It Seems to Me, That I’ve Heard This Song Before


I\’ve Heard That Song Before by Harry James & Helen Forrest

That was the song that was playing in my head during The President’s address to the joint members of Congress last night.  It has taken me a bit to get my thoughts together after the speech in an articulate and coherent manner.

Obama spoke in a decisive and determined manner last night.  It’s unfortunate that he didn’t specify in detail what the plan entails.  He was clear that he wanted the plan passed, but it’s hard to pass something that has not been written yet.  Before you can pass a bill into law you have to be able to see it, feel it and highlight those things that need further review.  When pressed about this issue, Obama said that he will lay it all out next week.  That was confusing to me.  Why were we all gathered together if it wasn’t completed.  Boggles the mind.

With that being said, the speech was very familiar to the original stimulus speech.  He spoke of “shovel-ready jobs” and “fixing up the infrastructure.”  Essentially that translates into putting people to work filling in pot holes and reinforcing bridges.  I was asked today by a very close friend of mine, “what happens in two years then, after we reinforce the bridges?  Won’t those people be back out of work?”  I thought that was a brilliant question that has never been addressed.  This is the constructs of an economic ideology called Keynesian Economics.  The government steps in and creates job where there weren’t any jobs, in an effort to put more money in the economy (meaning you buy more stuff) which then stimulates growth.  Coincidentally, it is the same school of thought that Franklin Roosevelt used when he created the Tennessee Valley Act and the Civilian Conservation Corps under the New Deal.  It is important to remember however, that these programs weren’t “game changers” as America stayed in poor economic times until after World War II.

I became concerned during the speech because I hearkened back to a few days before when Obama was speaking to the Teamsters.  He was promising them lucrative jobs at union scale wages.  So, does that mean that these “shovel-ready jobs” are to be filled by union members at union scale wages?  If so, then I am curious if we will be paying $50 to $75 and hour for ditch diggers.  And what of our millions of unemployed citizens who are not on the union rolls?  Will they be welcome?  Will they be paid the same money?  If past is prelude, then we can already assume non-unions members will NOT be welcome so the amount of pay will be moot.

We were treated to the cost of all this stimulation: 447 Billion!!!!   It seems to me that for that kind of money, the government could give each tax-paying citizen (determined by who filed last year) a cool $200,000 and come out way ahead.  If the people of this nation each had $200,000 tax-free money just to blow, I assure you they would buy things.  Yes, they would put some back, but then they would be buying big screens, computers, iPods/pads, and party limousine rides.  Americans love to play and party and we have been saddled with this struggle for so long that we could use a good blow-out.

Obama also discussed continuing the payroll tax cut, which is smart.   And also lowering the EPA regulations to allow companies to get back working again.  The way it is right now with the EPA, oil, gas and coal plants are being shut down for very minor things and also for lengthy inspections.  I thought lifting some of the regs was a bit humorous because since he took office he as instituted some 500 new regulations over at the EPA.

In summation, the stimulus package (TARP) was a phenomenal failure.  Now this jobs package has much of the same language for another huge sum of money.  Past is Prelude friends.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Another Shovel Full Of Sh…ope « Grumpa Joe's Place

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