The horrendously political “Stimulus Bill” has done us a left-handed favor (pun intended), if we are only smart enough to actually examine what Congress has done to us in the name of “saving” us. People who know me have heard me say often that government doesn’t solve problems, it manages them – well, this whole sordid process showed us how this happens. Congress doesn’t solve problems, it merely uses them to shovel money toward cronies.
Any Keynesian will tell you that government forces a correction onto a slumping economy by carefully applying funds to entities with the shortest lead-times to producing legitimate economic activity. Keynesian spending, in other words, must be targeted, timely and temporary. The abomination that passed Congress is almost miraculous in its ability to fill 1,100+ pages of incomprehensible legalese without once addressing economic reality. It ignores targeting in favor of everything the American political left has failed to pass on merit for the past 30 years; any timeliness dissolves in the face of the 70% of funding that won’t materialize for 18 or more months from passage; and hope of “temporary” evaporates under the weight of mandates that outlive their funding.
I bring this up as something to remember as the Executive and Legislative gear up to impress upon us the necessity and desirability of establishing a national energy policy in order to wean us from Devil Petroleum, reverse Global Warming, prevent earthquakes and bring a World Series title to Wrigley Field. What we will get is a mish-mash of grants and programs favoring people and companies as weighted by whose district they are in rather than even a passing relevance to the perceived problem. God help us if a Rhode Island Independent comes up with a cure for cancer, it will end up in a vault at NSA with CRYPTO – EYES ONLY stamped all over the cover sheet.
If you ask Congress to solve the problem “2+2=?”, you will get back an eloquently articulated and arduously defended answer of “grapefruit”. The larger the problem you give Congress to solve, the more they will screw up life as we know it. Give serious thought to asking them to “fix” where the world’s most complex society gets its energy, or to “fix” our planetary atmosphere.