There 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,