Part of the problem is that we're not manufacturing dollars anywhere near fast enough to fund all these stimulus packages that President Obama is so convinced are the only way to put America back to work.
Now, even though President Obama is not up for election himself this fall, plenty of his enablers in Congress are. Unfortunately for the President, the price tag for re-electing these enablers has skyrocketed in direct proportion to the precipitous drop in value of our current money supply.
Having already committed to spending $896 billion for a stimulus package that itself seems to be in desperate need of Viagra™, the President is running out of options. He needs a sure-fire way to convince Americans this November that Democrats hold the answer ("spend more money that we don't have!") to all of our economic woes.
SPEND MORE MONEY THAT WE DON'T HAVE.
The President's advisors ("Spending Your Money So You Don't Get To") have come up with a brilliant plan to plug up existing tax breaks for oil, gas, and multinational corporations to the completely made-up tune of $50 billion in order to pay for a huge upgrade to existing infrastructure projects. Things like rail lines, runways, and highways will magically — a la historical Works Project Administration boondoggles — create jobs. Which, if memory serves, was what the original $896 billion stimulus was supposed to do.
Where are we at now? 9.6% unemployment? If my own company is any sort of bellwether, we're not out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot. Every internal communication in the last several months has said something to the effect that "we can't possibly predict when this economy will improve to the point where we can quit laying people off, let alone start hiring again."
The President, as always, urges patience on the part of those of us who are either laid off, about to be laid off, or struggling to keep up with all the work that still must be done in the absence of our laid off colleagues. Stimulating the economy is never an overnight thing, he cautions. Hey, once Congress actually gets around to reading the Health Care package they ramrodded down our collective throats last year, they may have to further modify their projections to include all the doctors and nurses that will be out of work because no one will be able to afford them without incurring huge penalties.
But I think the President has a plan for that, too. Here's how Hilda Solis described this latest $50 billion gravy train:
In a Labor Day interview on CBS'"Early Show," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the plan Obama was to unveil Monday would "put construction workers, welders, electricians back to work ... folks that have been unemployed for a long time."I know this plan. Many companies are adopting a similar scheme wherein workers agree (on pain of extermination) to not work for one or more days every month. "Work furlough days," I believe they're called. The idea being that if you don't work that day, the company doesn't pay you for that day and saves an undetermined amount of money for their bravery.
Well, according to Solis, the idea here would be a twist on the work furlough idea: Take the people who have been out of work the longest — in this case, electricians, construction workers, and the like, who are all, in an incredible coincidence, union workers — and put them back to work with this freshly inked money. At the same time, give those workers who have been struggling vainly to keep everyone else's unemployment benefits afloat a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labors by having them take the unemployment money for awhile. Certainly Obama and his congressional enablers will just keep those benefits recharged ad infinitum for the next several years. This way, instead of taking a day off without pay here and there, we'll have American workers take entire years off without pay, and nothing but unemployment benefits to tide them over until the economy gets tired of all the stimulus being thrown at it, and decides to wake up on its own.
There you have it. Well worth the $50 billion, I'm sure, and the President won't waste any time selling it to a war-weary populace.
But will it buy him an election? Time will tell.