Archive for Political


Can anyone please explain to me, what the hell is John Boener doing on my TV and in my newspapers talking about the stimulus plan?  For 8 years, we liberal types were told that “elections had consequences” and that we should STFU and clap louder.  Fine, now that republicans have been repudiated in a full election cycle, suffering major losses in both 2006 and 2008 after running on the same policies that they now advocate will save us from the mess that their policies got us into, will they please STFU?

I have no problems listening to republicans.  Hell, if I want moral advice, who better to turn to than a bunch of public bathroom sex soliciting, diaper wearing, drug using pedophiles?  At the very least, it’s good for a laugh.  But policy?  Why the hell would I listen to them about policy?  “OMG, John McCain has said he opposes the stimulus plan.”  Really?!  Why do I care?  He ran on a platform oppossing the types of stimulus being proposed.  It would have been shocking if he didn’t oppose it – the mother of all flip-flops if you will.

At the end of the day, Obama won the election in large part by proposing to do exactly what he’s doing.  Provide a massive stimulus plan to get the economy out of the mess that it’s in.  Voters expected that the plan would be based in a reality (which means that the magical tax cutting fairy isn’t going to somehow increase government revenues).  So what do we have?  We’ve got a plan that emphasizes infrastructure building, money for states and extended unemployment benefits.  Hrm, I wonder how that stacks up against tax cuts as a way of stimulating the economy?

Well, as it so happens, we have a way of measuring these things.  Mark Zandi at Moody’s recently evaluated a number of different stimulus measures and determined their effectiveness in stimulating the economy per dollar spent.  The EPI put this into a wonderful graph:

What we see here is that the tax cuts most favored by republicans are also the least effective.  There are some forms of tax cuts that provide moderate stimulus (i.e., greater than $1 of stimulus for each $1 spent), but that the best ways to stimulate the economy are food stamps, unemployment benefits, infrastructure spending and aid to states.  Not surprisingly, these are the forms of stimulus that are most likely to be spent.  If you gave me $500 in tax cuts, I’ll save it; net stimulus: $0.  If you ensure that a family can eat by providing an additional $500 in food stamp aid, I guarantee that it will be spent at a grocery store and provide more economic stimulus than the original $500 expenditure.

All of which is a long winded way of telling the republicans to please shut up and let sane people clean up the mess they’ve made of the country.

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Happy inauguration day!

It’s noon – congratulations to President Obama!!

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told ya so

A couple of weeks ago at a Geek Beer, we were discussing Roland Burris and the likelihood of him being seated by the senate.  My take was that of course he would be seated.  No one has ever paid a price for going against Harry Reid.

Told ya so.

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