Today's New York Times had a sobering reminder of how infrequently the government gets it right when it tries to either predict future trends or change behaviors that run contrary to basic incentives. Here in the Midwest over the past couple of years you couldn't drive a mile without seeing some new ethanol or bio-diesel plant. All of them, ALL OF THEM were built for one reason only - heavy government subsidies. It appears that it hasn't worked as many are now in economic trouble even with all of this support.
Now we've just decided to spend 789,000,000,000 dollars of OUR MONEY, not the government's, in order to pursue a policy designed to inspire us to spend more money. Setting aside for a moment that it seems illogical to me that somehow spending more of our money will get us to spend more money, as I've noted before, these are the same people who just a year or so ago warned us about taking on debt and spending too much money.
Harry Reid this morning said, not predicted, that this plan will create more than 3 million jobs. For the sake of argument, let's assume this bill does create 3 million jobs (which I really doubt). Folks 789,000,000,000 divided by 3,000,000 equals (drumroll) $263,000 per job. We are going to spend $263,000 per job to create 3 million jobs. Is it just me, or does that seem like a lot of money per job?
I've got a better idea - let's give the 24,000,000 unemployed in this country checks for $32,875. It's the same amount, and it will get them through a couple of years of life. Also, it will give them a chance to start businesses and start spending or keep them in homes.
It won't go to banks, Wall Street, special interests, big businesses, unions, construction companies, state governments, or anybody with their head in the government's trough. If we are going to spend that much of our money, let's simply do a direct transfer to the folks who need it. How about that for a plan?