President Trump just announced a $1 trillion stimulus package. Democrats will greatly lard it up in Congress. I have severe reservations.
Given everything we have ever known about how Congress and D.C. works, a “stimulus” package that would chuck $1 trillion at industries and people over the next month or so sounds like a perfect disaster. Remember, all of it, like the obscene overspending we’ve been happily skipping along with, comes from our children’s pockets. That’s immoral.
First, a reminder for Congress and the White House that money doesn’t grow on trees and we’ve already been spending like drunken sailors for 20 years. Sure, this is a highly unusual situation, but because of the corrupt and obscene spending that is part of life in Washington, we just can’t throw money at things. We’re not financially sound enough.
Second, stimulate what? We’re not supposed to be out there “consuming.”
Stimulus packages, if you are a Keynesian, which I am not and last I knew most conservatives were not, operates on the principle that the economy can be goosed by the government injecting money into it. That is an unproven theory at best as it seems that FDR’s endless spending and federal programs in the 1930s prolonged the Great Depression. Obama’s stimulus package in 2009 after the last panic set the stage for the worst economic recovery in the history of recorded economic recoveries. But also, we’ve all but pushed pause on the economy, so there is about zilch to stimulate.
This is a bailout. And guaranteed that once it gets to Congress, it will be larded up further. (Maybe Democrats can take another run a getting publicly funded abortions like they did a week ago. Really disgusting.) Expect the final product to be well north of $1 trillion.
But then what? Seriously. What do we do in May? Will we chuck another truckful of our grandchildren’s money at this? And June and August? We’re not going to just jump up from this like nothing happened.
The pain from completely shutting down the economy will not be gone in a month or two. Even if we are struggling back to normalcy by summer, the impacts will be much longer. Everyone’s running for re-election at that time. The money spigot will just keep gushing.
I get it. I lost one client yesterday until we are past this, and could lose more. A lot of people will be hurt financially. But throwing money that we don’t have at it — which is, quite literally, taking money from our children and grandchildren for our needs and wants of this moment exactly as we have been for too long — is a terrible and immoral idea.
Alas, in our soft and history-ignorant culture, it is probably good politics.
My gut tells me that President Trump’s gut is uncomfortable with this. But everyone in D.C. is telling him this is the way to go. Even Democrats are on his side for once in shoveling our children’s money at the problem.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.