On Wednesday the GAO gave a report about the effects of the much touted $787 billion Obama Stimulus Bill, and to no surprise among skeptics, it was found that the stimulus package isn't working as planned. Ugh. Despite the Obama Administration's promise of millions of new jobs and getting economic recovery on track, unemployment has climbed to 9.5% and the economy seems to be stalling.
Considering the Stimulus Bill was larded with various pork projects by Congressmen and Senators who wanted to "bring home the bacon", the idea that this stimulus package would fix the economy was ludicrious. No Republican House member voted for the stimulus. House Minority Leader John Boener and his embattled band of Republican House members certainly now have a feather in their cap to brag about on the cable news networks and in the 2010 elections.
The most appalling use of the stimulus bill is there are states that are using stimulus money not for "shovel ready projects", but to plug gaping budget holes. Great. Super. The spendthrift legislators and governors at the state level are reform adverse who don't like to make tough decisions, but instead plug their own budget holes where they can and pass on the pain to the local town governments.
Now there are rumblings amongst Democrats on Capitol Hill that a second stimulus bill is needed. Really? Famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett was quoted as saying a second one is likely needed, as well. You don't think ol' Warren would somehow benefit from a stimulus bill, do you? Anytime the media breathlessly publishes Warren Buffett quotes on finance and the economy, I raise an eyebrow because I doubt he speaks out on anything, unless there's a way he'll benefit from it.
The last thing the federal government needs to do is spend more taxpayer money. However, with Democrats firmly in charge of all three branches of government, money will continue to be spent, and billions will continue to be wasted. President Obama has a vision of universal health care and a potentially economy damaging climate control bill in his sights and trillions of dollars will be required to to meet that vision.
If the Obama Administration had pushed a policy of a four month income tax holiday and capital gains tax cuts as advocated in this space in March, it would've been less expensive and far more effective than the massive waste of "stimulus" and payback to union supporters of the Obama Administration. At what point will the liberal Democrats realize the massive debt and budget deficits they are racking up are extremely harmful to the long term financial well being of America? Here's hoping that Republicans can continue to put up a worthwhile defense, offer alternative policies, and convince the American voters that the Democrats' ideas are too expensive and risky to our country.