Another $50 billion stimulus?
Why not? The first $800 billion worked so well.
History may or may not have much regard for President Obama's election-season gambit of proposing a new stimulus bill. But if history is to take note, it most likely will see the proposal as a monumental miscalculation -- and proof positive that Mr. Obama's ideological cement shoes will have been his undoing, if not ours.
Few have believed so religiously and relentlessly in the power of government since the Russian Revolution.
It's clear by now the massive $800 billion stimulus didn't work to stimulate much of anything other than the public bureaucracy that the private sector is struggling to support. Now Mr. Obama wants to spend even more on public projects -- which will disproportionately help the unions he so loves.
This president just cannot accept the proposition that it's the private sector that makes this country go, and which must be stimulated. The way you stimulate the private sector is through low taxes and a minimum of regulations. Then you step back and let the magic of self-interest and human interaction do the rest.
Sadly enough, Mr. Obama and his cohorts are rigidly opposed to such a private-sector approach; and they and their friends in Congress loathe the idea of giving up the power they've created for themselves to play kingmakers and redistribute American wealth as they see fit. They can't imagine a stimulus plan that doesn't allow them to pick winners and losers, and of course to let them take their cut of it all.
On CNBC's Squawk Box recently, panelists observed that Mr. Obama's approach hasn't worked -- noting that we'd have more jobs and he'd have higher poll ratings if it had. They wondered why Obama hasn't adjusted to the failure with a different approach. The answer they gave: because government-administered redistribution of wealth is the administration's top priority.
Peter Orszag, Obama's former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, wrote stunningly in a New York Times column recently that he believes the Bush tax cuts should be extended for two more years -- even those for the rich -- due to the tender economy.
That's a stark departure from everything Mr. Obama stands for.
But Orszag is right.
"No one wants to make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two, which is exactly what would happen if the cuts expire as planned," Orszag wrote.
"Higher taxes now would crimp consumer spending, further depressing the already inadequate demand for what firms are capable of producing at full tilt."
"President Obama's latest pronouncement is the very definition of insanity, which is to do the same thing over and over even when the result is always the same: failure," Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz said about "Son of Stimulus." "This knee-jerk reaction demonstrates not only a dearth of innovative thinking on the part of the administration; it demonstrates a blind adherence to a tax-and-spend dogma in the face of ample evidence that it does not work."
Indeed, the economy has shed 3.4 million jobs since the first stimulus was passed.
Obama's government-centric approach must be repudiated at the polls in November, or the republic itself will be at risk of a more catastrophic financial collapse than the one that changed our economy so fundamentally in 2008.
The president's belief that he and his advisers know best how to spend your money will either be rewarded or rejected in November.
For now, that power is yours.