Tuesday, February 03, 2009
The conservative critique of President Obama's "stimulus" package, when talking to other conservatives, tends to be that the provisions of the plan are bad things in themselves -- spending on pet liberal projects which cost a lot, do little to actually stimulate the economy, and which tend to reinforce the expectation in the populace that any problems they might have are best solved by sitting on their thumbs and waiting for the government to bail them out. These are the arguments against the proposed stimulus plan that resonate with the right.
But this line of argument is less compelling for Joe Sixpack. To explain their opposition to the plan to the working guy conservatives boil down their argument to one simple rhetorical question: "Where in the world is all that money going to come from?" The question is pithy, easy to understand and, they thought, unanswerable. This is where they underestimated President Obama. He seems to have a plan.
In road-runner physics a character who has walked off a cliff will not fall until his unsupported state is brought to his attention. Apparently tax accounting rules for liberal politicians are similar; they don't need to pay their taxes until the unpaid taxes come to the attention of the press. Mr. Obama apparently knows this and is using his cabinet appointments to produce extra tax revenue.
President Obama's pick for Treasury -- Timothy Geithner -- had to pony up about $30k in back taxes to buy into the Obama honeymoon tax amnesty plan offered by the liberal press. And he's a piker compared to Tom Daschle (Health and Human Services nominee) who coughed up more than $100k. Mr. Obama plans to grow the size of the staff of the Administrative branch considerably, and he will be replacing most of those currently working there. Add to that the judges, ambassadors, and all the bureaucrats who are appointed by the president and you get a lot of political appointments. If they all pay off as well as the Geithner and Daschle picks he will have gone a long way toward paying for the stimulus package.
Update: I had barely finished this when I turned on the TV to find that Daschle had stepped aside to let someone else take their turn at the wringer. We may find that trillion bucks for the "stimulus" plan yet!