18 November 2009

A second stimulus?

That's what it sounds like.

By the way, don't you love that the president has pushed virtually every fundamental item of import to the backburner in an effort to shove through his prized "health care reform" package? Afghanistan, immigration reform, and, I don't know ... addressing the fact that one-sixth of the workforce is either unemployed or under-employed.

Here is my take on the proposed second stimulus.

I was not against the basic idea of the first stimulus -- if it was actually an economy-boosting, job-creating stimulus, as opposed to a liberal grab bag costing, in the end, over a trillion dollars. However, the final product was laughable partisan hackery.

In fact, the effect of the first stimulus is so dubious that the official in charge of stimulus oversight said that the administration's questionable "jobs saved or created" metric is actually impossible to quantify.

President Obama had a great deal of political capital entering office, but like President Bush before him, he seemed determined to spend it as quickly as possible. As a result of our increasingly large crater of a deficit, as well as the far-left rhetoric and overall cost of the liberal health care reform package that is now before the Senate, Democrats seem stunned that independents are starting to bolt back to the GOP.

Perhaps it's because, as of October 30, according to Recovery.gov, of the $787 billion (remember, that number is pre-interest) earmarked for spending, just $216 billion has been paid out.

That's 27 percent in 7 months.

Let's separate the idiotic first stimulus from the potential benefit of a second one. I am no economist, but by all accounts, the first stimulus hasn't helped at all, and some predict the unemployment rate to rise even higher. If Congress is able to actually, substantively drive down unemployment with a real stimulus package that immediately creates jobs, Republicans need to seriously consider a good-faith proposal.

As much as I detested the idea of a liberal grab bag masquerading as April's "stimulus," the GOP has already accumulated plenty of ammunition for 2010. The focus needs to be on getting Americans back to work. And if the Democrats can come up with something useful -- which although highly unlikely, is still plausible -- then Republicans need to listen.

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