Wednesday, July 8, 2009

787 Billion Dollars

As Beaver would say, "Gee Wally, that's a lot!" And that's about all anyone can say about the "stimulus" package and expect nearly universal agreement. Or is it?

Sources vary on exactly how much has been spent so far, and some percent disagreement is bound to happen with numbers so large. Somewhere around $100B. It wasn't widely assumed among the American people that things would move this slowly. The bill was written and passed with a heightened sense of urgency. "Shovel ready" was the phrase that pays. I think everybody can agree on that.

And how about this? Being kind to the new guy as is my wont, I'll take WH predictions of how many jobs created or "saved" by the end of the summer, while holding "stimulus" expenditures at $100B. That's darned nice of you Dave. So that's $167K spent for each job. Gee Wally... I think everybody can agree on that.

Those three starving orphans of general consensus should be heeded as we watch a very old drama unfold. No smart general ever attacks in force without first sending out scouting parties. So Paul Krugman, Nobel winning economist and powerful Obama ally, who just happens to write for NY Times, he's now talking about a second "stimulus" package. Joe Biden on TV this weekend (and I dig Joe, for reasons he wouldn't find the least bit flattering. Dinner with him and the guy who trains pigeons to be art critics, WOW that'd be cool!) was dutifully playing "good cop" and expertly exploiting his rep as loose cannon, but he was putting out feelers. Laura Tyson half the world away at economic summit plays "bad cop" and calls for second "stimulus" package.

OK, I'll take off my tinfoil hat now in the spirit of being kind to the new guy. They ain't gonna get another "stimulus" bill. They will rue the day they go any farther than these trial balloons. And that's another thing? I've watched "Law & Order" bunches and I'm pretty sure they don't allow balloons in court. There'll be no second "stimulus" package. It will galvanize the opposition and finally provide one focal point. A second "stimulus" package request will further awaken the common sense in tens of millions of Americans who've raised kids. Don't ask for dessert until you've eaten what's on your plate. Most parents have said this so often it's in our DNA now.

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