Good Point

by Don Boudreaux on January 29, 2009

in Stimulus

Here’s Jacob Sullum at Reason’s Hit & Run:

Even as President Obama promises that the federal government will spend the $1 trillion or so contemplated in the stimulus legislation in a utterly open, totally transparent, and absolutely accountable way, he demands that members of Congress vote for the 647-page monstrosity before they can possibly have time to read and digest it. “We don’t have a moment to spare,” he says, eliciting praise from Honeywell CEO David Cote, who raves, “Thank God you are not a timid man.”
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Kevin January 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I don't think it's inconsistent. The white house could be accountable for the results later while congress washes its hands of the thing. Not that that's the way it would go down, but I don't think there's any obvious incoherence in saying "you don't need to read it because I'll take all the heat," if congress is dumb enough to take the administration's performance risk.

Michael Smith January 29, 2009 at 3:19 pm

This "stimulus" bill is the single largest looting of the American people in the nation's history. It is nothing less than a declaration that the government — not us — owns our money, and that if we are not spending as much of our money as the government thinks we should, it will simply seize the money and spend it for us.

What's more, Obama's demand that Congress approve the stimulus without even having time to understand it makes a mockery of the seperation of powers. If the Executive branch can demand that legislation be passed without time to review it, for what do we need Congress? Just dissolve it and let Obama write the laws he wants.

Mike Farmer January 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

The only thing transparent is the lust for power.

RickC January 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I'll go on record and say there is no way there will be complete transparency; it just isn't possible. And even if there is some transparency, and we witness massive amounts of money getting wasted in some boondoggle, and it will happen, what possible action could we take other than voting some politician out of office?

Most of the actual spending will be carried out by unelected bureacrats. The same type who oversaw the dispersal of the missing billion in the Katrina recovery area and every other wasteful program since the depression. Does anyone here ever remember one of them being held criminally accountable for gross negligence?

Justin Bowen January 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm

"We don't have a moment to spare,"

We don't have a moment to spare. Pass the PATRIOT Act. It doesn't matter that you haven't read it. Trust me when I tell you that it's good for America…

Kevin January 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

No no Justin. Those were the bad idiots the duped flyovers elected while speaking in tongues and carrying on secret homosexual extramarital affairs. We now have a legitimate administration that cares and really will do things that are good for America.

vidyohs January 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm


About 15 years ago my home was supplied with water from a well and we had a septic system (750 gal cement tank).

When the city finally got around to us with the provision of city water and sewage, we were offered the option of connecting. My wife and I decided to connect to the sewage but not the water.

To connect to the sewage required me to completely do all the pipe work, and then to drain the septic tank and use sand to fill it in. The call the city inspector to come and pass it before I put sod over it.

As I did that, draining and filling, I realized that what I was doing was the only cure for the U.S. government. Drain the cess pool, fill it in, and then pave over it. That is the only method of ensuring that no future generation is ever exposed to the filth and corruption of the cess pool. It does no good to bring clean as the drive snow representatives to the cess pool and then allow them to jump in. Are we stupid enough to expect they will remain clean? No. Drain, fill, and pave. Nothing else is satisfactory, nothing.

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