Things I've Tagged ‘Stimulus’

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#Economy, #Employment, #Obama, #Stimulus, #Video

Anti-mis-untruths and the Stimulus

In spite of our machinations, we continue to lose money, jobs, and inflation is probably about to burst forth with a furry. We should not be shocked to learn then that we are bleeding jobs; we are shedding them in order to reach some new equilibrium while our economy attempts to recover. But, uh…the thing is, I thought the President, and Congress, had a plan for that? You know, the trillion dollar stimulus. Remember how that was supposed to save or create over 3 million jobs?

I’ll tell you, I’m still waiting. I feel as though the numbers used to sell this plan were fudged a bit. No, I don’t just feel it, I know it. Their plan was to print a bunch of money, create a ton of debt and feed it into the economy in order to give it a bit of a kick start, but their plan never really pumped money into anything. As passed, it was more of an entitlement package; and now, everything they do is an effort to get an agenda shoved through. Universal healthcare, take overs of industry and banking, etc. The left is pushing hard, and they claim that all of this is just about turning the economy around, not radically altering the face of our political system.

This video in particular is an apt criticism of the plan’s claims of employment figures if the stimulus passed versus not being passed.

The Obama Stimulus: Predictions vs. Reality

This, while perhaps not completely accurate with numbers, is a perfect example of why this administration cannot be trusted.

I can’t say that I’m surprised by the lies anymore; the one thing I see to be accurate and truthful is that this guy, this party, is a party of left-leaning radicals. Their agenda seems good-natured, in that it claims to be for the people’s own good, but it is not and cannot be good for the people; when a plan actively seeks to diminish negative liberty and grant powers to a government that has not been given them, by the constitution, and actively seeks to control its citizenry, then they are violating the precepts that this nation was founded upon.

I just want it to stop. Their plan is killing our economy more than anything else. Their plans to tax more are killing our economy. Their plans to run trillion dollar deficits are killing our ability to borrow money. 2010 and 2012 cannot come fast enough, and I have hope that this country can turn itself around; if we can find some truly fiscally conservative politicians who also believe in the principals of negative liberty, then that would be even better.

#Obama, #Politics, #Robert J. Samuelson, #Stimulus

No one knows the economic effects of all this; estimates vary. But Obama’s political strategy stunts the impact from what it might have been. By using the stimulus for unrelated policy goals, spending will be delayed and diluted. There’s another downside: ‘Temporary’ spending increases for specific programs, as opposed to block grants, will be harder to undo, worsening the long-term budget outlook.

Robert J. Samuelson

#Politics, #Stimulus, #Upton

My Letter to the Editor Re: Upton


This is in response to Glen Edquist’s letter to the editor on Monday (“Voters should send Upton packing in 2010”).

Congressman Upton’s no vote, while seeming to signal his nonsupport of the working middle class, might in fact be for a legitimate reason: the bill, as presented, was full of spending that would likely not serve to immediately stimulate the economy–which is the purpose of the bill. Much of what is in the bill amounts to projects that need to go through the normal appropriations process, rather than be pushed through in a giant omnibus bill. This is not nonsupport of labor; it is nonsupport of uncontrolled spending.

What might make more sense in our current situation is the alternative bill presented by freshmen Rep. Walt Minnick, D-ID, called the [Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START). According to this plan, $174 billion would be all that is necessary, with $100 billion in targeted tax cuts, $20 billion for school modernization, $4 billion for job training and work-force reinvestment, and $50 billion for highway, bridge and road projects.

Additionally, START would require that all funds not spent by 2010 be sent back to the Treasury, and halts stimulus spending when the GDP increases in two of the previous three quarters. This plan is designed to target job creation and stimulate spending.

START is just one alternative. Perhaps another plan with similar intentions would work better, but the problem with the stimulus package passed by the House and Senate isn’t that money is being spent. The problem is the shear magnitude of spending earmarked for something other than stimulus, and this is what I feel Congressman Upton’s position was in voting no on the stimulus package as presented to the House.

Mike Mattner
Benton Harbor

Note: This was my letter to the editor published in our local rag on Saturday February 14th, 2009.

#Automotive, #Bailout, #Detroit, #Stimulus

Bailing Out Detroit

I hear an awful lot about the potential bailout of the automakers in Detroit–an awful lot that is increasingly negative. People are tired of bailing out investment banks and credit card companies, and that is something that I can understand. I despise government intervention. Too much central planning, not enough personal liberty and freedom…

Bailing out Detroit, it seems, is a different matter then bailing out an investment bank. A lot of jobs depend on the success of the domestic auto industry, from manufacturers of parts(which are largely produced by many different companies, and is by far one of the biggest aspects of this), distributors of parts specifically related to the Big 3 in Detroit, and the car manufacturers themselves. Losing these companies means losing millions of jobs without the prospect of much replacing them. Losing investment banks means losses on the market and perhaps less liquidity, as well as job losses in the same industries I’m referring to, but less fear for me of losing the entire sector.

Can anyone honestly argue that losing domestic auto manufacturers would be good for the country? Perhaps in the long run, it might pan out, but in the short run, not so much. Even then, would it really be good in the long run?

How can we lend to them without fearing that they’ll use it unwisely? Attach these conditions (among others):

  1. Find a way to bring the company into near profitability (as near as you can get at least) without the bailout funds first. For example: reduce the labor force, cut lines, shore up this, that and the other, etc.
  2. Guarantee a negotiation of substantially lower pay and benefits for employees. Not non-livable levels, but rational levels, based on job type and experience. Work towards elimination of the union in the workplace in order to bring wages and benefits to a rational workable level in the future.
  3. Car manufacturers must get to the root of another problem beyond employee compensation: vehicle quality, which seems to diminish year after year. Quality control is paramount; increase quality without increasing cost.
  4. Find a way to increase fuel efficiency; get vehicle fleets to an average of [arbitrarily] 65mpg in the next 10 years. Any way you do it, go for something big, you’ll sell more vehicles domestically. And don’t do it by going small. Small cars are no good. Let’s keep making SUV’s and large trucks, but let’s find a way to make them burn less fuel.
  5. Let’s find an alternative to fossil fuels to power our vehicles. Innovate, do something that is good for your business in the long haul and find a way to survive that doesn’t include oil or necessarily even a plug-in, electricity driven vehicle.
  6. And most importantly reiterated, keep costs down by getting rid of unions. The union has ruined domestic autos because of demands that are unreasonable and irrational. Janitors should not earn $80,000 a year.
  7. Pay the loan back in a specified reasonable amount of time.
  8. Do not use the loan to compensate executives in an excessive manner whatsoever. Compensate them when your business is successful and you’ve paid back the loan. In the meantime, give them a realistic and rational wage. Stop with the bonuses, until said conditions are met.

Another important thing we must do, if we are to bailout automakers: take advantage of nuclear energy and get away from coal power plants; and we must get back to harvesting our own resources, environmentalists be damned.

Who knows, the plan is very antithetically libertarian of me, but man, my job depends on Detroit, and so I wonder if one little loan would be such a bad thing. Honestly, though, if Detroit can survive without the bailout it needs to do what I mentioned in my requirements to return to profitability in the long-run, so what’s the point…?

Need more Jeffersonians, less Hamilton(?)…ians.