Aug 02 2009

Nation’s Unemployment Is Liberals’ Waterloo

Published by at 12:27 pm under Measuring The Recovery

It was a giddy time in DC for liberals back in January of this year. They had wiped the GOP off the political map and had control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. 15 years of pent up frustration, built up since the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994, had finally been released. The old guard liberals, who would finally take the gavels and pound their young inexperienced president into line, were going to change America! They were going to remake it to conform with the liberal myths and fantasies these 60’s rejects spent a lifetime naively believing in.

Here we sit 7 months later, with what is clearly a “teachable moment”. The first remake of the world turned out to be the now failed stimulus bill. It was different from most previous successful economic ‘stimulus’ packages in that it relied heavily on government spending to fix the economy – not economic incentives. Prior economic downturns were met with tax cuts and investment incentives to spur growth, innovation and investment. 

But this time around the liberals wanted to prove once and for all that government was the superior entity, the governing light, the leader – not the tail wagging the dog. And so there were a few tax cuts and incentive based elements to get the left -of-center, fresh faced congress critters on board. But it was window dressing around the core policies.

In fact, these are the same insignificant elements the DC liberals are now trying to trot out as helping keep things from getting worse. These fools now claim the measly tax cuts and block grants to states  stopped things from being worse! But the truth is, if they have loaded the original bill up with sufficient quantities of these incentives, as has been done many times before going back to President Kennedy in the early 1960’s, then the recession would have been MILDER. We would not be in this deep.

The waste, fraud and abuse of the liberals’ risky economic scheme was in relying on massive spending programs, which dwarfed the tax cut element, and still have yet to start spending money. For you see, the Federal Government is a sluggish Leviathan which takes years to plan spending money, award the work and monitor the effort which ALWAYS comes in late, substandard and over budget. The only reason we use the government to perform work is it needs to be done outside the market place – like national defense and the scientific  exploration of space and the oceans. These may be wasteful and cumbersome endeavors, but they pay off in the end.

But this formula doesn’t work with wasted and late stimulus spending. That does not pay off. As I have noted many times, the job spending component of the stimulus bill is stuck in the federal bureaucracy. As of 7/10/09 we are still waiting for 99% of the money to come out of the bowels of the federal bureaucracy (I will publish updated numbers on 8/7/09 when the July unemployment numbers come out).

In the first graph there are 4 sets of columns showing: (from left to right) (1) the amount budgeted for stimulus programs in that organization, (2) the amount allocated to specific programs, (3) the amount actually spent creating jobs (the bottom line) and (4) the amount unspent from the total budget. (click image to enlarge)

The second chart translates the dollar amounts for the last three sets of columns into percentages of the budgeted amounts. (click image to enlarge)

At least now the country has learned a harsh truth – don’t believe politicians promising immediate stimulus by way of government programs. Even the liberals in DC have had to change their tune, and extend the timeline out to years, not weeks. Myth debunked.

A few weeks ago the NY Times – in what must have been a rare fit of professional journalism for them – noted that the unemployment situation was much worse than it seems on the surface. I cannot copy the graphic here, so please visit it and spend some time digesting it. But let me relate some of the startling numbers:

Under a broader definition of joblessness, some states have rates higher than 20 percent. This rate includes part-time workers who want to work full time, as well some people who want to work but have not looked for a job in the last four weeks.

  • California: unemployment rate is 11%, the broader underemployment rate is 20%
  • Michigan: unemployment rate is 13%, the broader underemployment rate is 22%
  • Florida: unemployment rate is 9%, the broader underemployment rate is 17%

For those keeping track this data is over a month old and based on the May unemployment numbers, not the much worse June numbers. Michigan is now at 15.2% unemployment, which could be pushing the broader number up close to 30%. What this means is the situation is still much worse than DC is letting on – whether they are ignorant or hiding this is irrelevant. They still are not facing up to reality.

Today the NY Times had another fit of professional journalism and noted another important fact – people are rapidly running out of unemployment benefits because this recession has been so long and so deep:

Over the coming months, as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits, ending what for some has been a last bulwark against foreclosures and destitution.

Because of emergency extensions already enacted by Congress, laid-off workers in nearly half the states can collect benefits for up to 79 weeks, the longest period since the unemployment insurance program was created in the 1930s. But unemployment in this recession has proved to be especially tenacious, and a wave of job-seekers is using up even this prolonged aid.

Tens of thousands of workers have already used up their benefits, and the numbers are expected to soar in the months to come, reaching half a million by the end of September and 1.5 million by the end of the year, according to new projections by the National Employment Law Project, a private research group.

Click the image to enlarge, and read the whole article at NY Times – it contains very important information.

These victims of the recession touch us all. They are ourselves, or friends, or family members or colleagues. They are the victims of the failed liberal experiment out of DC. They are middle America.

They would not be suffering as much if the liberals had not been so naive to think government was the creator of jobs and wealth and satisfied lives. It is not. At best it adjudicates disagreements, punishes the criminals, provides for the national defense and provides for a suite of safety net services which are funded by the good will of the general population.

When government oversteps these bounds and starts competing with the private sector, or dictating to the private sector what to do, how much people can be rewarded for their efforts, how much wealth they can accumulate, how they must speak to each other, how they will live their lives, then government has become an oppressor. The views of an arrogant minority become the rules by which we all are forced to live.

That is not America. We do not need DC and NY elites to tell us how to live and to succeed and care for each other. This liberal stimulus experiment was meant to prove once and for all the truth about liberal economic fantasies and policies. It did its job in spades. We can now reject said liberal policies based on their abysmal failure. We can also reject the purveyors of these naive fantasies, and relegate such nonsensical thinking back to the children’s cartoons from where they came, the only venue where reality is suspended enough for these policies to be believable.

On August 7th, 2009 and September 11th reality will slam the liberals again, as these are the days when the nation reports the unemployment statistics for the previous month of failure. We cannot afford not to learn the lesson of this teachable moment in history.

23 responses so far

23 Responses to “Nation’s Unemployment Is Liberals’ Waterloo”

  1. MarkN says:


    Been on vacation and missed this post. I think the liberals’ Waterloo is your favorite topic.

    Global Warming!!!!!