Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Stimulus Bill
Michael Ramirez nailed it (HT: Power Line).
Besides the problematic provisions about healthcare in the Stimulus Bill (HR 1), another one of those spending boxes in the hot air balloon basket is the dismantling of Clinton's welfare reform.
Mickey Kaus flags "an Insufficiently publicized provision" in the Democrats' porkapalooza bill. Kaus notes that congressional Democrats want to encourage states to expand their welfare caseloads and threrfore offer billions of federal dollars in as an incentive to do so. Kaus observes that "the major difference between the House and Senate versions of this deeply troubling provision, apparently, is that the Senate allocates only $3 billion to induce states to expand their caseloads, while the House bill might spend more than twice as much."
And John Rosenberg highlights Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's concerns about the effects of the unemployment provisions of the bill, quoting from this article in the Daily Journal:
Barbour said he could envision a situation in which he would not want some of the funds because of the strings attached. He said the version of the stimulus bill that passed the U.S. House last week has provisions that could put a financial burden on Mississippi.
Under those provisions, health coverage would be greatly expanded and unemployment compensation would be awarded to some part-time workers. He said the stimulus package provides funds for the state for a couple of years, but then the state might be left to continue those expensive programs.
What else is in those boxes in the basket? We won't know until they start lobbing the boxes upside our heads
But President Obama says we're in a crisis so critical that we don't have time to stop and make this bill both manageable and effective. He says we need to pass it now, and that's just what Congress is doing.
FreedomWorks has the Top 10 Reasons to oppose the Stimulus Bill (HT: Michelle Malkin). Besides #1, that it Will Not Work, the most impressive to me is #2:
The Stimulus follows the same plan that ruined Japan’s economy
Japan, after a dramatic market crash and a drop in real estate prices responded with government spending not unlike what the US Congress is considering today. In fact, they had 10 stimulus bills between 1992 and 2000, spending billions on infrastructure construction, building bridges, roads, and airports as well as pouring money into biotech and telecommunications. While many countries enjoyed booming economies and falling unemployment during this time, Japan had a lost decade, seeing its unemployment more than double. They spent double the US level of GDP on infrastructure, and now have a lousy economy and have one of the highest national debts in the world.
After 10 stimulus packages, Japan has gone from having the second biggest economy in the world by a long shot, to being well behind the new number two, China, and is close to falling behind India. We do not want to follow their lead.
Indeed, we do not.