Obama’s stimulus plan just is not everything Americans need it to be

Mitch Leclair

Mitch Leclair

According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, “stimulus” is a Latin word meaning “goad.” Goad’s first listed definition is, “A long pointed stick used to prod animals.”

How appropriate.

The United States Congress has unfortunately passed a compromise version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or the “stimulus” bill, and President Obama added his signature last week.

The full text of the bill is available online, but it’s over 1,400 pages long, so good luck analyzing it. I’m glad our representatives in Washington are super speed-readers.

The bill is set to artificially create upwards of $800 billion over the next decade, with the majority spent in the next couple years. Our national debt is currently $10.71 trillion. Tacking on another 10 percent with one Legislative decision seems a little hasty.

But we must do something to jump-start our economy, right? That’s what Mr. President’s been telling us. The truth is that this spending spree will do nothing but prolong the painful corrections that our country has to go through.

For years, many Americans have made poor financial decisions that must be faced. Businesses erroneously expanded, individuals invested in houses with seemingly infinitely rising values and now the market needs to rectify itself.

Yet we won’t let it. We’re ignoring the problems and looking for fast, easy solutions; conventional wisdom says we can spend our way out of this mess, but we can’t.

We Americans have transformed from producers to consumers in nearly every aspect of our lives. Saving and long-term financial planning are lost arts. Credit card debt and defaulted loans are commonplace, but some still try and blame fashionable enemies like free market capitalism for our mess.

As if the credit boom created by the Federal Reserve System in any way resembles a free market. Placing fault on a plutocratic, fascist state ripe with cronyism and economic ignorance seems a little more appropriate to me.

As Thomas Woods, historian and writer of the new bestselling book Meltdown, recently said on The Lew Rockwell Show, “Merely using things up can’t possibly make a country prosperous.”

In 1939, many years into the worst economic period in our country’s history, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau even remarked, “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work.”

The Great Depression lasted far longer than it had to, in part because the American people put faith in a powerful centralized government being able to resolve economic calamities that it helped create. More consuming, more spending and more stimulating didn’t help our grandparents, and it will not aid our current situation.

The big bad wolf came and blew our house down, and we don’t need him for new sticks and straw. We need him to get off our property.