Democrats have lambasted Republicans for years for believing in “Voodoo economics.” Well, the evidence is mounting that economic superstition is alive and well in the nation’s political circles, though it has nothing to do with a fondness for tax cuts.
It’s instead the crazy belief that the government can spend its way to prosperity for the rest of us. Analyzing this conclusion, the House Ways and Means Committee recently released a report titled “It’s Official: On Unemployment and Jobs, Democrats’ 2009 Stimulus Was a Huge Failure.”
The Ways and Means report provides a number of striking reminders about the predictions the White House made in January 2009 while urging the passage of their $814 billion Keynesian spending bill. By January 2011, the stimulus bill was supposed to have lowered the unemployment rate to 7 percent. It now stands at 9.4 percent, and the report notes that “the unemployment rate would be 11.3 percent if it included all the ‘invisible unemployed’ — American workers who have simply given up looking for work.” The report also said that the stimulus was supposed to create 3.7 million jobs by now, for a total of 137.6 million jobs in the American economy. Currently, there are 130.7 million jobs. Since the stimulus’ passage, 47 of the 50 states have lost jobs; overall, the private sector has seen 1.8 million jobs disappear.
Note as well that unemployment currently is slightly above what the White House predicted it would be if the Obama stimulus program was not passed as emergency legislation. Any honest assessment of the stimulus has to consider the possibility that flawed economics, kickbacks to unions and other Democratic special interests, corruption and an inefficient bureaucracy simply swallowed all the jobs for which those billions were supposed to pay. In fact, job creation exceeded the White House’s expectations in only one area: The District of Columbia created almost twice as many jobs as the White House anticipated. In other words, thanks to the stimulus, the only area growing new jobs is the federal government.
In response to the failure of Obamanomics, the Ways and Means Committee report offers four solutions to get the economy going again: Streamline the tax code, pass pending free trade agreements so American companies can easily sell goods overseas, repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that actually lower insurance costs, and get spending under control so the national debt doesn’t threaten the economy.
Democrats may call this voodoo economics, but to most Americans it probably sounds like a popular and common sense plan to get the economy going again.