Jan 242008
 

“A President can no more stimulate the economy in the short run than you can make a child grow a foot in a week.” – Russell Roberts

We’ve been here before. Seven summers ago, was it? Got some “rebates” then, we did. Hey, it’s a check with our names on it. Not like we’re going to throw it in the shredder.

But it did nothing to “stimulate the economy.” It was taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a swimming pool and pouring it in the shallow end, to borrow another marvelous analogy from the above column.

They shouldn’t have it to “give back” to us in the first place. Private citizens drive (or “stimulate,” if you wish) the economy, and the more money they have, the more ability they have to do so, and…ah, the hell with it.

You know, I started to write an impassioned plea for meaningful budget and tax reform, but what is the point? No one with a good plan can win the presidency. No congressional contingent with a good plan can possibly pass it. Too many voters are too accustomed to sucking that tit. Do it for me, mama. I can’t do it for myself. I hurt. Move to help me, government.

Remember that scene near the end of A Clockwork Orange in which Alex is fed his “eggiwegs”? He came by his state rather differently, of course, but it’s still what I think of every time I read/hear of a new government program.

How much longer can we feed this monster?

Be Sociable, Share!
 Posted by at 9:14 pm

  5 Responses to ““Stimulating the economy””

  1. Season three, episode 18, “Stirred,” of the West Wing. Charlie anticipates a refund on his taxes, and ends up owing something like 400 bucks. Here’s why:

    LEO
    Yeah, it sounds like you’re getting tripped up by 1783.

    CHARLIE
    Which is?

    LEO
    HR 1783; it’s a tax rebate from last year.

    CHARLIE
    Why would that affect my return for this year?

    LEO
    Did you get a tax rebate last year?

    CHARLIE
    Yeah.

    LEO
    There’s the answer.

    CHARLIE
    Where’s the answer?

    LEO
    Your rebate came off of this year’s taxes. That’s how we paid for it.

    CHARLIE
    Hang on. The money I got back last year has to be paid for?

    LEO
    Yeah.

    CHARLIE
    That’s not a rebate; that’s an advance.

    LEO
    Well, technically I guess…

    CHARLIE
    Not technically. This is like getting a Christmas bonus and having it deducted from your
    January paycheck.

    LEO
    This doesn’t sound like very patriotic talk to me, Charlie. They enter Charlie’s office.

    CHARLIE
    It’s not. Why did you call it a rebate?

    LEO
    So people would spend it. If they thought it was an advance, they might save it.

    CHARLIE
    It was an advance.

    LEO
    Did you spend it?

    CHARLIE
    I paid my VISA bill.

    LEO
    We would have preferred it if you’d ate in a restaurant or travelled.

    CHARLIE
    Me too.

    LEO
    Well, in any event… [puts out his hand]

    CHARLIE
    What? [Leo starts wiggling his fingers] Oh, what are you the collector?

    BARTLET
    Leo.

    LEO
    He used the rebate to pay off his VISA bill.

    CHARLIE
    It wasn’t a rebate; it was an advance.

    BARTLET
    A trip to Banana Republic would have killed you? [to Leo] Let’s go.

  2. […] around Capitol Hill this week. Gerry’s written about it here, and Bo’s got a post here. I’ve been listening to seemingly endless NPR stories about it and seriously? ALL I can think […]

  3. I think of it as a tax rebate. It’s our money anyway. Taxes and government spending should be lower today, tomorrow, every year.
    Unfortunately, the details show it’s a redistribution plan. Any family making over $75K will get little or nothing while many people paying no income taxes will get the full refund. It won’t stimulate the economy!

  4. Yeah, what you said!
    I wish I’d thought of that line about the swimming pool.
    Our system of governance is so broke it can’t be fixed.

  5. […] alleged economic benefit is, in a general sense, the same old game of taking some water from the deep end of a swimming pool and pouring it in the shallo….  (And hey, let’s jack consumer debt up in a recession!)  Redistributing taxpayer money […]

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

BoWilliams.com is using WP-Gravatar