President Barack Obama has done more in the first three weeks of his presidency to validate the suspicions of his critics than I thought possible. But of all his objectionable actions, nothing compares to his falsely labeled "stimulus" bill, which he is trying to force upon us with fear and deception.
Just consider his smug assertion that "there is no disagreement that we need action by our government to jump-start the economy."
Maybe Mr. Obama has been cooped up in the White House too long and hasn't seen the dissent, such as that expressed in a strong protest letter signed by umpteen respected economists: "With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true. Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance." The letter cites the failed record of "stimulus" spending in the Depression era and in Japan in the 1990s and recommends lower tax rates and reduced government as the best remedies.
But even if you accept Obama's disputed premise that spending is the panacea, his bill fails his own criteria. It's just smoke and mirrors aimed at blurring his larger goal of radically restructuring the economy. But he pleads urgency anyway, as if he were trying to set speed records for breaking faith with the electorate.
The blogger Calafia Beach Pundit trenchantly observed: "Very little of the bill involves immediate stimulus or anything that might be actually stimulative; only a little over 10 percent of the money gets spent this fiscal year, and about 30 percent gets spent next fiscal year. … About 30 percent of the money goes to transfer payments. … Only $20 billion would be spent over the next 18 months on highway construction; and about 20 percent of the bill doesn't get spent until 2012-19."
Obama already lost his fabled cool while angrily wagging his finger at us from the Democratic retreat in Virginia (exemplifying that bipartisanship he promised), scoffing at the charge that his bill was all about government spending.
He said: "What do you think a stimulus is? It's spending. That's the whole point!"