Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Most Important Number in the Stimulus

In amongst all the talk about the stimulus and all the huge numbers being thrown around, there is one in particular that I don't believe is getting anywhere near enough attention.

That number is 600,000.

600,000 is the amount of new government jobs that is purported to be created by this bill. Having worked through all the numbers, I would have to say that this is accurate, and is potentially an at least kind of number.

So why is this number so important?

The reason is what the Wall Street Journal discussed as being the scariest part of the entire bill:
The larger fiscal issue here is whether this spending bonanza will become part of the annual "budget baseline" that Congress uses as the new floor when calculating how much to increase spending the following year, and into the future. Democrats insist that it will not. But it's hard -- no, impossible -- to believe that Congress will cut spending next year on any of these programs from their new, higher levels. The likelihood is that this allegedly emergency spending will become a permanent addition to federal outlays -- increasing pressure for tax increases in the bargain. Any Blue Dog Democrat who votes for this ought to turn in his "deficit hawk" credentials.

We don't need to take the Wall Street Journal on their word about it being an impossibility that Congress would cut spending once the "stimulus" has taken place.

There is simply no way the US Government is ever going to fire 600,000 people once it's hired them.

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