Tired of the Whining About the Stimulus

Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Posted by Jaba |

[As a preface, I was actually hoping that we didn’t do anything at all and let the economy languish and make all those aholes who got us in this mess (ie. over-leveraged, credit-card maxing d-heads) suffer more.]

Of the $787 billion stimulus package, about $478 billion is dedicated to direct spending. Of that amount, about $150 billion is supposed to be spent this fiscal year. Of that amount, about $50 billion has been spent as of the middle of June.

Yet the whining has begun…

Republicans Whining
Those merry Republicans are rehashing the standard tax/spend/evil liberal argument that seems to be their answer to everything. The fact is we’ve only spent about 10 percent of the total stimulus dedicated to direct spending. To put that amount in perspective, $50 billion is about the cost of just two months worth of fighting during GW’s little excursion into Iraq. The Sean Hannities and Glenn Becks of the world are already declaring the stimulus a failure and going on and on about the hundreds of billions we’ve spent only to see a continued degradation to the economy and a continued increase in the unemployment rate. Well the fact is we haven’t yet spent hundreds of billions. We’ve spent $50 billion. Is it a lot of money nominally? Yes. Is it hundreds of billions of dollars? No.

It’s easy to whine, but what exactly is the Republican’s counter-proposal? Do nothing? Since they argue that spending money trying to stimulate the economy is a waste of taxpayer’s dollars, then one can only assume that they support not spending any money at all to stimulate the economy. Or perhaps they think more tax cuts are the solution. Republicans love tax cuts. There’s already about $288 billion of tax cuts in the stimulus package. Maybe they’re suggesting it should have been $500 billion or maybe the full $787 billion. Here’s why a layman like me can’t see more tax cuts really doing much to stimulate the economy:

Tax cuts for businesses: Let’s start with large businesses, like the one that cuts my check every couple of weeks. We have cash. Lots of cash. We have so much cash that we have a hard time deploying it. Let’s say the Republicans magically ruled the world starting today and gave us a generous 10 percent reduction in our tax rate. That would add about 70 million more bucks to our current war chest of about $900 million. What do you think we’ll do with that $70 million on top of the original $900 million we couldn’t even deploy? Hire more folks? Ummm…no. Give us all better salaries and bonuses so we can spend more money stimulating the economy? You jest. What will happen is that the $70 million will continue sitting in our bank account earning a miserable ROI and it will do nothing to help the economy.

How about small businesses? I never really understood the logic here. I always hear Republicans saying that taxes crush small businesses. But I thought taxes were paid on profit? If for some reason you started a boba-slash-male bikini wax joint and for some reason it was losing money, how exactly would a tax cut help? Maybe I need to go to business school to understand that one.

Tax cuts for individuals: If I got a tax cut, I guarantee that the economy would be stimulated. New Porsche. New Panerai. Luxury vacations. Spend baby spend! However, most people who receive a tax cut will not. Those who don’t have money/are in debt will use whatever excess cash to pay down their credit card or start to put some money in their piggy banks. And those that have money/make a good living? Well, unfortunately too many of those are of the “Joel” ilk who will hoard their additional cash like a godamn nuclear winter is coming.

Independents Whining
Like the Republicans, they’re whining that we’re spending all this money and the economy is still sucking. Unlike the Republicans, they don’t necessarily have a problem spending money to stimulate the economy. They just wish things would improve faster. Fair concern, but you must chill the freak out. We’ve spent $50 billion. There’s more than $400 billion to go. Give it a chance to work. You can’t turn the damn Titanic on a dime. If things still suck by the middle of 2010, then you have a legitimate gripe.

Democrats Whining
The Dems – and ironically some Republicans – are complaining that the stimulus dollars aren’t flowing fast enough. They’re upset that “only” $50 billion has been spent (although that amount is still above the projected rate). They seemingly want the government to piss away that money as fast as me in a urinal after a large Coke and a three-hour movie, all in the name of stimulus. That’s stupid. Simply wasting all that money isn’t going to stimulate anything other than a Republican revival in 2012. And now there’s talk about a second stimulus. We haven’t even spent the first pot of money you jackasses!!!

Bottom line, I think everyone is bunch of whining aholes. They need to settle down and be a bit freaking patient. And I don’t know about people in Detroit or Birmingham or Little Rock, but in La Jolla I don’t see much of a recession at all. The Nordies was packed last Tuesday with shopping MILF’s and I had to wait 20 minutes to get my damn shoes shined. I also noticed the 10-20 dollar tips the shoe shine guy was getting. Recession my arse.