For all of this week’s talk about President Obama’s “second stimulus,” why do so many Americans feel less stimulated than chafed? The parade of stimuli that Pres. G. W. Bush launched and the stimulator-in-chief has accelerated has left America impoverished, indebted, and increasingly jobless. And now, Obama wants more.
Obama unveiled an attractive item or two while attempting to defibrillate the dreary economy and Democrats’ dismal electoral prospects. Supply-siders long have wanted to scrap the depreciation tables and let businesses immediately deduct capital purchases. Too bad Obama wants to permit this tax-and-simplification benefit for only one year.
Perhaps seeking the Nobel Prize in Alliteration, Obama Tuesday proposed $50 billion for “Roads, Rails, and Runways.” This plan supposedly will help some of America’s 14.9 million unemployed citizens.
However, that expenditure would span six years, despite the touted “shovel-readiness” of public-works projects. Even if one applauds such spending, shouldn’t it happen right now?
What about Obama’s previous magnum opus? In February 2009, he signed a $787 billion stimulus that has swelled to $814 billion. The Congressional Budget Office on August 24 estimated that this measure “created or saved” between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs while spending, so far, about 70 percent of this money. Assuming the rosiest scenario, this $570 billion created 3.3 million jobs at a stunning $172,727 each.
Paradoxically, these alleged jobs have grown even as jobs have disappeared. Unemployment somehow has risen from 7.4 percent when Obama was sworn in to 9.6 percent today. Obama’s rosy scenario seems choked with weeds.