Have you ever wondered what would happen if you tossed a credit card into a meeting of Shopaholics Anonymous? You know - those poor sad people whose only stimulation comes from spending a whole lot of money they don't have on a whole of stuff they don't need? Well, watching the current shopping frenzy enveloping the Democrats in Washington is the closest I am likely to ever get to such a sight. As the Wall Street Journal observes, the Donks have been on the wagon for 40 years and have just fallen off with a bang:
"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
So said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in November, and Democrats in Congress are certainly taking his advice to heart. The 647-page, $825 billion House legislation is being sold as an economic "stimulus," but now that Democrats have finally released the details we understand Rahm's point much better. This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.
We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it.
Hit the link, for some of the details of the Democrat shopping list, but I'm sure you won't be surprised. Every ridiculous purchase that you can think of has made it onto the list. What about the stimulus excuse? (Economic stimulus that is, not the the Donks creaming their jeans.)
Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.
Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren't likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President's new budget director, told Congress a year ago, "even those [public works] that are 'on the shelf' generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy."
The rest goes to the usual laundry list of buffonery and waste plus some juicy payoffs to Donk political supporters like government workers and ACORN. Here are some I like:
Here's another lu-lu: Congress wants to spend $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles.
As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.
Of course, once the hogs get their noses in the trough, you can also be sure that they are going to demand the same funding plus more in future years.
So where does that leave the taxpayers whose credit cards have been stolen for this shopping spree? Well, aside from not fixing the banking crisis caused by the Democrats insisting that banks make loans to illegal aliens and deadbeats and the Democrats insisting that their pets, Fannie and Freddie, "package" up those loans and sell them far and wide; what we are most likely to get is runaway inflation. Some factoids:
The U.S. National Debt was $930 billion in 1980, or 33% of GDP. Today it is $10.7 trillion, or 76% of GDP. The National Debt has grown by 1,150% in 28 years. With the planned fiscal stimulus (taxing future generations), the National Debt will reach 100% of GDP during the Obama administration. When Argentina's economy collapsed in 1998, their National Debt as a percentage of GDP was 65%. The Great Deniers say we are not Argentina. They say we are safe because the U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world. This is like jumping off a 20 story building and as you pass the 10th floor someone yells out the window asking how you are doing. You answer, “Good, so far”.Can you say Weimar Germany? I knew you could. And if you like to read the stats, it looks like the money supply is already growing out of bounds even before the shopaholics get to the store.
Every single dime of the $1 trillion will be borrowed. The government will borrow $1 trillion from foreign countries, hand it out to their constituents, while encouraging them to resume borrowing and spending. Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel will force insolvent banks to lend money to companies, consumers, and deadbeats in foreclosure proceedings. The change we can believe in is - we will borrow and spend our way out of the largest debt bubble in history. Consumers and companies are acting rationally and trying to purge themselves of debt. The government will not allow that to happen. A massive additional dose of leverage will revive the patient. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Are the politicians running this country insane, unintelligent, or just so corrupt that special interests outweigh the interests of the American people? The current pork laden stimulus package will lead to a rerun of Japan's lost decade, with one vast difference. Our lost decade will terminate in a hyperinflationary collapse.