Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The American Dream - Now Brought to You By the Federal Government

Yesterday Barack Obama, in a typically-ostentatious display of messianism and self-congratulation, signed his and his party's "2009 American Socialism (Preliminary) Spending Package" into law.

Of course, in these rough, tough economic times it was critical that Obama hit the campaign trail courtesy of the taxpayer, flying to Denver to revel in the reflected glory of his party's national convention, where he was anointed in a Nuremberg-style stadium rally last summer.

Though Nuremberg would best describe the dream-state cultism of the drooling Obama masses, the dear leaders whom these masses were cheering have already proven themselves far more akin to Moscow and a Soviet-era Politburo.

Yesterday I spoke to a former army buddy living in Colorado City. He met and married his wife in Poland (a country of my own roots). She was old enough to have lived through the last years of East Bloc communism and her country's liberation from it.

While she is hardly versed on the nuances of American politics, she repeatedly marveled to her husband throughout 2008 : "I don't get it. Obama sounds like a communist. What has happened to America?"

Obama's remarks yesterday were quite revealing and quite a load of collectivist sales bunk. Here's a taste...

"I was here last summer to accept the nomination of my party and to make a promise to people of all parties - that I would do all I could to give every American the chance to make of their lives what they will and see their children climb higher than they did."

[What, climb higher into debt??]

"We have begun the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time."

[Notably, the late great George Carlin said of this : "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it". In the "age" of Obama, Carlin couldn't have been more right. How pathetic that the titular "American dream" is now the province of pork-barrel Keynesian nightmare government. At least for some of us the American dream still rises in our lives, our homes and our communities, not out of the bowels of the Washington, D.C. of Pelosi-Reid-Obama. It lives in spite of them, not because of them.]

"The [Stimulus Pork Pie] that I will sign today - a plan that meets the principles I laid out in January - is the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history. It is the product of broad is a rare thing in Washington for people with such different viewpoints to come together and support the same bill."

[Different viewpoints coming together? Seriously, what planet is this man on?? He makes Bill Clinton sound like an honest rhetorician.]

"I want to thank Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid for acting so quickly and proving that Congress could step up to this challenge. And I want to thank all the Committee Chairs and members of Congress for coming up with a plan that is both bold and balanced enough to meet the demands of this moment."

[Translation : Thanks for blowing a ginromous public wad of dough in record time so I can look like I am a man of action.]

"What makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save three and a half million jobs over the next two years, including nearly 60,000 in Colorado. It's that we are putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done in critical areas that have been neglected for too long - work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come."

[Translation : Welcome to the America of special interest dreams come true. You have to love the hedging "create OR save" language, as well as the ever-shifting job projections clearly pulled from thin air. Does anyone else see how much poppycock are claims of job creation that can shift by 100's of 1000's, if not millions from day to day?

Two years? I am sure the whole "saving jobs" Orwell-speak will come in handy when 2 years hence we find this speechifying and promise-making were as much bullshit as Obama's bait-and-switch campaign for ofiice. How Obamesque to set up stagnant job growth as a measure of stimulus success, a n indicator of how Obama "saved jobs".]

"Because we know America can't outcompete the world tomorrow if our children are being outeducated today, we are making the largest investment in education in our nation's history."

[Translation : What better way to improve education in America than to flush billions (more) through Washington, D.C.'s central planning education apparatchiks and their organized labor pimps.]

"Because we know that spiraling health care costs are crushing families and businesses alike, we are taking the most meaningful steps in years towards modernizing our health care system."

[Translation : Coming soon - national socialized health care.]

"While this package is mostly composed of critical investments, it also includes aid [PAYOFFS] to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of firefighters or police recruits - recruits like the ones in Columbus, Ohio who were told that instead of being sworn-in as officers, they would be let go."

[Way to pull a Biden and hide government-bailing-out-government behind the "firefighters and police". George Bush would also be proud.]

"It is a plan that's been put together without earmarks or the usual pork barrel spending. And it is a plan that will be implemented with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. With a recovery package of this scale comes a responsibility to assure every taxpayer that we are being careful with the money they work so hard to earn. That's why I am assigning a team of managers to ensure that the precious dollars we have invested are being spent wisely and well. We will hold the governors and local officials who receive money to the same high standards. And we expect you, the American people, to hold us accountable for the results.

[OMG. You have to be kidding me. What a complete fraud. "Implemented" with transparency and accountability? Will this "implementation" standard resemble the way in which it was rammed down America's throat?]

"And while we need to do everything in the short-term to get our economy moving again, we must recognize that having inherited a trillion-dollar deficit, we need to begin restoring fiscal discipline and taming our exploding deficits over the long-term."

[Golly, when's this going to happen? Amazing the man has the gall to speak with such dodging duplicity. He was part of the "inherited" deficits, doing nothing...absolutely ZERO as a four-year U.S. Senator.

He just created a single-year deficit that truly boggles the mind. Obama's deficits will saddle entire generations, paying for his profligacy long after his and probably his children's demise, God give them long lives. Yet he has the stones to throw this line into his propagandifying. Utterly shameless.]

"For our American story is not - and has never been - about things coming easy. It's about rising to the moment when the moment is hard, converting crisis into opportunity, and seeing to it that we emerge from whatever trials we face stronger than we were before. It's about rejecting the notion that our fate is somehow written for us, and instead laying claim to a destiny of our own making. That is what earlier generations of Americans have done, and that is what we are doing today. Thank you."

Oooooh. Aaaaaah. *Leg Shiver*.

Oh yes, Barack, it's real tough to borrow trillions out of thin air and hand it to Congressional Democrats to spend.

What sacrifices you are making for us. (I guess Michelle did warn us you'd be all up in our collective grills.)

What comfort to know that our fate and our destiny are being written by you and a Democrat Congress.

What pure drivel.


Anonymous said...

The real drivel is this rant of yours, Tyler, as negative a piece as I've yet seen.

If you combined your negativism with some ideas about how we can address this crisis, then at least I would be able to assign to you some degree of credibility. In this piece you give no ideas. If you have expressed some, please link me to these discourses.

I will agree that Obama is taking an extreme path that could in part fail, possibly catastrophically. In my view, the depth of this crisis demands taking a risk with this massive spending, and there are historical bases for believing that the risk is reasonable.

I don't see a viable alternative to Obama's plan being offered, certainly not the Repub's tax cut approach. Certainly a heavier weight of tax cuts will not help much, based on previous tax cut results of both Reagan and Bush-43. I think the FDR model proved to have worked out reasonably well, especially wrt job creation.

When you criticize the spending part of this R&R Act package, have you considered how small it actually is, put in the context of historical experience?

Specifically, repeating previous comments, our debt is presently at 70% of GDP. The R&R Act spending and tax cuts, about $800 billion, will raise this to 76% of GDP. In the context of FDR at 120% of GDP at WWII end which turned out to be manageable during the immediate post-war period, the argument then is that Obama's approach will also be manageable.

The idea is that once the economy turns around, we must address this additional debt by empolying very conservative spending policies, as Obama has stated.

Perry Hood

Steve Newton said...

I will agree that Obama is taking an extreme path that could in part fail, possibly catastrophically.


Perry, there are lots of reasons to wonder about the applicability of the historical models our current crop of Keynesians are using. Here's just one example (albeit from post WW2 not Great Depression) of how Paul Krugman, for one, completely ignores facts that do not fit his ideology:

Tyler Nixon said...

The idea is that once the economy turns around, we must address this additional debt by empolying very conservative spending policies, as Obama has stated.

No, the above statement is just golden drivel. In fact it is pure unadulterated fantasy.

Perry is quite the talking points random generator.

He would actually would have us believe after spending a trillion $$ like a bodily function on so-called "investments", projected out for years, before we even get to the budget, that it's all just going to be scaled back IF the economy recovers, and to such an extent that we will have excess revenues to begin paying it all off.

My God. Delusional.

Please, spare me the "what's your plan" bullshit, Perry. Steve aptly keeps pointing out that anyone with a master "plan" claiming to predict even general results in the economy, from all this, is essentially just making it up as they go and ignoring any notion of unintended consequences.

You and Obama et al can play this false choice game. The rest of us would rather deal in reality, leading us to very cautious (versus "extreme") and deliberative (versus "swift") government action, if any and only where there can be objectively-predictable economic benefits.

The "old college try" with trillions of dollars is just plain damn reckless and irresponsible.

But hey, it's not your money Perry. We'll all be dead before this tab ever gets paid.

Tyler Nixon said...

Incidentally, Perry, my plan would be to radically CUT federal spending NOW.

Problem is you and those like you ignore this as being "no plan".

You can only think in terms of more more more deficit spending, despite reams of historic evidence of how this not only doesn't work but is corrosive to any enduring or long-term economic prosperity.

Hube said...

Have fun with Perry, gents. He seems to be on a hiatus from CoR -- which I hope becomes permanent ...!

Anonymous said...

Tyler, are you serious?

I understand that you are invoking libertarian ideology for your plan. But let's get practical for a second.

Job creation is the problem, since employment is in free fall. The secondary problem is frozen credit.

The government is the only entity that has the resources (borrowed and/or printed) to significantly impact this crisis to turn it around, don't you think?

While I think it is abhorrent to deficit spend, this crisis is so deep that I don't believe we have a choice.

We have to end the downward spiral, then tighten our belts for years, to a lower standard of living, while we drastically cut back on government spending, deal with the looming entitlement problems as well.

We have lived beyond our means for decades, so now we suffer.

We are in a more weakened state than we've been in my lifetime, and frankly, I am not too optimistic that we have the attitudinal wherewithal to sacrifice for many years to reorient ourselves to pursue a robust economy perhaps at least a generation down the line.

Granted, most of this is opinion and feelings, therefore not quantatively substantiated. Be that as it is, this is what I feel after almost eight decades on this earth. I am very worried for my two daughters, 4 grandchildren, and families. We've made life much more difficult for them than for us. Perhaps this is the way it has to be, so they can step up to the challenges, which they are doing.

Perry Hood

Miko said...

Technically, in the selection quoted, Obama just said that it was *rare* for people with such different viewpoints to come together, not that it actually happened.

The government is the only entity that has the resources (borrowed and/or printed) to significantly impact this crisis to turn it around, don't you think?

Actually, counterfitters have exactly the same "resources" to print new money. If pieces of paper are all it takes to solve the problem, perhaps we should just legalize counterfitting and make the currency easier to forge.

The thing is that pieces of paper are not actually resources. And when you look at actual resources, our government's one trillion dollar deficit suggests that they're probably the least able to do something.

But overall, your flaw is thinking that one entity has to turn things around. Instead, millions (if not billions) of people taking actions intended only for their own self-interest will reposition their individual resources into the most productive venues, leading to recovery of the overall system. Meanwhile, the U.S. government will continue trying to debase the currency, impose protectionist "Buy American" provisions to dampen international cooperation, and generally do everything in their power to prevent the market from fixing the crisis in its own organic way.

tom said...

"Job creation is the problem, since employment is in free fall."

As others have stated in previous posts, this is nonsense. Current unemployment and annual job loss per capita numbers are nowhere near those of the Great Depression era.

But lets assume for a second that Perry is correct...

If you look at the past 50 years or so of the government's labor statistics you will notice an amazing correlation between job growth/loss and the number of persons employed in a regulatory capacity by the federal government. Don't take my word for this, look it up.

Based on experience from the Carter, Reagan, Bush (1), and Clinton administrations this relationship scales in a nearly linear fashion up into the millions. Stated in quantitative terms, each federal regulator equals approximately negative 155 jobs. So if you want to create 3.5
million jobs, all you need to do is fire about 22,500 federal regulators. If you want to increase the rate of job loss, hire more.

I'm not saying it's that simple, or that dissolving the government would immediately solve all of our problems. But if you want to create jobs, decreasing the regulatory burden is a much better idea than a massive program of wasteful and inflationary deficit spending.

Anonymous said...

dear anonymous. it doesn't matter that tyler doesn't save the world in one blog post. what does matter is that he's willing to stand up and publish the TRUTH behin the facade of lies that are being fed to the american people. we're in a culture of true patriots. why don't you stand with us rather than make negative feedback against us.