President-elect Barack Obama has laid out a plan to “create or save” three million jobs during his first two years in office. His plan is to increase government spending, deficit be damned, by at least $775 billion dollars over that same period. While the projects he plans to invest in are things that we Americans can all use, the stimulus plan will be a flop. Here’s how I got here:
Let’s start with the money. Obama plans to increase government spending without any increases in taxes, so that negates his use of PAYGO budgeting. At the same time, the total amount of money per job that he creates or saves will come out to more than $258,333 per job. There are business executives who don’t even make this money for their job, yet Obama, who has never held a private sector job in his lifetime figures the cost of a job to “create or save” at more than one quarter of a million dollars.
Any reasonable businessperson, like myself, will tell you that if it cost that much money to save a job, we would rather sooner terminate the job immediately. The problem here is that Obama and the other people in government have no real concept of what it costs to run a business, generally speaking. The purpose of a business is not to make customers happy or to employ as many people as possible. The end goal of a business is maximizing their profits and making their shareholders money. Those who do not live by that mantra of making money for the company and stockholders quickly go out of business.
The two things that the average person on the street does not realize are how much one billion is and how much one trillion is. For the concept of one billion dollars, imagine that on the day of the birth of Jesus Christ you were given one billion dollars and had to spend $1,000 each day onward while gaining no interest, you would be still be spending money for at least the next 700 years. By comparison, one trillion dollars is one thousand times one billion.
Second, according to the CIA Factbook, the current Gross Domestic Product (GDP, or the total value of all goods and services produced inside the borders of the United States) currently sits at $14.334 trillion. In other words the stimulus is only 5.4 percent of GDP. From here, that percentage goes down fast.
In the Highway Spending Bill that Congress recently passed, less than 26 percent of that money was spent within the first fiscal year. If this holds true, it then means that a value of less than one-and-a-half percent of the nation’s GDP will be infused in to the economy within the first fiscal year of the stimulus bill’s existence. For an economy that will be going in to a deep recession throughout 2009, this does not bode well for Obama.
The end result is an increase in inflation thanks to the increase of the deficit to a level that will approach or exceed two trillion dollars this fiscal year and a slow-to-respond stimulus bill that will actually, when implemented, cause the death of many jobs.
However, that is only half the story about Obama’s economic plans for America. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to get Obama to sign the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) which is Orwellian by name, but will cause considerable damage when implemented and enforced. Barring a miraculous filibuster by the Republicans in the Senate, America’s workforce will become unionized and small businesses will close their doors.
What’s more is that the unions will get the ultimate payback from the Democrats they helped get elected. Their membership and union dues received will increase which will give the unions considerable influence in American politics and with their membership. Also, the union bosses will be able to oversee how each of its members votes in a union election, bringing to an end the secret ballot. If the Senate Republicans cannot stop this bill, small businesses in the United States will either have to shell out more of their money to meet the demands of the unions or they will close their doors, or both.
If this comes in to play, the projections for an unemployment rate of nine percent will look good to Americans because the unemployment rate in the USA will be higher than at any time since Ronald Reagan’s first term following the horrific economic policies of Jimmy Carter. The only difference is that Reagan was able to lower the unemployment rate from its peak in December 1982 of 10.8 percent to 8.3 percent in December 1983 and ultimately to 7.2 percent the very month he won a 49-state landslide win against Walter Mondale. By contrast, Obama won his election with an inflation rate of 1.07 percent and an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent in November 2008.
Finally, research from economists at UCLA determined that the Great Depression lasted seven years longer because of the New Deal. Obama wants to implement the New New Deal almost from the moment he takes office. Considering that the double-digit unemployment rates did not end until 1943, this means that had the New Deal not been implemented by President Franklin Roosevelt, the Great Depression would have ended in 1936 leading to an easy reelection.
The reality is that Obama doesn’t have the luxuries that FDR had when he was President, yet he wants to take us back to the past with an economic policy that exacerbated and extended this long economic slump. If this plan flops (and it will), just like FDR, Obama will come back with a sequel of New New Deal II which will be used as a means to “save” his job during a time of economic distress.
If the Republicans are able to do anything, it will be to vote against the stimulus package and to attempt to block the EFCA. Should this happen, they will have the ability to say that these things are prolonging the economic crisis and that they fought it all the way. If not, they will be on the same side of the line as Obama and the Democrats in 2010 and again in 2012 which could pave the way for two terms of economic agony.
It’s almost crunch time and the Republicans need to fight the expansion of big government early and often, then turn around and use it as a means to defeat Obama and Obamaism when given the opportunities to do so in 2010 and 2012. If not, they will become a permanent minority party with previous successful Presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan as distant memories of what was once great about America, but never will be again.
It’s time for the GOP to be ready to fight Barack Obama when he’s wrong (like on these matters) and Obamaism.