Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stimulus #2 - All Hands On Deck

According to Barack Obama today, we apparently have yet another "stimulus" bill to look forward to. This to come on top of the trillion dollars we've already passed, and further on top of a potential nationalized healthcare plan costing at least another trillion, according to the CBO. Perhaps I am an alarmist. After all, the President has assured us we don't need another stimulus...yet.
"Not yet because it is important to see how the economy evolves and how effective the first stimulus is. The stimulus package was the first thing we did and we did it a couple of weeks after inauguration," Obama said in response to a question.
At first glance a suitably pragmatic approach. Until he continues.
"At that point, nobody understood what the depth of the recession was going to look like. ... It's not surprising then that we missed the mark in terms of our estimates of where unemployment would go. It's pretty clear that unemployment will end up going over 10 percent if you look at the pattern."
Gone is the fear-mongering pretentiousness Obama displayed back in January and February when he and the Democrats in Congress force-fed us this heaping pile of dung. Now we find a man who simply didn't understand what the depth of the recession was going to look like. In fact, we find a man who is merely just like every other man. He couldn't possibly have known that the stimulus would be ineffective! Nobody could have!

In fact now it's pretty clear we're going to have simply thrown a trillion dollars away as unemployment continues to rise unabated even despite the stimulus spending.

But of course, somehow it would only be worse without it.

So I wonder what the real question is here? It seems to me not to be IF we will get a Stimulus #2, but WHEN. Obama has insulated himself on all sides on this issue. There are two options for the future:

1. The Pure Fantasy Option - Stimulus #1 works, the economy improves measurably because of its effects, and Obama's Keynesianism is proven right. Stimulus #2 is passed easily due to the roaring success of Stimulus #1.

2. The Horribly Real Option - Stimulus #1 fails or has no measurable effect on the state of the economy. Obama takes to the podium to peddle more fear, claiming over and over again that the only reason unemployment isn't even worse is because of all the jobs heroically "saved or created" by Stimulus #1, no matter how impossibly immeasurable the statistic, and that surely without Stimulus #2, unemployment will only spiral further out of control.

Gird your loins, America.

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