Stimulating indeed? part 2: how is that stimulating?

It’s good to see Michael Steele, the new chairman of the RNC squaring off against the DNC Chairman, Governor (VA) Tim Kaine. Conversations like this are a good tool for him to make the point that, regardless of what rhetoric Democratic policy is wrapped in (“we just care about the middle class, blah blah blah”), the summum bonum of political policy (on either side) ought to be the establishment of a truly free (from government intervention, etc) middle class, and leftist policies just don’t do that. In other words, a hand up is always better than a hand out. So let’s take a look at what Gov. Kaine says. His primary point before the break is that the stimulus does three things:

  1. Tax cuts for working class Americans making less than $150,000 per year – Hey, tax cuts, those are good, right? Yes they are. But ask yourself this, why would this stimulus contain tax cuts at the same time that Nanci Pelosi is bellowing about King Barry repealing Dubya’s tax cut? Why would his tax cuts be bad, but these tax cuts be good? Because this isn’t a tax cut, it’s a tax CREDIT you can take, similar to the Earned Income Credit. That’s way people who pay no income tax at all get money back. You say “tax cut” I say “redistribution of wealth,” on Obama, Pelosi, and Reid’s terms.
  2. Infrastructure spending work. Michael Steele makes a good response to this, which is similar to what he said to George Stephanopolous that I talked about here. Basically, government work isn’t the same thing as a sustainable job. More on that below.
  3. Relief for taking care of the unemployment & medicare needs for the jobless. This is the one that chaps my chorizo. This is where, just like Gretchen said, we start to slide into socialism. Language is everything. Why wouldn’t we want to give some relief to those who have lost their jobs in this economy? Don’t you want them to have health care? Yes. That would be great, BUT, it doesn’t stimulate the economy, and once you start “relieving” them, you’ll never stop relieving them. Why would they go look for a job if you will pay them while they’re not working? What’s more, if they can not work, get paid, AND receive medical benefits. Why would anyone work?
The Governor goes on to say that this plan is going to make or save 3,000,000 jobs. I don’t see how providing health care for the unemployed creates jobs. I don’t see how tax credits create or save jobs. So how does Michael Steele respond?
  1. This is a short-term, short-sighted solution – His point is that legislation of this sort should be aimed at lifting up small businesses so they can lift up others. Government sponsored make work programs don’t stimulate small business growth. Kaine’s response is that small businesses do the work. Steele’s point: what happens when the government stops writing the contract? A governmental prop up is not the same thing as laying a foundation for growth. This stimulus gives the appearance of supporting the economy, but it won’t lead to long term growth.
  2. Republicans focus on tax relief, job training incentives, housing incentives – Giving households and businesses a lower tax burden allows them to spend money in the economy, rather than sending it to an over-bloated government. Incentives for job training ensures that our people are not simply working, but they are growing. It inspires personal responsibility and makes America the very best work force in the world. Housing incentives urge people to spend money they actually have on a home they can actually afford. All of these things go to actually making America better by making AMERICANS better.
Tim Kaine lies, er, maintains that 67% of American’s support this package. If so, why is the President on the stump hawking this bill like it’s snake oil?
The final point is that if this is really the best thing to do, and our only hope of economic survival, then why worry about bi-partisan support? The reality is, this is not bipartisan legislation. If the left truly believed this bill would do what they promise, they would not look back for an instant. A ragingly successful unilateral salvation by the left at this juncture in our history would likely put an end to the Republican Party as we know it. But it won’t do what they say it will, and those on the left know it. This isn’t a stimulus package, it’s a gigantic, overstuffed, pork-fest spending package, and I honestly don’t think it would be as divisive as it is, were it not being sold as our only hope to avoid economic disaster.
Cross posted at realityunwound