If the talk at the G20 gathering in England is any indication, the hard-beset global economy is stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. From the American perspective, as articulated by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, what the global economy needs is the same sort of placebo the American government has been administering domestically, to the delight of the ruling classes but the muffled dismay of the middle-class tax base: more stimulus spending.
Official Washington is an a tizzy over new revelations, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal and dutifully amplified by other news outlets, that as much as $50 billion of bailout money sent to ailing mega-insurer AIG was funneled to at least two dozen U.S. and European banks.
“The only way to fully restore America’s economic strength is to make long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world,” said President Barack Obama in his Address to the Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
ITEM: The New York Times reported on January 28, 2009:
The stimulus bill ... is not just a package of spending increases and tax cuts intended to jolt the nation out of recession. For Democrats, it is also a tool for rewriting the social contract with the poor, the uninsured and the unemployed, in ways they have long yearned to do. With little notice and no public hearings, House Democrats would create a temporary new entitlement allowing workers getting unemployment checks to qualify for Medicaid....
The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized rate of 6.2 percent in the final quarter of 2008, almost double the 3.8 percent contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimated by the Commerce Department last month. GDP is the sum of everything of economic value created in the country during a year.
President Barack Obama outlined a financial plan in his February 24 address to Congress that meshes eerily with the fascist economic plan Benito Mussolini enacted after his ascent to power in Italy before the Second World War.
President Barack Obama today signed into law the $787 billion “stimulus” bill — a.k.a. the American Recovery and Investment Act — that is supposed to help jump-start the economy. And despite the gargantuan size of this measure, it is actually just an installment in the administration's overall economic recovery plan.
Why doesn’t someone in the mainstream media take Presidenat Obama and his spokesmen to task for their ridiculous pledges not to repeat “the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place”? Bush’s failed economic policies can be summed up as: 1. spending increases, 2. tax cuts and, therefore, 3. record deficits. And Obama’s economic “stimulus” plan is: 1. spending increases, 2. tax cuts, and therefore, 3. record deficits.
As the massive new stimulus bill, which President Obama is now preparing to sign into law, was undergoing consideration in the Senate, Americans wondered how much the final price would be. At one point during Senate deliberations, House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, responding to concerns that the Senate version was already tens of billions of dollars larger than the House version, sheepishly told reporters that "the objective is to have a bill of less than $900 billion." Yet less than 24 hours later, the cost of the Senate version of the stimulus package was well over $900 billion and continuing to rise.
On his January 29 TV show, Glenn Beck drew national attention to a relatively obscure graph of our nation's "monetary base" (a narrow definition of money supply, also known as M0) maintained online by the Research Department of the St. Louis Federal Reserve. The reason for the special attention was the dramatic hockey stick shape of the graph that developed during the last few months of 2008. Beginning about September the usually stable graph of monetary base vs. years shot virtually straight up for the remainder of the year.