bush's deficits, are we in recession? And if the

easy money of Ben Bernanke's Fed is the cure for what ails us, how did

we get sick when Alan Greenspan's Fed was conducting a never-ending

policy of easy money?

How does it stimulate the private economy to pump hundreds of billions

of dollars into consumer checking and credit-card accounts, when more

and more of what we consume -- from computers to cars to clothes --

isn't even produced in America anymore?

What do conservatives, few of whom have opposed the Obama plans and

fewer of whom have called for repeal of Bush's big-spending social

programs, believe is the alternative approach to ending the recession

and creating a sustainable economy?

For the economy we have seems to be condemned to an ever-deepening and

widening cycle of crises, each brought on by the cure for the previous

crisis, which is always the same: more government.

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Back in the early 1990's the US Government took over a "bunny ranch" in Nevada for non payment of taxes. Per US gov't policy they had to try and operate the facility.

The US gov't could not even run a place selling booze and sex - now we want to give them our bank and auto system??

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They're running our security, most gleefully support that even though it is over half of all government expenditures!?

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Wow, I'm in almost full agreement with Pat "Build-A-Wall" Buchanan. I think I'm going to go dunk my head in an ice-filled lake to reset the system. smile

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Yeah good old Pat Buchanan raises some good points. So much for change with the Obama administration. The first eco-stim package worked out horribly so lets try a second and a third so we can say its failed 3 times. This will show the world the average American is smarter than those running their government. We need to stop borrowing billions and trillions.

Someone said the first bailout package was the equivalent to $500,000 for every American taxpayer. How about no more bailouts and just hold everyone responsible for their finances? CEO's are taking multi-million dollar bonuses but are needing bailouts? k*ll no.

If these massive companies really want to help out everyone who supports them try passing on the massive million dollar bonuses for the top execs. Instead give that money back to those on the bottom who actually worked hard to earn it. Give it to those who actually need it.

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Someone said the first bailout package was the equivalent to $500,000 for every American taxpayer.

Did that someone fail 5th grad math?

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I think you even pegged the year right... 5th grade. This comes out to be some number with 12 or 13 zeros behind it. That makes it one quintillion or 100 quadrillion.

Hmmm. sounds a bit off to me also.

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Originally Posted By: Quetico

Someone said the first bailout package was the equivalent to $500,000 for every American taxpayer.

Did that someone fail 5th grad math?

It was close though, from what I remember hearing, if the money was given to every legal US citizen over 18, after taxes, I think it was approx 150,000

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I took a moment and just did a search: said that give each US citizen over 18 (as a general estimate, that was 200 million) the bailout money instead and tax it. Pre-tax came out to 425K and after tax about 125K

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This is why you cannot just throw out numbers "because our calculators are too small to handle them". Just putting your numbers in the quick calculation 200 million people getting $425,000 each would be 200,000,000 X 425,000 which is 85,000,000,000,000 which is not 700 billion but rather 85 trillion. Which is more than 120 times as much as the bailout was for.

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Here's one I'll throw in the mix.

As of right now our US national debt is $10,658,291,143,351.46.

If congress worked out a plan to pay that debt off at a rate of $1000.00 per every second of every hour of every day, it would take approximately 337.75 years to reduce it to $0.00 not counting interest. We have only been a country for 232 years. That's roughly 1-1/2 times as many years as we have been a country.

We're in debt man!

Bob

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I took a moment and just did a search: said that give each US citizen over 18 (as a general estimate, that was 200 million) the bailout money instead and tax it. Pre-tax came out to 425K and after tax about 125K

A calculator in the wrong hands can be a dangerous weapon. smile

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Hers one for all of you.

The Nat'l Debt doesn't really exist. Its a number on a computer. Cont/Alt/Del. Poof, its gone.

What do we actually owe other countries that will actually want thier money?

THATS what our debt is. The rest is "borrowed against the future".

Oh, and if you put 5 grand in your 401k, your company match added 3 grand, and its value was 11 grand but after the big bust on wall street its now only worth 9 grand..YOU DIDN'T LOOSE ANYTHING! You still have your 5 and your companies 3. Its actually only worth the 8 thats put in, the rest is POTENTIAL value.

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