Fearlessly marching toward those sodded Gazebos
sadly buys into the spend big, spend fast and shut up mantra because "almost any new spending will have a stimulative effect - including resodding the National Mall." Really? That's not what the Japanese learned.
From Toshihiro Ihori, an economics professor at the University of Tokyo: "It is not enough just to hire workers to dig holes and then fill them in again." I assume that applies to digging up sod and replanting grass. ... Scot's sentiments are not that far off from those of that esteemed economic expert from Chicago, Richard Daley
, who also believes that almost any spending will have a stimulus effect - so shut up:
Yes, we do, we have our (economic-stimulus) list, we’ve been talking to people. We did not put that out publicly because once you start putting it out publicly, you know, the newspapers, the media is going to be ripping it apart.
Can't have that! No siree. ... I'm kind of waiting for someone to float the idea of encouraging current government workers to retire early, on full bang-for-the-buck pensions, and hiring younger workers to replace them, and you'd get a two-fer jobs-multiplier bang for the buck. ... (Don't even suggest it.
-ed. Too late. I just did.) ...
At the risk of putting forth a "specious argument," take a look at this list of spending
that moderates are trying to cut (otherwise known as "scrubbing" by our president). Right out of the starting gate: “Subsidy for acquaculture producers for high feed input losses" ($100 million -- I can only imagine the loss to humanity if this one is cut). There are plenty of others: "Violence Againt Women Act" ($300 million – as in one-third of a billion dollars); "Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces" ($50 million -- yeah, we got to spend more money on task forces); "Office of Federal Detention" ($150 million – maybe someone should spread a rumor it’s being used for Guantánamo – and then liberals would scramble to cut it); "Rural Drug Enforcement Assistance" ($300 million – more money down the war-on-drugs sink hole); "Historic Preservation Fund" ($50 million – kind of the opposite of ‘shovel ready,’ right?). It goes on and on. …
To repeat: Hub Blog understands and agrees with the rationale for a big stimulus package. The Fed has shot all its interest-rate bolts and the markets have frozen up, etc., etc., etc. For the life of me, I don't understand why the above list cuts "states stabilization" funds when part of the goal is to prevent mass layoffs of local government workers. But it's OK to at least question these spending requests -- and it's definitely OK to demand transparency and time for "scrubbing" items that don't even come close to the definition of "economic stimulus," unless, of course, you think almost any new spending is a form of economic stimulus, at which point we're in sodded Gazebos territory. ...Update
-- Someone informed me that 'states stabilization' funds are not meant to offset loss of revenues per se -- they're for reserve funds. OK. They're not spending it immediately. They're saving it. Liberals complain how tax cuts are bad because too much go to savings, not spending. So what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Cut it. It's a lot of money -- $20 billion.