Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Did the Stimulus Bill Work?

We can argue whether the stimulus should have been bigger. We can argue how many jobs it created and whether it could have created them sooner. We can argue whether it is going to eventually lead to inflation due to higher debt. 

What mystifies me is how people can blame Obama for the lack of jobs.  I think the chart above tells the story of who got us into this mess, and who is getting us out.



brownie said...

Who got us in to this mess...was not Dubya, no matter how much you'd like it to be so. It was all the idiot bankers who bet on the credit default swaps not going tits up. Thank them.

Fingtree said...

True Brownie, but Federal regulators in the Bush administration blocked efforts by State governments to prevent predatory lending practices that resulted in the crisis.
Unprecedentedly invading another country, occupying and rebuilding them with both our military and scores of private contractors while cutting taxes at the same time didn't help either.
"In 2004, the Office of the Currency Comptroller, an obscure regulatory agency tasked with ensuring the fiscal soundness of America's banks, invoked an 1863 law to give itself the power to override state laws against predatory lending. The OCC told states they could not enforce predatory-lending laws, and all banks would be subject only to less-strict federal laws".

brownie said...

If the law allows you to do something unethical, and you choose to do it, who is at fault? You or the law?

I say we're all responsible for what we do, even if someone else says "It's okay, go ahead."

Especially if that someone is Darth Freakin' Vader.

Robert J. Day said...

But the cure may be worse than the illness.

"Even considering that government statistics are notoriously unreliable and tend to err on the side of special interests, it's worth considering what kind of bang for the buck the Obama plan, taken at face value, would deliver. If the plan creates the maximum number of jobs forecast (4.1 million) for the minimum projected expense ($770 billion is the most widely bruited amount), then the cost of the plan will be roughly $187,800 per job created. If the plan is minimally successful, then the sum of $1 trillion dollars being proposed by Democrats in Congress will yield a mere 3.3 million jobs, or a cost per new job of $303,000. If government statisticians are to be given any credence at all, then the real figure will probably come out somewhere between these two extremes. And the money the government spends to create the new jobs would have to come out of the economy one way or another (taxes, borrowing, inflating the money supply) — causing lost jobs."

Dan S said...

But you are only counting the value of the job, and not the public benefit of what people are accomplishing in those jobs, such as fixing roads, building bridges, etc. A road is worth quite a bit of money to everyone, not just to the people making it.

And it also must be compared against what the alternative is. In times of economic downturn, when businesses are not creating jobs, one of the only tools we have to create jobs is government spending. And this is not a partisan theory -- it is agreed upon by most economists.

Fingtree said...

Brownie; If we are all responsible for what we do then where is the accountability for the Bush administration and their corrupt cronies? You said; "was not Dubya", yet for 50 plus years there were checks and balances in place to keep those who should not get credit that could not provide proof enough to receive it. The Bush administration chose to relax those checks and balances and block others, at the same time placing blame on the victims, isn't there blame somewhere for them in that or are we all responsible for that? It's just another example of corporate greed and Government in bed with them.

brownie said...

The differnce between BEING responsible for your behavior and being HELD responisible for it is huge. The first is just a personal matter of how we see the world, the second is how society reacts to what we've done.

"Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and that make you king." -Bob Dylan

PG said...

I know it is a Capitalist system, and thus all revolves around an obsession with Mammon anyway (talking to you, Robert Day), but whatever happened to considering the lilies of the field?

We're all too rich, consume too much, and consider ourselves privileged, so blaming anyone for the state of the economy is kind of beside the point, IMO.