30 January 2009

Ben Stein via the American Spectator

A Bleak Day

By Ben Stein on 1.29.09 @ 9:31AM

I love this. The new kind of politics of hope. Eight hours of debate in the HR to pass a bill spending $820 billion, or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate.
He's a-talkin' about the stimulus, Mr. Stein is.
Only ten per cent of the "stimulus" to be spent on 2009.
Which still bids fair to light off a really hard to control inflation at a time when we're blessed with an administration which is likely to think that price controls are the way to fix inflation.
Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ or both members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democrat-controlled unions.
I realize you're reaching for modifiers, Mr Stein, but "Democrat-controlled unions" is a trifle redundant.
This bill is sent to Congress after Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for President Obama to have read the entire bill.
Yep, there's a read the bills act which has been proposed for -- ye gods! -- over a decade now. RTB is good advice for alcon, the 43rd and 44th POTUS' not least, but honored of them all!
For the amount spent we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000.

We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000.
Both actions would have avoided major bonuses -- they're actually closer to commissions, did you know that? -- and released cash into the economy, probably through necessities: groceries, rent, things like that. Waaayyyy to sensible an idea.

How long until the debt incurred under this program is so immense that it causes a downgrade in the sovereign debt of the USA? What happens to us then?
Outstanding questions, Mr. Stein. We have a structural, unfunded deficit of over $50 Trillion (trillion, with a T). If we can't borrow money to delay the day of reckoning, we can -- lessee-- reduce benefits or raise taxes. OOORRRRR, we could just print up $50 trillion and dump the greenbacks into the economy. Can you say 'hyperinflation'? I knew you could.
This has been a punch in the solar plexus to the kind of responsible, far-seeing, mature government processes that are needed to protect America. This is more than the pork barrel. This is a coup for the constituencies of the party in power and against the idea of a responsible government itself. A bleak day.

Unfortunately, it is only the latest in a long series of such days stretching across decades of rule by both parties, to the point where truly responsible government is only a distant echo of our forgotten ancestors.
Amen, Brother Stein. Amen

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