Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Consider us part of the "Do-Nothing Crowd"

The Politico has a great piece up on the "Do-Nothing Crowd" that is urging Capital Hill to literally do nothing over this financial crisis that, well, Congress technically created:

Most of Washington has reached quick consensus: Government must do something big to shock the economy, and it should cost between $800 billion and $900 billion.

But dissident economists and investment professionals offer a much different take: Most of Washington is dead wrong.

Instead of fighting over what should go in the economic stimulus bill, pitting infrastructure spending against tax cuts and contractors against contraceptives, they say lawmakers should be fighting against the very idea of any economic stimulus at all. Call them the Do-Nothing Crowd.

“The economy was too big. It was all phantom wealth borrowed from abroad,” says Andrew Schiff, an investment consultant at Euro Pacific Capital and a card-carrying member of the stand-tall-against-the-stimulus lobby. “All this stimulus money is geared toward getting consumers spending and borrowing again. But spending and borrowing were the problem in the first place.”

Washington has a habit of passing legislation in a crisis and suffering from morning-after regrets — the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and last year’s original bank bailout plan come to mind. So we thought it would be wise to air the views of the naysayers toward Washington’s latest consensus approach. ...

There is no doubt these are minority views. Most lawmakers, economists and policymakers say the economy desperately needs a massive infusion of money to prevent collapse — and needs it now. The Obama administration, backed by many economists, says unemployment could easily top 10 percent and the gross domestic product could tank absent government intervention.

The language used to make the case for stimulus is stark and gloomy — and, by all measures, pretty accurate. But there is also a caveat attached to every solution proposed: that it simply might not work. Economists on the right and left say there is a chance, perhaps a decent one, that $1 trillion injected into a $14 trillion economy might be too little, too late to turn things around anytime soon. ...

This time around, the Do-Nothing Crowd argues that the new spending — which dwarfs last year’s effort — is probably insufficient and definitely unwise. It is largely an economic argument. But there is also a cultural dimension. Many of the Do-Nothings argue that a painful recession is the best way to destroy America’s runaway culture of irresponsibility and debt. Economic turmoil, after all, has a way of grounding Americans.

Schiff and the other Do-Nothings argue that the government should simply allow the economic chips to fall where they may. Dramatic belt-tightening across the board is the only way, they say, to stop the endless cycle of borrowing.

“Our standard of living needs to come down to the point where it can be supported by organic output,” says Schiff. “It’s brutal, but it’s called capitalism, and it works. The alternative is called socialism, and it doesn’t work.”

The best thing to do, if the Congress does anything, is to do across the board tax cuts. If the Congress doesn't want to move in that direction, then we're with the Do-Nothings. Mr. Schiff is quite correct in his assessment about how to bring Americans back down to earth. Credit debt right now is astounding; debt, in general, is astronomical. I'm not saying that we have to make do with less because I'm hardly Jimmy Carter here. What I'm saying is that the populace needs to relearn the lessons of capitalism, and we need to do it fast.

The stimulus bill is anything but stimulus. Worse is this observation form further in the piece:

For the Do-Nothings, the argument isn’t about economic nuance, it’s about right and wrong. They say that borrowing more money to finance a stimulus package will pass a crushing and possibly permanent debt load on to the next generation. “The question is,” says Chris Edwards, the director of tax policy studies at Cato, “is this morally proper?”

Edwards says no. “Policymakers are saying: ‘Screw the future generations.’”

And that, dear readers, is exactly what this bill will do -- it'll screw future generations. We urge readers and friends alike to hop on board the bandwagon that's cruising through the 'Sphere. Michelle Malkin has a list of every member of the House, and their phone numbers. "Storm" the Capitol. Call your congressman (or woman) and tell them to kill this bill. Join us in stopping this fiasco called legislation from screwing this nation for decades to come.

Publius II


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