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Friday, January 29, 2021

Jumping the Stimulus Turnstile

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Jumping the Stimulus Turnstile

History will look back on this COVID era with disbelief that so many were bamboozled into believing that freebees were a good idea or even sustainable.
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The COVID stimulus train has added another $1.9 trillion to its ever-growing caboose.  Uncle Sam is running the nation’s treasury like a Parker Brothers’ board game.  Through continuous stimulus spending, Congress, who controls the nation’s purse strings, has dismissed the burgeoning federal deficit outright.

 

The numbers throughout this COVID cash craze are astonishing: In just 16 months, the Federal Reserve has pumped over $9 trillion into the economy. According to Forbes, last June the U.S. accumulated more debt than in the 200-plus years from America’s founding in 1776 through 1979.

The stimulus bills have provided temporary relief but are toxic over the long-term.  Nearly half of the unemployed will be paid more to stay home, while keeping unemployment artificially higher which will result in calls for more stimulus.

Economic incentives matter but handouts?

History will look back on this COVID era with disbelief that so many were bamboozled into believing that freebees were a good idea or even sustainable.

There is no real stimulus.  Such semantics masks (pun intended) what is happening to the economy that resembles a Bowery wino. Government giveaways and money-printing have their inevitable effects.  Stimulus checks will not grow the economy, but it will stimulate the federal debt and cause inflation. 

Chetan Ahya, chief economist at Morgan Stanley: “The driving forces of inflation are already aligned and a regime shift is underway.”  Perhaps forgotten is that inflation is the most universal tax of all. 

Bestowing money on those who work is scandalous because it steals from their children and grandchildren.  Such fiscal policy only grows government and restricts liberty, while handcuffing small businesses – the economy’s driving force.  Future generations will face burdensome taxation and cut services thanks to this intergenerational redistribution of wealth.  

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Stimulus spending has resulted in a higher national debt percentage of GDP than at the end of WWII and both political parties are to blame. They seem to believe that zero interest rates will last forever.

Politicians have not missed a paycheck, nor have they read the 5,600 pages of latest bill that is the handiwork of an army of aides acting on behalf of lobbyists and interest groups. 

Some highlights have $750 million for border walls in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and Tunisia. Apparently, the only country that Congress feels should have open orders is our own.  Other pork chops include $1.3 billion for the Egyptian military, $130 million for Nepal; $135 million for Burma, $34 million and $85 million for Cambodia, and $231 million to pay down the national debt of Sudan, where apparently Sudan’s debt matters more than our own. 

Homeless man willing to work

Ten million has been allocated for gender programs in Pakistan.  Rather than cash, we should send the Pakistanis the annual army of leftist gender studies graduates.  Don’t forget $600 to non-American citizens and the $40 million to the closed Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In an insult to fiscally responsible states, $350 billion is allotted to bail out states like New York and Illinois, who run yearly deficits.    

For all their self-aggrandizing rhetoric about helping those in need with additional stimulus spending, the reality is that both parties are helping themselves to excess at the expense of future Americans. 

Considering what has taken place over the course of less than a year, it begs the question: Will there ever be a time when politicians won’t be “stimulating” the economy?  Tax, spend, regulate, then “stimulate,” which is just another synonym for more spending.    

You cannot spend yourself into prosperity.

If history tells us anything the forgotten 1920-21 economic crisis taught that sometimes the best stimulus is none at all.

Rather than expanding government, a true fiscal “stimulus” initiative would promote and support the private sector. One of the best ways of doing that would be to reduce the regulatory and tax burden on U.S. corporations and small businesses.  

Paying customers are the best stimulus for any enterprise, while allowing them to keep more of the money they earn would also underscore that it is their money, not Uncle Sam’s. 

Instead of forcing businesses and schools to close, while restricting our civil liberties and bribing the masses through federal handouts, open up the economy, tax less and invest our taxes into America. 

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Last modified on Monday, February 1, 2021
Greg Maresca | Remnant Columnist

Maresca writes from Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.