Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Is the Spending Multiplier on a Pack of Condoms?

Morning Bell, Heritage Foundation:

This Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) created quite a stir when she attempted to defend Section 5004, of the House's economic stimulus plan which allows the Medicaid bailout portion of the spending plan to be spent on family planning clinics. The leftist organization Media Matters came to Pelosi's defense claiming "The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association says such policies are extremely popular."

But Media Matters and their leftist allies completely miss the policy point underscored by highlighting the stimulus plan's family planning loophole. The Associated Press explains why this issue goes way beyond family planning:

While the debate surrounding the overall impact of the measure pits economists and their statistics against one another, Republicans quickly seized on the family planning money as evidence that the Democrats were advancing an agenda that went beyond the economy.

The entire intellectual underpinning of President Barack Obama's spending plan rests on the belief that certain types of government spending creates a "multiplier effect" which raises national income beyond the size of government's initial spending increase. So, for example, Mark Zandi has concocted a table which purports to show that for every one dollar the government spends building "Infrastructure" GDP will grow by $1.59. There is also an entry on Zandi's table for "General Aid to State Government" which Zandi knows for an absolute fact has a 1.36 spending multiplier.

So if Obama's stimulus plan bails out California's spendthrift government, and Sacramento then spends that money buying condoms for Nancy Pelosi's constituents, Mark Zandi wants us to believe that this entire transaction will increase GDP by $1.36 for every $1 in condoms Sacramento buys. Does anybody really believe this?

Again, the family planning issue is just one example of how the left is using the cover of the stimulus to advance their long-term goals of increasing the size of the federal government. The stimulus plan increases Washington's control over spending on education, spending on health care, spending on the environment, and even spending on local law enforcement.

As the Washington Post editorialized this weekend: "All of those ideas may have merit, but why do they belong in an emergency measure aimed to kick-start the economy?"

They don't. Before he had to toe the official administration line, National Economic Council director Larry Summers said that in order to be effective, any stimulus bill must be “timely... targeted ... and credibly temporary.”

As we have already proven, there is nothing temporary about this stimulus spending.

But new Congressional Budget Office numbers show there is nothing timely about it either. According to the CBO cost estimate of the stimulus plan, only 52% of the spending in the bill will occur by the end of FY 2010. This is well short of President Obama's own standard of 75% of the spending taking effect over the next year and a half. The CBO details the reason for the untimeliness of the spending:

Frequently in the past, in all types of federal programs, a noticeable lag has occurred between sharp increases in funding and resulting increases in outlays. Based on such experiences, CBO expects that federal agencies, states, and other recipients of funding would find it difficult to properly manage and oversee a rapid expansion of existing programs so as to spend added funds quickly as they expend their normal resources.

Defending all the left wing spending in the stimulus bill, Speaker Pelosi told Politico last week: “Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election.” T

his statement perfectly reflects the attitude of those in power on Capitol Hill. They are driven to use the current economic emergency to advance their long held partisan interests. There is nothing "timely, targeted, and temporary" about the left's agenda.

By Larry Summers own criteria, this stimulus bill is guaranteed to fail.

Note: I would much prefer to just link to the article so you'll all end up on the Heritage website, but I can never find the article on the site (granted, I just go to the front page and scan, don't have time to dig around). I highly recommend the free Morning Bell from Heritage (www.heritage.org). - AMc

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What's up with Anderson Cooper?

This is one of about five or six similar videos I saw on YouTube. Some in the commentary after the videos are saying this is doctored and is fake. They're not giving any proof, so who knows. If it's fake, it's funny. If it's real, it's something that would get most commentators fired. I don't have anything against him, although I've heard he's another one who gets chills when he thinks and talks about Obama. Quite truthfully, I never watch CNN so I don't know if he's good, bad or mediocre.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Senator blasts Obama's OMB director for 'mumbo jumbo'

By Alexander Bolton
A Democratic senator on Tuesday accused President-elect Obama's incoming director of the Office of Management and Budget of talking “mumbo jumbo” instead of offering hard details on the economy. > Read More

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Obama and his Congressional Children

There's a lot of info packed into this article by Murray and Kane in today's Washington Post:

Democratic Congress Shows Signs It Will Not Bow to Obama
By Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 11, 2009; Page A05
Even before taking office, President-elect Barack Obama has endured a baptism by friendly fire. Last week, an expanded and emboldened group of congressional Democrats greeted his tax proposals with disdain, dragged him into a political squabble over his Senate successor and chafed at key appointments to his administration.

I have a feeling the Editor had to cut some of it as it didn't quite flow for me, but then again, I haven't had my first cup of caffeine this morning so maybe my brain isn't jumping properly! There's a good chance what I write is going to jump in so many directions you'll need a pogo stick.

One thing that came through loud and clear to me when reading the article is that our Washington political "elite" sound like a bunch of immature children trying to be king of the Hill. "Obama better not ignore me." "You didn't tell me and now I'm mad and I'm not going to play."

Obama is trying to play nice and make everything go smoothly. He's the big brother, placating the youngsters, trying to get those selfish little kiddies to work together... and do what HE wants them to do. He wants harmony on the Hill. However, I can't see that happening for any length of time. While I likened our elected officials to children, they're more like children in the me-me-me stages on power steroids.

Washington is all about power. Congress wants to be the one in control. They say they want to get along, but what I hear when they're commenting and acting is they want the President to listen to them and do what they want. Like him or not, Obama doesn't appear to be a wimp by any means and it's not going to be long before he flexes his stuff and then the real squabbles will probably begin. Thus far he seems to be just going about his business despite all the distracting side shows that have cropped up.

I've been hearing two streams of thought from the Left since Obama won in November.

The Pelosi, Reid, Barney and friends faction has an agenda that doesn't seem to be meshing with the one that Obama is espousing by his choices and comments. He SEEMS to be trying to find the middle ground - at times. He SEEMS to be trying to be a bit more moderate in SOME areas than they'd like - at times. He's making some radical choices, too, so don't think I'm saying he's become a moderate by any means.

He SEEMS to have a calculated plan, one that is keeping everyone wondering. He's giving each faction something they can like...

I don't think any of us know exactly where he's headed yet and that's keeping many of the hounds at bay.

No matter where he's heading, his openly stated hope that everyone will play nice isn't going to happen. Unless he takes us in the direction many fear he's taking us... into some form of socialism. That's when Congress will have their wings clipped (ah, another early morning over-used metaphor... I have to go get some caffeine in my system!). Unfortunately, we'll all have ours clipped and America will no longer be America the free.

OK, OK, I'm going to get my first cup of the day... Read the Washington Post article if you haven't, it'll make mine look like grade school meanderings

Friday, January 9, 2009

Comedian Blacklisted

We all know that it's not the Republicans and conservatives trying to stop free speech. We all know that every effort is being made to shut down free speech by the current group in political power. From the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" to the blacklisting of anyone who doesn't walk the walk and talk the talk in Hollywood, the Arts, the school system and other industries, the "progressives" show us they don't want free speech, they want drone speech. Our way or the highway as the saying goes.

Here's an interesting article from Big Hollywood that caught my attention. It highlights the problems those who aren't in lock-step have in Hollywood.

Blacklisted Again: Three Times Not The Charm
by Orson Bean
What is it with me? I seem to be an incorrigible black-listee.
Back in the fifties I was the hot, young comic on CBS and a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was also starring in shows on Broadway and acting in dramatic programs on television. Those were the glory days of television. It was like theater. It was live. If an actor forgot a line, he improvised. There was an immediacy to it. Even mediocre programs had the excitement of being live

I was all over the place. A show called Broadway TV Theater put on plays five times a week, live — the same play, Monday through Friday at eight o’clock . Wonderful old chestnuts like Three Men on a Horse and The Cat and the Canary (I played the part that Bob Hope had originated).