The Stimulus, Government Employee Unions, and Free Trade Agreements
Several recent studies suggest that stimulus spending has not spurred long-term economic growth---contrary to claims by public officials.
"A recent study by economists Bill Dupor and Timothy Conley found that the 2009 stimulus package has wiped out 550,000 jobs. After reviewing its harmful provisions, Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron concluded that the stimulus package was designed to reward special-interest 'constituencies,' not to boost the economy. The stimulus contained all sorts of welfare. The stimulus was so poorly run that stimulus money wound up going to prisoners and dead people, bridges to nowhere, and useless government buildings. In pushing the $800 billion stimulus package, Obama cited Congressional Budget Office (CBO) claims that it would save jobs in the short run, while ignoring the CBO’s own finding that the stimulus will actually shrink the economy over the long run, by exploding the national debt and crowding out private investment. Nothing in the CBO’s findings supported Obama’s outlandish claim that the stimulus package was necessary to avert 'irreversible decline.'"
Government Employee Unions
Rahm Emanuel has informed government employee unions that they must make cost-cutting concessions or endure layoffs.
"To gain some measure of control over their runaway public finances, Democrat-controlled states are acknowledging that they will have to make tough decisions that Big Labor will hate. Despite accepting millions of dollars in union campaign contributions, some Democratic officeholders are ignoring Big Labor’s demands. They are seeking budget cuts and union concessions."
Free Trade Agreements
Senate Republicans have blocked a Finance Committee meeting intended to consider pending free agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.
"President Obama and many Democrats have coupled their support for the trade agreements with the inclusion of funding for the employment Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). Most Republicans are in support of the trade agreements, but disapprove the inclusion of TAA. As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) explained, 'If the president and his Democratic allies want to pass TAA, go ahead and pass TAA. Have at it. Let it stand on its own accord like we always have in the past. But don’t attach it to these agreements.'"