Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day, Hugh Miller, president and CEO of RTP Co., stopped at our office with a piece he had written about the massive, looming federal deficit, an attempt to make the average person aware of the financial catastrophe in store for our country if it isn’t dealt with immediately. He explained that he ordinarily shuns any kind of publicity, but that as a citizen, he is so concerned that he felt he had to do something. Read his thoughts on the back page of this edition and then come back to this editorial, (my thinking, not necessarily Hugh’s), if you can resist the impulse to run and hide under the bed.
As disturbing and depressing as the situation is currently, it appears that it could get worse yet, according to the front page story in Friday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press, “New jobs stimulus package in works.” According to this article President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress are putting a new stimulus package together, which will devote yet billions more dollars to creating jobs. They apparently feel that the $787 billion bill passed earlier this year was just not enough money. “The stimulus boosted employment but ‘did it in a way that was not as highly visible as a lot of people would like,’ said Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, who is working on the new legislation. Apparently, $787 billion can only buy invisible jobs – ones you can see cost real money!
Says Barbara Lee, D-Cal., “I hope we don’t play around the edges of this thing and we do what will work...we have to create jobs and we have to create them right away.” Some of the ideas these solons have concocted for all this job creation is to make loans to small businesses, or create partnerships between government and private employers to avert layoffs by paying a share of their payrolls. And of course there is a plan in the works to funnel aid to state and local governments, but only to preserve jobs. Perhaps this new money will go to preserve government jobs that were created in the last go-round.
Of course, all this fresh spending will add to the monstrous and swelling deficit, but their is little fear that the public will grow restive. Nancy Pelosi sums it up nicely with this classic remark: “The American people have an anger about the growth of the deficit because they’re not getting anything for it.” So get all of the little piggies a slice of the pie and they’ll shut right up.
It is as difficult to grasp the breadth and depth of stupidity this thinking typifies, as it is for the ordinary person to imagine a trillion dollars. Nevertheless, here are some observations. The idea of lending employers money to meet payrolls they can’t afford is something that a panel of fifth graders wouldn’t credit. In the real world, loans have to be paid back. You can’t retire from your seat in Congress, go back to California, and forget about them. Employers cut payrolls because there isn’t work and they aren’t making money. How in the world will it help them to go into debt to pay people to do nothing?
The economy has recovered somewhat, but most employers are leery of hiring people back, because the actions of this government scares the bejeezus out of them and they haven’t the foggiest idea of the conditions under which they will have to do business in the future. Badly stressed companies are looking at having to pick up a hefty share of a 2,000 page, trillion dollar government health care takeover which no one believes is going to save any money for anyone. $787 billion was borrowed and tossed around like penny candy at a parade, to no “visible” good. The administration and its allies promised this spending would hold unemployment, now at 10.2% to 8%. Proven wrong, that they didn’t know what they were talking about, they conclude that they should do the same thing again, only harder.
At the end of the article, an anonymous Democratic Senate aide is quoted: “Democrats have to address the No. 1 concern of their constituents – and that is, by a long shot, jobs. We want to show we get it – that we’re responsible and in tune.”
Looney tunes, clearly.