Uhhh, I don’t get it.
How is President Obama’s latest stimulus measure going to stimulate the economy when it’s not a stimulus?
Of course, the White House won’t call it a stimulus, since no one thinks a stimulus works anymore. They’ll call it a jobs measure.
But the idea is to stimulate the economy, which creates jobs, so it’s a stimulus.
Except it isn’t. And so it won’t do much at all to help the economy.
You see, one little sentence in White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s briefing yesterday seems to have been overlooked by everyone. It sounds bland and non-controversial enough, but it suggests more than anything that what we’re going to see Thursday night is political theater, as opposed to, I guess, economic theater.
Here’s what he said:
Let me also be clear that the President will make it absolutely clear that he will pay for these proposals.
Pay for these proposals?
Stimulus, by its very nature, is deficit spending or deficit-financed tax cuts. It’s the injection of new money into the economy, money that wasn’t there before. It doesn’t get paid for. You pay for it later, after the economy turns around. You borrow money from the nice Chinese, you put it in the U.S. economy, and you have them bring us the bill later with a fortune cookie saying “You will be in debt to us for many years.”
If you are “paying for” the stimulus, then it means you are taking money out of one section of the economy and giving it to another. Either someone’s government handout or someone’s tax break will disappear so that Obama can fund whatever new idea he comes up with for Thursday night’s political rally.
That is, what we are getting is GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMING OF THE ECONOMY. Obama decides where the money is best spent. This is also known as socialism.
Did I just say the “S” word?
What we will get in Thursday night’s speech, as I’ve written, are proposals of marginal utility designed to put Republicans on the spot by trying to force them to take the blame for ruining the economy if they don’t embrace Obama’s unhelpful plans.
It’s not a real stimulus. It’s an effort to simulate a stimulus. It’s a simulus.
Unless Carney means Obama is going to “pay for these proposals” politically. But this wouldn’t make sense, since the idea is to make Republicans pay politically.
Maybe that’s what he meant. In which case Carney should not have said the president “will pay for these proposals,” but that, “these proposals will be paid for.”