There Is No Plan

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700 Billion is the New $7 billion

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a brand new bridge. this one's in france

Things are turned way around when Liberals are agreeing with quirky, flat-tax Steve Forbes, but when called Hank Paulson the “worst Treasury Secretary in living memory” there are few diehard progressives that would disagree.

But old Hank has at least done us one big, big favor. By steamrolling through the TARP at a cost of $700 billion and then doing precisely squat with it, he turned $700 billion into the new $7 billion. Suddenly, with the exception of the bailout for the once mighty now hopeless auto industry, fears of excessive spending seems petty next to the cost of TARP, the Citigroup, AIG, and Fannie and Freddie bailouts. We’re awash in borrowed money, and nobody seems to care. Another day, another dollar, or a hundred billion of them. Whatev.

So when Obama announced his massive public works program (let’s call it the New New Deal or NND) and didn’t even bother to mention a pricetag, the only Cassandra was the ever-predictable American Enterprise Institute. With the economy losing half a million jobs a month, the American people are ready for it. So don’t expect the whining from Club for Growth knuckle-draggers in Congress to be anything more than mumbled griping at worst.

America’s been crying for infrastructure changes for years, but the Bushies, bless ’em, could hardly spell the word. Result, we’re way behind most other developed countries. And America being America, we wait until disaster is at the door before we do something about it.

But that moment has arrived, and thanks to the TARP and other blank checks, there’s no such thing as a pricetag we can’t afford anymore. It was Dick Cheney who said “deficits don’t matter”, and boy was he right. Of course he was referring to financing fruitless no-end-in-sight wars, but hey, that’s just a detail. The bottom line is that we’ve got way more important fish to fry than worry about making the numbers add up. The reason is simple. A T-Bill is still the safest debt around. Everyone wants ’em, and as long as they do, hell, we can print ’em. In a potentially deflationary environment, a little inflation goes a long way.

Businesses run on credit. It’s called investment, and you expect a return on it. America will be rebuilt on the same principle, brick by brick, schoolbook by schoolbook, hospital bed by hospital bed. You get the idea.

Written by coolrebel

December 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

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