Category Archives: The Progress Report

Republican myths about Obama’s stimulus plan..

The latest fuckery being preached by the Rethugs, with regard to Obama’s Stimulus Plan, has been addressed by ThinkProgress’s The Progress Report. Below is a shortened version…be sure to read their entire version if the mood strikes you.

MYTH 1 — SPENDING IS NOT STIMULATIVE: However, an analysis by Moody’s found that government spending results in more significant “bang for the buck.” For every dollar invested in specific types of spending, the boost in real GDP is more than $1.30. The most benefit comes from extending unemployment benefits ($1.64) and increasing food stamps ($1.73), but strong returns result from infrastructure investment ($1.59) and aid to state and local governments ($1.36), as well. Furthermore, Moody’s also noted, “A well-timed, targeted, and temporary stimulus could in fact cost the Treasury less in the long run, since a debilitating recession would severely undermine tax revenues and prompt more government spending for longer.” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s and former adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign, released his analysis of the House plan on Wednesday, and concluded that it would “provide a vital boost to the flagging economy,” without which full employment would not return until 2014.

MYTH 2 — STIMULUS WON’T CREATE JOBS: “The stimulus plan will create jobs repairing and upgrading the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, levees, water and sewage system, public-transit systems, electricity grid, and schools.” It stands to reason that investing in infrastructure is going to lead to job creation, as someone needs to be hired to actually complete the various projects. By investing $100 billion in clean energy infrastructure alone, the Center for American Progress (CAP) has estimated that 2 million jobs can be created in the next two years. Aid to states through bolstering Medicaid also “generates business and gets people into jobs,” as a recent report by Families USA showed: “The new dollars pass from one person to another in successive rounds of spending, generating additional business activity, jobs, and wages that would not otherwise be produced.” Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Christina Romer and Vice President Biden aide Jared Bernstein, meanwhile — by using the “1% of GDP equals 1 million jobs rule of thumb” — estimated that a stimulus plan will create or save three million jobs. According to their calculations, “30% of the jobs created will be in construction and manufacturing,” while “the other two significant sectors that are disproportionately represented in job creation are retail trade and leisure and hospitality.”

MYTH 3 — PERMANENT TAX CUTS ARE THE BEST STIMULUS: But CAP’sWill Straw explained, “The track record for such steps is poor in general, but they are particularly ill-suited for a recessionary period. After all, the reason that businesses and individuals are not investing at the moment has little to do with the taxes they may pay in the future and everything to do with a fear of losing money because there is no demand in the economy.” An analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund shows that every $10 billion spent on this kind of cut would create or save just 10,000 jobs, “versus nearly 60,000 jobs which could be created or saved by extending unemployment benefits and food stamps or investing directly in energy, transportation and education infrastructure.” Furthermore, permanent measures will exacerbate the long-term debt much more than temporary measures will.

These are the talking points we, as progressives, should embrace and put out there when the rightwing nutjobs, lobbyists for the corporatocracy or any other jackass that supports the trickle down theory starts quoting their guy’s bullshittery. All the links are good solid ideas backed up by intelligent people that believe enriching the wealthy won’t do shit to bring us out of this global nightmare.

Video:Dean Baker: Talk Back To The Anti-Spending Crowd