Lesson From France-Recession Ends Without US-Style Stimulus
The recession has ended in France, which avoided adopting a massive stimulus package like Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package.
France’s conservative President adopted a much smaller $31 billion stimulus package, which, unlike Obama’s, was focused on productive investment, not welfare or social services. $14.5 billion of France’s stimulus package was earmarked for injection “into private sector enterprises.” Billions more were for investments in infrastructure, construction projects, and railways.
In the U.S., Obama pushed through a much more costly, welfare-filled $800 billion stimulus package through fear-mongering. Obama claimed his stimulus package was needed to prevent “disaster” and “irreversible decline.”
But the Congressional Budget Office admitted that the stimulus package would shrink the economy “in the long run.” The stimulus package has since destroyed thousands of jobs in America’s export sector, and subsidized countless examples of government waste and corruption.
The Obama Administration purged the stimulus package of most of the investments in roads and bridges originally suggested by economists, and filled it instead with welfare and social spending, out of political correctness, after feminist leaders complained that building and repairing roads and bridges would put unemployed blue-collar men to work, rather than women.
As Christina Hoff Sommers points out, “Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period.”
But when the Administration floated the concept of “an ambitious . . . stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams” as a way of “reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy,” “Women’s groups were appalled,” asking “Where are the New Jobs for Women?” and denouncing what they called “The Macho Stimulus Plan.”
The Obama Administration quickly knuckled under to this pressure, replacing its recovery package with an $800 billion stimulus package that instead “skews job creation somewhat towards women” by spending money instead on social services like welfare that are administered mostly by female employees.
“A recent Associated Press story reports: ‘Stimulus Funds Go to Social Programs Over ‘Shovel-ready’ Projects.’ A team of six AP reporters who have been tracking the funds find that the $300 billion sent to the states is being used mainly for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other social services.” Or, as another AP report put it, “Stimulus Aid Favors Welfare, Not Work, Programs.” Less than 6 percent of it ended up going to transportation.
The stimulus package also repealed welfare reform, as Slate’s Mickey Kaus and the Heritage Foundation have noted. Obama ran campaign ads claiming to support welfare reform, even though he had actually fought against meaningful welfare reform as an Illinois legislator. The stimulus package largely repeals the welfare-reform law passed by Congress in 1996.
Recently, Obama fired an inspector general, Gerald Walpin, who uncovered millions of dollars of waste and fraud in the AmeriCorps program, including by a prominent Obama supporter, endangering the Obama supporter’s ability to administer federal stimulus spending in Sacramento.
The stimulus package also imposes on states racial set-aside requirements and prevailing-wage requirements, which increase the cost to taxpayers of government contracts. The prevailing-wage requirements will inflate the cost of state construction and transportation projects by at least $17 billion. Racial set-asides also are very costly to taxpayers.
Racial quotas, set-asides, and affirmative action are also mandated by Obama’s health-care plan, drawing criticism from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Earlier, the Civil Rights Commission criticized the Obama Administration for turning a blind eye to racist voter intimidation by black panthers, including an Obama poll watcher and Democratic official who used a nightstick and racial epithets to drive white voters away from a Philadelphia polling place.