C’mon Joe. It never was going to work.

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Joe Biden

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, July 23, 2010.

When you were a kid, did you ever get caught red-handed by your parents and yet try to convince them to ignore their lying eyes? Vice president Joe Biden did that in an exclusive interview on ABC’s This Week with Jake Tapper. In response to questions regarding the effectiveness of the $787 billion stimulus bill, he said this: (Click here to listen.)

“The recovery package – everybody’s talking about it having – it’s over. The truth is, now, we’re spending more now, this summer, than we, – I’m calling this the recovery – the summer of recovery.”

Do you remember the stimulus bill? It went from a blank sheet of paper to over 2,000 sheets of paper at a cost of over a trillion dollars, when you count interest, in just over three weeks in the opening months of 2009. The largest spending bill in U.S. history was crammed through Congress, in what would become a new tradition, with almost no debate and with no member of Congress having read the entire bill. When questioned, Democrats in Congress and the administration said that there wasn’t a second to waste and that any delay was simply intolerable.

A year and a half later, we’re now told by the vice president that only now can we reasonably expect to see any result. So what exactly was the big hurry?

This is the summer of recovery, according to the vice president. Well, the summer’s not over yet, but the back-to-school sales have started. If it’s going to be the summer of recovery, it’s going to have to hurry.

If you go to the website that was set up as a result of the stimulus bill, recovery.gov, you’ll see a graphic telling you that for the first quarter of this year, 682,000 jobs were funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Note the language, “funded” rather than “created.” Handing out money to pay workers that were already working isn’t the same as getting unemployed workers back to work. You won’t find any data on the recovery.gov website that tells you anything about the number of jobs created. That’s because they can’t document that any have been.

Nothing that is said or written in defense of the stimulus bill convinces. That’s why over 90 percent of Americans according to some polls believe that it was all a grand waste of time and money.

The reason no one believes that the stimulus did any good is because there was never any chance that it could do more than nibble at the edges. And that’s because the stimulus bill sprang from the fatally flawed premise that massive amounts of government spending leads to job and wealth creation. Just the opposite has happened.

Do you want a true stimulus package? Here goes. The top 400 taxpayers in 2007 paid an average of $45 million each in personal income taxes. Instead of raising their taxes to pay for all of this useless spending, cap their taxes at $5 million and let them keep the other $40 million. That comes to $16 billion in the hands of people that are apparently good with money.

But Paul, they’ll just go out and spend the money on airplanes and fast cars and big houses and fancy boats.

Right.

And someone will be getting paid to build airplanes and cars and houses and boats.

It’s an over simple illustration but it asks a profound question. Who can push billions of dollars of wealth through the economy to better effect, the government or the people who created the wealth in the first place?

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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4 Responses

  1. Nixon's Ghost says:

    Silly Joe… spending us out of debt??? How about a flat tax with no deductions.

    I heard Obama was going to simplify the tax form:

    1. How much did you earn in 2010
    2. Send it in.

  2. Earl Holt III says:

    As usual, Paul is right as rain.

    If the wealthy had their tax liabilities capped at $5 million, not only would people who build airplanes and yachts benefit, but also those who sell yachts and airplanes, as well as those who maintain them, as well as those who insure them, as well as those paid to fly and sail them, as well as (well, you get the idea…)

  3. Linda E. Montrose says:

    The so call “stimulus” was nothing but a way of team obama getting their hands on our money for their purposes. They can’t explain to anyone WHERE the money has gone. But I expect that come November or a little before, we will see where our money went. They say that if you tell a lie enough, it becomes a truth, but poor ole Joe can’t even get that right!

  4. Rick Armstrong says:

    What has happened to us? How did we allow ourselves to become so far in debt and have such bafoons lead us. They have been passing out their Kool-aid for so long that even THEY believe the lies and, frankly, the B/S.

    Never, ever, in any Economics Class, Theory or Setting has increased spending taken away debt or sped the recovery of a debtor. The Progressive Socialist don’t even believe this themselves; it is just a means to an end. The collapse of the Free Enterprise system, as we know it, and a slap in the face of every American who is capable of honest thought.

    Be afraid America, be very afraid. For these men and women are so power hungry and convinced that they know best for you, that you are too stupid to think for yourself and that America needs monster Government to “take care of us” that they will stoop to any level to insult your intelligence and put you in your place.

    For, given the chance, they will lie their way into eternal power and the yoke of their tyanny will lay heavy upon all of us.

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