Stimulate the economy, not government growth

February 1, 2009

Here’s another video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, featuring the Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell, on why the Obama-Reid-Pelosi stimulus plan won’t work. To paraphrase Dan, "If government-directed spending creates prosperity, North Korea should be the most prosperous country of all."

Another point alluded to in this video is that the history we were taught about Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression is flat-out wrong: Hoover was not a do-nothing laissez-faire president. Far from it, he was an advocate of government planning, higher taxes, and intervention in the economy. FDR essentially continued and expanded Hoover’s errors. For a corrected view of this period, you can do no better than to read Amity Shlaes’ excellent The Forgotten Man. Idea


Quote of the day

February 1, 2009

From Ed Whelan:

If President Obama were really serious about ending business as usual, he would immediately withdraw the nomination of someone who was cheating big-time on his taxes and who didn’t level with Obama about the problem at the outset. Of course, if he were really serious about ending business as usual, he would never have selected for a major Cabinet position a former senator of no discernible talent who, while he was a senator, enabled his wife to leverage his status to become a super-lobbyist and who on leaving the Senate cashed in his access to his former colleagues for millions of dollars a year.

It didn’t work in 1929, either

February 1, 2009

Excellent article by Representative Michelle Bachman (R-MN) on the futility and folly of Obama’s New-New Deal:

The stock market collapse of 1929 brought a crashing halt to the Roaring Twenties. But President Herbert Hoover’s response to the economic crisis ensured that it became a genuine catastrophe. Contrary to popular perception, Hoover did not respond to the downturn with inaction or indifference — rather, he pursued a series of misguided big-government adventures that lengthened and deepened our economic woes.

Hoover not only dramatically hiked income and import taxes, but he instituted big-government spending programs all but identical to those being debated today. Hoover’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation tried to ease economic pain by funneling tax money to state governments, local governments, banks and a variety of businesses. His Federal Home Loan Bank Act extended loans in an effort to increase low-income housing — beginning the ill-fated history of federal intervention in the housing market.

These measures proved a dismal failure, and things got only worse. In the 1932 campaign, Franklin Roosevelt actually attacked Hoover for his big-government policies, decrying Hoover’s presidency as "the greatest spending administration in peacetime in all of history."

Yet, once elected, Roosevelt not only maintained Hoover’s programs, he used them as a foundation for his titanic New Deal expenditures. He even expanded Hoover’s failed housing program and launched the now-infamous mortgage giant Fannie Mae. And even in the face of a staggering 25 percent unemployment, FDR held fast to the big-government philosophy — jobs programs, handouts, tax hikes — and, as a result, presided over a decade of economic misery.

Read the whole thing. She one to watch over the next few years.


Dear Leader watch

February 1, 2009

We are all Obama.


(hat tip: Jonah Goldberg)