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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stimulus clouds

The Obama stimulus package failed. This failure proves that Democratic (or "socialist") job-creation programs do not work. Everyone knows this.

And everyone is wrong.

Question: What "job creation program"? Was there some modern-day equivalent to the TVA or the WPA or Hoover Dam or the transcontinental railroad that I missed?

Here's how the $819 billion stimulus package was spent (click to enlarge):

The largest chunk of the pie went to tax cuts (including the controversial $100 billion tax credit). If the stimulus package failed, then one can reasonably argue that tax cuts failed.

Of course, you will never hear Republicans -- or Democrats -- saying those words. Even Paul Krugman won't say 'em. Only a heretic hungry for the stake would point out the obvious: Tax cuts created no jobs and deepened the red ink.

The rest of the stim package mostly went to keeping things as close as possible to the status quo ante, in the hope that most of us could slog through the recession without actually moving into our cars or starving in the alley. So the package gave some aid to the states, which had to make drastic cutbacks anyways, due to the loss of state tax revenue. Another slice of the pie went to unemployment benefits. Some money -- hardly enough -- went to local schools. Not many people would argue that we are spending too much on education. Similarly, the increase in Pell grant aid helped keep young adults in college and off the crowded job market -- even though the increase did not keep up with tuition.

In short, the stim package was mostly about tax cuts and a few temporary working-class dole programs. Taken individually, all or most of those programs had popular support. (That's why you don't often hear the Republicans talk specifics.)

Nothing (well, almost nothing) in this package was intended to create actual jobs. We saw no transcontinental mag-lev train system. No "green energy" update of the TVA.

Keynes once said that, in a stuck economy, the government might as well pay half the unemployed to bury soda pop bottles and half the unemployed to dig them up again. A job is a job. Millions of new jobs will get money flowing again, as paychecks are translated into booze and clothing and iPads and so forth. Once things are back to normal, we can deep-six the soda pop bottle project. That's the basic idea behind a stimulus -- a real stimulus.

You can't say "the stimulus failed" because there was no attempt to stimulate anything. There was no attempt to create jobs.

So why do so many people have the wrong idea?

We have seen a triumph of propaganda over lived experience. Last year,
24% of Americans thought President Obama had raised taxes for most Americans and 53% believed taxes had been kept the same. The numbers, which were drawn from a CBS/New York Times poll conducted February 5-10, were even worse among Tea Party supporters -- 44% thought taxes had been increased and 46% thought taxes were the same. In reality, Obama cut taxes for 95% of working families.
What bothers me is not that people won't give Obama credit. Screw him. What bugs me is that the public does not understand that Obama tried the Republican solution and it failed.

The misperception may run deeper still. I believe that when Mr. and Ms. Average deride the failure of the "stimulus" package, they are really talking about TARP -- the bailout of the Wall Street bankers. In other words, there are a lot of idiots out there who don't know that TARP and the pseudo-stim are two separate things.

They also don't know, or have forgotten, that TARP was passed under Bush, and that Republicans (most of 'em) supported TARP legislation. So did most Dems, including Obama. They were all piss-yer-pants scared by the apocalyptic talk of Total Financial Destruction. That talk came from the Wall Streeters, from the Bush administration, from the FOX Newsers and CNN and all the other teevee talking heads, and from the fed. The only senators who opposed the bill were mavericks in both parties, ten Dems and 15 Republicans. The Dems were guys like Feinstein and Tester and Sanders -- folks from "the Democratic wing of the Democratic party," the place I call home.

Most of all, the public has forgotten that we got all of that scare talk, which made the ghastly TARP program seem "necessary," only because our Establishment let finance capitalism go unregulated. This decision allowed crooks to take over the system, just as your town would be overrun by crime if all the cops pulled out. Because nationalization is considered heresy, and because Wall Street funds our Congress, the big bankers were considered sacrosanct. They got bailouts when they should have received jail time.

In short: The "stimulus" was no stimulus. It was not TARP. Deregulation and capitalist criminality caused the crisis which still bedevils us.

That's the way it really happened.

But that's not the way you'll hear it on teevee, on most well-traveled internet sites, and in your local coffee shop. The propagandists have been extra-clever this season. If they wanted to, they could convince our gullible and ill-educated public that the Apollo moon landing predated the Civil War.

You might say that this post is an extension of the previous one. The future belongs to those who control the past.
Comments:
Goldman Sachs,Martin Schlaff connected Israeli Grin Brothers, Barack Osama Obama, Brightsource and Petroalgae Frauds and Fascism.
Barack Osama Obama is actually giving U.S.taxpayer money in these give a ways that actually puts money in pockets of Israelis funding construction on Palestinian land by allowing Brightsource to receive millions or billions of U.S.dollars while simultaneously these Israeli scumbags are being allowed to trash Mojave and treeat American Indians like they treat Palestinians!The Grin brothers are known Iraeli money laundering criminals who have stolen money from people such as myself in their SEC protected penny stock money laundering ops of which Endovasc and now Petroalgae is just a drop in the bucket.

Neither Brightsource nor PetroAlgae are U.S. companies and yet Barack Obama misleads the public for his masters at Goldman Sachs in both cases..

Florida where the Grin brothers of Israel’s Petroalgae scam is officially headquartered has,like Nevada, been used by Israeli criminals for years with the U.S. governments’ blessings to run penny stock ‘share-money laundering’ ops and fraud against its own people and sending their dollars to offshore accounts of Israeli and other colluding criminals with Washington D.C. connections.

Below is a little about the recent Goldman Sachs collusion with the notorious Israeli stock and money laundering criminals the Grin brothers’ PetroAlgae fraud.The Grins are in turn connected to Austrian Jewish billionaire Martin Schlaff who is part of the racist Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liebermann’s crime family.
This is the thanks Americans get for the bailout
or stock collapse fraud of Goldman Sachs in 2008.It would appear that Goldman Sachs works with Israeli criminals still to steal and launder money on U.S.stock exchanges including the penny stock market or ‘shorting’ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while the SEC of Bloody Mary Schapiro and ex SEC Chair Chris Naked Shorts Cox use the sec.gov site to purposely, fraudulently and criminally lie that those shares were ‘naked shorted’ instead – no doubt by Overstock.con CEO Patrick Byrne’s ‘Sith Lord’ !:

ecobizwatch.com/read/goldman-swims-downstream-for-petroalgae-ipo

NEW YORK – No customer is too tiny for Goldman Sachs Organisation Inc (GS.N) these days, even a association with no income that’s owned by a sidestep account specializing in penny stocks.

In a pierce which astounded observers, Goldman progressing this month emerged as the co-lead physical education instructor on an primary open charity for PetroAlgae (PALG.OB), a development-stage association which is perplexing to emanate oil from algae.....

Rather, PetroAlgae’s categorical devotee is an $800 million New York sidestep fund, Laurus Capital Management, run by brothers Eugene and David Grin, who are most appropriate great known for investing in in isolation placements of cash-strapped micro-cap companies.

The IPO could assistance the brothers and their investors to monetize one of their funds’ 94 percent equity interest in PetroAlgae…..

“SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING GREEN”

PetroAlgae told regulators of its skeleton to launch an IPO on Aug 11, but it has charity no timetable, definition it could be months or even years prior to it goes to market. The company’s IPO is surprising since its shares already traffic on the OTC Bulletin Board, where razor-thin volumes means vast swings in share prices.

………………

Goldman Loves This WSJ Headline : CJR23 Sep 2010 ... Florida-based PetroAlgae, which skeleton to lift up to $200 million in the offering, .... BrightSource: Obama's Latest Gift To Israel ... Goldman Sachs was the largest contributor to Obama's presidential campaign..'' ... and other technologies to uphold the genocidal occupation of Palestine (3). ...
http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/goldman_loves_this_wsj_headl.php?page=all
 
Itar-Tass?
Isn't that how you say MSNBO in Russian?
Over at crayfisher.wordpress they have a post up about how the media is ignoring the protests in Madison WI. The Neo-thug governor wants to dismantle the state worker unions.
If I were a college career counselor I would be advising students to take a foreign language then go abroad for work.
If I were a cynic I would advise them to skip out on their loans and apply for asylum.
 
Thanks Joe for an excellent re-framing job.

@Tony, you've had some lengthy and interesting posts here lately. I and others might like to comment. Maybe you could post them on a blog of your own given your extensive work? Also the latest comment, while very interesting, isn't really that related to Joe's post.
 
Well Arbusto I'd say Barack Osama's Goldman Sachs backers and their association to those such as the Israeli Grin Bros and Brightsource criminals who are offshoring Americans' money
and who are behind the masks of those who have destroyed the U.S. economy and should be 'brought to justice' are very much related to the subject of,'The Obama stimulus package'.
Maybe Joseph can explain the connection to you better than I when he has the time.Certainly Paul Krugman won't.He's like the Nazi guard from Hogan's Heroes
who repeats endlessly , "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!
Are you related to Geoge W Arbusto ?
 
Excellent summary, Joseph. Sadly, it has all served its purpose: to tarnish the Democratic Party brand.

djmm
 
Tony,
Your comments are off topic. The topic was "failed tax cuts" not word salad cutting and pasting. While they are connected, just like my asshole is connected to my hairline via some extensive fibers, I don't bring up my asshole every time somebody comments on my haircut.

Maybe you should take the time to learn grammar, sentence structure and thought cohesion, and then create a blog. You do have interesting things to say, make a home for yourself and say them freely.
 
It would be impolite not to answer a question. Am I related to GW Arbusto? If I was, I could be our next next next president. Nah, I just like JibJab and 205 was a hell of a year.
 
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