30 Jan 2009

The New Politics of Hope

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Ben Stein voices outrage at the feckless irresponsibility of Congress and the newly-hatched Obama administration.

The new kind of politics of hope. Eight hours of debate in the HR to pass a bill spending $820 billion, or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate.

Only ten per cent of the “stimulus” to be spent on 2009.

Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ or both members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democrat-controlled unions.

This bill is sent to Congress after Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for President Obama to have read the entire bill.

For the amount spent we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000.

We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000.

There has been pork barrel politics since there has been politics. The scale of this pork is beyond what had ever been imagined before — and no one can be sure it will actually do much stimulation.

How do you improve the economy? You restore confidence by reducing taxes and government expenditure and by adopting policies calculated to assure a sound currency.

Under Bush, and far more under Obama already, even in his first week in office, the policy of the US Government has been to throw money out the window, assuring higher taxes, significant inflation sooner or later, and demolishing confidence. The only difference between the administrations is that the Bush administration gave federal money to the financial industry, and Obama is giving away a lot more money, primarily as a democrat dream-fulfilling shopping spree.

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