10 June 2009

Numbers, Real and Otherwise

President Obama has, since the birthing of the “stimulus bill” been proud to announce just how many jobs will be created through his massive government spending scheme. Or rather, “created of saved”. It’s that last portion which makes his job numbers works of fiction; that has been evident from the outset, though few in the media called him on it. The Wall Street Journal finally did:
“Mr. Obama's comments yesterday are a perfect illustration of just such a claim. In the months since Congress approved the stimulus, our economy has lost nearly 1.6 million jobs and unemployment has hit 9.4%. Invoke the magic words, however, and -- presto! -- you have the president claiming he has "saved or created" 150,000 jobs. It all makes for a much nicer spin, and helps you forget this is the same team that only a few months ago promised us that passing the stimulus would prevent unemployment from rising over 8%.”
There’s one un-real number in that paragraph, and it’s the one created by Mr. Obama – 150,000 jobs. And when Mr. Obama claims that 600,000 jobs will be created in his “next 100 days” – apparently his need for an immediate sequel extends past autobiographies – that number is fictional as well.

But the 9.4% unemployment rate and 1.6 million jobs lost are real numbers. And they’ll be really difficult for Mr. Obama to sweep under the rug with his imaginary broom for too much longer.

Here’s another real number for taxpayers: according to the Fox Business page, the government has doled out $80.3 billion to automakers Chrysler and GM. That money came out of the TARP funds which were meant for banks and such. $80.3 billion is a lot of money to sell one zombie carmaker off (to Fiat) and to transform the other zombie into a government-run, money-bleeding dysfunction. The only thing imaginary about the $80.3 billion spent on these automakers is the idea that we, the people, really have it to spend – or burn, as the case may be.

But we shouldn’t worry. Mr. Obama called yesterday – yesterday – for instituting “pay-go”, or pay-as-you-go legislation. This means that any new or expanded spending must be paid for through higher taxation or taking money from something else. Of course, any numbers put at this will be – you guessed it – un-real, because Mr. Obama has cut trillion dollar holes in it already. According to an AP article via Yahoo Finance, the legislation “would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama's priorities over the next decade. His health care reform plan also would get a green light to run big deficits in its early years.” $2.5 trillion plus healthcare are big, real, scary numbers. But not to worry; everything else will be paid for as we go. Nuts.

Folks who claim that Mr. Obama is in the process of rapidly bankrupting the nation may be derided as scare-mongers, Obama-haters, or unpatriotic. But the numbers – real numbers – don’t lie. The counter-clockwise swirl created by spending and borrowing is growing more rapid by the day. Mr. Obama is accelerating the swirl through ever more spending, ever more borrowing, and ever more fiction-pushing. This spending and borrowing and spending will create an all too real collapse of our economy. And not only the banking sector. The whole thing.

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