Re: “40 Year Wish List”
Another excerpt from that excellent WSJ article cited by Marc:
… by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren’t likely to help the economy immediately.
One of the many sound reasons against any government bailout … sorry, stimulus package – can someone please advise the difference between a gov’t bailout and gov’t stimulus? – is the Congressional variation of Newton’s First Law of Motion (“A body in motion will stay in motion …”): A legislative body in spending mode will stay in spending mode. Gee, we’re already spending on this, why don’t we spend on that? Limiting this bill to expenditures of genuine economic stimulus proved too predictably impossible for the House.
Digging a little deeper, the reason for Newton’s First Law of Congressional Spending is the necessity to purchase the voting cooperation of several hundred people. These people, while they definitely back everything the President wants to do and may or may not actually believe in the efficacy of this stimulus package (but what the heck, let’s give it a shot), above all, want to go back to their home district waving a fist full of federal goodies. And in this case, passage of $98 billion of economic stimulus required a staggering $720 billion of
pointless spending federal goodies to purchase a sufficient number of yea votes.
If members of Congress cannot see the intrinsic value of such legislation without expensive political inducement, it is far safer, far better not to start the spending in motion to begin with.