Happy birthday, Stimulus!

February 17, 2012

Today is the third anniversary of the passage of President Obama’s Stimulus Pokulus bill, which was supposed to have us at below 6% unemployment by now. How’s that working out?

Whatever. Let’s not quibble over small details, such as being utterly, humiliatingly wrong. Instead, this is a time to celebrate Porkulus’ many accomplishments — the jobs and wealth created. How our (borrowed from China) money was wisely spent. Stories such as this one:

In an effort to stabilize the city’s real estate market, a federal stimulus program has spent nearly $1.5 million on eight Modesto homes that ended up being worth less than $1 million.

Example: Taxpayers paid $223,641 to buy and fix up a foreclosed south Modesto house that was built in 1992. But when the city’s 16-month renovation project was done, the home appraised and sold for only $114,000.

The government lost $109,641 on that just completed deal.

Taxpayers also have spent $109,494 to buy and renovate a 1948-vintage two-bedroom home in Modesto’s airport neighborhood. That house has appraised for only $55,000, and a buyer has yet to be found.

The federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program is being managed by the city of Modesto, which plans to resell an additional 18 or more rehabilitated homes this year.

The eight refurbished Modesto homes have cost taxpayers, on average, 34 percent more than appraisers determined they were worth after repairs were complete. That’s an average of $61,487 each.

In investing, that’s called “value destroyed.” And, as of the article’s writing, they weren’t finished!

Happy birthday, Porkulus! Just think of what President Obama can do with four more years!

via Elizabeth Emken for Senate

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Celebrate the Season: bug a lefty for Christmas

December 23, 2011

Jim Pethokoukis gives conservatives and other residents of Reality-ville a great Christmas present: seven charts to flash in the face of liberals (and other unicorn-chasers) when they try to spoil Christmas dinner by talking up Obama. Here’s the one that jumped out at me, the real unemployment rate:

Heckuva recovery, Barry!

I’ll let Jim explains what this represents:

The official (U-3) unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. But the labor force has been shrinking as discouraged workers have been disappeared by government statisticians rather than counted as unemployed. But what if they weren’t? What if the Labor Department added those folks back into the numbers? Well, you would get this.

Remember, Obama and the Smartest Economic Team Ever(tm) promised us that unemployment would go below eight percent if we agreed to his stimulus program. Instead, it’s higher than the White House projected if we didn’t approve the stimulus package. (See Jim’s diagram 1) In fact, the only way it comes even close to White house projections is by not counting people who’ve given up.

Real clever, that.

And once you’re done educating your liberal family members, ask them what possible reason is there is for reelecting Barack Obama?

The reaction should be entertaining.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


But… But… But, Obama said we had to spend to create jobs!

May 22, 2011

Oh, yeah? One graph measuring federal spending vs. the number of jobs shows us what a farce that is:

How's that spending binge working out for ya?

Via Power Line. Click through for more.


Dear Republicans: This is a club, learn to use it

May 16, 2011

Because if you don’t hammer Obama every day from now until Election Day with the fact that his stimulus plan caused a net loss of 500,000 jobs, you don’t deserve to win:

Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.

(Emphasis added)

That’s from a study (PDF) by economists at Ohio State. In other words, we borrowed and spent nearly one trillion dollars (that’s $1,000,000,000,000) on the assurance of President Obama and the (Social) Democrats that doing so would stimulate the economy, create new jobs, and restore prosperity. Instead, we bought a bunch of pork-barrel projects and waste that only made unemployment worse. We’d have been better off if Obama and Congress had done nothing.

That monument to incompetence alone should cost them the 2012 election.

You’ve been handed a club, Republicans: use it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s official

December 7, 2010

President Obama’s pork-laden monstrosity stimulus program was an absolute failure:

Wilson’s study makes an important contribution to this debate by focusing on state-by-state comparisons. A large portion of stimulus funding at the state level was based on criteria that were entirely independent of the economic situation that states faced. For example, the number of existing highway miles was used to calculate additional transportation spending.

The study uses this resulting variation in state-level stimulus funding to determine what impact ARRA funding had on employment — including both the direct impact of workers hired to complete planned projects, as well as any broader spillover effects resulting from greater government spending. Administration economists have repeatedly emphasized the importance of this indirect employment growth in driving economic recovery.

The results suggest that though the program did result in 2 million jobs “created or saved” by March 2010, net job creation was statistically indistinguishable from zero by August of this year. Taken at face value, this would suggest that the stimulus program (with an overall cost of $814 billion) worked only to generate temporary jobs at a cost of over $400,000 per worker. Even if the stimulus had in fact generated this level of employment as a durable outcome, it would still have been an extremely expensive way to generate employment.

In other words, on the advice –nay, the insistence!– of the President and (Social) Democratic leadership, we borrowed and blew over $800 billion dollars… for nothing! Well, except for unused airports, frozen fish sperm, and coke for monkeys, among other things.

Actually, it was less than nothing, for the study shows how assistance to state Medicaid programs actually cost jobs:

Interestingly, federal assistance to state Medicaid programs appears to have decreased local and state government employment. One possibility is that requirements to maintain full Medicaid benefits in order to receive federal aid proved sufficiently expensive that state governments pushed though additional rounds of layoffs in non-health related areas.

Oh, well done, you geniuses. Go ahead, pat yourselves on the back. Trusted by the voters to heal a sick economy, you acted like drunken sailors in a brothel on payday and actually made it worse. And now we’re stuck with your hangover. High fives and group hugs all around!!

It’s no wonder the voters took you to the woodshed last month. It is a wonder they didn’t have you shot.

Via Gay Patriot and Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Why Keynesian economics is wrong

November 30, 2010

Progressive economics (and, sadly, the economics of some otherwise sensible Republicans) is based on the idea that, in an economic downturn, one relies on government spending to increase domestic consumption in order to stimulate the economy. Sadly, as the history of the 1930s, 1970s and, now, the early 21st century shows, that really doesn’t work. In this video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, the AEI’s Hiwa Alaghebandian explains how Keynesian economics, and thus the entire economic policy of the Obama administration, has it all backwards:

As her former internship supervisor, Dan Mitchell, writes:

The main insight of the mini-documentary is that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) only measures how national output is allocated between consumption, investment, and government. That’s useful information in many ways, but if we want more output, we should focus on Gross Domestic Income (GDI), which measures how national income is earned.

Focusing on GDI hopefully would lead lawmakers to consider ways of boosting employee compensation, corporate profits, small business income, and other components of national income. Focusing on GDP, by contrast, is misguided since any effort to boost consumption generally leads to less investment. This is why Keynesian policies only redistribute national income, but don’t boost overall output.

The analysis in this video also helps explain why Obama’s so-called stimulus was a flop. The White House genuinely seemed to think a bigger burden of government spending was going to create jobs, but the real-world numbers show higher joblessness.

The basic idea is that increased income leads to increased consumption, not the other way around. One would think this would be common sense, but that apparently assumes a level of economic literacy all too uncommon amongst our policy-makers.

LINKS: MEP Daniel Hannan sums it up in 11 words.

Via International Liberty

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Stimulating Los Angeles: Porkulus’ cost per job

September 18, 2010

It’s already an old story with the 2009 “stimulus package,” but this report on the number of jobs created here in Los Angeles by Porkulus and what they each cost is just appalling:

More than a year after Congress approved $800 billion in stimulus funds, the Los Angeles city controller has released a 40-page report on how the city spent its share, and the results are not living up to expectations.

“I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million,” said Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller. “With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work.”

According to the audit, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works spent $70 million in stimulus funds — in return, it created seven private sector jobs and saved seven workers from layoffs. Taxpayer cost per job: $1.5 million.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation created even fewer jobs per dollar, spending $40 million but netting just nine jobs. Taxpayer cost per job: $4.4 million.

They’d have earned a better return on their investment (with our money) by going to Vegas and betting it all at the roulette wheel.

Heckuva job, Mr. President.

(And, hey, wasn’t Sheriff Joe supposed to keep watch to make sure the money wasn’t wasted? I’d swear I remember something about that… )

via The Flash Report


When all else fails, do it again

September 6, 2010

So, let’s see. In 2009 President Obama asked for and got a pork fiesta $787 billion stimulus package from Congress, saying we needed it to keep unemployment from rising above 8% and to put America back to work.

It failed miserably. And that’s not even mentioning the pork-barrel spending and nonexistent zip codes.

So, when faced with the utter failure of Keynesian stimulus spending to stimulate anything other than the national debt, what’s a Lightworker President to do? Cut taxes? Cut spending? Ease the burden of regulation on small businesses? Allow a free market economy to do what it does best?

Dudes, don’t be silly.

The answer is obviously to spend more:

President Obama, looking for ways to jump-start the sagging economy and create new jobs, called on Congress on Monday to approve a far-reaching plan to rebuild and modernize the nation’s transportation networks — roads, rail and airport runways — over the next six years.

With Democrats facing increasingly bleak re-election prospects, Mr. Obama used a Labor Day visit to a union festival here to lay out the plan, which the White House says could begin creating jobs as early as 2011 if Congress moves quickly. But prospects for a hasty passage seem unlikely, given that lawmakers have only a few weeks before they go home to campaign and Republicans have little interest in giving Democrats any pre-election legislative victories.

“Over the next six years,” Mr. Obama promised “we are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads — that’s enough to circle the world six times; that’s a lot of road. We’re going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways — enough to stretch coast-to-coast. We’re going to restore 150 miles of runways and advance a next-generation air-traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers — I think everybody can agree on that.”

Mr. Obama vowed that the plan, which would include work on high-speed rail lines, would be “fully paid for” and not add to the deficit.

Gee, where have we heard that last one before?

Setting aside my complete lack of faith that this Congress and administration could spend the requested money wisely (based on their performance so far) and ignoring the consequences of adding to our staggering debt (Oh, heck. What’s another $50 billion among friends?), the proposal for a smaller, more tightly focused and controlled stimulus package is about 18 months too late:

While President Barack Obama goes on the road to shore up slipping popular support for the $1 trillion stimulus porkfest that he ordered up from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, is pushing a better idea: The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START).

Minnick is a member of the Blue Dog caucus of occasionally conservative Democcrats. His START plan is a $170 billion “bare bones” pure stimulus approach that would put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low- and middle-income Americans, then use the other $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. START requires that all funds not spent by 2010 be returned to the Treasury. START also stops stimulus spending when the nation’s Gross Domestic Product increases in two of three previous quarters, and all START payments are required to be posted on a public website.

While I’m opposed to Keynesian stimulus in general, and I think the record of history bears out its ineffectiveness, I could have supported the Minnick proposal as a reasonable compromise. To hear Obama come out with something similar only after all the damage his first stimulus has done calls for one response:

D’oh!  Doh

LINKS: More at MSNBC, International Liberty, and Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Don’t ever complain to me about the money spent on Iraq, again

September 1, 2010

For years -years!- under George W. Bush, the Democrats and their Leftist allies cried rivers of crocodile tears over the money being spent to first liberate, then stabilize that land. They claimed so often and so loudly to be worried about the debts incurred and the deficits run, that they convinced the electorate that they would actually be better stewards of the public’s money, and partly for that were given control of Congress in 2006.

Well, have a look at this:

In less than two years, the Democrats have made spending on the war in Iraq look like pocket change:

As President Obama prepares to tie a bow on U.S. combat operations in Iraq, Congressional Budget Office numbers show that the total cost of the eight-year war was less than the stimulus bill passed by the Democratic-led Congress in 2009.

According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations.

The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion.

The U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2010 is expected to be $1.3 trillion, according to CBO. That compares to a 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion and a 2008 deficit of $458.6 billion, according to data provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

In 2007 and 2008, the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

That’s $709 billion spread over seven years, compared to $862 billion in one-third the time.

In return for our money*, in Iraq we overthrew a brutal, murderous dictator and helped establish what has a good chance to become the first stable Arab democracy ever in the heart of the Middle East, a nation that could, with luck, patience, and skill, become a strong ally against terrorism and the plans of the religious fascists in Tehran. We also crushed al Qaeda in Iraq, forcing it to waste lives and resources there, and exposing its brutality for all the Arab world to see.

In return for the stimulus package, we got… unemployment higher than promised and that may turn structural, a feeble economic “recovery” that threatens to go into another recession, mind-boggling deficits and debt to foreign powers, and, by admission from the President’s own economic adviser, a failure.

You tell me which money was better spent.

And I don’t ever again want to hear a (Social) Democrat complain about the costs of “Bush’s war,” or about fiscal responsibility in general.

*(No, I am not discounting or monetizing the lives lost in Iraq. Any casualties in war are tragedies, however necessary. But this discussion is strictly about the money spent and the Democrats’ rank hypocrisy when they posed as champions of fiscal responsibility.)

via Fausta.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Real or fake? Spot the stimulus project!

August 14, 2010

The Rebel Economist returns to YouTube with a video in which she asks passersby if the projects she describes really received taxpayer money under the Stimulus bill:

Aren’t you glad we borrowed $787 billion for these?  Doh


Your stimulus dollars at work

August 10, 2010

Sean Mahoney is running for Congress from New Hampshire’s 1st district and has a question for incumbent Carole Shea Porter (D-Gimme Your Money): Just what did we get for all the debt incurred with the $787 billion stimulus package your party passed? To provide an example from their own district, Mahoney tells the tale of New Hampshire’s own bridge to nowhere:

Let’s emphasize a couple of points (just in case YouTube is having troubles, again): the bridge is not a bridge – it’s more of a pier, stopping in the middle of the river. $150,000 of our tax dollars were paid to resurface a “bridge” no one uses; the real bridge is 100′ further down the river. (Visit Big Government for photos.) Meanwhile, about a third of New Hampshire’s real bridges are in need of real repair.

Now, aren’t you happy we borrowed all that money from China so that Carole Shea Porter could get New Hampshire its own bridge to nowhere?

If you are, how about making a donation – to Sean Mahoney?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Disasters as stimulus and the broken-window fallacy

August 4, 2010

Via Cubachi, here’s a good video that explains why government spending in the face of a crisis, such as war or economic panic, while perhaps necessary, is not the wealth-creator that Keynesian economists claim it is:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Only in a Progressive’s imagination

July 2, 2010

Only in the Hopium-dream economics of a (Social) Democrat could the idea that unemployment checks are a “job creator” sound reasonable.

Enter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

I’m now convinced: the (Social) Democratic leadership are refugees from Wonderland.

Via Dan Mitchell, who provides an earlier video of his explaining why Pelosi’s Keynesian economics just don’t work:

November can’t come fast enough.  Praying

LINKS: More from Sister Toldjah.


The stimulus was a failure

February 20, 2010

The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell explains why:

There was a good moment taking down the attempt by one of the hosts to defend the New Deal. I’d like to see a segment that goes into detail why the Hoover-FDR policies failed. Until then, here are some books on the topic.


As comfortable as an old shoe

January 26, 2010

What do Democrats do when they get bad news about their economic policies? Why, slip right back into that old favorite, “blame Bush:”

The CBO has a new report predicting huge deficits, a slow economic recovery, and a $75 billion cost overrun on President Obama’s stimulus package.

…Democrats are taking a page out of David Plouffe’s playbook: Blame the other guy.

House Democratic leaders said a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showing a $1.35 trillion deficit in 2010 was the result of policies put in place by President George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress…”90 percent of the projected deficit is due to the cost of the Bush economic collapse and Bush policies like his unpaid for tax cuts for the wealthy,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.).

It gets old to say this, but Democrats have controlled the Congress since 2007 and the White House since last year. And the stimulus package was their pet project, supposedly needed to keep unemployment at  eight percent. (It’s currently over 10%.) They’re the ones who pushed for it, and it is not just a failure, but a budget-busting nightmare.

Sorry guys, but, after more than a year in total control… You broke it, you own it.


And the prize for best fantasy fiction goes to…

January 4, 2010

Recovery.gov, the federal web site bills itself as:

…the U.S. government’s official website providing easy access to data
related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.

Trouble is, way too much of the information is wrong or outright nonsensical. It counts jobs never in danger of elimination as jobs saved and reports jobs saved or created in nonexistent congressional districts. Now, we learn, we are to be grateful for jobs created or saved (and our money spent) in zip codes that don’t exist:

“Closer examination of the latest recovery.gov report for New Mexico shows hundreds of thousands of dollars sent to and credited with creating jobs in zip codes that do not exist in New Mexico or anywhere else. Moreover, funds reported as being spent in New Mexico were given zip codes corresponding to areas in Washington and Oregon.”

Like the rest of the Obama “recovery program,” Recovery.gov is a joke. It might as well track The One Ring on its journey back to Mordor.

LINKS: Sister Toldjah, who reminds us  that Joe Biden is supposed to be closely overseeing the stimulus program. That explains a lot.


The stimulus swindle

November 6, 2009

The picture kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

StimSwindleClick For a larger image.

(courtesy Congressman Thaddeus McCotter)


Such a bargain…

October 30, 2009

The Obama Administration told us we had to pass the $787-billion dollar Stimulus bill NOW!! in order to save and create jobs to blunt the worst recession in decades. Well the numbers are in:

  • Money spent so far: $150,000,000,000
  • Number of jobs created or saved: 650,000
  • Price per job: $230,769.23

Only in a Washington controlled by statists who’ve never had to deal with economic reality in their lives could this be considered a worthwhile use of public money.

Can I have one?  Money Eyes


How is that stimulus working for you, Barry?

October 22, 2009

Team Obama told us the $787,000,000,000 stimulus package had to be passed NOW!! to save and/or create jobs. And it did: 1800 in North Dakota, alone. And I do mean “alone.”

Go here to see what happened in the other 49 states and DC.

Hope! Change! That’s the way to spread happiness! Sing it, kids!

(hat tip: Allahpundit)


Rush Limbaugh on Sarah Palin and the economy

July 24, 2009

Should I be worried? I used to think Limbaugh was a big, fat idiot. But that was without ever really listening to him. Now, when I do, I don’t always agree, but I do think he has plenty of good points. Tito’s queued the video – you tell me:


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