Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stupid Economic Stimulus

Hey look, I'm no economist, but this stimulus package we're accelerating toward has every sign of being total crap. Mostly, it looks like we're going to cut everyone in the United States a $600 check and then hope that spending turns the economy around. Yeah right! Just the same way the last seven years of Bush's tax cuts really kept the economy moving!

I'll be just as happy as the next guy to have an unexpected $600 windfall, but I'd rather not do it by piling on an extra $100 billion to the U.S. debt load. I heard one economist indicate that right now we're looking at about a $2 trillion dollar economic downturn and that throwing a hundred billion dollars at it is like taking an eyedropper to fight a house fire. That seems like an extremely likely comparison to me. If I take my newly found $600 and buy a new PlayStation and maybe even a couple of games, how much good does that do the economy? If every American follows suit and buys a PlayStation, then we do quite a bit to help Sony, but some of us would prefer a nice Xbox 360 or a hard-to-find Nintendo Wii (even if we do have to spend $600 on eBay for it), not to mention all of us who just aren't gaming fans. The point is that the money will be spread out in a million different directions, not even counting those who sock it away in savings account, and the overall impact becomes quite small.

I know it's hard for politicians to be excited about voting against bills that give cash directly to their constituents. After all, it kinda makes you look like a surprise visit from the police during a teenage beer bash, but c'mon stand up to the disapproval and do what's right for us kids. Don't hand us free money and expect us to rebuild the economy with it, because damn it we've got drugs and booze to buy and maybe a little gas to get us to the shindig.

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