Archive for the ‘big government’ Category

Obama Stimulus; Fewer Jobs, Real Growth Industry is Government Counting, Regulating Jobs (Go Figure)

March 27, 2009

When President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill last month, he promised it would create or save 3.5 million jobs. Federal and state officials are ramping up efforts to count those jobs, but it won’t be easy.

In Marlborough, N.H., population 2,085, residents meet in the school gym to vote on every detail of the town’s budget for the coming year. Headlining the debate on a recent evening was a plan to dig two wells for drinking water.

NPR

At one point, a man in a leather vest steps to the microphone and asks Selectman John Northcott what sources of money might pay for this.

“We have first applied for stimulus funds from the state,” Northcott says.

In the end, residents vote in favor of digging the wells. And a stimulus job might be born.

 Stimulus: Example of More Wise Spending on “Infrastructure”?

Complicated Job Calculations

Let’s assume Marlborough gets stimulus money for all or part of the project. The federal dollars will pay for some jobs, and the contractor will send a form to the state saying how many jobs were involved and how much those jobs paid.

It sounds simple. But it isn’t.

In an office at the state Capitol in Concord, Bud Fitch flips through a fat white binder. It’s his magna carta for the federal regulations that guide his work as director of New Hampshire’s Office of Economic Stimulus.

Page 174 tells him he must count the jobs, but he’s still waiting for the pages that will tell him how. In the past, government agencies have used different approaches.

“Some would count noses. ‘How many did you hire?’ — without a lot of constraint on whether it’s full-time, part-time, low-paying, high-paying,” says Fitch. “Others would have you count hours, without consideration of how many people work those hours.”

Creating A Yardstick

What’s needed is a yardstick so that a job counted under one program will be the same as a job counted under another. Part of the complication is that not all jobs are created equal. Some are seasonal; some allow a person to work on more than one project at once, and so on.

Picking one yardstick might seem relatively easy compared to the next challenge: How do you tell the difference between a job that was saved by the stimulus and a job that would have been there anyway?

Bruce Meyer, a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, analyzes the labor supply. He says there are reasonable methods, but it’s almost impossible to know what a firm would have done if left on its own.

“They might have increased their employment even without the jobs subsidy,” he says, “because firms increase and decrease all the time.”

Keeping Tally

The agency in Washington that has to sort this out is the Office of Management and Budget. OMB’s Deputy Director, Rob Nabors, agrees that counting jobs, particularly saved jobs, is tricky.

He says agencies will use several methods. They will ask for documentation that layoffs would have occurred without the stimulus. And there will be some estimating. But Nabors says his office will be conservative.

Read the rest and here the radio broadcast:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story
/story.php?storyId=102401019&ft=1&f=1006

Related:
Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

 Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
7/now-they-tell-us-pt-ii-ap-really-catc
hing-on-to-obama-math/

Here’s What $800 Billion Stimulus Means to America as We Knew It

February 1, 2009
The $800-billion bill that cleared the House last week brings back big government: to school buildings, worker paychecks, electric lines and more. Here’s a look at where the money would go.
By Janet Hook
Los Angeles Times
February 1, 2009
Reporting from Washington — With Congress moving toward passage of an $800-billion-plus economic stimulus plan, big government is back. Unabashed. With a vengeance.

The stimulus is bigger than the Pentagon’s entire budget. It’s more than the United States has spent on the war in Iraq. And its hundreds of provisions reach into almost every aspect of American life — including workers’ paychecks, local schools, digital television and modernizing medical records.

A bank employee counts US dollar bank notes. The euro fell sharply ...
.

Perhaps not since the Great Depression has Congress set out to expand and redefine so dramatically the government’s role in the economy, all in one bewilderingly complex blueprint.

“The three-decade-long period where the default assumption was that government is the problem, not the solution, has clearly ended,” said Bill Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former aide to President Clinton.

If the enormous stimulus plan succeeds, it’s likely to mean a larger, more activist government for years to come. If the plan is judged a failure — whether because the economic crisis persists or the public becomes disenchanted — the idea of government as an active player in national life could be discredited anew.

Even as Senate Democrats and Republicans begin sparring over the bill, it remains a challenge just to understand what’s in the plan. The version passed by the House last week ran 647 pages; the Senate version, which may come to a vote this week, will probably be longer.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/was
hingtondc/la-na-stimulus1-2009feb01,0,3984
149.story

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

Obama’s Changes Will Be “Less Wise, More Destructive” Says Former Clinton Aide

January 22, 2009

2009-2010 will rank with 1913-14, 1933-36, 1964-65 and 1981-82 as years that will permanently change our government, politics and lives. Just as the stars were aligned for Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson and Reagan, they are aligned for Obama. Simply put, we enter his administration as free-enterprise, market-dominated, laissez-faire America. We will shortly become like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, or Sweden — a socialist democracy in which the government dominates the economy, determines private-sector priorities and offers a vastly expanded range of services to many more people at much higher taxes.

Rush Limbaugh says  if Obama agenda is socialist, he hope it will fail:
http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/d
aily/site_012209/content/0112510
8.guest.html

Obama will accomplish his agenda of “reform” under the rubric of “recovery.” Using the electoral mandate bestowed on a Democratic Congress by restless voters and the economic power given his administration by terrified Americans, he will change our country fundamentally in the name of lifting the depression. His stimulus packages won’t do much to shorten the downturn — although they will make it less painful — but they will do a great deal to change our nation.

By Dick Morris
The Hill

In implementing his agenda, Barack Obama will emulate the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Not the liberal mythology of the New Deal, but the actuality of what it accomplished.) When FDR took office, he was enormously successful in averting a total collapse of the banking system and the economy. But his New Deal measures only succeeded in lowering the unemployment rate from 23 percent in 1933, when he took office, to 13 percent in the summer of 1937. It never went lower. And his policies of over-regulation generated such business uncertainty that they triggered a second-term recession. Unemployment in 1938 rose to 17 percent and, in 1940, on the verge of the war-driven recovery, stood at 15 percent. (These data and the real story of Hoover’s and Roosevelt’s missteps, uncolored by ideology, are available in The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes, copyright 2007.)

But in the name of a largely unsuccessful effort to end the Depression, Roosevelt passed crucial and permanent reforms that have dominated our lives ever since, including Social Security, the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, unionization under the Wagner Act, the federal minimum wage and a host of other fundamental changes.

Obama’s record will be similar, although less wise and more destructive….

Read the rest:
http://thehill.com/dick-morris/the-obama-preside
ncy–here-comes-socialism-2009-01-20.html