Quote of the Week

“We’re trying to focus it on spending that truly helps stimulate the economy.”

Susan Collins

Speaking for a bipartisan group that drafted a list of nearly $90 billion in cuts to sharpen the economic stimulus bill.

I have reached the conclusion that the size of the stimulus bill is disturbing and am going to vote against my senators when they come up for reelection if they vote for it in its $900,000,000,000 form.

Why?  Nancy Pelosi, who has claimed twice, yes twice, that 500 million America jobs (there are only 330 million people in America) will be lost if the bill is not passed, has not created a bill designed to stimulate the economy.  She created it to push through a bunch of new programs quickly without thoughtful debate.

Of the burgeoning bill only $317,000,000,000 is slated to be spent in fiscal year 2009.  The rest comes in 2010 and 2011.  The majority of the bill is to do other stuff then stimulate the economy now.  Stuff that may very well be worthy, but is also worthy of discussion.

And while the current economic situation was brought on by many things, at the moment it is all about jobs.  The reason why corporations are laying off people is because they are seeing a drop in demand. The nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is falling. The main driver of GDP is something called Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE). PCE hangs out in the 70% range of GDP.  That’s what makes it the driver.

PCE is dropping like a rock.  At the rate of about .5% a month since September.  And the rate of decrease is accelerating. To put this in dollars, in November and December PCE fell by $170,000,000,000.  And while I am no economist it seems to me the aim of a stimulus package should be to reverse this decline in PCE.  But it should not take spending $600,000,000,000 in 2010 and 2011 to accomplish that now.

Of course one of the ways you stop the fall in GDP is to increase Government Spending. I get that. But the amount our current congress wants to spend is spiraling out of control.

February 6, 2009  |  Comments  |  Tweet  |  Posted in Quotes