22 January 2009

NO! It's not as bad as the Great Depression

As the new liberal Congress gets ready to throw another one trillion dollars down the sewer with the mistaken or, in some cases (read: Treasury Secretary Geithner), mendacious notion that it is going to stimulate the economy and jolt us out of the economic crisis, very few influential voices in this country are willing to call this for what it is: dangerous nonsense.

For one thing, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AR), one of the few brave voices in this rush to pull out the federal check book, reminded the audience of Hugh Hewitt’s radio talk show yesterday (Jan 21, 2009) that the proposed bill to stimulate the economy will do little or nothing in that respect. Not that all of the proposed spending is necessarily pork, but it does not belong in this bill, he explained. Some of the money for infrastructure and energy projects will not even be spent in the next four years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In other words, under the guise of emergency spending Obama and his liberal allies in Congress are adding enormous amounts to the national deficit. And it will do nothing to the economy in the short term.

But more importantly, this bill is only being pushed because the country is “in the worst recession since the Great Depression”—according to those pushing it. Problem is, that is not true, at least not yet. Baltimore Sun columnist Jay Hancock looked at the actual statistics recently and concluded that while it’s important not to underestimate the economic downturn, right now the recession is not even as bad as the 1982 economic crisis. While unemployment is rising rapidly, it’s still nowhere near the 10.4 % unemployment rate of 1983. It’s not even up to the 7.8% of 1992.

There are other statistics, such as gross domestic products and services produced in the US that suggest things are not as bad as the 1930s--nor even as bad as 1982. Other factors may look disastrous, including the almost total collapse of the housing market in some regions of the US or the dissolution of great bastions in the financial markets, but while these are impressive events, they are not of widespread catastrophic magnitude.

So before Pelosi, Reid & Co. drive us all like lemmings over the cliff, could we perhaps have a little perspective?

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