Published: Saturday, Feb. 22 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
"Surely such a massive expenditure ought to have produced undeniably
positive outcomes commensurate with its expense." Well one undeniably
positive outcome was that another great depression did not ensue. I remember
2008 really well. I was teaching economics at a local college. I was asked to
explain the origins of the crisis and make a prediction has to how far the
economy would descend. I distinctly remember - no one knew where the bottom was
and it looked like we were headed for complete collapse. In fact we did
completely collapse because credit completely dried up. Fortunately that credit
freeze did not last and spending gradually came back. The Deseret News should
ask itself why the bottom did not last very long. Some credit was restored
because of capital infusion to the banks by the treasury and some demand was
restored by the stimulus. As an aside you have nothing negative to say about
the capital infusion. Why? That doesn't bother you because it was welfare
for capitalists (but had to be done).The stimulus created jobs and
did not replace other jobs because at the time the unemployment rate was
Oh, dear, oh dear! More Obama bashing by the DN, to please the least of its
readers!A-- the 2nd stimulus was passed when he was in office 5
weeks.B-- if the repubs had passed a good jobs bill, after the many,
many times Obama asked, the facts of the story would be different.C-- I personally find it offensive that the DN, owned by a church of Jesus
Christ, keeps up with the one-sided editorials and articles.The
Jesus they talked about at my Sunday school gave everyone a fair shot.
If you like your stimulus you can keep your stimulus. In other words if the
White House says it be very suspicious as in they lie! And that folks is a
As this article points out,the only people who tell us the stimulus package was
a success are those who voted for it. Just like those who tell us Obamacare is
working. The rest of us know better! Even the Washington Post hands Obama
Pinocchio awards faster and more often than the film industry passes out Academy
Awards to actors and actresses. Acting successful does not mean its real, it
just acting! So we have Democrats acting like the "stimulus" was a
success but the success wasn't real.
It brought the economy back form the brink. The President was re-elected and
defeated the challenger because of saving the economy.
The outgoing Bush administration said that the economy was declining at a 4%
annual rate at the time Bush left office. We now know that it was actually
declining at a 9% annual rate, faster than it did at any point during the Great
Depression. Virtually all non-partisan economists who have examined the stimulus
believe that it worked as planned. Given the fact that the economy
was doing much worse than first advertised, the stimulus should have been double
the size it was. The fact that we averted another Great Depression means that it
worked reasonable well.
Two facts emerge from any objective, careful, non-partisan economic analysis.
First, the stimulus really did work, it really did save an economy in freefall.
Second, it was never anywhere close to large enough. The biggest job losses,
post-stimulus were in the public sector; states laying off teachers and cops.
President Obama's initial projections were overly optimistic, and it's
fair to criticize him for unwarranted optimism. But all of Europe was clobbered
by the financial crisis too. And the American economy recovered far more quickly
and completely than the economies of nations who embraced austerity.
History should tell us that the government cannot bribe businessmen to provide
the proper service to the public. Any legislation, law or program of government
will favor business and only the public as far as the next election. Once is a while we do get a businessman in government who will try to temper
that sad fact, but as we have seen he will be punished and run over by the
business steam roller. Creating government programs don't work
and because of their size and power, business has no fear of government or any
thing except competition. Even though it is shown that government performs
better than business the business media fails to allow that news to be
distributed to the public. The only way our government can effect
business is to compete with business. The government should hire people at a
living wage, put them to work, and give ordinary people the ability to break
free from the business created slavery.
"DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers." This gets harder and harder to do when a newspaper continues to promote
distortions and out right untruths. The basis for their criticism
is the 8% prediction and shovel ready jobs. The unemployment
prediction was based on what was known, at the time which was before the first
monthly loss of 250,000 jobs. Even Obama, the evil socialist didn't think
the economy would sink to losing 250,000 jobs a month, but it did. So DN at
least be honest about the context."Shovel ready". Every
one of those shovel ready jobs was in fact filled and kept, or put money in
Americans pockets. We're they delayed, yes, by about six months. However
to insinuate that because they were delayed they were ineffective is completely
dishonest. Such distortions are expected from individuals but we
deserve more from a newspaper.
The purpose of the stimulus was two fold. One was to create jobs and the other
to fund important infrastructure projects. Most of the comments have related to
the first and almost none have focused on the second purpose. The jury is still
out on the first, but it would be helpful to hear some commentary on the second.
Any conclusions about whether it was worth the debt load should consider the
"Your opinion on the subject, however, seems to depend on whom you
believe." ...Not just my opinion. Yours, too. It's too easy to
sit and take pot shots from this side of the depression. But we need to
remember, and the article didn't mention, that the economy was tanking fast
in 08/09. Who knows what would have happened with no stimulus? One thing for
sure would have been a hearty round of criticism for the President had he not
acted, here on these pages. I'm not sure what you expected from a the
stimulus. Was it space lasers? Or multiple theme parks? Maybe we're lucky
to have an auto industry and slow but steady recovery.
Without the stimulus, we'd be even deeper into the swamp than we are now.
I read your piece again and you said "Surely such a massive expenditure
ought to have produced undeniably positive outcomes commensurate with its
expense. That is not the case, which is the likely reason why the Obama
administration has not gone out of its way to call attention to the bill’s
ignominious anniversary." Ignominious? Very over the top, but
typical Deseret News. You should tell your readers, using your best judgement
and analytic skills, just what you think would have happened without the
stimulus. You can't use language like this unless you're willing to
go out on a limb, like Obama had to. BTW, I know for a fact that it saved my
job. I am not ungrateful.
Well, let's see. The stimulus resulted in some really wonderful shovel
ready jobs.The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy
companies:Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*SpectraWatt ($500,000)*Solyndra ($535 million)*Beacon Power ($43 million)*Nevada
Geothermal ($98.5 million)SunPower ($1.2 billion)First Solar ($1.46
billion)Babcock and Brown ($178 million)EnerDel’s subsidiary
Ener1 ($118.5 million)*Amonix ($5.9 million)Fisker Automotive ($529
million)Abound Solar ($400 million)*A123 Systems ($279 million)*Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*Johnson Controls ($299 million)Brightsource ($1.6 billion)ECOtality ($126.2 million)Raser
Technologies ($33 million)*Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*Olsen’s Crop Service($10
million)*Range Fuels ($80 million)*Thompson River Power ($6.5
million)*Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*Azure Dynamics ($5.4
million)*GreenVolts ($500,000)Vestas ($50 million)LG
Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)Nordic Windpower ($16
million)*Navistar ($39 million)Satcon ($3 million)*Konarka
Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)*bankruptThe stimulus worked? Sure, and I've got some beach
front property in Arizona for sale if you believe that one.
That 8% projection was made at the start of the economic collapse. It severely
underestimated the rate of job losses in the coming months. 700k jobs were lost
January 2009. Once the stimulus passed we started losing fewer jobs starting
that very month and then stopped losing jobs by the end of 2009. Maybe it'd have worked better if Republicans (remember, 3 voted for it
though one later joined the Democratic party) didn't force half of it to be
tax cuts (less effectively from a stimulative perspective) and reduce the size
of key portions of spending like aid to the states (which then proceeded to lay
off many teachers, police, etc).
Absent the "ignominious" stimulus what do you think would have happened
to the economy? Obama had to go out on a limb, so do you.
Many of the previous posters do an excellent job of pointing out the deceptions
in this article and the DN's ongoing attack of our President. The Stimilus
bill was loaded with nearly as many tax cuts as it was spending. It's
intention was to keep this country from falling into a depression. We did not.
Business contracted spending and investments rapidily to protect themselves from
the uncertainity of the economy at the time. BO's legislation (the
stimulus being one of them) and leadership helped us avert that. The alternative
is to do what many European countries did and cut spending. Their economies are
in much worse shape so, unless your a BO hater one would have to objectively
conclude his actions and leadership had a very positive effect on our economy.
History will view his Presidency very favorably and that gnaws at conservatives
and the DN editorial staff.
The stimulus, as with all Gov't spending, debt and deficits, are simply a
way for those in power to pillage the treasury. And, that is what they are
doing. Without the stimulus and overly burdensome gov't
regulation, we, the people would have made things better ourselves.
Perhaps those best qualified to judge the stimulus package are those who will
have to pay for it; our grandchildren! What will they say about the nearly $1
trillion it added to the debt burden they will have to pay? Does that make all
other's opinions irrelevant?
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