I spent the weekend reading the “Economic Stimulus” legislation as it was presented in the press. I spent a half hour or so looking for the actual legislation language. I know it’s out there but my search was in vain. Regardless, I’m sure I am not alone in my search – looking for facts.
As a business owner, I see this from a capitalist point of view – I know, silly. When I’m presented with a business opportunity or plan that involves me spending my hard earned money, I look for a return on that invested capital or benefit that makes sense to me. I look for the facts and the logic. So far, I’ve yet to hear this from anyone. Politicians and talking heads alike all seem to say “we need this to stimulate the economy… ” I have yet to see the link between each dollar spent and where jobs will be created – I hear they will, but how many? In what sectors? What economic multipliers are applied to determine the impact on the economy for the private sector? Who specifically benefits?
Conservatives have in large part allowed the message to be crafted – and not always in the positive. Conservatives are being seen as obstructionists, nay-sayers, and out of touch as opposed to being seen as asking logical questions about the use and direct stimulus. Maybe my fallacy is thinking everyone wants to know the details of how our tax dollars are spent. Maybe I live in a bubble and am not following the herd. All I hear from an opposition argument is “it is a large amount of money” or “pork and special project spending”. While that may be true and a good reason to raise questions, why haven’t we asked the authors to tie each spending to an economic impact – either directly or indirectly – spell it out in a manner that’s logical and based in fact. Then maybe we can agree or disagree on more substance – not this summary information, fluff and broad numbers as presented.
Personally, I can’t see the direct benefit from any government program. But then again, I don’t look to the government for my well being. I ask questions but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like my questions are being addressed. At least in a factual and logical manner by trusted sources.