Monday, December 08, 2008


"Did you hear about" ...?

Did you hear about President-elect B. Hussein Obama's big make-work scheme? Here's what he wants to do:

On the heels of more grim unemployment news, the US president-elect, Barack Obama, has offered the first glimpse of what would be the largest public works program in the US since the 1950s.

Mr Obama said the massive government spending program he proposes to lift the country out of recession will include a renewed effort to make public buildings energy-efficient, rebuild the nation's highways, renovate ageing schools and install computers in classrooms, extend high-speed internet to underserved areas and modernise hospitals by giving them access to electronic medical records. ...

Mr Obama offered few details and no cost estimate for the investment in public infrastructure.

Know what's funny 'bout Obama and his New Deal Number Two (emphasis on "number two")? A member of his campaign's economic team says it won't work.

Economist Jason Furman - who joined Team Obama this past summer - testified before Congress in January on the effectiveness of "stimulus" plans. He told his interlocutors then that "infrastructure" programs are "likely to be less effective in spurring economic activity" than fiscal stimulus (i.e., cutting taxes, cutting government spending, and discarding stifling regulations). Why? Because (a) such programs usually aren't implemented until after the economy has recovered, and (b) 'cause of something called bureaucracy.

I have a funny feeling that one Jason Furman ain't gonna find gainful employment on Obama's National Economic Council or Council of Economic Advisors. That's a shame because, well, he seems to be the sole SANE economic advisor on Team B. Hussein Obama's payroll.

Postscript: I want to know why taxpayers are funding two White House offices, the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisors - that do basically - nay, exactly - the same thing: offer the president insight and advice on matters economic. Seems like, in these hard times, the U.S. government could be saving it some dollars if it eliminated redundant federal offices. Methinks the National Economic Council is a good place to start.

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