A Philosopher's Blog

More Bailout

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on January 29, 2009

As the economy continues to stagger and stumble, the stimulus bill is heading to the Senate. The Republicans in the House voted against it (along with some Democrats). The Republicans are, for the most part, presenting their standard criticisms and alternatives. On the negative side, they have attempted to paint the bill as pork, socialism and classic liberal over-spending. On the positive side, there has been a proposal to cut taxes.

While it is tempting to dismiss the Republican comments as the usual tired rhetoric, they do make some points well worth considering. First, the bill can be seen as being stuffed with pork. Of course, “pork” is often a label applied to spending that one does not approve of.  They do, however, raise a reasonable concern: the spending should be carefully assessed to make sure that it is being used properly.

Second, the bill can be seen as “somewhat” socialistic-in that it places the government in the roll of helping out private industry. But, the Republicans have also placed the government in the role of helping out private industry-so this “socialism” is nothing new. They do raise a reasonable general question about the proper role of the government in regards to private industry.

Third, there is considerable appeal in the notion of reducing taxes. In theory, if individual citizens have more money (in virtue of paying less taxes) they can spend more and thus help infuse cash back into the economy. This sort of approach would have the virtue of helping out citizens and business. After all, one might argue, why take money from people and give it to companies that have shown that they cannot handle money wisely? It would make more sense to let the people spend the money as they see fit. They might not spend it wisely, but at least it is their money to spend.

However, there are obvious concerns with such tax cuts. After all, the Bush administration was famous for its tax cuts and they certainly did not stave off the disaster. As such, there are reasonable grounds to doubt the efficacy of Republican tax cuts. Perhaps a different sort of tax cut could be effective-but that would require supporting evidence and argumentation (as opposed to the tired old Republican rhetoric).

14 Responses

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  1. Soy Candles said, on January 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I think the best thing the president can do to help reduce the impact of this recession is to tell the people that they need to take action. The government can only do so much to stop a recession. People can stop the recession. If people stopped listening to how bad things are and stopped trying to save every penny in fear of a looming recession there wouldn’t be a recession. It takes money to make money and nobody has more money then the people. We can stop the recession and save jobs. Simplest way spend money it keeps the economy going. That’s what the people need to here.

  2. The One said, on January 29, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I definitely agree with the above poster. I was always told money has the value it has because we believe it does. for example, a dollar is a dollar because we believe it is. The value of money is up to us consumers control the market so ultimately they’re the ones who can give it its boost…also this blog is very interesting im glad i found it!

  3. kernunos said, on January 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    The only way to stimulate the economy is to cut taxes on businesses. Jobs created by the government are, at best, only half as effective as private sector jobs when it comes to the economy. Why you ask? Well, simply because the government job needs to be paid for with taxes. The private sector has to be big enough to support the public sector with taxes. Too many government jobs to private sector jobs and the government jobs cannot be supported. It really is simple.

    Believing in your dollar may bring you pride but it does not create jobs. the problem is that jobs are being lost at an alarming rate. That is the scary part.

  4. Dave said, on January 30, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Mmm….government on a roll with cheese, lettuce and tomato…. Just kidding (gotta mock the typo)

  5. Michael LaBossiere said, on January 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Well, one would put his government pork on a government roll.

  6. Steve Lee said, on January 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Michael- The same people that made it much harder for Americans to declare bankruptcy and get a fresh start gave $750 billion (with more to come) to the bankers that spent hundreds of millions lobbying the Congress (with a few mill in campaign contributions.) They truly now the worth of a good investment:


    Now that John McCain is back in the Senate he can do a revival of his Maverick! bipartisian act:


  7. Soy Candles said, on January 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    kernunos I agree with some of what you say but I want you to think back to when things started getting bad. If you look back it was almost immediatly after president bush said we needed to bailout wall street which caused people to tighten there spending a little which in turn means jobs are lost then the news reports the jobs being lost people then tighten there wallets more. More jobs lost and so on and so on. It should be obvious to americans that only we can stop this not a politics.

  8. kernunos said, on January 30, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I understand what you are saying and I agree with you to a point Soy. People are ‘sheeple’ when it comes to the media but also look at the rediculous swings on Wallstreet from what happens on the news. Things started getting bad before Bush said we needed bailouts. Things were bad if he thought he needed to say that. If you recall the housing bubble had burst. I disagreed with the bailouts. These companies needed to fail. There are other banks that would not have and thus would be rewarded for success by getting extra customers from the ones that were bad. Bailing out constantly keep extending the economic pain. The market needs to find a true bottom before it can rebound. Bailouts hurt this process and as we see these bailed out institutions(Citigroup) are still failing. Wasted money that you, I and our children must pay back. This is severely extending the pain and will only cripple the economy.

  9. magus71 said, on January 31, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I’m going to write a book about what ISN’T Bush’s fault. If I had to write a book about everything that people think WAS his fault, my word processor would start smoking.

    As kernunos stated, the issue is not spending, it’s jobs. No jobs=no spending. People are getting let go from their jobs like crazy and the 819 BIIIIIILION dollar stimulaus package does little to address this problem. The Democrats did everything they possibly could to not do what Republicans said should and must be done to create jobs: Give tax breaks to businesses so they can afford to hire more people.

    Instead, they think the same old hum-drum thoughts: Conservatives Hate the Poor. See Mr., the evil Republicans want you to starve. Wow. Groundbreaking and truly bi-partisan stuff. Must be that when parents tell their kids, “go out and get a job”, they hate them. We can only love our kids if we allow them to live in our basements for decades eating cheddar Pringles and watching repeats of Knight Rider…

    Kernunos is also correct in stating failure needs to be rewarded with pain, Not, “We failed therefore we get stuff–LOTS OF STUFF!”. This has always been my argument against socialism: It encourages mediocrity when carried too far.

    Welcome to Vanilla America.

  10. kernunos said, on January 31, 2009 at 11:05 am

    To make matters worse Obama just signed two bills. One makes it easier to sue your employer for wage discrimination(how does this help make the economy better by ruining businesses?), and the other strengthens labor unions(again, how does this help make more jobs when unions are part of the problem?). The days are getting darker and things will definitely get worse before it gets better. Obama will make sure of it. I sometimes wonder if the Lefts’ plan is more of an Anarchist one-to provide a catastrophic failure of the American way to say’Now let’s give Communism a chance’. Makes you wonder because it is child level economics to know what they are doing will make things worse.

  11. kernunos said, on January 31, 2009 at 11:16 am

    You don’t need any more proof of the problem than what is in this link. Watch the lest we forget two videos under the January 31st 2009 entry. The Left skewers themselves in these videos. They self incriminate themselves to the problem and it is so obvious. This is where the housing mortgage crisis came from. The Left and not from the words of George Bush. Enjoy. this is a smoking gun people.


  12. Soy Candles said, on January 31, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Yes unions are a problem I know I live in michigan and I hate them overpaid underworked bleep bleep bleep. Yes everybody this plan won’t work that plan won’t work. I would like to hear somebody ANYBODY post what they think might work. We as a nation focus way to much on the negative. Thats not going to get anything resolved.

  13. kernunos said, on January 31, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Cutting taxes to businesses. I think I said that already. Oh, and not having the government spend money it doesn’t need to like 850,000,000 on abortions, I mean planned parenthood.

  14. magus71 said, on February 1, 2009 at 5:18 am


    It’s a good point about making things worse in order to sell an agenda; good ‘ol communism. The horrible idea that just won’t die. Thanks Mr. Marx. You’ve proven to me that there’s few worst things in the world than a “thinker”. You came up with your robot’s society program in the dusty basement of a library and managed to make a painful world even worse. Again, gracias.

    And just what we need–stronger unions. And more law suits too, because the lawyers just don’t have enough power in this country. Sorry, I just can’t pretend that obama is doing the right thing, no matter how much I want him to. He’s now doing exactly the things that caused me to not vote for him.

    “the more I think about it, ol’ billy was right
    let’s kill all the lawyers- kill ’em tonight.” ~The Eagles; Get Over It

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