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News/Politics, The ACT Era, The Liberal Complaint

President Obama Pushes Stimulus … Again

Making America WorkThere are many people who considered the stimulus program to be an abuse of power, a government takeover, a destruction of the Constitution and a sure path to dictatorship, with President Obama assuming the powers of Leader, and our common rights flushed down the toilet.

This is some heavy stuff to digest, especially when/if we see past the hyperbole.  When we look beyond the inanity, it’s clearly understood that the purpose of stimulus was to stabilize the economy and promote growth.

However, it’s really hard to stomach the concept of government spending when you have been wed to a party and an ideology that says things like, “Drown the government in the tub,” or “All they want to do is put a tremendous burden on our children and grandchildren and ruin the nation.”  Rationality clearly dismisses this kind of talk.  The President does not want to ruin our nation, neither does his party.

I hold forth with no one party and ascribe to the mandate of critical thinking, which requires that I consider policy decisions with a thinking, questing, questioning, but still passionate mind bereft of ideology and team mentality.  It requires me to consider policy based on facts.

If this is how I must view policy then I must consider stimulus through the prism of critical thought, and give it due consideration based on facts.  Such consideration is what led me, an everyday common American who is most certainly no Ivy League educated economist, to derive what I call a Keynesian Supply-Side Surplus economic model.

It’s immensely simple to understand.  The KSSS economic model requires the government to step in with spending in order to bolster the economy when times are lean.  However, policy must be enacted that places strong oversight over spending, with hard limits on a case-by-case basis requiring congressional review for any changes.  The model also requires that once private industry starts to fill the gap, public spending is curtailed to appropriate levels, meeting needs as opposed to overgenerous wants.

I like to think that President Obama, and those in Congress who saw the wisdom in his actions, implemented something akin to what I describe above, not purposefully, but rather by happenstance.  With strong collaboration far away from party ideology, I think we could have accomplished much more, and would have found ourselves in a stronger economic situation than we do now.

However, the past is just that… the past.

Still, we must learn from the past and apply those lessons today.  We can see the recent past in Europe where austerity was clearly not the solution required.  It was part of the solution to be sure, but facts and observation show us that stimulus is also required, targeted stimulus that is enacted with careful consideration.  Italy’s new premier is talking about easing austerity measures and stimulating growth. The European Central bank is enacting stimulus measures to bolster the economy and promote growth.  The ECB is enacting a different kind of stimulus from simple blatant direct spending, but it is stimulus nonetheless.

Now, President Obama is set to make several stops across the country re-iterating the need for job creation, and yes, stimulus.  The Republicans area already priming the record player and have already started singing the old song before the record is even on.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader, said, “I see the President has decided to pivot once again to jobs… But I presume he’ll jet off around the country to campaign-style rallies in order to bash Congress and claim that none of this is his fault.”

My friends, we must sincerely elevate our politics, and it starts with the removal of staid old thorns like Senator McConnell.  He plays the old game and he plays it well.  He says the awful thing, and it doesn’t stick.  He blasts and there is no discernible repercussion, but oh, the times they are a changing.

Is it Congress’s fault? Yes, and it would seem the majority of Americans agree with me.

Should the President blame Congress?  Yes he should, I most certainly do.

Why should anyone blame Congress and not the President?  Because the President is not the King and that is how our government was purposefully designed.  He has held out his hand in compromise again and again, even against the wishes of his own party, only to pull back a gnawed nub of a hand.  The GOP has stymied each and every last effort this President has made; of course it’s their fault.  The facts back up the assertion with no room for equivocation.  Mitch McConnel has got to go.

So yes, the President is on about stimulus again.  He will be going from city to city talking about successes and calling out needs.  He is speaking directly to the people in what he said in his book he abhorred, the Permanent Campaign.  Unfortunately, we can see quite clearly that the poisoned atmosphere of modern politics requires the permanent campaign.   Partisan politics and the 24 hour news cycle practically demand it. They stay in their faces and make sure they get it, digest it, internalize it, speak it to the people again and again… or someone else will.

Did stimulus work?  Yes, clearly.  Was it needed?  Yes, ask the Europeans.  Is the jobs picture improving?  Yes, without a doubt.  These things need very little critical consideration.  They are clear and unassailable.  Is there a case for more stimulus?  Critical thinking is most certainly required for this question.  Some areas are doing great, some areas are just okay.  What about those areas that aren’t doing so great?  And sincerely, are we spending our money wisely?  Are we investing in our futures?  Could our futures be more assured, and certain, with a bit more directed stimulus?

My critical consideration leads me to form an opinion of yes.  Clearly the President agrees with me.  He wants stimulus to promote a jobs rich environment and skills training, which would help generate demand and innovation.  And let’s be clear.  Only two things create jobs, one is demand, the other is innovation.  All other factors are sub factors of these two.  That too, is a fact.

I don’t want us to overspend.  I don’t believe in big government or small government. I believe in right-sized government for the era.  I want my government to spend my money appropriately, and tell me about it.  I want my government to promote education at all levels, and facilitate the adoption of skills by our population so that we can aggressively promote economic growth.  That’s not burdening our children and ruining their futures.  That’s investing in it.

The Aspiring Critical Thinker,
D.S. Brown

About D.S. Brown

Aspiring critical thinker, author, motivational speaker, prime motivator.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “President Obama Pushes Stimulus … Again

  1. We are more than 16 Trillion in debt. We cannot afford more stimulus.
    Take a look at the following words written just a few short years ago regarding America’s debt. Can you guess who made this speech?
    ——————————

    Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

    Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

    And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

    Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans—a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.

    But we are not doing that. Despite repeated efforts by Senators CONRAD and FEINGOLD, the Senate continues to reject a return to the commonsense Pay-go rules that used to apply. Previously, Pay-go rules applied both to increases in mandatory spending and to tax cuts. The Senate had to abide by the commonsense budgeting principle of balancing expenses and revenues. Unfortunately, the principle was abandoned, and now the demands of budget discipline apply only to spending.

    As a result, tax breaks have not been paid for by reductions in Federal spending, and thus the only way to pay for them has been to increase our deficit to historically high levels and borrow more and more money. Now we have to pay for those tax breaks plus the cost of borrowing for them. Instead of reducing the deficit, as some people claimed, the fiscal policies of this administration and its allies in Congress will add more than $600 million in debt for each of the next 5 years.

    That is why I will once again cosponsor the Pay-go amendment and continue to hope that my colleagues will return to a smart rule that has worked in the past and can work again.

    Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 Presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just 5 years. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing from foreign countries. But we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours.

    Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘‘the buck stops here.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

    THIS WAS BARACK OBAMA IN 2006, WHEN W WAS PRESIDENT AND OBAMA WAS A SENATOR.

    http://www.alanjoelny.com/full-text-of-obamas-statement-against-the-debt-ceiling-in-2006/

    Posted by Frank | May 13, 2013, 5:13 am
    • That’s nice. It’s great that you can pick up his words from 2006. I see nothing bad about them. I also see nothing wrong with him having said them and the attempt to apply KSSS economic model. Targeted spending with oversight is not the same as unfunded tax breaks and wars and expeditionary wars on false pretenses that throw American revenue as well is treasure down a blood-filled hole. You have to understand what the word INVESTMENT means. Once you’ve done that, if you consider it critically, you can come to understand that stimulus is not a bad word and it is not synonymous with unfunded tax breaks are arbitrary spending.

      Posted by D.S. Brown | May 17, 2013, 8:58 am

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