In for a penny, in for a pound - Stimulus package exploding
President-elect Barack Obama's economic team is considering an economic-stimulus program that will be far larger than the two-year, half-trillion-dollar plan under consideration two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the team's thinking.The president-elect is expected to be briefed on the broad parameters of the plan next week, with aides still hoping for Congress to pass a bill by the time Mr. Obama takes office Jan. 20.
President-elect Barack Obama's economic team is considering an economic-stimulus program that will be far larger than the two-year, half-trillion-dollar plan under consideration two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the team's thinking.
The president-elect is expected to be briefed on the broad parameters of the plan next week, with aides still hoping for Congress to pass a bill by the time Mr. Obama takes office Jan. 20.
With the unemployment rate now expected to hit 9% without aggressive intervention, Obama aides and advisers have set $600 billion over two years as "a very low-end estimate," one person familiar with the matter said. The final number is expected to be significantly higher, possibly between $700 billion and $1 trillion over two years.
Transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter denied any decisions have been made on the scope of the plan. "Any speculation on size or scope is premature at this time," she said.
On the upper bounds, liberal economists in the team have staked out $600 billion in the first year and $300 billion to $600 billion in the second, depending on economic conditions in 2010. Incoming Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said early this week he had tasked National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers to sound out conservative and liberal economists on their views.
The general sense among economists being canvassed by the Obama team is that "every day there's a new bad number," one of the people familiar with the matter said. "And people's sense of what the appropriate stimulus is rises" with the news.
Any conservative economist who cooperates in this nuttiness should be fired, drawn, quartered, and cast into the outer darkness. This is utter madness. Let's boil down all the objections to this insanity to one, declarative statement:
WE DON'T HAVE A TRILLION DOLLARS!
There, I said it. Not that it will matter much. And I suppose I'll be called all sorts of names for being a party pooper - "Hoover," Scrooge," probably "racist" too since calling someone "Hoover" is rapidly becoming the same thing as calling them a "racists" - at least on the left.
But someone, somewhere, has to raise their hand and stand up if only to say, "Um...who is going to pay for all of this?" Perhaps the idiots pushing this boondoggle also may wish to ask if this is really going to work, is it going to accomplish what these Bozo Economists are saying it will accomplish? Or, if marginally left alone, would the economy do its own recovering while picking and choosing winners and losers based on sound free market principles and not who has the best political connections with the Democratic party?
The mantra that we are seeing "bad numbers everyday" and hence. the rationale for this massive stimulus package, never seems to make the point that these numbers are the worst we've seen since the late 70's and early 80's. Well, I know that history is not a favored subject among this crew but the nation survived that recession - the deepest since the depression - without a massive public works program, taxpayer handouts, or bailouts for everyone with their hand out, And if things are no worse than how it was 30 years ago, the only possible explanation for threatening the economy and our future is that politicians see an opportunity to redistribute the wealth of this country. Not to the neediest people but their political supporters.
The GOP senate showed a little character by axing the auto bailout. But the political pressure to "do something" about the recession is enormous and growing with each piece of bad news that emerges. I sincerely doubt that any politician in Washington will be able to resist this madness when it really gets rolling next year.
After all, who can resist giving out free money to the voters?