Gotta love the cognitive dissonance:
Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, who will replace Austan Goolsbee as the White House’s chief economic advisor, “is likely to provide a voice inside the administration for more-aggressive government action to bring down unemployment and, particularly, to address long-term joblessness,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The LA Times runs a surprisingly insightful article today on a good way to start cutting government waste:
What makes these healthcare programs so vulnerable to fake billings and at such a scale? It’s not so much the healthcare policy itself, nor the program design; the vulnerability stems from the payment mechanism the government has chosen to use. Most Medicare and Medicaid funds are paid out electronically and automatically, in response to electronic claims received from a vast spectrum of providers. Most claims are adjudicated by computers using rule-based systems, with no human intervention at all.
If you ever needed a reason to stop paying attention to Paul Krugman, here it is:
If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren’t any aliens, we’d be better –
With certain folks issuing loud calls for yet another stimulus, it’s worth it to take a good long hard look at the last one, and Veronique de Rugy does just that:
Myth 1:Stimulus spending can jump start the economy and fix unemployment.
Fact 1:Recent experience suggests stimulus spending won’t help.
As you can see, the administration’s promise that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) would keep unemployment rates from reaching 8.8 percent and would create some 3 million jobs—90 percent of them in the private sector—did not materialize.
The unemployment rate started at 7.6 percent when President Obama took office and peaked at 10.2 percent in October 2009. Since the enactment of the stimulus bill in February 2009, the unemployment rate has not approached pre-ARRA levels, even though $382 billion has been made available by government departments and agencies (on top of tax credits and other tax-related items). In fact, unemployment recently edged up, from 9 percent in April to 9.1 percent in May.
Myth 2:Additional infrastructure spending is an effective way to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Fact 2:In theory, infrastructure spending injects more money into the economy than other types of government spending. In reality, however, politicians rarely include infrastructure spending in stimulus bills. Instead, they spend money on items like transfers and tax cuts. Only 3 percent of the last stimulus went to infrastructure.
But experience tells us that the next stimulus won’t be any better. As the chart above shows, only 3 percent of the last stimulus went to infrastructure spending. Why? Because such programs are not political winners. For one thing, they take too long to produce results. Therefore they always take a back seat to politically-popular tax credits and transfers to the states.
Myth 3:Tax rebates will stimulate the economy.
Fact 3:The evidence says they don’t. First, people usually save the extra money. Second, even if tax rebates did increase consumption, companies don’t hire employees or build new plants because of a one-time boost.
The theory that tax rebates and payroll tax cuts will result in an increase in consumption suffers from several serious problems. First, it assumes people don’t realize that the extra cash flow is temporary and that businesses don’t realize that the new consumption won’t last. Tax rebates, for example, assume that if people get extra money to increase their consumption, businesses will then expand production and hire more workers. But this is not true. Even if producers notice an upward blip in sales after the rebate checks go out, they will know it’s temporary. Companies won’t hire more employees or build new factories in response to a temporary increase in sales. Those who are foolish enough to do so will go out of business.
These are just excerpts, the charts and more data are available at the link above.
Jimmy at Sundries Shack has done the unthinkable–well, unthinkable to Obamacrats, at least–he’s applied math to some of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s pronouncements:
Let me say that again. This administration has spent over one and one-quarter million dollars per job created in the past 2 1/2 years. And they proud of that? They want to hang their hat on that?
Read the whole thing for the actual math… the bottom line, however, is quite devastating enough.
That’s what the AP found:
Thousands of companies that cashed in on President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package owed the government millions in unpaid taxes, congressional investigators have found.
The Government Accountability Office, in a report being released Tuesday, said at least 3,700 government contractors and nonprofit organizations that received more than $24 billion from the stimulus effort owed $757 million in back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2009, the end of the budget year.
Your tax dollars at work!
Real Clear Politics has the video, along with this quick quote:
A reporter asked Carney why unemployment is at 9% and not 7%, the percentage projected if the stimulus worked. Carney dismissed the question. “We’ve said repeatedly that we don’t want to relitigate the battles of the past,” Carney told the reporter.
Of course they don’t wanna talk about the past… the past is when they stated their goals, and so bringing them up now would just show that no, the goals haven’t been met.
Maybe Carney meant that the goals were to re-elect more Democrats. Oh, wait… that didn’t work either, did it?
However you slice it, Carney’s statement is pure bull.