American Elephants

Barney Frank (D-MA) Solves the Next Financial Crisis! by The Elephant's Child

The “educated class” and those who aspire to being thought of as “educated” have gathered in Davos, Switzerland for an opportunity to see and be seen the World Economic Forum to, in one panel, debate where the next global crisis will come from.

Unsurprisingly, they were all over the map, but in general they think that long-term government debt is a problem.   A few hours after this meeting, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama would call for a three-year government spending freeze, applying to a teeny-weeny sector of government spending approximately 16% of the federal budget.  Nine percent of the public thought that would be effective.

Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who attended the Davos session as one of the selected “challengers” for the three presenters, called for large cuts in defense spending as well as tax increases — particularly on wealthy Davos types. Frank vowed:

I think almost every American here pays much less in taxes than you ought to.  I’m going to go back and try to raise the taxes of most of the people who attended here.

That’s just what we need, Barney.  Raise everybody’s taxes.  The real problem is s-p-e-n-d-i-n-g!  You are not just spending too much, but most of what you are spending is pure waste.  Rebuilding bridges that nobody uses, money for airports that have no flights, money for imaginary (and temporary) “green” jobs, guaranteeing loans for “clean energy” that will never be cost-effective.  Creating new bureaus, new administrations, new offices, and funding those who supported your campaigns.

Just stop! Please, please, just stop!

4 Comments so far
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Barney might have done us a favor. He is government in your life full time, all the time and with your money to boot. Now the intelligentsia get told, to their faces, that he’s not going after middle class money anymore, he wants their money and he wants it for his own shopping list.


Comment by zeusiswatching

But they keep sending him back to Congress, over and over! Isn’t it interesting that Democrats only consider how they can get more money. They never even consider cutting back on their spending. A 16% spending freeze, indeed! Big whooping deal!


Comment by The Elephant's Child

but most of what you are spending is pure waste.

OK, let’s take a look at this statement. “Most” means greater than 50%, perhaps more like 60-80%. What do you include under “what you are spending?” All government spending of 2009, just the stimulus bill, stimulus + TARP, or what?

Your claim is at the moment unverifiable because it is not quantitative or specific. It is not enough to provide examples of programs that meet your criteria for waste– instead, what is needed is a complete enough survey of waste [or a citation to one], with dollar amounts attached to each type of waste, that we can evaluate whether your specific claim (that most spent money is waste) is true.

Vague, unverifiable, but sweeping critiques are everywhere in politics, left and right, and I would urge you to decide for yourself whether such unverified generalizations help us or hurt us in our attempt to understand our country’s problems.


Comment by mk

TARP money was specifically designated to help banks cope with “toxic assets,” those bundles of sub-prime mortgages. The administration instead used a big chunk of it to bail out the car companies, and for the silly “cash for clunkers” scheme. Bankruptcy courts were specifically designed to deal with entities like the car companies. The administration protected their union supporters to the detriment of American taxpayers. A bankruptcy court would not have done so.

I have read a number of lists of where stimulus money was spent. It largely went to favored constituents of members of Congress. Most of the stimulus money has not been spent. but is designated to be spent in time to influence the next election, politics trumps economics.

The administration is operating on the old Keynesian theory that all that is necessary to stimulate the economy is to get lots of money into the economy to start circulating and it will have a big “multiplier effect.” It just doesn’t work — never has. What gets an economy going again is improving opportunity for private business–tax cuts, faster write-off of capital investment — that sort of thing.

Jobs are created by private business, especially small business, when they see an opportunity to make a profit. Right now, all private business sees is uncertainty — higher taxes, more fees, uncertain health care, more mandates, more regulation. They are hunkered down, waiting to see what they can plan on. Government jobs (and the administration is creating lots of them) simply take money out of taxpayer pockets. They are a drain on the economy, and grow nothing but government power and control–what the left wants.

So many lists of specific Stimulus spending have been published, that I’m surprised you haven’t read any. My criticism is that “stimuluses” don’t work, and the vast billions are a waste, rather than nit-picking each expenditure. Do some research yourself, there are plenty of lists out there if you want to see how it was spent.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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