Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Opinion

February 22, 2010

Washington in the 21st century: Leaders failed to learn from history

(Continued)



The president and other supporters of the stimulus bill touted its investments in job creation, saying it would save or create 3.5 million jobs. Without this bill, the president predicted, unemployment would rise from 8 percent to more than 9 percent. In fact, after its enactment, unemployment shot through the 9 percent level to above 10 percent. Clearly, the stimulus did not succeed in stopping job losses, and since it aimed more money at pork barrel projects than actual stimulus activities, and delayed most payments for a year or more, little real stimulation has taken place.

We can’t know for certain what would have happened if TARP and the stimulus hadn’t been implemented, but evidence from both the 1929 and 1987 examples strongly suggests that doing nothing back in October of 2008 and February of 2009 would have been the better decision. And, the country would be $1.5 trillion better off.

Dr. Sowell points out something else we should think about: “This administration and Congress are now in a position to do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression of the 1930s — use a crisis of the times to create new institutions that will last for generations. To this day, we are still subsidizing millionaires in agriculture because farmers were having a tough time in the 1930s. We have the Federal National Mortgage Association (‘‘Fannie Mae”) taking reckless chances in the housing market that have blown up in our faces today, because FDR decided to create a new federal housing agency in 1938. Who knows what bright ideas this administration will turn into permanent institutions for our children and grandchildren to try to cope with?”

Well, how about a nationalized health care system, an economy-busting energy tax, and enormous deficits as far as the eye can see?

Despite massive public disapproval, the president and Congressional leaders seem hell-bent on creating a health care system heavily controlled by government. And despite the fraud and deceit in climate change science, they still want to impose economy crippling levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

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