Call it whatever you like, the massive spending spree being pushed forward by House Democrats won’t stimulate the economy, though it will certainly stimulate Democratic Party special interests. The Wall Street Journal does a fine job explaining.
House GOP leader John Boehner also did a good job slicing and dicing it yesterday on Meet the Press, but more needs to be done to communicate to the public just how absurd are the claims being made for the bill. The $50 million in Arts spendning is a great place to start, but the GOP House and Senate need to dust off the charts and post up the summaries of the worst aspects of the spending. The next couple of weeks should be spent defining for America why the bill isn’t a stimulus package but a giant pork payout to special interests amounting to a giant swing-and-a-miss on the economy. Coupled with the immediate onslaught of economy-slowing tactics from both within and outside the government, the recovery that will come from the ordinary turning of the business cycle is going to find its climb uphill long and hard. Not so elsewhere in the world which will be pursuing rapid restarts to growth, but certainly at home.
The decision by President Obama to allow his great opportunity to be hijacked by House Democrats is a strange one. He must be confident that the business cycle will right itself, because this approach won’t have much to offer it. If as many suspect the massive bill as “inflationary non-growth” all over it, it should be called the Jimmy Carter Memorial Bill, as well all seek to relive the late ’70s. Can the return of disco be far behind?