Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GOP Talking Points on Economic Stimulus

The House Republican Caucus released a series of talking points on the stimulus package, which Dave Burris dutifully posted over at Delaware Politics. The document is not convincing. It includes this priceless piece of sophistry:
Deficit spending will not expand the economy. If that were true, then the current $1.2 trillion deficit — the largest in history — would already be rescuing the economy. $800 billion more will not change that.
Left out of that argument is the question of how we got to the largest deficit in history. Hundreds of billions spent on a six year war in a foreign country have not provided much economic benefit here at home. The Republicans in Congress might want to think twice before starting out the new term by referring to the past eight years.
Here's another underwhelming argument:
Trade groups state that every $1 billion in highway “stimulus” can be spent creating 34,779 new construction jobs. But Congress must first borrow that $1 billion out of the private sector. The private sector then loses or forgoes roughly the same number of jobs.
What the GOP caucus may have failed to notice is that the private sector is not creating jobs just now. We are losing half a million jobs every month. The stimulus package is needed precisely because the private sector is in such deep trouble.
The talking points also compare the multi-year cost of new jobs created with one year's wages—a cheap trick that Paul Krugman rightly slammed in his column on Sunday.
There are three objectives to keep in mind in reviewing the stimulus package: how fast the money hits the street, what assets are created by the spending, and whether other public policy objectives are supported by the bill. I'll be taking a closer look at these shortly. In the meanwhile, you might want to look over the Congressional Budget Office report on the bill; it's a good deal more enlightening that the GOP talking points.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repubs refuse to stand up and speak the truth: We will always have taxes. Tax and spend is a helluva more responsible means of raising needed revenue than tax and borrow, which is what they did in the Reagan and both Bushy admins. Now look how close we are to collapse of our economy because of them. And Bernie Maddow pulled the biggest theft of all time on the SEC on their watch. If I were a Repub, I would stop obstructing the people's will and compounding their hatred. Vote now for Obama's stimulus package because the country's survival depends on it.

10:42 AM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous FSP said...

"Hundreds of billions spent on a six year war in a foreign country have not provided much economic benefit here at home."

There are a lot of talking points on both sides. I would say that there are a lot of military contractors that would disagree with the above statement.

And much of the deficit spending can be attributed to Medicare Part D, which is entirely spent here in the US, and the expansion of DHS, which is largely spent in the US.

You don't really seem to have an argument here, Tom.

"The talking points also compare the multi-year cost of new jobs created with one year's wages—a cheap trick that Paul Krugman rightly slammed in his column on Sunday."

Only a cheap trick if you assume the jobs will be around for more than a year. Or that there will be jobs created at all.

"what assets are created by the spending,"

You're serious here? Government borrowing money (that has to be paid for by future generations with a lot of interest attached) to put "on the street" as you so accurately and eloquently put it CREATES assets?

Congratulations. You've rendered me speechless.

6:11 PM, January 28, 2009  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Not so speechless as to keep you from posting a comment here, Dave. Thanks for stopping by.

6:32 PM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous FSP said...

Always like to talk to the rational ones, Tom. You're a rarity.

6:35 PM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of talking points on both sides. I would say that there are a lot of military contractors that would disagree with the above statement.

Hilarious. Some war profiteers made some money.

Whoo hoo!


Jason330

7:48 PM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous FSP said...

As opposed to, you know, the irrational ones.

(and they show up just to prove me right.)

9:55 PM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous kavips said...

LOL. That has got to be the best exchange on Delaware's blogdom over the past two years...

I'm so lucky to have shared the stage with some of you guys...

11:20 PM, January 28, 2009  

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