Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Other peoples' money

Eugene Robinson of the WashPost is like Paul Krugman at the NY Times: he writes the same article, over and over, and considers it output.  Today he wants you to know that the government should spend more money and Republicans suck:
At the risk of repeating myself, 
No, no, don't stop now.
...the federal minimum wage is far too low and needs to be raised.
Right, because except for the half-million jobs that will be lost, there are no downsides to this at all.  At a time when labor participation is at a historic low and long-term unemployment is just now backing off, raising the cost of labor is the right move here.  But, hey, tell me more Eugene.
The first thing to do is extend the long-term unemployment benefits that expired at the end of last year.
Yep, more government spending.  What else ya got?  Cancelling the sequester?  Why not.  Because spending more:
According to the CBO, the $800 billion stimulus -- much maligned by Republicans as a waste of money -- created or saved an average of 1.6 million jobs per year from 2009 through 2012. Now that most of the money is spent and the impact of the stimulus is waning, clearly it's time to give job-creation another boost.
Can Robinson do simple arithmetic?  Because my math says that $800 billion into (1.6 million x 3 years) = $166,000 which is a boatload of money per job created or saved.  Or saved which means next to nothing.  But then that $800 billion appears magically - it's not like it's taxpayer money confiscated from American workers or borrowed money shuffled off to future generations.

Of course, Democrats and Republicans can disagree on the best way to stimulate the economy and get people back to work.  But only one party shrouds themselves in the sanctimony of spending other people's money:
Obama and the Democrats still believe that no one who works full time should have to be poor. Despite their new rhetoric, Republicans obviously disagree.
Sure, Eugene, sure.  As the national debt balloons to $17 trillion and the economy sputters to a crawl thanks to Obamacare and White House mismanagement, your good intentions will keep you and Obama warm at night.

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