Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Too Small to Work

A whispering campaign has begun that will necessarily precede the effort to pass a second "stimulus package." Now, truth be told, the first "quote-unquote" stimulus package was one of the foulest-smelling pieces of ill-designed pulled pork that recent memory can recall, but even a well-designed actual "package" directed at re-orienting the American economy would not have "worked," if by "working" what's meant is immediate return to so-called economic "health." The damage of the previous quarter-century of acting like we would all be dead tomorrow is just too deep and vast. Still, the idea that a second package - doubtlessly written by Pelosi and her minions - will do anything structurally to foster an economy that is not necessarily built on quicksand and held aloft by balloons is risible.

Still, Laura Tyson whispers that the first stimulus - at $787 billion - was "a bit too small," while various other Administration officials protest too much that we shouldn't be talking about a second stimulus - yet.... Expect by summer's end that the whispers will begin emanating from spaces closer to the Oval, while even those who feign opposition will begin acknowledging that the Bush recession was deeper than first assumed... All this as a prelude of printing about a trillion more notional dollars to divert the attention of enough voters in November from our 10+% unemployment rate (or, was it 20%?) and growing numbers of foreclosures as more "Option ARMs" begin "readjusting."

Meanwhile, the Republicans will attempt to capitalize by blaming the Obameconomy while the Obamites talk about the need for "new foundations" that will be provided in the form of IOUs from the Chinese. Given the growing renewed popularity of Atlas Shrugged, I'm beginning to think that all the actual grownups have indeed gone on strike and are living in a secluded and hidden valley in the wilds of Colorado - or, maybe that we are all just living in our own poorer Neverlands, refusing to grow up and acknowledge that we are going to have to start living within our means....

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