…so why did the Blue Dog Democrats and conservative Republicans cut it? According to the latest about the Recovery and Reinvestment Act (funny how everyone’s forgetting about the reinvestment part), the Blue Dogs and ‘moderate’ Republicans cut in half the proposed funds to supplement state budgets. This defeats the whole purpose of a stimulus.
Hardly a day goes by in any state where there aren’t newspaper stories about state and local budget cuts. For the most part, these aren’t scaling back future projects, but cuts in ongoing, existing projects, such as education. Yet the Blue Dogs fail to recognize that increasing spending at the federal level, if offset by cuts at the state and local levels, doesn’t do anything. It’s very simple: spending is stimulus.
What’s all the more ridiculous is that giving the states money to rescind budget cuts is about as ‘shovel ready’ as can be: you’re simply restoring funding to existing levels. There’s no waiting to hire people, or waiting for projects to begin (e.g., construction). All that needs to happen is to not lay people off, not freeze salaries, and not cancel ongoing contracts with private businesses.
In Boston, for instance, all municipal employees will have a pay freeze (that’ll help stimulate the economy), and the school budget is still $32 million in the hole*, which means that local businesses, such as repairmen, won’t get contracts.
It amazes me that the Blue Dogs, who are so incredibly stupid, are seen by the traditional media as Very Responsible People, when they are actually a bunch of idiot clowns.
Of course, only conservative Republicans could make these guys look smart:
The idea that it would be good for states to cut back in the midst of the recession is stupid. The idea that the recession won’t, absent federal aid, lead to layoffs of state employees such as teachers and firefighters is also stupid. But the idea that it’s simultaneously true that the reason we should eschew aid is that states need to cut back and also true that it’s fearmongering to warn of layoffs is doubleplus stupid. What does Ensign think cutbacks consist of? States will be reducing vital services. The cutbacks will have the immediate impact of reducing the incomes of laid-off families and beneficiaries of state programs. That will have an additional impact on businesses where the newly laid-off teachers and cops used to work.
And the reduced level of service will have its own bad economic impacts. Cutting back public safety budgets will mean fewer cops on the beat. That means more crime which will further reduce economic activity. State cutbacks to child care subsidies will make it harder for people who lose jobs to find and accept new ones. The cutbacks to mass transit services that are happening across the country will introduce additional rigidity into the labor market and reduce patronage of businesses that people are accustomed to reaching via transit. And in the most severe cases, cutbacks in assistant to the severely impoverished will have a decades-long impact on the well-being of their children.
In Ensign’s home state they’re talking about a fifteen percent cut in K-12 education. Does Gibbons really think that can be implemented without a detrimental impact on Nevada’s citizens and local economy?
And it’s not just Nevada or Boston that are having to lay off teachers. Like I said, a bunch of fucking clowns.
Extra BONUS!!! Stupid: The mayors of Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska have described shovel-ready projects that would provide almost 4,000 jobs to Nelson’s own state (not to mention do stuff that needs doing). I hope some Nebraskans hold these bozos accountable.
*This assumes saving $40 million after eliminating much of the school busing program, which no longer serves its original purpose.