RUSH: This is an anniversary. February 17th is an anniversary. You know what it is? This is the fifth anniversary of Obama’s stimulus. Nobody noticed, did they? Nobody’s out celebrating it. Nobody’s reminding you of it. Nobody is calling your attention to it. Nobody is applauding it. Nobody’s doing stories on how much it mattered. We’re not getting any stories from the media about all the great things that happened as a result of the stimulus. We’re getting a big, fat zero, goose egg. Nothing.
The media are not crowing about it much. I do have an article here from the Wall Street Journal pointing out what you and I all know, that the stimulus did not help lower the unemployment rate as was promised. The only reason the jobless rate’s gone down at all is due to more people leaving the workforce. We’re not creating any jobs. It points out that only 10% of the Obama stimulus went to infrastructure. You know, the building of roads, the repairing of schools, the building of bridges.
All of those wonderful things that were highlighted with the stimulus was what we we’re gonna use this almost $1 trillion for. There is nothing to show for it but added debt. In fact, you could make the case that the stimulus has retarded economic growth and recovery, held it back. You could make the case that the stimulus has led to higher unemployment — and you know why, folks? Because it wasn’t a stimulus.
Now, it could have been.
Theoretically, this is how Keynesian economics works.
You have an economy, and it’s slowed down. It’s chugging along. It’s just barely moving. You need to do something to goose it, so you stimulate it. You pump a bunch of money into it. You put money into it, you put that money to work for you, and that money starts circulating in the form of commerce, and that commerce revives a moribund economy, and it grows, and businesses start making more profits, and they start hiring more people.
That’s what the $1 trillion was supposed to do. However, that is theory only. It can only work — and even then, questionably. A stimulus like that can only work if you have a trillion dollars laying around somewhere that is not part of the economy, and we don’t have that. If you could find a trillion dollars somewhere that was not part of the economy — it was just lying around idle, it wasn’t in circulation, it wasn’t being used — and you throw that in there, maybe.
Even that’s dubious.
But we don’t have a trillion dollars that’s sitting around doing nothing — even if we print it, even if we borrow it — because we are already $16 trillion, $17 trillion in debt, and there are debt service payments the government has to make every month, every year. There is no way that we could stimulate the economy because, whether we printed it or whether we borrowed it, the trillion dollars had to first be taken away from the economy before it could be put back into it.
So the stimulus was a net wash. It was a push. It cancelled itself out. Even if you raise taxes to get the trillion dollars, you’re still taking the money out of the economy you want to stimulate. You cannot stimulate an economy by taking a trillion dollars out of it and then re-injecting it, putting it back in. Net zero. Net wash. There’s no change. If you print the money and throw it back into the economy, no way — and that’s not what happened anyway. Fully 90% of the stimulus went to unions and states and state employees.
Ninety percent of the stimulus was part of what I describe as a money-laundering scheme. It was spent to keep union workers employed, government union workers state after state after state employed so that they would continue to pay union dues, and the union dues, as you know and I know, all end up, a vast majority of that money gets spent on the Democrat Party.
Now, back then, Obama didn’t think he could go to the Treasury and write a check from the US Treasury to himself or to the Democrat Party. So what he had to do was get a trillion dollars and give it to union people. They washed it, they cleaned it, they stayed employed, they paid their dues, and the dues ends up back in the coffers of the Democrat Party and various candidates to buy ads, to run campaigns or what have you. That’s what 90% of that stimulus did. Ten percent actually went toward things Obama promised.
Now, today, five years later, with Obama just any time he wants making up a law, not enforcing a law, altering a law, if Obama decided the Treasury was going to fund the Democrat Party’s campaign next year and they wanted to write a check, he might be thinking, you know, I could probably get away with that now. Nobody’s gonna stop me. I use that as an illustration only. They’re not to that point yet, but that’s what the stimulus was. Look at your own family. You want to stimulate your own family’s economic situation, and if somebody gave you $50,000 you didn’t have, and you didn’t have to pay back, free and clear, no taxes on it whatsoever, that 50 grand would certainly stimulate your family.
But, if that $50,000 you had to give them first before they gave it back to you, it’s a wash, right? Well, that’s what the stimulus was, because we don’t have a trillion dollars sitting around not doing anything. If we borrow it, there’s debt service on it. If we print it, there’s inflation. There’s just no way. That stimulus never had a prayer. It was a PR gimmick from beginning to end. And that’s why, on the fifth anniversary of the great stimulus that was gonna reignite the economy and erase all the memories of every bad thing Bush did, there’s not even a mention of it in the media.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, there’s one other thing to remember about Obama’s nearly $1 trillion stimulus and another one of the real hidden reasons for it. Reason number one, obviously funding unions. But the second reason was that it raised or expanded the baseline on the federal budget by a trillion dollars. And the baseline, of course, is where every new budget starts. So after adding a trillion dollars in spending, the new baseline goes way, way up, and therefore every spending item in the next budget went up accordingly, because the baseline went up. It drove the budget from three to three and a half trillion dollars, is in effect what it did. And that became the new baseline.
Now, the Journal doesn’t explain how that happened, but it was because the Democrats never did a real budget. They were doing continuing resolutions, and that became the floor, the new three and a half trillion with the stimulus added to it. So it was a gimmick, it was a trick from the get-go disguised as a PR message. They told the low-information crowd, “We’re gonna rebuild your bridges and your roads and your schools.” And they’re not rebuilt even now. They’re not repaired even now. Nothing was done on any of that.