The only thing worse than Paul Krugman’s call for even more spending in his article “The Mistake of 2010” is permitting his ideological bias drive his failure to state the obvious.
His Mistake of 2010 not only rests squarely on the shoulders of the Obama Administration, but Mr. Krugman actually wants the Administration to make things worse by spending even more money!
Mr. Krugman says, “We have already repeated the mistake of 1937. Call it the mistake of 2010: a “pivot” away from jobs to other concerns”. First, note Mr. Krugman’s use of the word “we” rather than, “The Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress”.
Second, Mr. Krugman has a short memory. The Administration never focused on jobs.
They spent over a year trying to get a health care law passed rather than attack the jobs problem. Even worse, the health care law is extremely problematic, hugely unpopular, and filled with loopholes.
The only alleged focus on jobs was the Porkulus bill, which was never designed to stimulate, and has not generated any improvement at all in the unemployment rate. We’ve already seen countless examples of wasted capital here at BigGovernment. However, if you really want to be infuriated, pay a visit to Stimulus Watch. There you can peruse exactly how that money has been spent — including the most expensive initiatives and the ones voted upon by site visitors as being the ones they are the least satisfied about. Note, if you will, the commonality between the items listed in these two categories. Further take note that most of these are grants to states — which went and created government jobs rather than jobs in the private sector. Some of you may say that a job is a job. That’s true to a certain extent. Then again, a government job is also an expensive job.
Take the $1,479,922,924 grant to Florida State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for Education, which created 13,232 jobs….at an average cost of $111,844. That does not include costs the state will later bear for pensions. California? Same deal, only at a “mere” $82,372 per job. Clearly, however, something stinks in the great state of Texas, for the $2.177 billion Education grant there created…416 jobs. That’s only $5,233,173 per job.
The fun does not stop there. Click on “Least Satisfied”, then sort by amount from lowest to highest. What’s this? $10,500 to “replace motor on government owned boat”. $233,825 for an NSF grant on “Explaining the African Vote” which created no jobs. Almost half a million dollars, creating ONE job, for a grant to “examine the development of African American English (AAE) from childhood through adolescence and its potential impact on literacy acquisition”.
While some of these grants may very well have value, this is supposed to be stimulus money. And Krugman thinks the government should spend more on the crap that it’s being spent on?
He’s right about one thing. Millions of Americans are suffering through a slump that just goes on and on. Now, had the Administration actually spent money on initiatives that really did create jobs, Krugman might be on to something. That plan, in conjunction with targeted private sector initiatives, such as permitting additional oil exploration (which would create jobs and lessen dependence on foreign oil), Obama might be presiding over a true recovery.