The number crunchers are beginning to weigh in on the administration’s latest economic stimulus plan.
Can one really be surprised that the stimulus mainly impacts those who need it least?
Paul Krugman had the following observations in the NYTimes, and on his blog:
Stimulus Gone Bad
By PAUL KRUGMAN | Published: January 25, 2008
House Democrats and the White House have reached an agreement on an economic stimulus plan. Unfortunately, the plan — which essentially consists of nothing but tax cuts and gives most of those tax cuts to people in fairly good financial shape — looks like a lemon.
Specifically, the Democrats appear to have buckled in the face of the Bush administration’s ideological rigidity, dropping demands for provisions that would have helped those most in need. And those happen to be the same provisions that might actually have made the stimulus plan effective.
In his related blog (linked to in the Times, and full of a series of useful comments on the stimulus plan) he reproduces the chart that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center created after analysis:
Predictable:the top 40% of income earners would get 58% of the proceeds. It’s just so typically wrong-headed. We’re headed toward rough seas; let’s take the motors off the lower-deck lifeboats, so that the upper deck lifeboats have two!
And the Democratic leaders in Congress, as has been typical for them since they assumed majority status after the 2006 elections, caved. No stomach for a fight, Ms. Pelosi? If not, you certainly are in the wrong place at the wrong time!
Krugman points out that getting money to people who really need it “does double duty: it alleviates hardship, and also pumps up consumer spending.”
The result: a program that isn’t helpful where most needed, and fails in its goal as an economic stimulus.
[Please click the link below for the complete article -- but then please come on back!]
Stimulus Gone Bad – New York Times
You needn’t be a card-carrying curmudgeon to be disgusted.
I just love the FDR quote, at a time when spats-wearing plutocrats were desperately clinging to their customary piracy – er, business – as usual:
“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.”
When will it end, you ask? timeanddate.com tells us: 360 days, 15 hours: Noon Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, 20-January-2009.
It’s it for now. Thanks,