American Elephants

Startling Revelations About the Stimulus, From Obama’s Economist by The Elephant's Child

A lengthy piece in The New Yorker by Ryan Lizza uncovered a 57-page “Sensitive and Confidential” memo by  economist Lawrence Summers written in December 2008.  Summers was soon to be appointed head of the incoming president’s National Council of Economic Advisers. The memo provided a blueprint for the new administration’s policies.  James Pethokoukis listed eleven points that explain the economic stimulus package that the Democrat-controlled Congress passed at Obama’s request.

All that hoopla about “inheriting the worst economy since the Great Depression,” rising unemployment being a number one concern, fixing a damaged economy — all pure road apples. Hogwash. Most, if not all, we were told about the stimulus was a flat-out lie.

The stimulus was about implementing the Obama agenda and making sure that federal dollars flowed to pet projects, especially in the clean energy sector. The administration knew the deficits they were piling up were dangerous, and that the spending was not realistic, but they had no plan to deal with that danger.

They knew that the price tag for this political boondoggle was higher than they said it was. They thought they needed a stimulus larger than $1 trillion but were afraid it would spook financial markets and send interest rates soaring.

Questionable government force was a tactic from the first— they wanted to use the courts to force massive mortgage principal write-downs, and the Independent Pay Advisory Board (IPAB) to bring down health care costs was there right at the beginning.

President Barack Obama has had an agenda that has nothing to do with “the worst economy since the Great Depression” or the plight of unemployed Americans, or lowering the national debt, and nothing whatsoever to do with bringing Americans together or improving the political discord in the nation’s capitol.

The plans to raise revenue didn’t raise as much as the campaign assumed.  The proposals of the campaign cost way more than the campaign assumed.  Repealing the tax cuts would raise about $40 billion less than assumed, and the health savings were way lower.  They couldn’t even figure out ways to spend the money quickly enough. Even Washington can only spend so much money so fast.

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