The Phony Stimulus
The Bush economic plan is a $150 billion debacle. Here's a cheaper, more effective, and longer-lasting alternative.
Everybody likes "free" money. So it's no wonder that President Bush's plan to give up to $1,200 per family to taxpayers to get the economy moving again will sail through Congress. The logic seems compelling: We face a looming recession because the consumer isn't spending. Give 'em some money to spend! The president's team is hailing the plan as a cheap $150 billion shot in the arm that will check the downturn and get the economy rolling again. Do you mind if I'm blunt and say that this is the stupidest, most wasteful, and least effective idea possible to reverse the decline in the U.S. economy, a decline that is pulling the rest of the world down with it? The only stimulus this package will generate is a boost to the bottom lines of Men's Wearhouse or Nike or maybe Apple, as if what really ails America is slowing suit, sneaker, and iPod sales. The stimulus plan shows, once again, the cluelessness of this administration about how the economy works, something I find especially depressing given that Hank Paulson, the Treasury secretary who was no lightweight when he ran Goldman Sachs, should know better....MORE
These United States long ago cried Uncle but the President went right-on twisting our elbow behind our back yesterday, insisting that the not-even-great boondoggle plotted in our nation's capitol could be described with terms like "economic" and "stimulus." As is usually the case, this is a clear sign that there is nothing economic about the plan and little that is stimulating, unless triggering our gag reflex counted.
As our eyes threatened to glaze over we turned our eyes away from the idiot box and toward the mounting mountain of periodicals that demand our attention each week. For no particular reason we can determine, we received three copies of New York magazine last night. This had the surprising effect of convincing us to turn our attention to the magazine. Note to advertisers on dead trees: you may want to insist that magazines mail multiple copies to subscribers. At least it ensures the mass circulation magazine will be picked up and perhaps an eyeball or two will settle on the pricey ads you somehow still believe should be placed there instead of on, ahem, little websites.
Leafing through the magazine we found ourselves experience a bit of intellectual surprise. We were reading a column by a man named James J. Cramer—as he calls himself in print—and we were agreeing with it! We read on, mouths agape. Had this final act of the Bush administration accomplished reconciliation between Cramer and DealBreaker?
More on the potential reconciliation after the jump....MORE