Has the stimulus done its job?

I thought about this when I saw a sign along U.S. 13 a couple weeks back:
Yeah, this stimulus lasted what? A month, maybe? I think it was in the pipeline before the brilliant idea of slapping this sign up was hatched. Oh, that's right - we 'saved' a couple jobs by making them put up inane signs like this.

What struck me as odd is that the particular repaving job lasted, oh, maybe 2 weeks. I’ll grant there’s other work being done along that highway in Maryland but I don’t know if the jobs are connected. Regardless, knowing the amount of time it actually takes to get these jobs underway I’m under the impression that the project would have been done anyway regardless of whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed or not.

Supporters of the ARRA tend to use the specious argument which claims “had we done nothing things would have been worse.” I don’t happen to believe that is true but we can’t wave a magic wand and just make the so-called “stimulus” disappear. However, one thing which does seem to be disappearing are a number of jobs as the unemployment rate continues to edge higher.

Like the fate of a canary in a coal mine, the prospects for job growth are alarmingly miserable. A recent Business Week report by Moira Herbst points out that the average workweek is at its shortest – 33 hours – since this data recording began in 1964. The reason for pessimism is that employers tend to demand overtime from existing employees before hiring new ones. In this situation, employers are cutting hours rather than laying off workers, but the loss of income trickles back through the economy and creates still more underemployment or outright job losses.

Last week, the Republicans released a video that reminded Americans that they too had a plan:

The upshot of the GOP plan was that it would have put money back into the economy by allowing those who earn it and invest in their businesses to keep more of it. This differs from the Obama approach which dictated that government knows how to redistribute income best by giving small “tax breaks” to those who normally don’t earn enough to pay taxes in the first place.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the liberal Obama approach is that it will eventually penalize those who create the jobs – small businessmen and entrepreneurs. After all, the money to pay for the “stimulus” has to come from SOMEONE and don’t forget Obama told Joe Wurzelbacher (a.k.a. “Joe the Plumber”) that he was out to “spread the wealth around.” So far he seems to have spread it well to feckless bureaucrats, bloated state budgets, and his biggest supporters at ACORN.

I think that little figure with the shovel on the U.S. 13 resurfacing sign shows it best – Obama and his minions are shoveling something. That something more resembles the waste products from the numerous chicken farms in the area, though.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.