Some back story:
On February 4, 2009, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf wrote to Senator Judd Gregg that the CBO has conducted an analysis of the macroeconomic impact of the stimulus. CBO estimates that this Senate legislation would, in the long run, cause a “decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) compared with CBOs baseline economic forecast.”
One of my correspondents replied, “It is difficult not to conclude that Congress is the arsonist who starts the fires and then rushes in as the firefighter to ‘save us,’ only to set yet another fire.”
He also reminded me of Congress recent culpability, to wit:
Congress has heard, over and over and over again, about the Social Security deficit coming in our lifetime and they have with all deliberation ignored it.
Congress has heard, over and over and over again, about the Medicare shortfall coming in our lifetime and they have with all deliberation ignored it.
Congress has heard, over and over and over again, about Mortgage Crisis I problem and they frittered away 350 billion dollars on it.
Congress has heard, over and over and over again, about Mortgage Crisis II (the “good” Option A and ARM notes coming due) problem and they have with all deliberation ignored it.
Congress has heard, over and over and over again, that throwing trillions of dollars to their friends while looting the last of the great and little manufacturers (the car companies and America’s small businesses) is a bad idea. They have with all deliberation ignored that, too.
With that as the discussion that goes before, regular correspondent Geno sent this along:
“We is doomed,” wrote Bob and Dick.
That, we may well be.
Congress (largely both sides of the aisle at this time) is a self-serving entity. Members of Congress see this as a money tree and a way to get reelected. The unuttered charge is, “don’t try to derail my gravy train with facts.”
They simply don’t want to hear it; so no amount of public opinion will slow the train’s engineers.
On the Right, a few conservatives are holding out, but only marginally. And, of course, moderates (read that republicans who are too wimpy to admit their liberalism) do not care because they have no core values upon which to stand. They are Right when Right fits their need and Left when Left best fits. Keywords here are “their need.” I hate that in both a leader and a follower.
The economy was bad during the Carter years, and interest rates were high double digits. Now it’s bad and interest rates are next to zero. So, where’s the connection? Maybe there is none. Maybe it is a mirage. Maybe even the way a nation measures its wealth is an aberation.
Of course, wealth is a virtue and a national treasure. But when wealth is measured by a string of numbers on paper–or worse by how much of it one can hold in ones hand, then it is a tenuous virtue indeed. Does anyone really believe that there are enough greenbacks in circulation to pay every American the amount he claims he owns? Or for that matter, enough gold in Fort Worth? (forgive the Texas joke).
Perhaps money has no color–green or otherwise–and exists solely in the elbow grease and common production of its citizenry.
We have strayed so far from that tenet that even I scoff when I write it.
Money is the root of all evil, some theologians will say. But, contrary to common wisdom, the Bible does not teach that. It clearly says that “the love of money” is the root of all evil.
And there are people committing that sin who don’t have a dime.