All economic discussion here lately really tends to boil down to the question of whether the stimulus programs by Presidents Bush and Obama worked. For most Americans, they’re willing to forgive a great many sins if they actually worked. I could sit down and take a look at what is what, but why bother? Lawrence Lindsey at The Weekly Standard already did it.
Here’s the part that really stuck with me:
Government policies to “stimulate” growth have not done so. Everyone except flacks for the White House knows that the 2009 stimulus package failed miserably to produce the promised results. But even if you buy the White House’s argument that the $800 billion package created 3 million jobs, that works out to $266,000 per job. Taxing or borrowing $266,000 from the private sector to create a single job is simply not a cost effective way of putting America back to work. The long-term debt burden of that $266,000 swamps any benefit that the single job created might provide.
We spent $266,000 – which has to be paid for via taxation – to create a single job. Unless that job is Warren Buffet’s equivalent in income, I think we all got screwed on the deal.
However, remember the horror stories we were told of what live would be like without the stimulus, and how awesome we would be doing if we passed the stimulus? Well, without the stimulus, we were told that unemployment could reach as high as 9%, but that if we passed it we would never see unemployment greater than 8%. Well, we passed it. The result?