'The case for doing nothing'

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It's not that the honeymoon is over.

It's that the bride and groom never did agree.

Barack Obama and some in the media have put the arm on Republicans to go along with the massive "stimulus" bill that worked its way through the House on Wednesday.

We give the president great credit for his bipartisan gestures. That will go a long way toward bringing civility and statesmanship back to Washington.

But statesmen can disagree. And this stimulus bill is a hearty buffet of items to disagree with.

What's in it is one of those things to disagree with. Demo-crats have removed funding in the economic stimulus bill for contraception and other birth control services. Clearly, that had nothing to do with stimulating the economy, and everything with nurturing the Democratic base.

But now it comes out that the bill includes $335 million for education programs on sexually transmitted diseases.

What other silliness is in there that we don't know about?

This is one reason why conservatives are opposed to the bill.

Another bigger, and better, reason is that government spending is an exceedingly poor economic stimulus -- and many believe it's a drag on the economy.

In a devil's advocate article on Politico.com headlined "The case for doing nothing," the authors say, "In fact, government stimulus plans have a long history of failure." Some economists, Politico says, argue that "the government should simply allow the economic chips to fall where they may. Dramatic belt-tightening across the board is the only way, they say, to stop the endless cycle of borrowing."

Indeed, Here's what Andrew Schiff, an investment consultant at Euro Pacific Capital, told Politico: "The economy was too big. It was all phantom wealth borrowed from abroad. All this stimulus money is geared toward getting consumers spending and borrowing again. But spending and borrowing were the problem in the first place.

"Our standard of living needs to come down to the point where it can be supported by organic output. It's brutal, but it's called capitalism, and it works. The alternative is called socialism, and it doesn't work."

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, planned to run full-page ads in The New York Times and Washington Post today with the names of 250 economists who oppose the stimulus bill.

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at Cato, reminded Politico that the stimulus bill also will leave a gargantuan debt to our children and grandchildren.

"Is this morally proper?" asks Edwards, answering his own question: Policymakers are basically saying the heck with future generations.

What this stimulus bill is about, really, is political expedience. Washington elected officials want to be seen as doing something. More importantly, they want their fingerprints all over that something, so they can take credit for whatever projects are in the package.

If this were truly about stimulating the economy, Washington would pass a moratorium on collection of federal taxes, for six months or so. That would get money into Americans' pockets immediately.

The president says not to let politics get in the way. He probably means "partisanship." And on that, we'd agree.

But politics is another matter entirely. Politics is about what people believe. And many of us don't believe that government spending is the cure to what ails us; actually, we think it's another symptom.

Reaching out to the other party is one thing. Expecting someone to abandon his principles is another.

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GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 01/29/09 - 04:33 am
0
0
While it has nothing to do

While it has nothing to do with economic stimulus, STD education is nothing to sneer at, and no matter where the funding comes from, it's necessary.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 01/29/09 - 04:41 am
0
0
Putting a six month

Putting a six month moratorium on the collection of federal taxes would do nothing for the millions of Americans who have LOST THEIR JOBS. This country will sink deeper into debt and economic DEPRESSION if nothing is done. That is the overwhelming consensus among economists. Three reputable economists were asked by ABC News to study this bill's likely impact on the economy. They give certain major parts (including the extension of unemployment benefits and foods stamps) of the proposed stimulus package an A. That money will be spent immediately. The economists agreed that certain less-funded, minor parts of the bill (including building programs for colleges and universities) would likely do little to stimulate the economy in the short term. Overall two of the economists gave the bill a B+ and the third economist gave the Democrat's proposed stimulus package an overall grade of B. This bill will pass with or without the support of the GOP. Republicans had best consider the political damage they risk by not backing this bill and playing the roles of naysayers and spoilers. Doing nothing is not an option economically or politically. 2010 elections are next year.

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
Points
_SisterAbdullahX_ 01/29/09 - 04:52 am
0
0
"Putting a six month

"Putting a six month moratorium on the collection of federal taxes would do nothing for the millions of Americans who have LOST THEIR JOBS." .....except strengthen the economy so they could get their jobs back! I guess we should just throw money at them instead. And Cain. Why does Israel not have the right to exist, but you have the right to exist on stolen land. Have some courage and answer the question for once.

Riverman1
93854
Points
Riverman1 01/29/09 - 04:56 am
0
0
This money will be

This money will be transferred to those who don't have money via various make work projects. The billions will come from taxpayers for many years to largely benefit nontaxpayers. As we approach the critical point of nonearners outnumbering taxpayers, everything will be geared toward income redistribution as this plan is in reality.

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
Points
_SisterAbdullahX_ 01/29/09 - 05:04 am
0
0
Why can't Cain say what he

Why can't Cain say what he really means? Not "Putting a six month moratorium on the collection of federal taxes would do nothing for the millions of Americans who have LOST THEIR JOBS." but what he means is "Putting a six month moratorium on the collection of federal taxes would do nothing to REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH from people who pay taxes to those who don't."

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 01/29/09 - 05:10 am
0
0
GAC, it must be blissful to

GAC, it must be blissful to be a Democrat. Even when proven wrong, you find it easy to justify what Pelozi says. This entire stimulus package is a farce. I hope no one will ever again vote for any representative who gives this bill their approval. I was against the first so called stimulus or bail out sponsored by President Bush and look where it got us. This one is even worse. What we really need in Washington is 2 things. First we need lots of fans, big industrial ones with hi powered motors. It will take a lot to get rid of all the stench of this congress. 2ndly we need some of those really bright lights on stands like you see at construction sites. We need lots of em everywhere in DC. Rats will generally scurry away & hide in the bright lite of day. Is it too early to start impeachment proceedings?

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
Points
_SisterAbdullahX_ 01/29/09 - 05:12 am
0
0
In the House of Reps, there

In the House of Reps, there was bi-partisan support to defeat it, yet every single person who voted to steal our money to redistribute it was a Democrat.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 01/29/09 - 06:57 am
0
0
Obama has stated this plan is

Obama has stated this plan is negotiable and he is open to chnage. He is showing leadership and living up to promises of bipartisanship, which has been lacking the past 8 years. The house Republicans understand a new and revised bill will come out in the Senate, and then many will vote for it. It's all a political game where the conservative Republicans can prove to Rush that they are really conservative, annd this President can continue to lead the country throguh the worst economy we have seen since the Depression.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/29/09 - 07:16 am
0
0
Yes, shivas, we agree. This

Yes, shivas, we agree. This president will lead us through a terrible economy. The next president will lead us out.

1941
4
Points
1941 01/29/09 - 07:39 am
0
0
I don;t understand what is

I don;t understand what is the problem with wanting to spend money, to get this country out of the hole.George Bush spent as much or more to get us in this mess. And stop worring about our grandchildren having to pay it back, so what we payed back what our parents spent, and that is the way it works.Why not let our grandchildren work to keep up the country that is already there for them.Would you rather we did nothing?Or better yet tell me what you would do if you were sitting where the president is sitting?

justus4
113
Points
justus4 01/29/09 - 07:46 am
0
0
Not a single Republican in
Unpublished

Not a single Republican in the House voted for the package. This will come back to bite them in the mid-term elections and they misjudged this one. It's nothing like hearing the thump of motars rounds for one to appreciate the value of "cover." The Republicans are praying for failure, then us it to get re-elected in 2010. They are playing politics with people's lives and will try to use their "no vote" as cover. Their problem is; It's going to work.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 01/29/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
Doing nothing is what

Doing nothing is what Congress does best, yet when Paulson was waving his arms and freaking out most "republicans" voted for burning billions on Wall Street and fraudulent investment bankers. Politicians are necessary. They give boil suckers somebody to look down on.

pah4r
0
Points
pah4r 01/29/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
When will the blind sheep

When will the blind sheep come to understand you don't spend money you don't have , and you don't steal from those that have earned to give to those that are do nothings. If we continue with this craziness of our leaders,and yes that includes this new president(use of the word president is used very loosely) we will have a nation of non-productive citizens who will be sitting back waiting for the next "GIMME BILL" sinking us even further into decay and eventual ruination. Thank you DC for continuing to show us how to destroy a nation from within.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/29/09 - 08:10 am
0
0
Actually the Rep will be seen

Actually the Rep will be seen like Obama was against the War in Iraq-a hero. This money will be spent and lord knows we do need to fix our infrastructure but that should have been done long ago. All the pork is a travesty and reveals the inefficiency and corruption factor.

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
"Would you rather we did

"Would you rather we did nothing?" Yes. That's the short answer. Look, Caterpillar is laying people off. Why? Because Cat makes heavy equipment for construction, and people aren't building as much, so Cat can't sell as many dozers. Since they are not making as many dozers, they don't need as many employees. What happens if you give Cat $3Billion? They STILL don't have customers buying as many dozers as 2 yrs ago, so does it make sense to hire back 5,000 workers to build items that they can't sell? No. What to do, then? Well, in addition to giving $3Bn to Cat, I guess we'd better give a few $Bn to some homebuilders. That way, they'll build more homes, buy more dozers, and Cat will see business go up. Except that home builders have the same workers, raw materials, etc. available to them now that they did 2 yrs ago. They're not BUILDING as many homes, because people are not BUYING as many homes. In other words, gov't's attempt to pick winners and losers DOES not work, because it CANNOT work. Only in a stable environment in which investors can believe that they are predicting how a company will do, will market recovery take place.

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
Fed chairs and Treasury

Fed chairs and Treasury secretaries come out now and make a new statement every day. "We're only going to bail out solid banks." "We're bailing out OneBank because they are not solid and will go under if we don't." "We will do whatever it takes to preserve stability in the financial sector." "Lehman is toast." "Citi is too big to fail" "AIG is too big to fail" "BofA is too big to fail" "GM is too big to fail" "Citi, AIG, BofA and GM are all trending down, in spite of the $Billions we've poured into them." There is no stability, no consistency in what a politician will do, so investors cannot accurately assess which companies are a good bargain and which are not. In contrast, if the govt stays out, then investors can look at balance sheets and determine the risk involved in an investment, and the appropriate return that will entice them in, in spite of risk. As far as bankruptcy, every airline has been there, I think, as has Kmart. The buildings, airplanes and demand for goods and services do not go away in bankruptcy; they either get reorganized by the company or bought by competitors.

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 01/29/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
It's a healthy thing--it's

It's a healthy thing--it's the market's way of telling you that you've been doing the wrong thing. What is the "market" telling you if Big Brother steps in and says, "You've done the wrong thing. Here's $85Bn, and we're guaranteeing $300Bn of your toxic assets. Now, go forth and do not do the wrong thing anymore." Stupid, stupid, stupid...

getalife
4
Points
getalife 01/29/09 - 08:29 am
0
0
Many of the jobs created by

Many of the jobs created by Obama's stimulus package are temporary and primarily "male" jobs. What will these people do when the projects are completed. Most of the people losing jobs are banking, sales, manufacturing, etc. type jobs, these are not construction workers. Most of the problems we have now have been going on for years, moving all of the manufacturing jobs to China and other countries. We need long-term employment for people. The stimulus package is like using a band-aid on a broken leg.

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 01/29/09 - 08:38 am
0
0
This is all part of the

This is all part of the business cycle and you can't stop it. You can't stop sowing and reaping no more than you can stop weather change. If every businessman and government offical had been totally honest could it have gotten this bad? For individual protection and best move is to have been out of debt and be a cheerful giver. The Bible says there is a time and season for all things. If you don't understand sowing and reaping and cycles you will spend your life in worry and fear. God would show Obama the way to ease the pain if Obama asked but a man who thinks killing babies is okay isn't listening too much anyway.

bdittle
78
Points
bdittle 01/29/09 - 08:40 am
0
0
The GOP is in a position

The GOP is in a position where they can complain and vote in partisan ways with no consequence. Since the bill will get passed without their vote, they can stand on the sidelines and wait for something to go wrong and complain about it. Way to step up for the country.

john
1212
Points
john 01/29/09 - 08:55 am
0
0
so voting for bs is stepping

so voting for bs is stepping up? this bill will not do anything, but at least its something? I just went down the hall and left a stimulus in the bowl. at least I could flush that one. Mr Pres overtures of bipartisanship are just overtures. there is no substance to them. just giving everyone the impression he cares. at least with comrads pelosi and reid, there is no subterfuge. they are super left wing and they dont care about anything but their agenda. but they are stepping up bdittle. Ill thank them when we are all standing in the bread line.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 01/29/09 - 08:57 am
0
0
Johnsmith forgets to factor

Johnsmith forgets to factor in the greed and theft when he infers this is just a capitalist adjustment. He also forgets to facotr in the billions that have been spent in a useless Iraqi War, and completely ignoring the terrorists as they build their base in Afghanistan. If it was only a market adjustment we would all feel much better.

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 01/29/09 - 09:00 am
0
0
If you think the number of

If you think the number of Republicans in Congress is low right now, then wait until the next elections. That number will decrease even more. Check out the Mike Luckovich carton in today's AJC. The GOP is quickly becoming the party of the talk show hosts, the 700 Club, and the Big Rich Folks. And remember those BRF's only account for 1% of the population, not really a lot of votes!

Signal Always
3
Points
Signal Always 01/29/09 - 09:21 am
0
0
I'm amazed at how many of you

I'm amazed at how many of you idiots embrace Socialism...when there's sufficient history that shows it does not work.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/29/09 - 09:32 am
0
0
The GOP is a lame duck and

The GOP is a lame duck and basically has no say or influence. We can blame the Dems for all the failures from now on with complete impunity. What happened to the Dems curiosity and demands of where the previous money went? (why aren't they doggin this like they did Bush with 43 investigations-guess we see where their priorties are). Now why would anyone throw money (into a bottomless abyss with no return) right behind that. Oh yeah transparency and we will keep up with it this time just like they promised of the last bail out. What a bunch of liars. The new regime is just as corrupt as the last. This money will not stimulate the economy just prop it up for a while. Bigger Fed govt isn't the solution.

bdittle
78
Points
bdittle 01/29/09 - 09:35 am
0
0
John, you know as well as I

John, you know as well as I do that the GOP is banking on something not working out so they can win a couple of seats in the next election. That is why they are grandstanding with their tax cuts mantra. This stimulus has tax cuts. The GOP has then next election at heart. That's politics, I guess.

Vertical2
0
Points
Vertical2 01/29/09 - 09:36 am
0
0
The only "stimulus" that I

The only "stimulus" that I can support is providing money back to all Americans to save or spend as they deem fit. I'd prefer to see the systems/businesses crash/fail, then we can begin new businesses with sound business practices and when the Government tries to force these new businesses to engage in bad business practices for the benefit of those with poor credit, we can point back and say NO.

Riverman1
93854
Points
Riverman1 01/29/09 - 09:50 am
0
0
What the Obamaites miss is

What the Obamaites miss is the fact that tax cuts would provide IMMEDIATE stimulus while this give away of taxpayers money is going to take a good while if it ever works. The die is cast. The Republicans will triumph when this porky pig bailout ends up fried.

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 01/29/09 - 09:50 am
0
0
It is appalling to see the

It is appalling to see the GOP play political games with our lives and our future. This is what they have been doing for the previous six years. I guess their losses on November 4, 2008 didn't teach them anything, except to betray America at any cost.

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 01/29/09 - 09:56 am
0
0
And here's a doozy from 16

And here's a doozy from 16 years ago that the NYT pulled up: Clinton passed a deficit-reduction bill without a single Republican vote in the House. And that bill gave us a surplus until March 20, 2003.

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