Quotes of the day

“A tentative thumbs-up.

“That was the assessment from economists, who offered mainly positive reviews of President Barack Obama’s $447 billion plan to stimulate job creation…

“Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, estimated that the president’s plan would boost economic growth by 2 percentage points, add 2 million jobs and reduce unemployment by a full percentage point next year compared with existing law.”

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“[I]n reality, ARRA and AJA are strikingly similar. Let’s drill it down ‘line by line,’ as the president likes to say…

“Much of Obama’s speech from last night was directly imported from other addresses. It was full of his usual tropes – strawmen characterizations of his opponents, a soaring paean to American greatness that only ever mentioned big government, and the typical denunciations of ‘politics as usual,’ implicitly defined as everything that hurts his political prospects in 2012.

“And here we can see how the policies are just old leftovers from previous Obama proposals that haven’t really worked.”

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More spending, more debt: The Budget Control Act passed in August called for $917 billion in deficit reduction spread out over the next decade. Most of that, however, is slated to take place in latter years, with just $7 billion in cuts set to occur next year. The plan President Obama is proposing would spend $450 billion now — money that would have to be borrowed now — thus dramatically increasing the deficit now. The total cost of the plan would not only wipe out the $7 billion in savings scheduled for next year, it would eat up nearly half of the $917 billion in long-term savings, which is still a largely speculative figure at this point, given the fact that future Congresses could simply call the whole thing off if they so pleased. When you take into account the additional interest payments on that $450 billion, the price tag grows considerably.

Stimulus 2.0: Not only is the president’s plan merely a rehash of the first stimulus package, which failed spectacularly. It is actually more expensive in annual terms. The original stimulus cost $800 billion but was spread out over two years. Obama’s new plan would spend more than half that in one year.”

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“My least favorite part of the bill is probably the conceit that, as Obama put it, ‘everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.’ This is a particularly obvious symptom of the virulent disease which has long reached pandemic proportions in Washington — taking a headline from George Magnus, I call it Deficit Attention Disorder.

“This is a stimulus bill; stimulus bills, by their nature, can’t be revenue-neutral or fully paid-for. And this one isn’t. Instead, it seems like Obama is going to tot up the cost of the bill — $447 billion is the number doing the rounds — and add it to the $1.5 trillion that the deficit supercommittee is being charged with cutting from the budget over a decade-long period. That’s not paying for a bill, it’s passing the buck to someone else.

“And it’s pretty sad commentary on the state of American politics — and the way that the horrible personal-finance metaphor seems to have become embedded in the national psyche — that Obama considers this both necessary and a good idea.”

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“Speaking on behalf of millions of Americans who’ve grown angry and frustrated over the president’s 32-month ineffective inactivity on the job creation front, President Obama on Thursday told members of Congress they really have to do something about the crummy employment situation — and do it quickly.

“Citing the plight of millions of struggling Americans whose wishes for jobs Obama ignored for most of the 961 days he’s been in office while chasing shinier healthcare and financial reforms, Obama said it was time that Congress stop blaming others. He said it was time members take responsibility for their inaction and halt their phony partisan games and political circus acts that pervade Washington culture.

“Because the Americans Obama hasn’t been listening to are really hurting now.”

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