Video: Why Obama’s stimulus failed

posted at 2:30 pm on December 11, 2011 by Tina Korbe

As a former resident of Silver Spring, Md., I was particularly interested to watch this video from Reason.tv, which makes my one-time hometown a case study for Obama’s stimulus failure. The vid is long, but well worth watching from start to finish because it reflects the reality of the stimulus rather than the theory behind it — a theory that liberals still invoke even in the face of astonishing evidence of the failure of the stimulus. Sure, it sounds as though it would be effective to inject money into areas of the economy in need of a jolt — but, unfortunately, the government can rarely be trusted to spend taxpayer money in a manner that actually would create jobs.

Theoretically, for the stimulus to have worked, the government would have had to target idle resources. Instead, the government funneled money into already-existing government contracts. Similarly, for the stimulus to have worked, state leaders would have had to spend stimulus money on top of what they were already spending. All too often, they used stimulus dollars to cover general expenses rather than to increase overall spending. And on and on …

As economist Veronique de Rugy says at the end of the video, “The main lesson of the stimulus is creating jobs is a very complex process and, certainly, it can’t be directed by a top-down institution that pretty much fails at everything it does.” Bingo.


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it can’t be directed by a top-down institution that pretty much fails at everything it does.” Bingo.

There it is.

docflash on December 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

It’s a slush fund.

We knew it.

This video shows the proof.

aquaviva on December 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Slush fund, money laundering operation.

Bmore on December 11, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Every time I see stuff like this I question how America has lasted this long.

HopeHeFails on December 11, 2011 at 2:42 PM

worth repeating…..he is….

President Warren G. Obama, with the scandals and corruption but without the Roaring 20′s.

PappyD61 on December 11, 2011 at 2:47 PM

“The main lesson of the stimulus is creating jobs is a very complex process and, certainly, it can’t be directed by a top-down institution that pretty much fails at everything it does.”

It’s even more complex when you have never created a single private sector job in your life…

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Because it was never intended to succeed by spurring on the economy. Obama and company were counting on the economy recovering like it had (almost always) in the past and using this as a chance to payoff some donors and increase different departments budgets moving forward (since that is how govt always works “What did you spend last year? OK here is more.”)

What they never imagined was this would freak out the people who really help drive the economy and send it into a tail spin.

Which is why people who spend their who lives in classrooms debating things rarely make for competent leaders outside academia as they always deal in theoretical and tend to overlook what really happens when theories are implemented when they can’t just tell the student debating them that they are wrong and feel they won the argument.

Betenoire on December 11, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Crony-socialist trickle-down economics.

forest on December 11, 2011 at 2:55 PM

What the hell are “green job skills”?

ButterflyDragon on December 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

One effing reason it failed was that Pelosi’s husbands company got billions of it for their Peruvian enterprises. Peru??!! How does that help some poor worker in the United States?

Long haired country boy on December 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

‘The government “pretty much fails at everything it does.”’

Yeah, BUT the dimbulbs care so much for others that their failures can be overlooked. To them, it’s the caring that counts and not the results. Ask Slow Joe how it would be if the Gubbmint wasn’t there to act as overseer….

Babsy on December 11, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Porkulus cost more than the entire Iraq war!

And for what- a slush fund, as mentioned above

Reagan created over 20M jobs, growing Real GDP by almost 30% in the process. Those kind of results make one wonder why Obama’s multi-trillion-dollar spending would impress anybody, what with his pledged 3M new and ‘saved’ jobs (whatever those are)- a paltry figure 17M shy of Reagan’s towering accomplishment.

And of course Obama’s pledges were sheer rubbish anyway- unemployment got far worse from there, and about the only jobs he’s been creating are for golf caddies.

Reaganite Republican on December 11, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Yepper, BO – smartest president ever!

(Yes, I still have liberal friends who claim he’s just SO smart that us common folk simply aren’t smart enough to be able to understand him.)

climbnjump on December 11, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Just looking at the thing when it came out there were ridiculously big red flags.

Read it and weep:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Dept. of Energy defunded last year because the project was inefficient.

(it has been called ‘prohibitively expensive’ by the Washington Post and is not supported by scientists at MIT…a waste of your money )

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film(like Michael Moore).

(I don’t really have to explain why this should be paid for by your kids (and mine) with the 30 year T-Bills being sold to pay for for this bill…do I?) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bdf4ee70-f2e4-11dd-abe6-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1)

• $650 million for the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program

(You know…those boxes for those t.v’.s with “rabbit ears” that receive “free t.v.” …..(that is the last hundred of those in use), and for those who after being warned YEARS AGO to get their FREE converter courtesy of your tax dollars, are still are pounding thier sets to get better reception so they can watch “Cops”)

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship)

(look, I’m all for the a new ice-breaker for our boys in the Coast Guard, but isn’t this supposed to be in a military spending appropriations bill? Oh and…don’t those ships hurt the polar bears and won’t they be useless in 10 years as per AL Goreleone since all the ice will be melted?)

• $448 million for constructing the Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters

(Again…you want funding for the Military or the DHS?….draft a separate spending bill, include it in an omnibus bill or include it in the spending budget for the Military….don’t slip it in a “stimulus bill”. How come the anti-war left isn’t screaming to “Olby-Man” to rant on this during his nightly “Special Komment”?)

• $248 million for furniture at the new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters

(Let’s say you bought your house for 200K. Do you have 100K of furniture in it…. half the price of your house? They want MORE than half the price of the building for furniture costs. I’m getting dizzy. PORK PORK PORK)

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees

(Notice there is no description of what federal employees? hmmmm…chances that they are all in the Beltway and have already picked out the color for their Prius’s…100%. You…the guy in the back office filing papers for some Federal agency at a G3 pay level…you don’t get one…sorry) PORK PORK PORK

• $400 million for the CDC to screen and prevent STD’s

(wanna stop STD”s? Use a condom. Don’t have bareback sex with crack addicted intravenous drug users) Savings….” 400 Miliion. PORK PORK PORK)

• $1.4 billion for a rural waste disposal programs

( I’m split on this. Rural folks might need this and it might create jobs and would help the environment…then again….should this be in an omnibus or regular spending bill or perhaps, I don’t know…be funded by the States involved?)

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities

(Come on….we all love the Smithsonian…nice try. Shouldn’t be in a “stimulus” bill PORK PORK PORK)

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion

(Let me steady myself…..OK. I’m alright…….So, it has a “projected cost overrun of $3 billion “…so LETS GIVE THEM ONE BILLION MORE! More PORK than a Texas Bar-B-Que cook-off!)

• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities”

(This is already going to be accomplished via the passage of the new and improved SCHIP Bill…you know….the one that will be paid for by an increase of a tax on cigars and cigarettes. 61 cents a pack. That will make a pack around 7 bucks and will result in mass “”smoking cessation activities”. PORK PORK PORK)

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges

(“Community Colleges are by their very definition State Schools. Your taxes, including Property Taxes are supposed to pay for this. This is State Welfare and sucking of the Federal tit shouldn’t be in a stimulus bill…. PORK PORK PORK)

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI

(This is nuts. Plain & Simple. FBI salaries are paid through agency funding via the Science, State, Justice, Commerce and related agencies and the Office of Management and Budget spending bills. This is a ruse to bypass the channels in which the FBI is funded. It isn’t even PORK, it’s theft and whoever included it should be publiclly flogged) (UPDATE: Patty Murray the Congresswoman here in my State of Washington along with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairwoman of the appropriations subcommittee and Vice President Joe Biden included it (big surprise)….Let the flogging begin!)

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction

(Sure, it’s needed…ever been on an Reservation?, but first casinos should fund this instead of making the Chiefs of these tribes uber-wealthy and it shouldn’t be in this “stimulus” bill)

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas

( I need a beer…to go with this tender pulled PORK PORK PORK)

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings

(They are already green. Paid for with your hard-earned GREENBACKS. Shouldn’t this have been done a decade ago, when they were getting on us about changing our light bulbs and trading in our SUV’s for Corollas? PORK PORK PORK)

• $500 million for state and local fire stations

(Q: shouldn’t this be in an omnibus or regular spending bill or perhaps or I don’t know…be funded by the States involved? A: YES)

• $650 million for wildland fire management on Forest Service lands

(This isn’t a “spending bill”…right?. OK, I’m straight now…JEEZ!)

• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs

(I think I’m OK with this. Funny thing….It has the term JOB in it….way to go! You might want to repeat this over and over again in this bill)

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service

(What? no description of what kind or type of “renovations”? Why should they? Your kids will be paying for this by the time they hit the workforce, (scrubbing bird remains off all those windmill farms)…PORK PORK PORK )

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property

(PORK PORK PORK PORK PORK)

• $500 million for building and repairing NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD

(Is it me or is there tons of “stimulus” in this bill to be spent real close or in the beltway to make things more new and shiny and comfortable for the “public servants” we already pay for with our tax dollars? PORK PORK PORK!

• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service

(You want to get a microcosm of Big Government? Just look at that term. “paid volunteers”. This is ACORN money and they are run by volunteers and then they pay them for volunteering…get it? Boy…. you taxpayers are dumber than paint! Even Clinton wouldn’t try this langage bending term. “it depends on what “Volunteer” means…HA!)

• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the VA “National Cemetery Administration”

(another ruse to use emotions to inject spending into this bill….who would be against the Vets? PORK PORK PORK)

• $850 million for Amtrak

( In case you don’t know, the fed’s have told us FOR DECADES EVERY YEAR that AMTRAK will be profitable. Stilll waiting….Funny thing….CSX and Union Pacific that are privately run, are very profitable…and you want Government run health-care? No thanks.)

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint

( Hey…here’s a way…don’t eat lead paint chips…or…don’t use lead paint. How about reducing spending in a “stimulus” bill? PORK PORK PORK)

• $75M to construct a new “security training” facility for State Dept Security officers

(Good try, Slick….They can, and are currently being trained at existing facilities of other agencies, but what the hell give them a new buliding….DHS got new furniture!)

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems

(Hey…..Stupid Taxpayer… remember that HUGE “Farm Bill” that recently passed? Apparently.. they forgot to put this in there, along with all that other PORK PORK PORK)

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

(Gotta’ love love these “stimulus” bills! Do these have heat & massage power seats along with GPS? Just asking…word from the State Dept Security office is that DHS got some really fancy furniture…)

• State Medicaid Bailout: $87.7 billion Through 3 different mechanisms, the bill would provide additional federal funds to state Medicaid programs over the next 3 years.

(This is nearly $70 billion more than the governors asked President Obama for in December, and should be a loan to be repaid by the states… PORK PORK PORK)

Questionable Policy incuded in this “Stimulus” Bill:

• Eliminates fees on loans from the Small Business Administration, thus pushing private capital toward unproductive businesses and away from productive businesses.

• Increases the definition of “youth” for certain summer job programs from age 21 to age 24.
• $160 million to the Job Corps program at the Dept. of Labor, but not for job programs – rather, to construct, alter or repair buildings.

• Requires a government study on the impact of minimum wage laws on the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.

• $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization (slush) Fund to bailout the States by providing billions of dollars for “education” costs of any kind.

• $47.843 billion is appropriated for a variety of energy programs that are primarily focused on renewable energy development and energy conservation/efficiency. Not one dollar is appropriated to make fossil fuels more affordable in the near future. More than $6 billion of these funds go to environmental clean ups.

• Increases eligibility for “weatherization” assistance to households 200 percent above the poverty level.

• The “Making Work Pay” credit of $500 to every individual making less than $75,000 (or $1000 to couples making $150,000 or less) would pay people whether they are productive or not – akin to welfare.

• The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – food stamps) would temporarily suspend the 3-month limit for non-working adults to receive SNAP benefits, thus giving incentives not to find a job.
• Installs government as the creator of broadband deployment regardless of whether the specific local/regional market can sustain it.

• Funds new “green jobs” job-training program without eliminating inefficient job-training programs or consolidating duplicative job-training programs.

• $890 million to the Social Security Administration without any provisions to reduce improper payments, or any plan to increase solvency of the trust fund.

• Nothing requires the products that are purchased with these funds be here in America. Lithium ion batteries, for instance, are primarily made in Asia.

MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED!

Opposite Day on December 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Government doesn’t fail at everything unless it tries to do everything.

Seth Halpern on December 11, 2011 at 3:07 PM

So I was going to comment on the article…but then I went to play the video! Stopped and started laughing!
If you have seen ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham with his puppets (Achmed the Dead Terrorist…I Keel YOU!!!)…..before you click onto the video…right behind Present-Golfer-in-Chief Obama…is…yes…puppet… ‘Waltar’..the grumpy old man!

KOOLAID2 on December 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM

The left admits that crowd sourcing works when they need to find dirt in Palin’s emails but deny it works with the economy. 1000 people with $1000 will spend it more wisely than one person with a million dollars.

Grunt on December 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM

IMO, everything bho and team has done since elected is meant to fail! All bho and team want is to make our country about as irrelevant as some lesser countries in the world. Just look at all the taxpayers and borrowed money has been spent! For the life of me, I do not understand why any normal person would do this, but we are dealing with bho and he is in no way normal!

BTW, the d’s and rino’s have helped in this also, so not to let anyone off on this!
L

letget on December 11, 2011 at 3:14 PM

It’s even more complex when you have never created a single private sector job in your life…

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2011 at 2:52 PM

It’s even more complex than that when you’ve never held a private sector job in your life.

SlaveDog on December 11, 2011 at 3:15 PM

It’s very sad that our instant-gratification society considers seven minutes “long.” Good video though.

Professor de la Paz on December 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Great video, but it really needs this in the background. “Say it loud, say it proud, we’re all Keynesians now!”

pookysgirl on December 11, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Obama: Only Government Can Fix the Economy

Then when his Marxist/Socialist ideology and policies failed…

Obama: Only Private Sector Can Save Ecomony

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Don’t worry, he will explain it to you simpletons tonight on 60 Minutes.

/

hillsoftx on December 11, 2011 at 3:26 PM

…that created enough red tape to paralyze the program…

This is the nature of bureaucracy both in government and private sectors. The difference is that in the private sector people get fired and companies fail. In the public sector more people are hired to study the problem and the bureaucracy grows.

axshon on December 11, 2011 at 3:26 PM

De Rugy is criticizing the stimulus for not working because of how it was implemented. What this story seems to miss is that no matter how it would be implemented, its affect on the economy would be bad.

So what if you hire new people into job that were unemployed before? It’s not sustainable because they are de facto government employees. Without government money behind these jobs, the jobs disappear.

She also criticizes that only a small percentage of the allocated money from the stimulus has been spent. This is actually a blessing! Pouring money into the system only devalues what is already there!

The lesson from all of this is not that the stimulus was implemented badly but that implementing it at all is bad.

Missing is the very elusive fact that every dollar spent by the government is a dollar that doesn’t get the chance to be multiplied by the private sector. The private sector is engine of our prosperity!

The government was never meant to be an entity that would “invest” or act the way the private sector acts. It’s role is as impartial referee.

What if you were watching a football game and the ref started throwing penalties unfairly to one team. And then this ref decides that he is going to carry the ball. And no one can touch him because he is the ref! He can carry the ball wherever he wants. He can make the players carry the ball for him because they fear a penalty.

Well, you don’t have a game anymore!

That’s where we are! The government is trying to play the game as a super player. They shouldn’t be using taxpayer monies to fund any of this stuff! On principle alone, they should not do it!

There is no “right” way that this nonsense can be implemented.

Kay_L on December 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Koolaid2
Hahaha it is Walter! Gotta love Achmed. I KILL YOU! LMAO

angrymike on December 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Thanks to the stimulus spending, Fisker Automotive is hiring like mad.

In Finland.

Cicero43 on December 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

I think the best (and simplest) explanation comes from Milton Friedman:

There are four ways to spend money.

You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why you really watch out for what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.

Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well then, I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.

Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m going to have a good lunch!

Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it costs, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.

PackerBronco on December 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

The irony here is that there is no state more loyal to Obama than the People’s Republic of Maryland, nor any Governor more attuned to socialism than Martin O’Malley. In short, the city got exactly what it deserves.

Many of us were critical of Obama from the beginning and lectured by “moderates” that we had to give him a chance. Do we still have to wait or can we now finally criticize what this evil man has done to this great nation?

Can those of you who were willing to drink the kool-aid tell me one thing Obama has done right in three years as President. Sure the man got the Nobel Peace Prize, and then bombed another nation. Sure the man has golfed enough to lower his handicap and has logged more vacation miles than the Travelocity gnome. But are our challenges best addressed by an idiot who needs a telepromptr to speak to sixth graders?

One last comment. Joe Biden still nurses aspirations at the Presidency following two Obama terms. Look at him in the opening clips and ask yourself if you want him as President. To think that this idiot was added to the ticket to give Obama gravitas is something that historians will never be able to discern.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The vid is long, but well worth watching from start to finish because it reflects the reality of the stimulus rather than the theory behind it — a theory that liberals still invoke even in the face of astonishing evidence of the failure of the stimulus.

But for liberals, theory is reality. Hence, why they all still think the whole ‘tax the rich’ thing will somehow work.

jfox21 on December 11, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Yet they want more of this madness.

CW on December 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM

The Bush-Obama stimulus saved America from a second Great Depression.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

But for liberals, theory is reality. Hence, why they all still think the whole ‘tax the rich’ thing will somehow work.

jfox21 on December 11, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Conservatives have their pet theorists, too.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Because it was never intended to succeed by spurring on the economy. Obama and company were counting on the economy recovering like it had (almost always) in the past and using this as a chance to payoff some donors and increase different departments budgets moving forward (since that is how govt always works “What did you spend last year? OK here is more.”)

What they never imagined was this would freak out the people who really help drive the economy and send it into a tail spin.

Yep, I think this too.

tinkerthinker on December 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Hey, come on! The Government doesn’t fail at EVERYTHING it does. Why, take a look at the Chevy Volt…umm, no, wait…The Postal Service…no…I meant all the great security at the Airp…Scratch that.

I just don’t get it; How many times do you have to prove something to the left before they admit they’re wrong? Porkulus FAILED, period. Socialism is FAILING before our very eyes in the collapse of the EU…what’s it gonna take?

a5minmajor on December 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

The Bush-Obama stimulus saved America from a second Great Depression.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

And that butterfly over in Africa caused Hurricane Katrina.

ButterflyDragon on December 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM

“…What they never imagined was this would freak out the people who really help drive the economy and send it into a tail spin…”

None of them had ever read “Atlas Shrugged”!

Another Drew on December 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Conservatives have their pet theorists, too.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM

That is one hard hitting response. Thank you for the insight.

CW on December 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM

The Bush-Obama stimulus saved America from a second Great Depression.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

The mindless talking points continue…do you have anything? Really anything? Do you want a cracker???

CW on December 11, 2011 at 4:57 PM

If a 7.5 minute video is ‘long’, we’re a society with attention deficit disorder.

ProfessorMiao on December 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The states used their ‘stimulus’ money to plug gaps in their own bloated union budgets, figuring that the depression would run it’s course in about 18 months before things got back to ‘normal’.

GarandFan on December 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Conservatives have their pet theorists, too.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Except that ours get drummed out of the movement if they’re ever proven wrong, which doesn’t happen very often.

gryphon202 on December 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Pelosi meant this as a payoff to blue States and Unions. It was never meant for the peasants.

pat on December 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM

- $850 million for Amtrak

( In case you don’t know, the fed’s have told us FOR DECADES EVERY YEAR that AMTRAK will be profitable. Stilll waiting….Funny thing….CSX and Union Pacific that are privately run, are very profitable…and you want Government run health-care? No thanks.)
Opposite Day on December 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

All of the Class 1 freight railroads in North America have evolved from the “bad old days” of the late ’70s, into self-sustaining profitability.
In addition, you now have many local/regional railroads who operate branch lines that were abandoned by the Class 1s as unprofitable.
These regionals generally have labor forces that are not unionized, so as such they can profitably serve shippers along their respective rail lines.

Rail transportation is doing very well in the U.S., except for (expletive) AMTRAK!

I can’t respond to everything in that post, OD.
Too exhaustive.
So I’ll just settle on railroads, since it’s one of my favorite subjects.

listens2glenn on December 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Except that ours get drummed out of the movement if they’re ever proven wrong, which doesn’t happen very often.

gryphon202 on December 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Proving an evidence of absence is impossible, and that’s what you seem to be suggesting here.

Most of the conservative economic theories I’ve seen aren’t actually conservative and have been selectively culled for political ends (Adam Smith, for instance), or are just plain odd (Hayek, Mises, et al) although certainly historically interesting.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Except that ours get drummed out of the movement if they’re ever proven wrong, which doesn’t happen very often.

gryphon202 on December 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Proving an evidence of absence is impossible, and that’s what you seem to be suggesting here.

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Not the same thing.

forest on December 11, 2011 at 5:45 PM

THe stimulus accomplished exactly what it was supposed to. It payed off Teachers and Pubic Employee unions, sent money to democrat bundler/supporters, and increased the budget baseline FOR ETERNITY.

tom daschle concerned on December 11, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Y, if governments were any good at allocating capital, we’d still be talking about the USSR in the present tense.

Marxism is for dummies on December 11, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Not the same thing.

forest on December 11, 2011 at 5:45 PM

++++

Bifidoofus is as dishonest as they get and will not let reality get in the way.

CW on December 11, 2011 at 7:58 PM

please keep in mind, that this is the same group who could NOT run a whorehouse in NV, selling whiskey and sex..

and now, they will be managing your healthcare…

Huckleberry Mike on December 11, 2011 at 7:59 PM

bifidis on December 11, 2011 at 5:37 PM

I guess I’m interested to know what Hayek wrote that you find “odd.” “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” perhaps? Or “Competition as a Discovery Procedure”?

Austrian cycle theory, I realize, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and at best only explains certain types of boom-bust cycles; it’s a coherent story, though.

Even Keynes found himself in “deeply moved agreement” with The Road to Serfdom, if you want to deal with the more popular nontechnical stuff Hayek wrote.

DrSteve on December 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Did the stimulus create even one widget?

Adding wealth means adding “widgets” that wouldn’t normally be produced. The stimulus took the existing widgets and gave them to the leeches.

mockmook on December 11, 2011 at 9:23 PM

The irony here is that there is no state more loyal to Obama than the People’s Republic of Maryland, nor any Governor more attuned to socialism than Martin O’Malley. In short, the city got exactly what it deserves.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The man is a talking points machine, just like his president. I miss Bob Erlich.

P.S. Been lurking for several years, glad to be on board.

adoubledot on December 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

They poured almost a trillion dollars into the trough for the pigs to steal from… When it’s all said and done we should’a built some jails with the money cause… we’re gonna need them.
-

RalphyBoy on December 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Generalizations regarding government are among the key weak links in the conservative talking points.

” … it can’t be directed by a top-down institution that pretty much fails at everything it does.”

It is well past time for conservatives to sharpen their focus. If the government pretty much failed at everything it does, our country would never have put astronauts on the moon, built the federal highway sytem, won both Iraq wars or been anything but a completely ineffective sieve against terrorism.

The point is NOT to degrade the government. The point is the people directing the government are arrogant, incompetent and we are ALL going to pay the price for their failings.

The discussion should focus on the incompetent person’s excuse that they would have succeeded if they only had MORE resources – this same excuse is used in business more than ever these days. Tying the argument to incompetence addresses your first priority. Bridging it into everyday life gives your listener a means of identifying how your argument applies to them.

The quotation above is a classic error. Making the overly broad statement may make YOU feel good … but it will not persuade undecided voters.

Now is the time for conservatives to choose – do you want to feel good? Or do you want to win?

PolAgnostic on December 11, 2011 at 11:33 PM

The statement was not that government used to fail at everything it did, but that it now fails at everything it does.

We can’t secure the border, we can’t secure our victories in war, we can’t build new piplines, we can’t build new roads or rail, we can’t rebuild the Twin Towers, we can’t deliver the mail, we can’t keep our manufacturing jobs, we can’t lead in space technology, and most definitely we can’t put people on the moon any more.

What government can do is to spend money we don’t have, and regulate farm dust.

Fastdraw on December 12, 2011 at 2:08 AM

“The goverment fails at pretty much everything it does”.

and your point is?

Actually, it does pretty well at defense of the country and infrastructure. Everythign else it’s pretty substandard.

acyl72 on December 12, 2011 at 7:22 AM

What the hell are “green job skills”?

ButterflyDragon on December 11, 2011

Cash. Oh, and preferably in a plain brown envelope.
It’s the ChicagØbama way … You know, quid pro quo.
It’s all about the [green] Benjamins.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on December 12, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Government Goobs take care of their own. Who would have thought?

elkchess on December 12, 2011 at 9:39 AM

To Obama and friends the stimulus was a success in that vast sums of fiat monies were spent in the form of bribes, kickbacks, buyouts and payoffs with and for his cronies and their union hacks. Everything about this man has been carefully crafted to give the appearance of a caring, self-effacing and bumbling ineptitude but beneath that facade lies a plan to destroy, er “fundamentally change” this nation into lesser Europastan with him reigning as Supreme Leader. Remember the kids singing about him in 2008? Who in recent history has enjoyed such fawning adulation? Think.

LizardLips on December 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Opposite Day on December 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

The Cost Guard is an odd duck, despite the fact that they look a lot like the Navy, they’re not part of the DoD. That’s because their regular duties include law enforcement, which the military is excluded from.

LarryD on December 12, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Bad news you crony socialists: we don’t the lie that your intentions were ever “good.” It is obvious to anyone with eyes and a mind that the purpose of the stimulus was destruction for the sake of destruction. The Left has no use for those who produce their own independence. Since the GOP -which has nearly drunk itself to death with the poison of power lust and has refused the antidote of justice -the solution lies in the morality of We the People.

WyattsTorch on December 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM

The stimulus was never about fixing the economy. It was a scheme to buy votes, and that’s all.

RebeccaH on December 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I find it a little odd that you don’t hear more Democrats making some of these arguments against the stimulus. It would go something like this: “The stimulus didn’t work because it was badly designed and implemented, but we can make big government projects can work in the future if they’re well run.”
It sounds a lot better than trying to convince people the stimulus really created millions of jobs. Of course, it would only work if the Democrats could tell people how they could make a big stimulus actually work next time, and the party seems to be just about out of ideas in that area.

Mahna Mahna on December 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM

In the words of the great philosopher, Ringo Starr, “Everything the government touches turns to sh*t.”

FredJustFred on December 12, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Breaking each generalization down:

We can’t secure the border,
We can secure our border if we push aside the business interests’ complicity (cheap labor), foreign countries interests (USD cash flow back to those countries, intelligence sources, etc), and the race card (enforcing secure borders is racist because it requires immigrants to go through an orderly legal procedure). Put aside the group conciousness ingrained from the MSM that says this CAN”T be done and address HOW to fix it.

we can’t secure our victories in war,
With a completely incompetent C-I-C, it is more difficult. Obama’s recent edicts have nothing to do with the nation’s tactical or strategic interests. They are based purely on ideology and the liberal/progressive agenda. We have some of the best general officers in TWO generations, a dedicated senior officers corps and a VOLUNTEER army that kicks a$$ when it is given clear directions and reasonable ROE’s.

we can’t build new piplines,
Other than the EPA, please cite the insuperable obstacles to building pipelines.

we can’t build new roads or rail,
Other than the EPA, please cite the insuperable obstacles to our building roads and rail. (Fair warning, I used to do this for a living.)

we can’t rebuild the Twin Towers,
Ten years of NYC politics, greed, graft and corruption are significant obstacles … but the new buildings are going up and are the best counterpoint to this statement.

we can’t deliver the mail,
The USPS does an amazing job of successfully delivering the massive amopunts of mail on a global scale despite losing the most profitable parts of the business to Fedex and UPS (which I have no problem with the competition). Stop thinking of the USPS as a business and view it as infrastructure. Infrastructure is not put in place by the federal government to make money. It is put in place to allow other needs to be addressed and provide broader opportunities.

we can’t keep our manufacturing jobs,
We can keep our manufacturing jobs. Our productivity and quality have made significant advances in the last 10 – 15 years while the labor costs in the most competitive “outsource” countries have increased substantially and more of their citizens are emigrating to jobs outside their home countries. Taking manufacturiing jobs BACK to America can be enaabled by restraining the EPA, federal regulations (excluding direct safety requirements) and incentivizing businesses with higher educational systems. (Fair warning, I was recently a global director for a multinational business.)

we can’t lead in space technology,
We DO lead in space technology. The Obama administrationis doing everything they can to cause us to lose our lead.

and most definitely we can’t put people on the moon any more.
We are the only country that has put people on the moon. My father worked in that industry. We CAN do it again and we SHOULD do it again – but this time with a multi-generation goal of using the capabilities zero and low gravity environments give us now that we have the technology to use them. There are lots of natural resources in the solar system.

Your tone reminds me of the Republicans of the Carter period – full of AMERICAN’T.

PolAgnostic on December 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

My problem with this video is that it implies that the “stimulus” could have worked had it been implemented in a different manner. Yet as the laws of economics, a science, dictate, it is impossible for the government to ever allocate resources better than the market would.

Individual on December 17, 2011 at 2:50 PM