Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lord, the Lies! - CBO Report & Other News

I was reading through the comments session of a blog in The Nation by John Nichols, "Obama: 'Send Me A Bill That Creates or Saves 4 Million Jobs'," when I came across this comment:

Even "more better"...ask BO how all their massive government spending helped end Japan's 1990s recession...(hint: it's a trick question)

And then ask why he continues to promote this massive spending when his own CBO believes we'll be out of this recession by the 2nd half of 2009 if we do NOTHING...and ths bill will make our economy WORSE in the long run...

I can't let it go. A number of things are wrong. First, the reason Japan lost a decade is because they never did enough. All their tries at a stimulus plan were too small. Or, at least I think that's what the president or the economic advisor to the vice president said. Something like that.

Okay, so anyway, I read the most recent CBO report, an "analysis is based on an average of the effects of two versions of H.R. 1—as passed by the House and as passed by the Senate. (The economic effects of those two bills are broadly similar.)" (pdf). The closest thing it says that resembles what Republicans are apparently saying about it is this:

In contrast to its positive near-term macroeconomic effects, the legislation would reduce output slightly in the long run, CBO estimates, as would other similar proposals. The principal channel for this effect is that the legislation would result in an increase in government debt.
Yeah. Slightly. And correct me if I'm wrong, but won't a plan full of tax cuts do the same? And the report does not say that we'll be better of doing nothing. In fact, if I'm reading correctly, and I'd like to think that I am, in every year, the worst expectations of the plan is better than doing nothing.

You should read the rest of the CBO report for yourself. To my understanding, the stimulus plans would have a positive short-term impact. In the long run, the economy will even out. They expect no negative growth, just a decline in wages. I'm not happy about the potential for a decline in wages, but anything we can do right now to boost the economy might be worth it. I'm not an economist or anything, but a decline in wages seems reasonable if we have more people working, you know?

Now, to other news. It was Smart Pants's birthday today, so I called her. As soon as I said, "Hey!" she told me it was her birthday. She had cake and pizza. I asked if it was fun. Answer, "Yes." Lauren and Jamie already bought her tricycle - I may have spilled the beans about that before my aunt and uncle actually gave Smart Pants the tricycle, though. And Lauren ordered the cake from overseas. As she explained to me, she couldn't help it.

Things are okay for Lauren and Dee for now. She told me it was like her regular training, but that other people on the bases were warning that things would get worse as soon as the weather got warmer. Which seems about right if I remember correctly from past summers. I can't lie. Right now, I'm kinda scared for my cousin. Sadly enough, I haven't heard anyone suggest that Pres. Obama had a genius plan for getting us out of Afghanistan.

I can't imagine how other military families deal with this. This is just my cousin who's been living in the Northeast for the past 4 or 5 years. She's only been here to visit every year or so, and there were some visits when I didn't get a chance to see her. And yet, the next 11 months can't go by fast enough.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis