Monday, February 16, 2009

Garrett Gets His Susan Powter On

Maybe I'm dating myself slightly, citing the slightly scary woman screaming at us to "Stop the Insanity", but that's the first thing that came to mind when reading the opening of the latest Op-Ed by Representative Scott Garrett published by the Record.
AN APHORISM most often attributed to Albert Einstein goes: "The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again, and then expecting different results." By this definition, then, the "stimulus" package approved by the House Friday (and which also seemed headed toward Senate approval late Friday) is fiscal insanity.

It's amazing how the arguments of the minority party mirror each other in such a bi-partisan manner. Democrats were saying the same things about Iraq and all of the budgets Garrett voted for over the years. Let's not dwell on that, shall we, because Garrett's own words in essence shoot down the entire Op-Ed a bit further down.
Among economists who study fiscal policy closely, the evidence is conclusive: Massive increases in deficit spending during a recession do not stop a recession and can, in fact, be very harmful to a nation's finances in the long run.

The odd thing about this is that Garrett goes on to cite the tax cuts passed around the 1981 and 2003 recessions as what should be given credit for pulling us out of those recessions. This is a bit misleading.

The tax cuts Reagan passed in 1981 led to our national debt exploding 186% by the time he left office. The interesting thing is that the Bush tax cuts "only" led to 48% explosion in the national debt. If you went to the Midwest, you'd find plenty of people that would say we've never recovered from 2003.

The bottom line is that both parties are addicted to deficit spending, they just have different names for it. Garrett and his gang want you to believe you're getting something for nothing, while your grandchildren will be asking you what they're paying for. Meanwhile, the Democrats are telling you what you're getting, and hoping you'll explain it to your grandchildren for them.

For another take on Garrett's piece, check out clammyc's post over on Blue Jersey.

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