Throwing Good Money after Bad

As expected, President Obama is preparing to call for yet another stimulus package in his latest pivot to the jobs issue. 

We are all familiar with Obama’s 2009 plea for the trillion dollar stimulus package in order to keep unemployment below 8%, and we’ve lived through the miserable failure of that promise. Ben Bernanke has blown through two rounds of money printing, euphemistically referred to as quantitative easing, to the tune of another couple of trillion dollars. The Obama Administration has blown through $4 trillion with nothing to show for it but an ever deepening economic crisis which shows no signs of slowing its downward spiral. Official unemployment remains mired about 9%, and real unemployment is north of 20% when the underemployed and discouraged are taken into account.

What’s a president to do when his economic policies are failing? Why, double down and throw good money after bad, of course! Always convinced that a bigger stimulus will do the trick, the Keynesians have convinced Obama to ask for another round of stimulus to jump start our economy. Obama previewed the new stimulus package as the centerpiece of his latest jobs pivot on Monday in a speech at a Labor Day rally in Detroit.

The original stimulus package was sold as financing “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects that would quickly get America’s construction workers back on the job replacing much needed roads and bridges. Obama later joked that “shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected,” in a rare moment of candor acknowledging the obvious failure of the stimulus package to generate jobs as promised.

During his speech, Obama called for new investment in roads and bridges with another infrastructure repair stimulus package, even though the original stimulus package was expressly for that very purpose. So, either Obama lied about the first stimulus package or he’s lying about the new stimulus package, or he’s lying about both stimulus packages. The original trillion dollars he wasted on pump-priming taught him nothing, so he’s back for more. And, of course, he’s asking Republicans to put the country before party in a thinly veiled attempt to cast opposition to his policies as treasonous. The man has no shame and truly believes that we aren’t paying attention.

For progressive economists, worshipping at the altar of Keynesian economic theory means never having to admit that you are wrong; only that you underestimated the size of the problem. This despite the fact that Keynes himself admitted that his theories prolonged the misery of the Great Depression and did absolutely nothing to alleviate the underlying economic problems. This fits nicely with Obama’s narcissistic worldview and inability to admit mistakes.

In is incumbent upon House Republicans to resist this and all other Keynesian economic policies as their ability to make a bad situation worse has been amply demonstrated over the decades. Working Americans are the ones paying the price for the policy failures of the progressives in stunted economic growth and lost wealth. Their hubris prevents them from acknowledging their mistakes, and their status as elites allows them to avoid coming into contact with those whose economic livelihoods are destroyed. Imagine that. The inability to admit a policy mistake dooms millions of Americans to years of lost wealth and opportunity. Contrary to Obama’s pleas, Republicans are putting country before party when they resist such obvious policy failures enacted by Democrats wishing to be seen as doing something about the problem, even though that something is the wrong thing.

America realizes that the election of Barack Obama as president was a colossal mistake accomplishing none of the lofty promise it held out for race relations or improving our standing in the world. Obama was an empty screen onto which Americans could project their fantasy of the ideal presidential leader. But, as an empty screen he also allowed the evil of the world to project their fantasy of the ideal leader they could push around and ignore. Americans now realize that perception is not reality to disastrous consequences and are preparing to right a great wrong come 2012. If we’re lucky, it won’t be too late.

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