Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The $1 trillion lesson

In an article to appear this Sunday in the NY Times Magazine, titled "The Education of President Obama," you'll be able to read that President Obama "realized too late that 'there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects' and perhaps should have 'let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts' in the stimulus."

U.S. taxpayers only had to fork out $1 trillion or so to educate Mr. Obama and the congressional Democrats on how an economy really works.

HT: Drudge


Benjamin Cole said...

Obama wasted $1 trillion? Ouch.

But then again, Iraqistan will set us back $3 trillion, according to a Congressional Budget Office report.

A few trillion here, and a few trillion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money....

Bill said...

That is some expensive on the job training for our neophyte in chief.

Benji: At least we have achieved tangible results from Iraq and Afghanistan. Specifically, two noxious terrorist supporting regimes were toppled, WMD propagation was ended, and thousands of terrorists have been killed. National security is one of the constitutionally mandated duties of the federal government. "Stimulus" definitely is not.

John said...


I am in agreement with you. The swamp of the Middle East has largely been drained and moderate governments are in control of the nations holding the vast oil deposits the global economy requires to grow. As Benj...and others...correctly point out the price has and continues to be steep..perhaps highest in the lives of our young men and women. We can argue the merits and de-merits of those policies but at the end of the day we all live with the consequences of our leaders' decisions. They are extremely difficult ones with seemingly endless ramifications into countless other issues. As citizens these things are not in our control. When the lives of our young men and women in uniform are put at risk, we should all hope and pray that divine guidance be granted those responsible for them.

Benjamin Cole said...

Heavens to Murgatroy!

A headline on the cover of the WSJ today is "Fef Chief to Apply Lessons of Japan."

The Japan Wing do-nothings are being driven back by the monetary bulls!

Oh, happy day.

Benjamin Cole said...

On Iraqistan:

Well...Afghanistan is a narco-state, and who is Taliban and who is not is hard to tell. I predict we leave and its goes back to being Afghanistan.

Iraq? We took down a ugly secular tinpot dictator, and replaced him with an Islamic state and a Sharia constitution, and possibly a democracy. We will leave next year (actually the Bushies negotiated the schedule), and I suspect it will go back to being Iraq.

$3 trillion?

If we killed 10,000 terrorists, that works out to $300 million per terrorist. That's called fighting terrorism using a federal agency.

Is $300 million per terrorist worth it? Is an Islamic state in Iraq (and budding pals with Iran) better? Is turning Afghanistan into narco-state an accomplishment?

Well, $3 trillion doesn't buy what it used my book the money was wasted, just as Obama's stimulus money was largely wasted.

Don;t let your politics fog your rose colored glasses. Utopia is hard to make by federal edict in the USA, or Iraqistan.

randy said...

$3 trillion could have done plenty to create alternatives to imported oil. Natural gas run cars, more cost effective nuclear, solar advances, take your pick. Our position with the islamist regimes would be much stronger (than all our war efforts) if we simply didn't need the oil so much.

Bill said...

On a related note:

"After wasted, failed stimulus packages 1, 2, 3, and more, federal deficits over the first two years of Obamanomics now total a record smashing $2.7 trillion. As the Wall Street Journal explained yesterday:

'That's more than the entire amount during the Reagan Administration when deficits were supposed to be ruinous. Now liberal economists tell us that deficits are the key to restoring prosperity. But all we have to show for spending nearly 25% of GDP for two years running is a growth rate of 1.7% and 9.6% unemployment.'

Indeed, under CBO projections, the national debt will have doubled by 2012 in just 4 years to $11.6 trillion, and quadrupled by 2020 to $20.3 trillion. As Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation has observed, Obama's budgets will run up more debt over eight years than all other Presidents in American history -- from George Washington to George Bush -- combined."

Bill said...

Wait there is still more:

"I have also argued in this column for almost two years now that Obama's Rip Van Winkle approach to economics, bringing back the policies of the 1970s while doggedly ignoring everything that has happened since 1980, was going to bring back the economic results of the 1970s. Now the Federal Reserve has confirmed that. The latest word is that it has decided that bringing back inflation is the key to restoring economic growth.

For those paying attention, the Obama Administration is serving as a history lesson, sort of a historical reenactment, of exactly what went wrong in the 1970s, and the 1930s. As the Keynesian stimuli of the 1970s regularly failed, the Fed felt it had to gun the money supply further to pick up the slack. Then when inflation arose, it quickly reversed course to fight that, throwing the economy back into recession. To get out of that, the Fed felt compelled to return to reflation.

This is exactly what is going to happen now. The Fed will regenerate inflation, creating new asset and commodity bubbles in the process. When it turns to fighting the inflation, as it has long assured us it will, those bubbles will again burst, restoring recession. That is how America fell into a continuing cycle of ever worsening recession and inflation in the 1970s, which almost irredeemably trashed our economy then, almost losing the Cold War in the process."

I am starting to get that 70s feeling. I wonder if disco and bellbottoms will come back too...

W.E. Heasley said...

Barack Millhouse O’Carternomics = expansionless recovery with high persistent unemployment.

Very nice!!

Benjamin Cole said...

I am sure I can fit into my velvet bellbottoms.

Bill said...

Well, at least the Chilean miners got out alive. It's great to see something good in the news in the midst of the doom and gloom.

Paul said...


You left out a very important part of the article that Benji should be required to write down on the chalk board a hundred times:

"As another brilliant economist, Thomas Sowell, recently explained in Investors Business Daily:

No president of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives, and all taxes are voted into law by Congress. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress before Barack Obama became President. The deficit he inherited was created by the Congressional Democrats, including Sen. Barack Obama, who did absolutely nothing to oppose the runaway spending. He was one of the biggest spenders.

The deficit in the last budget adopted by Republican Congressional majorities was $161 billion for fiscal 2007. That is why Rep. Jeb Hensarling was right to say to President Obama that the annual deficits under the Republicans have become the monthly deficits under the Democrats.