From Time’s “The Page.“
Biden tells “Meet the Press” that “everyone guessed wrong” on the impact of the stimulus, economy was worse off than anyone thought.
Backs away from the estimate that the funds could create or save 3.5 million jobs, instead promises 600,000 by the end of the summer.
First off, “everyone” didn’t guess wrong on the stimulus. Only 3 Republicans total (2 now that Arlen Specter has switched parties) in all of Congress voted for the stimulus package. The biggest reason why Republicans didn’t support the stimulus was because of the cost: more than $1.2 billion dollars plus. However, many people, myself included, noted that the stimulus wouldn’t actually stimulate the economy.
For example on Feb 10, three days before the stimulus package passed, I had a column out called, “The Top Six Problems With the Stimulus,” and the first three numbers on the list had to do with the fact that the “stimulus” wouldn’t actually stimulate any spending,
1) First of all, it’s very debatable whether stimulus bills work at all. As Walter Williams has pointed out,
“In stimulus package language, if Congress taxes to hand out money, one person is stimulated at the expense of another, who pays the tax and is unstimulated. A visual representation of the stimulus package is: Imagine you see a person at work taking buckets of water from the deep end of a swimming pool and dumping them into the shallow end in an attempt to make it deeper. You would deem him stupid. That scenario is equivalent to what Congress and the new President proposes for the economy.” — Walter Williams
2) According to the Wall Street Journal, there is very little actual “stimulus” in the stimulus bill,
“In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make ‘dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy.’ Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There’s another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.
Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.”
3) Even if you set aside #1 and #2, a significant percentage of the spending in the stimulus bill doesn’t occur for two years.
“Although the argument for quickly passing the $800-billion-plus stimulus bill now before Congress is that pumping money into the economy immediately will spur economic growth and create jobs, almost half of the new spending–as opposed to tax cuts–being proposed in the bill would not be spent until at least two years from now, according to an analysis published by the Congressional Budget Office.”
How is spending that’s not going to occur for two years supposed to stimulate the economy today and prevent those 500 million lost jobs per month that Nancy Pelosi told us about? If Barack Obama really believes what he says and thinks that, “A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe,” then why isn’t the spending frontloaded into this bill?
This is just one example, from one blog, of how wrong Joe Biden is about this. There are many, many more.
So, when Joe Biden says “‘everyone guessed wrong’ on the impact of the stimulus,” what he really means is that the Democrats made a boneheaded 1.2 trillion dollar mistake with our tax money. In other words, the Democrats just wasted more money than the Vietnam War and the Iraq war combined for absolutely nothing. The race to the moon, Louisiana Purchase, and Marshall Plan? All combined, they cost less than half of the money, in real dollars, that the Democrats threw away on this stimulus package.
PS: They’re still throwing out this “create or save” nonsense about jobs. They might as well be talking about how many faeries got their wings because of their stimulus plan, because the numbers they toss around are just as imaginary and unmeasurable.