stimulus

Quick Speculative Thoughts About Future Trends

In reading the daily commentary of the American Institute for Economic Research for April 29, 2009, my speculative little crystal ball began to light up.  AIER is the only serious business cycle analyst group that points out reality, and reality is that contraction is everywhere in the stats, in spite of the recent “good news” in the stock market.  (Desperate exuberance, anyone?)

So let’s think it over.

Ron Paul Discusses Stimulus Bill on Bloomberg TV

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Quotes from Andrew Malcolm’s take on this video:

Here’s how silly Ron Paul is: He set a budget for his campaign and lived within it. Flew commercial.In fact, he ended with no deficit, which is how he thinks the federal government should operate. In point of fact, Paul ended his campaign with a surplus. Can you imagine anything so silly in this day and age?

Paul warned all during his campaign about a looming economic disaster if government just kept growing and growing and printing more money like Republicans and Democrats wanted.

Mark Sanford Interview Regarding the Stimulus Bill

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While this interview focuses on South Carolina politics, Governor Sanford answers questions regarding Obama's "spendulous" bill.  Calling the stimulus package a temporary fix, he believes it will create more long-term problems.

Dr. Paul Speaks to Bill Maher about Spending Bill

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Dr. Paul discusses the spending bill and the credibility of the Republican Pary with Bill Maher, and argues that regulation and spending has created this crisis, not the free market.

Ron Paul Discusses Stimulus on CNN

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The U.S. and Russia Compete Again

Apparently, there’s not much difference between the way in which a democratic republic (the United States) and an oligarchy (Russia) handle “economic crisis”. According to an article in The Moscow Times:

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev accused the government on Friday of bailing out billionaires at taxpayers’ expense in a letter co-signed by four businessmen and economists.

Gorbachev has until now been supportive of the Kremlin, and by speaking out he has joined a small but growing chorus of influential Russians who say the government’s tight control of the economy and politics is making the slowdown worse.

“The Russian authorities have turned their back on structural reform and instead satisfied themselves with inventing a mythical model of an ‘energy superpower,’” said an open letter whose signatories included Gorbachev.

Failed $831 billion stimulus bill signed five years ago today

Believe it or not, folks, it’s been five years since President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the 2009 stimulus measure spent $831 billion on infrastructure, tax credits, and other policies that largely served as taxpayer-funded giveaways to core leftist constituencies

Passed in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the stimulus bill was based on the Keynesian notion that the government, through spending on “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects and other purported economic multipliers, could drive aggregate demand and create jobs.

Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, the economic advisors who developed the stimulus plan, argued that these policies would help bring the United States back from the brink of economic depression. In their January 2009 policy paper, the two economists claimed that the unemployment rate would not exceed 7.9% with the stimulus bill, while it would reach 8.8% without it. Because, you know, counterfactual.

They were wrong.

Even with the $831 billion stimulus bill, the unemployment rate rose from 7.8% in January 2009 to 10% in October of that same year, at which point Romer declared that the measure had already had its greatest impact. In fact, unemployment didn’t fall below 9% until October 2011.

The infamous Romer-Bernstein chart shows the unemployment rate falling to 5% in December 2013. In reality, the December 2013 unemployment rate was 6.7%, nearly 2 points higher.

Poll: Americans pessimistic about the economy

More than five years after the recession officially ended, there are some signs of life in the economy. There have been a couple months solid job growth and the stock market is surging. But the vast majority of Americans are still pessimistic about the economy as they head into 2014, according to a new CNN poll:

A new CNN/ORC poll released Friday showed people were pessimistic that the economy was improving. Nearly 70% said the economy is generally in poor shape, and only 32% rated it good.

Two-thirds of respondents said most of the economic news they’ve heard recently was bad news. More rural than urban dwellers said the economy was in poor shape.

And just over half expected the economy to remain in poor shape a year from now.
[…]
Those people aren’t buying big-ticket items like furniture or appliances, and some were cutting back on essentials. Thirty-six percent said they were cutting back spending on food or medicine, up from 31% in late 2008, the year the housing market collapsed.

It hard to blame people for feeling this way about the economy and for doubting that there will be any improvement in the next year. They’ve been told time after time by President Obama that the economy was improving. How many times were we told that the 2009 stimulus saved the economy or hear the phrase “summer of recovery”?

Rand Paul proposes “Economic Freedom Zones” for Detroit, other challenged cities

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) plans to introduce legislation that would empower impoverished cities to break the chains of big government tax and regulatory policies that have prevented economic opportunities.

In a speech in the heart of Detroit, arguably the most financially troubled city in the country, Paul detailed the principles behind the legislation — The Economic Freedom Zone Act — and explained that the resilience and optimism of its residents and economic freedom are a way to break the stagnation in which they currently find themselves.

“Detroit’s future…will not come from Washington. The magic of Motown is here in the city,” Paul said on Friday at the Detroit Economic Club. “It’s not in some central planner’s notebook. What Detroit needs to thrive is not Washington’s domineering hand — but freedom from big government’s mastery.”

“To thrive, Detroit needs less government and more freedom — less red-tape, less punitive taxes, more money left in Detroit,” he said. “The answer to poverty and unemployment is not another government stimulus, it’s simply leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it.”

“These ‘freedom zones’ will dramatically reduce taxes and red-tape so that Detroit businesses can grow and thrive,” he explained, noting that the idea is similar to one proposed by the late Rep. Jack Kemp (R-KY). “This bill will lower personal and corporate income taxes in Detroit to 5%. My bill will also lower the payroll tax — 2% for the employees, 2% for the employers.”

Study: Cash for Clunkers didn’t help the environment, cost $1.4 million per job

Cash for Clunkers

Remember “Cash for Clunkers”? This 2009 program allowed people to trade in older vehicles for a rebate of $3,500 or $4,500 so they could purchase a new, fuel-efficient car. The Obama Administration had hoped that it would stimulate the auto industry and, at the same time, help reduce emissions by taking gas guzzlers off the roads.


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