The spin cycle is being turned up to warp speed on the crushing failure of the Obama economic "stimulus" package. As in the very first sentence of this self-fulfilling prophecy from The Capital Times:
There has been, and will continue to be, much spin and posturing with regard to the tepid "stimulus" package that President Barack Obama signed Tuesday. The torturous dumbing-down process began the minute the bill left the desk of House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey -- the true progressive populist hero of the current fight.
Get it? It was a great package when it left Dave Obey's desk -- "the true populist hero." But then three Republicans voted for it in the Senate and now all that is left is $787 billion worth of marshmallows. (Of course, Dave Obey is an old college pal of CT editor emeritus Dave Zweifel. So don't expect any journalism there.)
This spin cycling is necessary because, as Forbes explains:
The results are clear. The market hates Obama's stimulus package and just about everything related to Obamanomics. Or shall we call it Obeynomics? … Stocks are down 27% since the Nov. 4th election. Stocks have plummeted more than 40% since Obama sewed up the Democratic nomination in June.
Capital is on strike. And why wouldn't it be? Private capital has no idea what the future holds in terms of taxes, regulation, trade, deficits and the value of the dollar. None whatsoever.
Capital has figured out one thing, however. The politicians in Washington most hostile to private investment are running the show. Example: David Obey chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
This is America voting with its money. Not the money that is expropriated from them but their discretionary funds, or what is left. These are big investors and small, heading for the hills. Retirees and retirement funds as well as venture capitalists. Burying their money in Mason jars under the porch. Hunkering down, lying low.
The very best thing our new President could do is say, "All in, all done. No more."
Any time the old snarler, Dave Obey, is your hero you know you've got serious message problems.
It's Tea Time
Let's hear it for CNBC's Rick Santelli, who so got under the new Administration's skin that press secretary Robert Gibbs made the classic mistake of drawing attention to the economics reporter's excoriation of the Democratic Special-Interest and Wealth-Transfer Initiative.
The stimulus indeed does "spur bad behavior." Santelli is talking up a Chicago Tea Party in July. Hmm, methinks Lake Monona could use a strong dose of Lipton's. Some Bigelow's for Mendota. Yes, regular citizens are dumping tea to protest Washington's panicked porculus. Michelle Malkin Investors Business Daily:
How else would you expect the stock market, where millions cast daily votes and which is still the best indicator of what the future holds, to act when:
- Newsweek, a prominent national newsweekly, blares from its cover "We Are All Socialists Now," without a hint of recognition that socialism in its various forms has been repudiated by history -- as communism's collapse in the USSR, Eastern Europe and China attest.
Even so, a $787 billion "stimulus," along with a $700 billion bank bailout, $75 billion to refinance bad mortgages, $50 billion for the automakers, and as much as $2 trillion in loans from the Fed and the Treasury are hardly confidence-builders for our free-enterprise system.
Last week the Associated Press reported that half-dozen Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package. None has actually rejected the available funds. But the governors of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho have all questioned whether the $787 billion bill will even help the economy.
Genius watchWho-da-thunk-it? Sunday's N.Y. Times Magazine does its Q & A feature with a bright, young, attractive woman. Did I mention? She's conservative! Here are some excerpts with the interview with Dambisa Moyo, described as a native of Zambia with advanced degrees in public policy and economics from Harvard and Oxford, who opposes sending foreign aid to Africa (or anywhere):
Moyo: Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid.
NY Times: What do you think has held back Africans?
Moyo: I believe it's largely aid. You get the corruption -- historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty -- and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people. … Sometimes, the most generous thing you can do is just say no.
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- Charlie Esser sends along this useful website to follow the porculus state by state.
- A strong editorial by the Wisconsin State Journal, which I have criticized in the past. Agree or disagree, the editorial is strongly reasoned.
- When I tried to be a radio talk show host a few years back, the corrosive Lee Rayburn asked, "Don't you quality for AARP?" Cover story on this month's issue of the magazine: Dustin Hoffman. He is 71. But a good lookin' 71.