One reason I am a pretty firm conservative is my sense that deep down, liberals just aren't very practical. (This may also be why I often find both libertarians and neo-conservatives off target). Instead of worrying first and foremost about the practical concerns of citizens, liberals conjure up dystopias of quasi-fascist police states; platenary environmental degradation; and workplaces all being beyond the world of Charles Dickens. And in order to prevent anyone's rights being trampled upon, a limitless series of public hearings, impact studies, administrative appeals and lawsuits must be negotiated before things get built, properties get sold or criminals sent to jail. And of course, honest public servants are on the receiving end of this, and often conclude clock watching never got one's career ruined.
So, unlike many posters on conservative sites, I do have some admiration for FDR and his works. But I also know well enough that the 21st century thicket of legal requirements makes the good of the New Deal very hard to implement.
Thanks in part to FDR's capital, Robert Moses, was the exemplar of "shovel ready"....he had shovels going in all five boroughs of NYC. But now, projects of lasting utility like Moses's bridges and tunnels take decades to build, if they can be built at all. So one reason so many contemporary public works projects seem lame may be; well, that's what you are able to build in this environment.
Let's assume we are in need of massive Keynesian stimulus, and restoring American employment and productivity are the absolute most important things we must do. So what would we do---besides finding things to spend money on ?
We would look at what could render this expenditure ineffective and suspend it, remove it, or at the very least not add to it.
That's NOT the Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda. Instead---it's just liberals in a candy store.
At a point when businesses are finding it hard to make payroll, it's probably not a good time to write more strigent laws governing alleged gender discrimination , including terms which "allows workers, for the first time, to collect limitless punitive and compensatory damages."
Put aside whether federal judges or bureaucrats ought to decide you need to pay your receptionsist more than your fork lift operators, (because men drive fork lifts) irrespective of the marketplace; more lawsuits mean fewer jobs.
And I think the negative impact of card check on job creation is self-evident to all but the most dedicated liberal.
And when the American manufacturing sector is hurting badly, maybe this is not the year to embark on a crusade against global warming considering much of the multitrillion dollar price tag will no doubt be borne by energy consumers. Bloomberg news says "There is no consensus on how the government and consumers would finance the needed investments in renewable energy and other projects to trim greenhouse-gas emissions during a recession" Well, as Nic Sarkozy would say non merde.....there isn;t going to be $500B/year for this as long we are throwing that mind of dough at the banks.....unless, of course, someone thinks higher electric rates are going to stimulate the economy.
Even if we delay a full bore green offensive, Francis Cionfrocco persuasively argues the massive proposed federal investment will be way off target. Perhaps a year or so ought to be taken to determine if trying to force everyone to use electric cars is simply going to exchange blackouts for oil price spikes. (since generators and transmission lines get NIMBYed and BANANAed to death by politicians of both parties)
One also might wonder why we would be spending billions to increase the quantity of "affordable housing" when housing values are dropping like a rock and one major city has a huge glut of abandoned firetraps. Perhaps we need to get work to all the underemployed carpenters and roofers out there; building added housing and depressing prices further is a problematic way to do it.
The UAW's diffidence about a rational labor deal with the in extremis domestic auto makers is also going to stall our recovery. Domo Arigato Mr. Gettlefinger
Now one thing that might reduce unemployment of American workers would be to effectively control illegal immigration, which would also act to prop up wages for the less-skilled sectors of the American labor force. So, the Obama Administration plans to hire more border patrol and ICE agents to stop illegal crossings and deport illegals faster? (and, hmm, hiring more Border Patrol and ICE agents, might, hmm, lower unemployment?)
well, in a word, No.
Unless he's gonna throw his DHS pick "under the bus"
In an 83-page policy questionnaire, Napolitano said she would consider "a broad range of changes" to Bush immigration policies, whose focus on raids, criminal prosecutions and expedited deportation of immigrants has been criticized by immigrant advocates and civil liberties groups as unduly harsh.
Ironically, Hispanic Americans list the economy far ahead of immigration as a pressing concern. Guess their lobbyist didn;t get the memo to wise up the Obama team.
In the New Deal, the parts that worked (and stuff like the National Recovery Administration didn;t) were focused on simply getting things built and putting people to work. Like Robert Moses's bridges.
The Obama Administration says these are extraordinary times demanding extraordinary federal expenditures. But instead of telling the usual suspects in the liberal coalition to stand down while they go to work to restore our economy, they simply bring all them all along for the ride.
I might well still find much of the Obama spending spree objectionable , if for no other reason the unbelievable scale and manufactered urgency virtually insures inordinate waste and corruption. But had the Obama team made sure that the usual liberal barnacles on the economy were put on hold, I'd give them huge marks for sincerity.
But if this is simply going to be the world's biggest gift to one's political supporters in human hsitory, instead of a real recovery package, well , then I think John Boehner has it right. As Power Line put it, it's the Biggest Boondoggle in American History
I want the American economy to succeed no matter who is President. But this car is not going to go very far forward if we are flooring the accelerator with trillion dollar deficits and pulling the "parking break "of liberal special interest laws, taxes and regulations at the same time.
I hope the "transmission" in the American economy does not "drop"......there's no AAA to call if Obama and company wreck the car not knowing how to drive it. .