Growing government won't stimulate the real economy.
02/05/09 - Online.WSJ.com by Carl Rove
[edited] As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama attacked "trickle down economics" as "bankrupt" and an "old, discredited" philosophy that "didn't work." He was wrong. Even worse, he and congressional Democrats are embracing a Democratic version of trickle-down economics that won't work.
The House-passed "stimulus" bill, H.R. 1, is deeply flawed, assuming that spending $1 trillion to grow government will trickle down to help people who lost jobs. The Democrats' spending is horribly mismatched with industries that have suffered job loss.
Democrats want to spend $88 billion to increase the federal share of Medicaid. What American will be hired by a small business, factory, retail shop, hotel, restaurant or service company because of this spending? The answer is very few.
In H.R. 1, there's $41 billion set aside for school districts, $1.5 billion for university research grants, $2 billion for Energy Department labs, and $3 billion for the National Science Foundation. Yet education is one of the few sectors that added jobs last year.
There's also $4 billion for health programs like obesity control and smoking cessation, $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $462 million for the Centers for Disease Control, and $900 million for pandemic flu preparations. Health care also added jobs last year.
White House adviser Larry Summers argued that any stimulus must be "targeted, timely and temporary." This bill does the opposite. Mr. Obama pledged to "scour our federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts." His cuts are unspecific and fanciful, while Congress's spending will be real and record-setting.
Discretionary domestic spending will have nearly doubled by the time Mr. Obama stops dithering and starts scouring.
Worst Talking Point Ever Mike: We were supposed to create jobs. Instead, we've enriched the bankers.
Ike: Well, let's be proud of that.
11/06/09 - The Atlantic by Megan McArdle
McArdle: If this is the best the Democrats can come up with, they are in deep, deep trouble.
From Politico: Members fear their jobs are next.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio): Speaker Pelosi is trying to force her members to vote for a bill that the American people have soundly rejected.
Democrats counter that their agenda has kick-started a recovery on Wall Street, even if it hasn't trickled down to the job market yet, and that Republicans are putting at risk what Democrats have begun.