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Opening Arguments

Nickels and dimes

I got some grief when I said "doing nothing" is sometimes the best option. Turns out I'm not alone in that opinion:

The compromise economic stimulus plan agreed to by negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate is short on incentives to get consumers spending again and long on social goals that won't stimulate economic activity, according to a range of respected economists.

"I think (doing) nothing would have been better," said Ed Yardeni, an investment analyst who's usually an optimist, in an interview with McClatchy. He argued that the plan fails to provide the right incentives to spur spending.

"It's unfocused. That is my problem. It is a lot of money for a lot of nickel-and- dime programs. I would have rather had a lot of money for (promoting purchase of) housing and autos . . . . Most of this plan is really, I think, aimed at stabilizing the situation and helping people get through the recession, rather than getting us out of the recession. They are actually providing less short-term stimulus by cutting back, from what I understand, some of the tax credits."

I suspect the politicians in Washington, though, will get a lot more credit than they deserve. This recession will end, as all of them do, and the doofuses will say, "See how we helped?" and everyone will forget about all that


Bob G.
Fri, 02/13/2009 - 11:46am

You DO realize that when you say these politicians "will get a lot more CREDIT than they are due", it does invoke several meanings...
(Freudian slip?)

Isn't (bad) CREDIT the thing that caused a lot of this in the first place?

Just wanted to toss that out there.


(subliminally alert)

Fri, 02/13/2009 - 11:57am

Doing nothing in Iraq would have been a great option, for example. At least in this case, we might have a few bridges and roads and things to show for the effort instead of exactly nothing.

tim zank
Fri, 02/13/2009 - 1:28pm

Doug, a case can be made for literally ANY action in the PAST by government as "wasteful" or unnecessary by people who disagree politically for the reason of the action.

Pointing to perceived or real previous bad decisions as a rationale for creating new bad decisions perceived or real is a pretty flimsy excuse. Everybody in government service(democrats in particular) likes to "quantify" and "justify" spending gazillions of dollars by using such asinine analogies.

Michael B-P
Sun, 02/15/2009 - 1:32pm

By way of making a case for spending some of those "gazillions," I would like to justify a new "real previous bad decision" with the completely flimsy excuse of solving our nations's foreign-energy-source-dependence and domestic economic calamity: U.S. invasion of Saudi Arabia. Political disagreement and resistance to the idea, to be sure, will emerge from certain quarters of the Republican party (in particular, the beneficiaries of Exxon-Mobil largesse). However, by way of analogically asinine precedent, we can invoke the Spanish-American War and justify the mission as retaliation against Saudi-sanctioned hijacking of airliners flown into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

tim zank
Mon, 02/16/2009 - 5:33pm

Michael B-P...Your proposal makes just as much sense as an $8,000,000,000.000 high speed train from Disney World to Las Vegas.

Everyday, more and more "fun" and "stimulating" things fall out of those 672 pages.

Michael B-P
Tue, 02/17/2009 - 3:31pm

You're right. I would like to amend my proposal to include $8B for the high speed rail line and another $22B for a non-stop leg from Orlando to L.A., plus $33B for a line through from LA to New York by way of Chicago. I don't like commercial flying.
But back to our invasion of Saudi Arabia: would it have made any less sense than Iraq? I would have much preferred had GW offered to cut a deal and "buy out" Saddam, but I reckon it had got too personal by then.