BRETT: Still considering what it was that we saw laid out 24 hours ago, 48 hours ago with President Joe Biden speaking in the House of Representatives to the semi-joint gathering of the Congress and the Senate, laying out a (chuckles) $6 trillion spending package. Just let that number sink in.
It’s really an unbelievable thing, and it prompted Lindsey Graham to describe what it was that Joe Biden was talking about there at the Congress, saying, “He embraced socialism and made Barack Obama look like Ronald Reagan.” Now, for what it’s worth (chuckles), Joe Biden was no Ronald Reagan because his numbers were pretty much anemic when it came to the people tuning into the speech just a couple days ago.
He had 22.6 million viewers, less than half of Trump’s audience in 2017 for that debut speech, and this was a speech that we knew going in was going to be anchored — absolutely anchored — to the notion of free money. Free money, free stimulus, free stuff. Don’t worry about it! It’s gonna be great!
“You get a trillion, and you get a trillion, and you get a trillion, and you get a trillion,” to paraphrase Oprah Winfrey. But the reality of what’s being offered by Joe Biden is starting to really set in with people. They’re starting to understand what this means, what the stakes mean here.
It’s barely, barely 10 years since this last experiment was played out with then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the time, when — against the worst meltdown, breakdown, collapse since the Great Depression (that was the original one) — we were gonna have to start shoveling out money, almost a trillion dollars in stimulus money going out there for so-called shovel-ready jobs.
Remember, it was Joe Biden who was Sheriff Joe back then. He was in charge of distributing the dollars out there to the people. Well, not really to the people. Remember the purpose of that first stimulus was back in 2009, and it was what prompted the birth of the Tea Party that led to the Republican takeover of the House back in 2010, and the original sales pitch was this.
People will be running out there to the different big box stores and buying groceries and buying televisions and continuing to keep that economy going. All the while, that same federal government was buying toxic assets and expanding the Federal Reserve — and, of course, devaluing the dollar across the spectrum. Right? That’s what took place back in 2009.
So what we’ve got now is — paraphrasing Joe Biden from two nights ago — w had Joe Biden saying, “It’s the worst crisis that we have faced since the Great Depression, and we need not one, not two, not five, but six trillion additional dollars to fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Back in 2011, Rush Limbaugh said the Obama stimulus had failed.
And, by the way, that applies to this forthcoming stimulus by Joe Biden.
RUSH: Look, we know that Obama’s stimulus plan, Obama’s stimulus was nothing more than a money laundering slush fund. We know that now. We know that in any number of ways, learning it most recently from Wisconsin. A full 80% of the money that Wisconsin got went to the public sector unions — and, of course, that money, a percentage of that just goes right back to the Democrat Party.
But let’s say — let’s just for the sake of discussion, playing devil’s advocate, let’s say — that Obama is simply is a misguided, well-intentioned statist; and he really believes that massive government spending to the tune of a trillion dollars will grow an economy and create jobs and all that. You need to first ask a question: How do we define growth? Is growth not the pie getting bigger?
Economic growth that the gross domestic product — the economic output, the sum total of it — increases, meaning brand-new jobs are created. People with jobs are compensated with raises, higher incomes. New products are invented, and the pie grows. That’s what economic growth is. It can be nothing else. Otherwise, you have stagnation — or if you have depression, you’ve got negative growth, which is the economy shrinking, getting smaller, which in fact is what’s happening.
Okay, so we’ve defined growth. Now let’s say, ask ourselves: How does it happen? The government wants our economic pie to get bigger — and here comes Obama, saying, “Oh, I got the plan. We’re gonna spend a trillion bucks, we’re gonna put that trillion bucks to work immediately. We’re gonna inject that trillion bucks right into the economy.” Ooh! Cool! But is it going to be a trillion dollars that’s not in the economy already?
In other words: Where’s the government going to get the money? If the government is going to take the money from somewhere else in the economy and spend it somewhere else in the economy what you have is not growth but shifting, but you have no growth — and that’s what the stimulus bill purportedly was. That’s not even what it ended up doing, but that was how they sold it.
“Keynesian spending! We’re gonna grow the economy! We’re gonna put, we’re gonna put a trillion bucks in it.”
Where’d they get it? They had to borrow it, print it, tax it, or what have you. But it wasn’t created out of growth. In fact, the way the money was procured would lead to economic stagnation, if anything; it would not lead to growth. Never has. If Keynesian economics worked, if pumping government money into a faltering economy worked, there would never be a faltering economy.
We woulda learned it the first time, it woulda worked, and every recession that came along or every near depression that came along, all we’d have to do is pump some money into it and, voila! It’d be over with. It never works, does it? A guy at the Heritage Foundation, Brian Riedl, came up with a, an analogy to explain why government intervention to boost the economy doesn’t work. He used a swimming pool.
Removing water from one end of a swimming pool and pouring it in the other end will not raise the overall water level. In fact, it won’t change anything after a while. It might make the deeper end deeper for a brief time — it might make the shallow end shallower for a brief, brief time — but then it all levels out. Well, it’s the same premise. If you take dollars from one part of the economy (i.e, the rich) and you distribute those dollars to another part of the economy, you’re not growing anything.
You’re simply redistributing. And if in the process the recipients of your redistribution are getting it for not doing anything — if there’s no accompanying activity to warrant the receipt of that money other than they’re just sitting there and they happen to be Democrat voters — then you really screwing yourself. And under the best laid plans that’s what the stimulus was, being totally well-intentioned.
We know that’s not what it was and we know it was a slush fund. We know, folks, it was nothing more than a money laundering scheme. We know that now. But if they really were just mistaken, and they thought they could inject a trillion dollars by redistributing it, it doesn’t work. It has never worked, and it will never work. So the question is: Do these guys know that and they’re just lying to us, or are they really economically ignorant and utopian fools who really believe this stuff?
At this point I don’t care.
All I know is that they’re dead wrong, and what they’re doing has been destructive and it’s gotta stop.
BRETT: And it did stop under the Trump administration. But it’s coming back now, and it’s coming back in part because it is a slush fund: 100,000 new teachers, preschool teachers, home aid caregivers. All those folks that are being promised these jobs by the Biden administration are simply going to be wealth transfers going to people who are members of the union, the bailouts that are going out to the municipalities for fiscally reckless behaviors.
These are not windfalls for these communities.
These are wealth transfers.
And what’s even worse is you’ve got — under the Biden administration — a promise to tax every aspect of your life, whether it’s corporate taxation, capital gains taxation, whether it’s personal income taxation. You’ve got all of that being combined to such a degree that Karl Marx himself would blush with embarrassment at the absolute gall to go out and try to rip that amount of money out of the economy, destroying growth.
Zero Hedge. Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge… I know it’s not a really name, obviously, but at Zero Hedge he says, “A record 34% of all household income in the United States now comes from the government.” Thirty-four percent of all household income in the United States comes from the government! Folks, you have to factor in all the money that’s transferring out of the coffers.
Unemployment benefits, welfare checks, you name it. It’s government-sourced income, and now we’re gonna pump another $6.1 trillion or $6 trillion out into the dollars. He notes in this piece what I think is absolutely fascinating: “Putting that number in perspective, in the 1950s and 1960s, transfer payment were around 7%.”
It is now approaching 34% in terms of transfers. This should frighten everybody who is paying attention to the current state of affairs in our country. Our future depends on us getting this right and preaching the basic fiscal sanity to our fellow citizens so we can prevent another $6 trillion transfer from going out.