12 December 2008

Glutton for Punishment

I thought Sean Penn was bad.

Then I had the misfortune of stumbling upon this dyspepsia-inducing person on msnbc

I had never heard of this woman before and I won't soon watch this show again, but just to recap...

Hoover did mishandle the Depression. His backing of Smoot-Hawley was a bad idea. His support of wage increases didn't help. His tax hikes were a bad idea.
In other words, when he decided to try government intervention, the Depression worsened.
But it took Roosevelt to make the Depression Great.
Keynes was right, in the short-term. Government spending, especially on things like roads and bridges, can spur growth and help people. This is one of the things I have no problem with in Obama's policies. And deficit spending on these projects can be helpful in the short-run and long-run, so long as the government isn't in severe deficit spending to begin with.
Negative government spending (revenue from taxes less than government spending) reduces productivity (GDP)*. Going into deficit spending when the government is running even or surpluses is fine, due to the money multiplier. But the multiplier isn't as effective when the government is in severe debt (and disagreement there?), and may lead to unforseen consequences as well.
Also it increases state and local dependency on the federal tete for things the feds have no business to be involved in.
It also furthers the paternalistic relationship between the state and the citizen, whereas the proper role of government is an instrument.
And no amount of history-revising, smarmy, cringe-inducing logorrhea can change that.

*=and raising taxes also decreases GDP, especially when things are slow--this is why Obama has, wisely, backed off his plan to increase taxes on the rich SOBs who've earned it (for now). In other words, government should collect exactly that which is needed to perfom its proper function, not stray or spend beyond that limit and then otherwise remain out of our lives. Wouldn't that be neat? Just to try...once.

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