All The News That Fits

Replacing Hope With Fear: Obama’s Stimulus Package

Posted by Nancy on February 11, 2009

The stimulus package we are all going to have to live with will affect every single American’s life.  It may even kill some of us.  From Bloomberg:

One new bureaucracy in the stimulus package, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”  [snip]

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. .. What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).  

Could they possibly come up with anything more frightening than rationing health care on a cost-effectiveness basis, and telling senior citizens to get used to the afflicitions associated with aging rather than treating them?  Ronald Reagan had it right when he said the scariest sentence in the English language is:  “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Then we are being lied to (again) by Joe Biden

We’re going to go through that budget line by line by line, eliminating those things that aren’t productive, eliminating those things that aren’t really needed now.  [snip]

Every economist, as I’ve said, from conservative to liberal, acknowledges that direct government spending on a direct program now is the best way to infuse economic growth and create jobs.  

Really?  Can I snicker about that first sentence?  Perhaps a guffaw?  Actually, I’m dying laughing here.  I mean, when did the president (let alone the vice president) get a line item veto?  And does anyone really think that bill isn’t the most wasteful pork project ever construed by greedy politicians?

As for the second paragraph, you know, the one that says every economist agrees massive government spending is our only redemption:

The Obama administration has claimed that virtually all economists support their approach to “stimulus” spending. This is patently untrue. Nobel Laureates Ed Prescott, James Buchanan, and Vernon Smith recently joined 200 other economists signing a letter opposing the legislation. Other notable economists critical of the stimulus package include Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, as well as Robert Barro, Greg Mankiw, Arthur Laffer, and Larry Lindsey.  Martin Feldstein, who had been the only notable conservative economist loudly supporting the stimulus, has since changed his mind.

More liberal economists such as Alice Rivlin and Alan Blinder have also strongly criticized certain aspects of the spending bill.  [snip]

National Economic Council Director Larry Summers (January 2008): “[P]oorly provided fiscal stimulus can have worse side effects than the disease that is to be cured. [snip]

President’s budget director, Peter Orszag (January 2008 CBO report he oversaw): “Large-scale construction projects of any type require years of planning and preparation. Even those that are ‘on the shelf’ generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy.”

That same CBO has joined the chorus of critics by recently releasing a report projecting that the “stimulus” will worsen the long-run performance of the economy.  Brian Riedl

I’m not seeing unanimity here, unless you want to say these economists are unanimously against the stimulus package.

We have been told that tax cheat Tim Geithner is the only person with the wisdom and knowledge to be Secretary of the Treasury and lead us out of this turmoil.  But Larry Kudlow tells us:

The day after President Obama’s big news conference, and on the day Treasury-man Tim Geithner unveiled his Bank Bailout Nation TARP III Plan, stock markets plunged in a vote of no-confidence, with the Dow dropping nearly 400 points.  [snip]

Geithner had no real plan to deal with the problem of unmarketable toxic assets on bank balance sheets. He offered no new architectural structure, no good way to remove the toxic assets, no clear pricing or funding proposals, and no meat on the bones.

According to Merriam-Webster, a “plan” is “a detailed formulation of a program of action; a method for achieving an end.” But Mr. Geithner had none of this. As a result, stocks plunged… Prominent investment strategist Ed Yardeni described Geithner as an empty suit with an empty plan


From American Thinker on Tim Geithner and the bank bailout mess:

No one knows how much it will cost. No one knows how it will work. And no one knows if Obama and Geithner aren’t just making things up as they go along, stalling for time until they can come up with ideas on how to solve the crisis.

Stocks responded to the overwhelming negative reaction by experts and tanked 4.6%. The consensus is that they either don’t know what they’re doing or they just don’t have a clue about how to recapitalize the banks. There are enormous fears that the US banking system is tottering, on the edge of disaster. Some experts believe that the net worth of US banks is less than zero.

Hmmm.  Now where should we put our money?  Under the mattress,  a la The Great Depression?  Our banks have no assets due to loaning too much to those who can’t afford to pay it back, so the government is going to solve the problem by borrowing more from them?  Puh-leease.

When you’re in a hole you need to stop digging.

Then there’s this absolute must read from Kyle-Anne Shiver:

What happens when everything that can go wrong in a person’s character formation does go wrong, and that person continues to be promoted to his level of incompetence?

President Barack Obama happens.

I’m well into my sixth decade of life and have yet to see a more perfect collision of Murphy’s Law with the Peter Principle in a single individual.

Proper character development is the overriding aim of good parents in raising their children.  Mature parents, especially those Judeo/Christian parents with faith, believe it sinful to raise a child without strong self-constraint, a well-formed conscience, ingrained humility and an ironclad respect for the rights of others.  Children raised thusly become self-supporting adults, honest in their dealings with others and prone to be contributing members of the society at large.

The world is purely chock full of bad parents, however.  Plum chock full.

An insightful article.  The following is too.

“A man who thinks like this does not look back or learn from mistakes. At least not until he’s forced to, until the realization dawns that his first two weeks have dictated the actions of the rest of his first year, his first three months the balance of his entire term. Namely, that he’ll [be] spending his time desperately fingering through the handbook trying to figure out how to change things back the way they were in the first place.”   J.R.Dunn

Hide your guns, here come the feds.

Okay, this one is not in the stimulus package.  Still, it is in complete opposition to campaign promises – and it promises to alienate the entirety of middle America.  Congress is preparing legislation requiring universal federal gun registration.  H.B. 45, known as Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 and named after an Illinois youth who was shot on a bus, was introduced to Congress on Jan. 6 and referred to the Judiciary Committee.

They reason firearms must be regulated and registered because the interstate and intrastate sales transactions are so commingled only the government can save us from ourselves. 

Is there a country where firearms have been regulated and registered where it didn’t ultimately lead to gun confiscation?

I am finding it difficult to blog about our new president, not for lack of interesting topics, but out of pure dismay at it all.  I’m overwhemed at the audacity of insanity going on in Congress, and at obama’s laissez-faire attitude to it.  As the ancient curse says:  “May you live in interesting times.”

The next four years are going to be interesting.  Too interesting.


4 Responses to “Replacing Hope With Fear: Obama’s Stimulus Package”

  1. mhanna43 said

    No one knows what to do. Everyone blames the other. There will be no firearms allowed soon enough which is ridiculous.

  2. Outstanding observations and links. I appreciated every bit of this entry. The obviousness of the insanity going on around us is being ignored by far too many. But little by little, I’m hoping even uninterested folks will open their eyes.

    I am adding your site to my blogroll. Please take a moment to read my entry today:
    Transparency? Be Careful What You Wish for, Mr. President

  3. Anonymous said

    Mom Blogs – Blogs for Moms…

  4. Stan Maril said

    When one conceives the issue at hand, i have to agree with your endings. You intelligibly show cognition about this topic and i have much to learn after reading your post.Lot’s of greetings and i will come back for any further updates.

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