Man of the People | Main | Obama: Pass the Spendulus, Or I Shall Blot the Sun From the Sky
February 05, 2009

Chuck Schumer: Americans are "Overwhelmingly" for Stimulus
Americans: Yeah, We'd Like to Have a Word With You About That

They're so "overwhelmngly" in favor of it they're jamming Capitol Hill phone lines to say how awesome it is.

The number is (202) 224-3121 if you want to jam the lines further. You could dial them up directly, but their voicemails are full, too. So, as Instapundit says, find the number for their local office and call them there.


Thanks to CJ.

Oh: Does this mean that Republican Congressmen can, in fact, "just listen to Rush Limbaugh?"

Reid: I believe two Republican Senators of "good will" will vote for the spendulus.

On the other hand, not Jim Webb has jumped on the bandwagon-- softly -- and says he wants at least $100 billion excised from the spendulus.

Also at the Corner-- Martin Feldstein, who had previously been liberals' favorite conservative economist due to his announced support of some kind of stimulus, is no longer their favorite conservative economist. As he calls the spendulus an "$800 billion mistake."

You want stimulus? Increase the rate of procurement for the military, baby:

On the spending side, the stimulus package is full of well-intended items that, unfortunately, are not likely to do much for employment. Computerizing the medical records of every American over the next five years is desirable, but it is not a cost-effective way to create jobs. Has anyone gone through the (long) list of proposed appropriations and asked how many jobs each would create per dollar of increased national debt?

...

A large fraction of the stimulus proposal is devoted to infrastructure projects that will spend out very slowly, not with the speed needed to help the economy in 2009 and 2010. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that less than one-fifth of the $50 billion of proposed spending on energy and water would occur by the end of 2010.

If rapid spending on things that need to be done is a criterion of choice, the plan should include higher defense outlays, including replacing and repairing supplies and equipment, needed after five years of fighting. The military can increase its level of procurement very rapidly. Yet the proposed spending plan includes less than $5 billion for defense, only about one-half of 1 percent of the total package.

Infrastructure spending on domestic military bases can also proceed more rapidly than infrastructure spending in the civilian economy. And military procurement overwhelmingly involves American-made products. Since much of this military spending will have to be done eventually, it makes sense to do it now, when there is substantial excess capacity in the manufacturing sector. In addition, a temporary increase in military recruiting and training would reduce unemployment directly, create a more skilled civilian workforce and expand the military reserves.

Alas, Obama is ideologically committed against measures that would actually stimulate the economy.

Ed Morrissey made a similar point yesterday. In a lot of cases, spending on big-ticket military platforms like the F-22 is slowed down over a period of years to reduce per-year cost. However, that also increases the per-unit cost, as the factories are running just enough to keep them open at all.

If we're going to buy X number of F-22's over Y years anyway, why not just hasten that purchase so that we buy the same number in fewer years? Not only is it an actual timely in-the-now stimulus, but we're going to buy them anyway, and further, the actual price per plane will go down.

Plus, yeah-- as Feldstein notes, due to military rules and security concerns, almost every single part in a military tech buy is made here in America.







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