The Democrats’ “stimulus” bill is a bad joke as a matter of economics. It is 100% politics, so the question is: will it be successful, politically, or not?
It’s obviously necessary to separate the short term from the long term here. In the short term, it appears that President Obama’s press conference and his other efforts to get behind the Pelosi-Reid porkfest have had some effect. Rasmussen finds, based on one night’s polling, that “the press conference worked as expected. Support for the stimulus package increased as did the number of people who Strongly Approve of the President.” Tomorrow Rasmussen will release the latest data on the “stimulus” package, but even if support is up a bit, it is unlikely that the results will show much enthusiasm for the pork-bill among voters.
Rasmussen has already found that two-thirds of Americans think they could do a better job on the economy than Congress. Now that everyone knows the Democrats are in charge, it’s the Dems who are bearing the brunt of popular dissatisfaction; thus, the margin by which voters prefer Democrats on the economy has dropped to 44%-39%. Given that the Obama administration–and most voters’ realization that the Democrats are now in charge–is only three weeks old, that is a significant erosion. It’s only going to get worse, as the Dems are forced to take responsibility for their actions.
Which raises the long-term question. In my opinion, pretty much everything the Democrats have done or propose to do will hurt the economy. We will see unprecedented budget deficits, more wasteful spending than ever, higher taxes, inflation, and a stagnant stock market. I haven’t gone back to re-check the numbers, but I’m pretty sure that Jimmy Carter was more popular at this stage of his administration than Obama is now, and I don’t think the Carter administration did anything as directly damaging to the economy as what we’re seeing now from the Obama administration.
So, while it’s interesting to follow the immediate political fallout from the Democrats’ maneuvering, in the medium or long term, it’s pretty much irrelevant. The Democrats, try as they might, can’t repeal the laws of economics. Their future, therefore, is cloudy at best.
UPDATE: This graphic, which I posted here, shows at a glance the unprecedented debt into which the Obama administration is plunging the federal government:
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