Democrats have concocted a surefire political victory. They've notified America that the so-called "stimulus" bill might take a long time to work -- which is exceptionally handy, considering we always come out of a recession at some point.
The problem is there is no evidence that colossal government spending and expansion will help a nation claw its way out of economic trouble or, more importantly, generate a single job through real economic growth.
So what do you do with an unproven idea? Well, you go big. Make the proposal the most expensive ever to adorn paper -- or, more precisely, a trillion scraps of paper. Scare the holy living hell out of detractors with doomsday scenarios worthy of Nostradamus.
And for God's sake, unite! Those pikers in Congress can do a lot better than $825 billion. Surely, there are more states to bribe, more special interests to reward, more unions to pacify.
And Republicans? Just throw in a tax cut. They're easier than Holly Golightly.
Remember when Democrats complained that Bush tax cuts coupled with out-of-control spending would saddle our children with crushing debt? They were right; it's just impolite. Barack Obama will leave it for our great-grandchildren, too. We never are going to have to look those suckers in the eye anyway.
But please, let's stop calling this a "stimulus" plan. How does another $650 million for digital TV coupons (why don't we just buy a million new high-definition televisions and hand them out?) spur economic growth? What does $600 million for government vehicles do other than allow bureaucrats to do nothing more efficiently?
Hey, are you under investigation for widespread voter fraud? No problem. Like ACORN, you might be in for billions in "stimulus" aid, too. And a proud nation needs more than just $200 million to repair the National Mall; it needs an additional $21 million in sod.
Speaking of stimulus, Nancy Pelosi's contribution to this plan (though it may not survive) was to potentially spend hundreds of millions on condoms. There was another $335 million that could fund programs to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
I, too, support luxurious lawns and the widespread use of prophylactics. I, too, fervently oppose sexually transmitted diseases. But how any of this fuels economic recovery is a mystery.
An analysis of this urgent "stimulus" plan by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that less than half of the $30 billion in highway construction money would be released into the economy over the next four years.
The CBO also found that only $26 billion of $274 billion in infrastructure spending would be used by next fall. Only 64 percent of the entire stimulus would reach the economy by 2011.
Just in time for elections. Probably just a coincidence.
In the early 1980s, we dug out of a deep recession by easing the tax burden on businesses and American people to save real jobs rather than creating jobs we didn't need.
Now, worse than all the pork or the massive de facto tax hike (someone pays -- always) is the mass acceptance that we can stimulate the economy by buying our way out of trouble.
Democrats, in fact, have exploited our alarming situation by trying to enact highly ideological policy that is jammed with political payoffs (the very same crime they accused the Bush administration of committing).
Because in this "stimulus" plan, the only things stimulated are the imaginations of power-hungry partisans.
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