For weeks I’ve been interviewed nonstop in the media about President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan. Again and again, even conservative hosts said to me, “Well we have to something. What would you do?” My answer is that sometimes the best choice is to do nothing. The response from talk show hosts and experts was always the same, “Huh? Are you mad? Do nothing?”
Well sometimes no decision is better than a rush-to-judgment. Sometimes “do no harm” is more important (and more successful) than “do something at all costs.” Shouldn’t we have learned that lesson from our decision to invade Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein from using his Weapons of Mass Destruction (that never existed)? Why rush our decisions? Why rush multi-billion or multi-trillion dollar decisions that could make or break our entire American economy? Why not step back, breathe deep, listen to economists on both sides of the argument and slowly, deliberately make decisions after months of deliberations and debate. Didn’t we already rush a trillion dollar decision only a few months ago with the bailout? Did that work out well? The bailout can only be described as a disaster. Didn’t we hear the same arguments from politicians? That without the bailout the economy will crater? Well we rushed to judgment with the bailout because of the hysteria. The result- we’ve wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars, dramatically increased our deficit and national debt, damaged (if not destroyed) capitalism and free markets, and the result is…NOTHING.
The bailout money has been spent (or should I say wasted)…the economy is in free fall; the stock market has continued its decline; real estate values have continued to melt away; jobs are being lost by the hundreds of thousands per month; and the companies that we gave the money to, in many cases already need more money- much more. And what have these companies done with the money? Paid it out in million dollar bonuses to executives that oversaw the disaster in the first place. Bravo! Quite a job that Congress has done once again! This just proves the folly of allowing or empowering politicians to control our lives; confiscate our money; transfer money from one group to another (a surefire conflict of interest); or make decisions on our behalf.
This bailout travesty proves the accuracy of what my friends at the Congressional Effect Fund have found. They have studied the effects of Congress on our economy for almost 50 years now. They have found that whenever Congress is in session for the past half century, the stock market is up 1.7%. When Congress is in recess (NOT in session) the U.S. stock market is up 17.6%. Do you get it? Politicians do damage to our economy every time they open their mouths…every time they make a decision…every time they pass a bill. It turns out that doing NOTHING is in fact preferable to letting politicians provide a solution. If only politicians took a Hippocratic oath- ABOVE ALL ELSE, DO NO HARM. Based on historical data, this would mean doing absolutely nothing.
Well occasionally even I need a little positive reinforcement. I got it today from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office). The CBO is made up of economists, math whiz kids, and policy wonks that understand numbers. Unlike politicians, the CBO simply reports the facts- without lies, distortion, cherry-picking stats to support conclusions, hype, promotion or propaganda in order to sell something to the American people. The CBO just does the math and reports the facts. This must scare the heck out of politicians like Obama and his team of spend-a-holics.
The CBO reported today that my gut instincts were right all along. The CBO’s non-partisan numbers prove that President Obama’s economic stimulus package will do no good…and actually cause more harm than if we did absolutely nothing. The CBO reports that the stimulus bills now before the House and Senate might provide a small amount of short term economic uptick, and add a few jobs, but by 2011 the effects would be nil. Yet the damage is long-lasting- the CBO reports that this new trillion dollars in spending will dangerously increase debt to the point where it will lead to a LOWER GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the next decade than if the government did nothing. The CBO further reported that the real cost of this bill is hidden- because the interest or “service” on the debt will add hundreds of millions, if not billions, to the true cost. Further, in the long run, all this government borrowing and spending will cost the private sector billions of dollars in available capital- thereby killing jobs and damaging GDP.
This is exactly what I’ve been saying and arguing for weeks on FOX News and hundreds of national and local radio stations across the USA. Perhaps we should put a common-sense S.O.B. (son of a butcher), small businessman, and citizen politician in charge of the economy. It could not be worse than the fools (and tax cheats) currently in charge.
But even the straight-talking CBO left out an important part of the picture: INFLATION. The Fed has had the printing presses working overtime since Fall to print all the money to pay for all these bailouts and handouts. The result will be catastrophic double-digit inflation within two years. Once again government, just like under FDR, has found a way to make things worse and extend the economic crisis, and turn a deep recession into a full-scale depression. Perhaps even the CBO didn’t have the heart to pass along this much bad news all at once.
FDR’s toxic solution was more government intervention; more spending; more debt; more taxes; and more laws hurting the private sector while strengthening labor unions. Obama’s solution is exactly the same. With his trillion dollar stimulus plan (I call it The Obama Socialist Agenda”), Obama will hire hundreds of thousands of new federal employees- all members of government employee unions; hire at least 100,000 new teachers- all members of teachers unions; pass Card Check legislation making it easier for private sector employees to be intimidated and coerced into unionizing; and handout $200 billion dollars of stimulus funding to states- to keep millions of state and local government employee union members from being fired, downsized or having salaries and pensions reduced.
This is all economic suicide for America. It will turn a deep recession into a long depression- just as FDR did in the 1930’s. Do you know how we got out of the Great Depression? Only World War II ended a more than decade-long depression (1929-1940). By the way, for those who have forgotten history, unemployment rates were in the teens as late as the 1940’s- almost as high as when FDR took over for Hoover.
But the worst part of Obama’s socialist stimulus giveaway is being ignored by the biased-liberal national media. All of these government jobs being proposed by Obama will NEVER go away. The economic stimulus will only pay for them for 2 years. After that, the stimulus money is gone- but we still have a huge bill left over to pay for these bloated government employee salaries, pensions, and health care benefits for LIFE. As of now- before any new government jobs are created- USA Today recently reported that the federal government retirement system has an unfunded liability of $5.3 trillion- including $1.2 trillion for retiree health benefits. This is just the UNFUNDED portion. Does anyone understand the “Perfect Storm” of debt headed straight for taxpayers? Now Obama will hire hundreds of thousands of additional government employees- who will all require salaries for the next 25 years; then pensions and medical care for another 25 years.
The result? If not the kind of disaster we experienced during the Great Depression, we can certainly expect the kind of misery we experienced under President Jimmy Carter- sky-high interest rates, sky-high inflation, and dramatically higher taxes for our children and grandchildren. Welcome to Obamaville.
Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. His new book will be released by John Wiley & Sons this Spring entitled, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts.” The book is available for pre-sale at Amazon.com. Wayne also happens to be Barack Obama’s college classmate (Columbia University Class of ’83). For more of Wayne’s views, commentaries, or to watch his many media interviews, please visit his web site at: www.ROOTforAmerica.com
By Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate
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