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February 09, 2009 05:38 PM UTC

Drinking the Phobos flavored kool-aid

  • by: cologeek

(Remember, the day after this “stimulus” bill passes, Geithner will come out with Tarp II, which is supposedly over $1 trillion. – promoted by Laughing Boy)

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the current recession most likely will not last past mid-year,…

Given that, what exactly is the need for such a huge, deficit exploding “stimulus package”?  I won’t argue that there are those who will need help recovering from the economic downturn, but I can’t see the need for anything that’s the size of what is being shoved down our throats.  

So why the efforts by those on the left to generate fear?:…  An irreversible recession?  The CBO report already puts the lie to that statement.  It’s pure fear mongering on the part of the President, and nothing else.  The unemployment numbers aren’t good, but they won’t get above the levels of the last bad recession we had let alone the Great Depression.  The majority of Americans aren’t losing their jobs, just as the majority weren’t losing their homes when Congress passed the last big boondoggle in October.

Things aren’t anywhere near good, but we are not standing on the precipice of the worst economy the country has ever seen.  We have been here before and we survived it without the overwhelming spending we are going to be paying for a looong time to come when this fear based bill passes.


24 thoughts on “Drinking the Phobos flavored kool-aid

  1. Remember, the day after this “stimulus” bill passes, Geithner will come out with Tarp II, which is supposedly over $1 trillion.

    Geithner’s proposal is scheduled for unveiling tomorrow. The stimulus bill isn’t “passing” today. What are you talking about, LB?

    1. The Senate will vote on its version of the Stimulus bill at around 5:30 ET today.

      That’s not the same as passing the ultimate version that will come out of Conference, but I can see how the mistake was made.

      I’m also not sure that Geithner will be talking about a second TARP tomorrow–I thought he was just going to talk about what he was going to do with the second half of the TARP money that was already appropriated last fall.  Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

  2. Recessions generally last about nine months.  This one has lasted 15, and is getting worse, not better.  And it is getting worse fast – employment, tax revenues, house prices, spending; all falling off a cliff.  And what’s coming up is likely to make things worse:  huge cuts in state spending mean layoffs, more tax revenue drops, more foreclosures, etc.

    Dems are trying to generate fear because they feel some fear is appropriate.  I hope you are right and everything is just about to turn around and get better.  But I don’t see it.

    1. .

      I don’t think it’s Constitutional, and I don’t think it will retard the slide.  

      But I concede your point that the idea that the “recession” ends in 6 months is hokum.  

      We’re now in a depression; when will that be acknowledged ?    

      In my neighborhood, at least, there has not yet been any shakeout in the housing micro-market.  Until the problem with folks paying on $250,000 mortgages against $150,000 homes gets sorted out, this economy is on the skids.

      Each month, before making their payment, every one of my neighbors who refinanced to get cash out for a jetski must decide if its still worth it.  

      For some, the decision is made for them by events beyond their control.  Someone who loses a job, then loses their home, and finally hits bottom, this guy can realistically reassess his worldly possessions, and his options, and start to rebuild.  

      But for the guy who is still betting on the come, holding his breath until his house regains all that lost value, there is no way that he can take stock honestly and move forward.  And it is his lack of confidence that has this economy on the rocks.


  3. we passed a $168B stimulus plan.  At that time, the CBO also projected the recession would be rather short, albeit severe.  That was of course a “stimulus” that did nothing but send a check to people…most of the money never making its way into the economy.  Quite simply, it didn’t work.

    So, it’s time to try something new, not just to soften the effects of the recession, but to work towards reversing them.  That’s going to require a significant budget outlay, one that dems feel is worth it.

    We’re going to be paying “for a looong time to come” for a lot of things.  The stimulus package is at least a plausibly worth it…

    1. I was stunned when I saw this.  When compared to the past two recessions I think it’s useful.  However, if we are going to compare to recessions from the 50s, I want to see job losses as a percentage of total employed.

      I can remember how bad the 1982 recession was.  I think we’re getting to that neighborhood right now on employment, but throw in the housing bubble, credit crisis, and whatever else and it’s unsettling, at best.

      thanks for posting that link…

        1. For it to be relevant, you have to give me a polynomial that relates it to ’74, ’80, ’81, ’91, and/or ’01.

          Because without some actual math, it’s just a line on a chart with no indication of how it relates to reality.

          I’m predisposed to believe you’re right, but I’m not going to say that without some evidence that it’s not just a line on a chart with no mathematical basis for extrapolation.

          1. You want a polynomial to relate it to the other data? Do you even know what that means? Because I can’t imagine how it makes any sense.

            Mathematics is not magical. The chart is just experimental data; a polynomial is substantially less information. I could easily give you an interpolating polynomial, but it would be necessarily very error-prone.  

  4. Normally, sharp contractions in economic activity are followed by rapid rebounds, but this forecast anticipates that the recovery in 2010 will be slow for a number of reasons.

    The term “recession” has a very narrow meaning. I recall that Republicans were saying the economy was fine throughout 2008 because we hadn’t met the technical definition of “recession” yet, but in real terms for most people, it was pretty crappy. Even once GDP starts growing modestly, actually catching up to where we were is going to take a while, by CBO projections.

    Here’s a simple example. Let’s say your 401k loses 5% of its value in a year, and then the next year it gains 1% back. You’re still worse off than when you started, despite the fact that you’ve stopped the bleeding. A recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, and its effects are not immediately canceled out once GDP starts growing again.

  5. The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    H. L. Mencken


    Giving non-earned, borrowed money away (bailouts and stimulus) creates ZERO wealth and merely, at best, re-distributes jobs.  In this case, mostly for political benefit.

    BOTH parties do it for that reason, and that alone.

    And you liberal dweebs now actually start believing the hype you NEVER bought from that dufus Bush.  Pitiful


    1. It makes no difference whether it’s true or not, as long as another uninformed person said it on a talk show or blog somewhere. By the time you point out that what they’re saying is the exact opposite of what their evidence shows, they’re on to another tactic.

      Eventually you can’t keep arguing with people who just make shit up with impunity.  

  6. Didn’t WWII involve massive government spending? Isn’t that what got us out of the depression?  

    Is spending, no matter how wasteful only OK with the “conservatives” as long as it involves massive bloodshed?  

    Don’t recall ANY complaints about the unbudgeted cost of the Iraq war and nothing but GOP resistance to any investigations of massive contractor waste and fraud.  In fact anyone who wanted to look at that particular bit of over the top spending was branded unpatriotic.  

    Is there some connection between spending and bloodletting (with; good, without; bad)  in conservative economic theory?  

  7. I am watching our sales, the level of interest from prospects, budget availability, etc. Up till January we were ok. People were worried but sales were moving as before. But in January we started seeing projects delayed or cancelled.

    Things are getting worse. And when it keeps going down turning it around becomes much harder, and more expensive.

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