Barack Obama claims his trillion-dollar stimulus package, financed through new deficit spending, will “create or save” 3 million jobs. That’s pure fantasy — even given the wiggle-phrase “or save” — but even if it worked, it wouldn’t be worth it. That works out to more than $330,000 per job!
Like the Biblical Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage, we are selling our children and grandchildren into debt just to increase employment in the U.S. by a tiny percentage.
And in reality, the only jobs the stimulus package would truly “create” — as opposed to help “save” — would be 600,000 new jobs for bureaucrats. Past stimulus plans have usually failed to do much to revive the economy, despite their enormous cost.
Japan tried a similar strategy in the 1990s, in what is now called the “lost decade,” as it spent hundreds of billions of dollars attempting to stimulate the economy through (often useless) infrastructure projects (like virtually unused bridges and airports located in the districts of powerful legislators). Past American stimulus packages have also failed.
Moreover, even according to the Keynesian economic theory behind Obama’s stimulus package, an outmoded, partly-discredited theory that advocates deficit spending to “stimulate” the economy, we already have a powerful “stimulus,” in the form of a budget deficit of $500 billion this year and $1.2 trillion next year. But all that debt, and government coddling of borrowers, has simply driven down confidence in the United States, and the value of the dollar, while failing to keep us out of a recession.