President-elect Obama is lucky that his media followers don’t think carefully about what he says:
“Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) — President-elect Barack Obama said the U.S. recession will worsen before a recovery takes hold and that he will offer an economic stimulus plan “equal to the task” without worrying about a short-term widening of the budget deficit. Dealing with the loss of jobs, frozen credit markets, falling home prices and other signs of economic turmoil is “my number one priority,” Obama said on NBC today. Later at a Chicago news conference he said “more aggressive steps” are needed to cope with the housing crisis.”
- So short-term the economy will get worse.
- In the short-term the deficit is going to get worse.
- His stimulus plan that we’ve been hearing about lately? A long-term infrastructure spending program.
- And what is his long-term spending program going to do to the deficit? Something to worry about, maybe?
I had hoped that at this point I would be able to switch to saying something good about Obama’s idea of a long-term infrastructure plan. Yes, it will do more harm than good. Going into debt to solve a problem created by too much debt does not seem like a winner. But things like roads and bridges would give him something to show for our money in the end, even if it makes the financial situation worse and more drawn-out.
Unfortunately, I took the trouble just now to read beyond the headlines. It looks like he is using a very expansive definition of the term “infrastructure.” With the direction he’s taking, it’ll be a program to spend massive amounts of money on every special interest represented in Congress.
Saying something nice about Obama will have to wait for another time.
Computers in classrooms? I thought by now we had gotten over that fad and had been chastened by the results. And something that becomes obsolete in 5 years is not exactly infrastructure.
Greater broadband availability? Yes, that could be called infrastructure. But why should the government build this, when municipality after municipality has failed financially in its efforts to provide government-sponsored internet. Why not instead fix the tax and regulatory climate (including an abolishing or reform of the E-rate program) so that private companies will be motivated to build broadband services. Then local governments will have services to tax and so increase their revenues. And there will be obscene profits to tax, too, which will provide revenue. Why would government want to shut off its income-producing sources?
Technology in doctor’s offices? Spending on all this technology stuff may be a way to pay back all the high-tech workers and industries who spent so much money on his campaign. But why not instead create an economic climate in which doctors will be able to adopt the technology when it proves its ability to improve efficiency and make more money for them?