The Obama team has made much of the fact that the stimulus bill will not contain any earmarks. But the prohibitions are getting weirder by the minute, as Tim Carney points out at Culture 11: [quote follows]. By the standards of stimulus, these are, frankly, bizarre. The logic of Keynesian stimulus is that the government borrowing and spending are itself the medicine that will jolt the economy out of a contraction of aggregate demand, aka "animal spirits". He famously suggested that, in the absence of better projects, the government might profitably pay people to dig holes, and then fill them up again. The point is to get money moving quickly. This is one of the major issues with the Obama plan's emphasis on infrastructure: big construction projects simply take time.Gosh, that sounds confusing, as if nobody could possibly figure it out. And quite foolish. What could be the point of these pointless, meaningless, unconnected acts of stimulus? I guess we''ll never know and will have to wait and see with Megan. Who no doubt will be surprised to be disappointed.
Less than half the money dedicated to highways, school construction and other infrastructure projects in a massive economic stimulus package unveiled by House Democrats is likely to be spent within the next two years, according to congressional budget analysts, meaning most of the spending would come too late to lift the nation out of recession.
Wait--didn't Megan say something about a government web site the other day? Let's take a look. Hmmm. [strokes chin] I think I'll google "white house economic stimulus." Then click on "economy." And there you are--a summary and Obama's speech on his economic stimulus plan. The summary shows the stimulus is supposed to both provide jobs and modernize our neglected infrastructure. In other words, instead of filling potholes and emptying them again, Obama will invest in expanding internet access, decreasing our reliance on oil, and updating neglected federal buildings, including schools. It actually sounds quite sensible, instead of "bizarre," as Megan says.
Oh, these next eight years are going to be fun, as conservatives attempt to deny that the last eight years actually happened, restore their reputations, cling to their jobs, and constantly attack Obama's attempts to clean up the mess Bush left.