Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Credit Where Due

I know a number of other "Tea Party" blogs (including likely some readers of this one) are posting articles critical of Obama's latest effort to pump more printed money into the US economy. While I think there's certainly a legitimate point of contention with the idea that the only feasible action for the government (seemingly in every circumstance, but especially when the economy isn't doing well) is to print more money, and Obama certainly did his best to vilify Republicans while accepting the compromise deal, I have to give him a certain amount of credit: the deal is not nearly as bad as it could have been, and he (unlike his Democrat counterparts in Congress) at least seems willing to make some concessions in the name of helping people.

Consider the proposed compromise plan. It:
- Does not increase the progressive tax gap (ie: it doesn't make income taxation more unfair)
- Gives money primarily to those who are working, creating/maintaining jobs, or trying to work (excepting the unemployment extensions)
- Doesn't give money to banks as a big "thank you" for helping wreck the economy (like TARP and QE1 did, and the Fed continues to)
- Doesn't just monetize government debt, creating latent inflation to subsidize more wasteful government spending (like QE2 does)
- Doesn't hand out money selectively to special interests, supporters, special friends, and government insiders, and represent the most brazen corrupt theft from taxpayers in the history of the country (like the first "stimulus" was)

Could the bill have been better? Sure, but this is probably as good as could be expected. Will it pass? That's more questionable; it has to get some Democrat votes, and the Democrats in Congress are nothing if not contemptible partisan scum, who would rather not steal money than sign off on something backed by Republicans (and trust me, they detest not stealing your money). Is it good for the country on the whole? That's also a tough call; while the tax rate extension will help a lot of people, it sets up another painful fight in two years, doesn't do much to encourage job growth, doesn't do anything to fix the systemic problems with private industry in the US, and prints a bunch more money. However, as noted, it's the least bad of the money-printing schemes so far, so that's saying something (in today's US politics, "least bad" and "not as horrible as it initially appeared" seem to be all we the people can hope for).

So, I give Obama some credit: unlike his Democrat counterparts in Congress, with this compromise he seems to be trying to do something less bad, and the resulting bill is less horrible than anything else that previously came from his administration. Perhaps now, when you're on the people's side (at least for a short time, and in a very limited context), you too can see how monumentally contemptible the Democrats in Congress are, and feel some of our pain.

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