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Archive for January 27th, 2010

It’s not live anymore, of course, but click here to see what Cato Institute scholars said.

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A recent poll, conducted in early January, shows that the America pepole are catching on to the stimulus scam. Three-fourths of respondents believe that at least one-half of the money has been wasted. Here’s a brief excerpt from the CNN story, which includes a rather bizarre assertion that the stimulus represented a “cost to the government.” Actually, the so-called stimulus was a shot-in-the-arm to government. The burden of all the new spending is borne by the economy today and taxpayers in the future:

Nearly three out of four Americans think that at least half of the money spent in the federal stimulus plan has been wasted, according to a new national poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday morning also indicates that 63 percent of the public thinks that projects in the plan were included for purely political reasons… the program, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, attempts to stimulate the country’s economy…at a total cost to the government of $787 billion.

But it gets worse. According to the new CBO budget numbers, Obama’s boondoggle proposal actually will cost $75 billion more than he said last year (typical mistake with government budgeting, yet we’re somehow supposed to believe his fatuous claims that a giant new healthcare entitlement will reduce the deficit). By the way, this doesn’t count the added interest on the debt from all this new spending, so the actual cost of the so-called stimulus is more than $1 trillion – and rising. And as this AP story notes, there’s more bad news since the Senate is crafting a second “stimulus” to waste another $82.5 billion:

Last year’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill is going to be even more expensive — $75 billion more. The new Congressional Budget Office estimate, released Tuesday, provides more ammunition for Republicans who say the stimulus has been long on spending and short on creating promised jobs. …Democrats are pressing for another stimulus measure and top Senate Democrats have drafted an $82.5 billion jobs plan that would help small businesses, boost spending on road construction and mass transit, and give local governments money to retain teachers.

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This Bloomberg article reinforces the theme that bureaucrats have plush sinecures while workers in the productive sector of the economy are facing difficult times. But the most shocking nmber is that state and local governments have underfunded pensions for bureaucrats by $1 trillion, not to mention $500 billion of unfunded health care promises. Needless to say, the politicians will want me and you to pay for their reckless promises:

Any expectation that state and local governments would use the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression to reduce their biggest expenditures is proving to be wishful thinking. Companies have cut 7.3 million jobs, 6.29 percent, since business employment peaked at 115.8 million in December 2007. State and local governments kept adding jobs through August 2008 to 19.8 million and have since cut 132,000 positions — 0.66 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department. …Reducing headcount would help narrow budget deficits. It would also reduce public-pension liabilities, which analysts say threaten state and local credit ratings and even, at the local level, solvency. State and local government pensions nationwide are underfunded by about $1 trillion, Orin S. Kramer, chairman of the New Jersey Investment Council, which oversees the state’s pension fund, estimated in November. That doesn’t include other retirement benefits, such as health care, which Standard & Poor’s earlier this year pegged at about $500 billion for the states alone.

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