Comments on: Why I’m unconvinced by calls for a second stimulus package A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: bill Tue, 14 Jul 2009 11:25:55 +0000 Really amazing how many people think the stimulus is the bailout…

By: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 23:34:30 +0000 At the presentation of a play my daughter did at an arts camp recently (a fantabulous performance of “The Nightingale”), the program director made a little plea about how hard it is for “the arts” to get funded during Hard Times. Fact is, when “the arts” are starved, Art benefits. The constraint of funding to the arts should give rise to dynamic and cleansing forms, like punk and its progeny hard core, which will wash away the overproduced excesses of the era of Koons, Barney, and Hirst.

By: Argel Mon, 13 Jul 2009 22:15:58 +0000 I don’t follow your logic. We know what situation the stimulus package was meant to address and we know things have already exceeded that target. As you point out, a lot of the money has not been spent yet, but that just proves that if we wait and see and things are much worse then it will already be too late. And as others have pointed out, state aid would have a huge impact right now in saving jobs. It’s like being on the Titanic and waiting to see if that iceberg it just hit is going to sink the ship.

By: Jim VanKirk Mon, 13 Jul 2009 21:01:54 +0000 According to the College Art Association figures ” In 1999 the number of degrees had increased to 2,097, showing that the M.F.A. graduation
rate is increasing at a steady rate of about seventy diplomas per year.”
The MFA is the terminal Fine Arts professional degree, given that not all Artists have taken the academic route there can hardly be more than 100, 000 who have demonstrated professional credentials over the past 40 years. During the WPA only 3700 Artists were employed nationwide. Less than 2 years MFA grads.

By: avi Mon, 13 Jul 2009 18:25:56 +0000 Felix needs to read “Psychology of the Call” blog. Sorry, but I feel his analysis borders on the seventh grade level.

By: Larry G Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:42:59 +0000 What do you mean, hard to spend? Remember the Bush stimulus, which included the Democratic-sponsored $600 rebate checks? Just send us all money now!

By: Charles Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:53:44 +0000 First what/where are the alternate plans-discussions-theory etc of “do nothing and no stimulus”? I find NONE posting anything that, couid show us how “do nothing, no funds for anyone” etc, would have worked.
That said, we need to address that the money alone will NOT repair the beaten up and nearly destroyed USA “building real things” manufacturing areas that are the source of the middle class. We are instead stuck with the care and feeding of the old school ties, the NE version of the Good ole boys, AKA the NE Triangle, loosely a line about 60 miles wide from DC-NYC-Boston, where ethics, integrity and money enter, never to be seen again.

Those “others” commoners, not privileged member’s of the Triangle’s education, politics, finance, “contacts in corp jet/limo ride” or government, those pour unwashed masses of commoners, outside of the triangle are relegated to sort of (“other 90%”) roles of Triangle supporting, alien life forms residing in the hinterlands.

The residents of the Triangle are assured to live in their world of revoking doors and
“Well it was legal (Says my million dollar lawyers-sub/Committee on ethics etc),
I am here to serve (but rarely in uniform in wars),
The people do not understand the complexity of this (AKA USA about 50th in education),
We must pay big bonus to retain the best (AKA as one of them, even if they wreck the systems)
If we tax the wealthy they will not grow the nation (AKA Senate a place of billionaires, Tax code where 14$ MAX tax rate on LLC types (before deductions)
This Bill=etc would destroy the middle class” (BUT??? 90% of REAL worth in USA is owned and controlled by 5% and 3% own-control 70%). Real world of REAL WORTH is there is no middle class left, or at best a small struggling group in the Hinterlands.

So “stimulus is not working” is simply not true.. The Triangles banks/finance/Government world is doing quite well. Suddenly “profts” are back, and enough to repay Gov money, and not to arrogantly,as from the Triangle, NOT the great unwashed of the Hinterlands, “Banks now pay back money so free to give bonus’s” and all there flap their ole school ties in ole school ritual secret manner that means, “we put it to the Hinterlands again”.

So it seems the commoners, those aliens of the Hinterlands are once again getting “their just rewards”. They sent their trusts, their money, their taxes, their retirements, their cash, their sons/daughter for the wars, and sadly their votes, to assure the residents of the NE Triangle live well and will continue to do so. Their reward is “that of being a citizen struggling, the backbone of this great nation which is reward in itself as that is the great American way!”
Unless of course you are resident of the Triangle, where Boards-Gov agencies amply rewarded each other, be it fees, tax cuts, bonus-yearly Congress=staff pay raises, higher salaries, or other outrageous benefits the commoners do not deserve, but the Triangle finds crucial.

This is not intended to knock the privilaged of the Triangle, nor to suggest most of the “Stimulus funding and related Financial Welfare actions pouring out is concentrated in the Triangle or will eventually dock there via “fees, investments, campaign contributions or such. .That was already established when banks refused to disclose what they did with money, and AIG, Sachs, et al, issued bonus billions and most kept, now getting further “bonus to retain top people”. Sorry Hinter Land’rs, , but “Stimulus is working as planned”, you just do not understand the “Plan”.. or perhaps you do?

The next target of a one and half million per day in lobby money is “government run health care” being beat down, as it applies to the many aliens, and could result in cash flowing OUT of the Triangle to the commoners. This is of course now labeled socialistic and will lead to communism etc”. This “commie influence” is apparent as shown by the total social and financial collapse of our Canadian friends to North. You will note they have “RED” color in their flag as do many of the other major industrial nations that engage in such practices. So stay tuned for the attacks on this that will rate right up their with the attacks on “tax the well off to pay for ///// (you fill in). I only ask the purponents on BOTH sides supply me with the following.
WHAT is their/family health care plan cost who?
WHO pays for it?
If a “I pay for it” does it somehow get into a “business tax deduction” as incorporated self, AKA “single payer plan as tax payers paying for it if you deduct it?
WHAT is your retirement health care program as to above?
WHY are not you covered like those of the Hinterlands?
WHAT are the details of your plan and what have you used so far and what has ALL health related cost you?

So my friends, we great unwashed commoners, we aliens of the Hinterlands.. The “programs/health care, etc are working”, and if you look real closely at the ties, and closely listen to the words, you will see all is fine in the NE Triangle.. all is well, you just reside in the wrong place.

By: Rockfish Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:41:10 +0000 “Since then, however, the economy has done much worse than anybody thought it would. Which is one way of saying that the stimulus has not done as well as people thought it would.”
As noted above, there is no logical causation shown here. “This is a useful datapoint —”
It’s not data, it’s opinion.
” and one way of looking at it is to conclude that the stimulus was so big that the last few hundred billion dollars have had virtually no positive effect at all.”
Again, this is a speculative conclusion with no causation shown.
” And that any extra stimulus would similarly achieve very little.”
This is not backed up by any facts or logical construction.

There is really only one assessment of the stimulus that can be accurately made: it does not appear to be working as much or as quickly as some people expected it to. Many people had their own expectations of what it would achieve and when. Some of those people have not had their expectations met by their perceptions of the effect of the program. That is ALL you can say.

You cannot conclude it didn’t do anything, because 1) you don’t know what would have happened had there been no stimulus and 2) you don’t know it has stopped, or even started, working, because of #1.

If I were to offer my own OPINION (not data, fact, of conclusion) I would say it was poorly constructed. Too much pandering, too many tax cuts, and spread too thin among too many projects. Some of the money was so poorly apportioned it will be nearly all wasted – the $8B High Speed Rail funding is so little money spread across so many pie-in-the sky ideas that, at best, it will employ a couple hundred “consultants” doing studies for a year. It will not put a single shovel in the ground. I’m sure there’s another $100B of stimulus funds spent just as ineffectively. Deduct the $400B in tax cuts (that may not show up in people’s pockets for a year) and you have, at best, $287B of real stimulus spending.
Perhaps you should have said you don’t favor a second stimulus as poorly constructed as this one?

By: Sandra Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:18:32 +0000 Stimulus money has created and saved government jobs. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs have been lost, with thousands and thousands more private sector jobs disappearing daily. It takes the private sector jobs to provide the tax dollars to the government to maintain their lofty goals of growing more and more government. This government is using this stimulus to grow itself and feeding off the private sector. As a consequence the private sectors are leaving this country in droves; leaving more and more of the private sector workers in the unemployment line. This is more than a train wreck. This is an orchastrated, organized manipulation of the economics in this country being used to bring this country down and to elevate the political elite to aristocratic status.

By: Anubis Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:12:23 +0000 One trillion or two trillion dollars is moot. The government has only been able to spend 20 billion dollars so far. Who would have thought that Congress would find it difficult to spend money. There is a deeper underlying problem here. Where is the money and why can it not be spent?