Steve's China Blog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stimulating quotes

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
--President James Madison

"Until the 1930s, the Constitution served as a major constraint on federal economic interventionism. The government's powers were understood to be just as the framers intended: few and explicitly enumerated in our founding document and its amendments. Search the Constitution as long as you like, and you will find no specific authority conveyed for the government to spend money on global-warming research, urban mass transit, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or countless other items in the stimulus package and, even without it, in the regular federal budget."
--Independent Institute senior fellow Dr. Robert Higgs

"Americans have long ago abandoned respect for the constitutional limitations placed on the federal government. Our elected representatives represent that disrespect."
--George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams

"[W]hat could possibly be more reckless than spending a trillion dollars you don't have on a plan that you have no evidence will work? What could be more irresponsible than doubling the generational debt for your partisan pet projects in a time of crisis? And what could be more selfish than stifling debate by deploying fear to induce voters into supporting it all?"
--columnist David Harsanyi

"Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it."
--President John Adams

"President Obama has started to play the 'catastrophe' card to sell his economic stimulus plan, using [last week's] terrible January jobs report to predict doom unless Congress acts. ...[T]he tragedy of this first great effort of the Obama Presidency is what a lost opportunity it is. ... The stage was ... set for the popular President to forge a bipartisan consensus that combined ideas from both parties. A major cut in the corporate tax favored by Republicans could have been added to Democratic public works spending for a quick political triumph that might have done at least some economic good. Instead, Mr. Obama chose to let House Democrats write the bill, and they did what comes naturally: They cleaned out their intellectual cupboards and wrote a bill that is 90% social policy, and 10% economic policy. ... So there it is: Mr. Obama is now endorsing a sort of reductionist Keynesianism that argues that any government spending is an economic stimulus."
--The Wall Street Journal

"I think this is the introduction to a disaster. We're going to face a big inflation. Everybody talks about how much we need to do now. But no one talks about how we're going to unwind what we're doing now. Keynesian theory is wrong. It doesn't work."
--economist Allen Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University

"Many actually believed Obama's own hype. This was the moment for this, that and the other thing. This was the time when we, as Americans, were going to have our cake and eat it too. Future generations were going to look back and remember how Republicans and Democrats, cats and dogs, Klingons and Romulans came together and marched to the sunny uplands of history, where shopping carts have no wobbly wheels; airplane food is free, delicious and filling; and we get all of our energy from 100 percent renewable Loch Ness Monster poop."
--National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

"I got a little muddled over two adjoining newspaper clippings -- one on the stimulus, the other on those octuplets in California -- and for a brief moment the two stories converged. Everyone's hammering that mom -- she's divorced, unemployed, living in a small house with parents who have a million bucks' worth of debt, and she's already got six kids. So she has in vitro fertilization to have eight more. But isn't that exactly what the Feds have done? Last fall, they gave birth to $850 billion of bailout they couldn't afford and didn't have enough time to keep an eye on, and now, four months later, they're going to do it all over again, but this time they want trillionuplets. Barney and Nancy represent the in vitro fertilization of the federal budget. And it's the taxpayers who'll get stuck with the diapers."
--columnist Mark Steyn

"Using long, drawn-out processes to put money into circulation to meet an emergency is like mailing a letter to the fire department to tell them that your house is on fire. If you cut taxes tomorrow, people would have more money in their next paycheck, and it would probably be spent by the time they got that paycheck, through increased credit card purchases beforehand."
--economist Thomas Sowell

It looks like more than 13,000 people were caught up in that Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. You know what a Ponzi scheme is? That's where you throw good money after bad, or as the government calls it, a stimulus package.
--comedian Jay Leno

"On page 151 of this legislative pork-fest [the 'stimulus' bill] is one of the clandestine nuggets of social policy manipulation that are peppered throughout the bill. Section 9201 of the stimulus package establishes the 'Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.' This body, which would be made up of federal bureaucrats will 'coordinate the conduct or support of comparative effectiveness and related health services research.' Sounds benign enough, but the man behind the Coordinating Council, Health and Human Services Secretary-designate [since withdrawn] (and tax cheat) Tom Daschle, was kind enough to explain the goal of this organization. It is to cut health care costs by preventing Americans from getting treatments that the government decides don't meet their standards for cost effectiveness. In his 2008 book on health care, he explained that such a council would, 'lower overall spending by determining which medicines, treatments and procedures are most effective-and identifying those that do not justify their high price tags.' Once a panel of government experts decides what is and what is not cost-effective by their definition, the government will stop paying for treatments, medicines, therapies or devices that fall into the latter category. ... Mind you, they are not simply looking to exclude treatments that don't work, but to exclude treatments that are effective, but whose cost, in their opinion, does not justify their use. You, the patient, and your physician don't get a vote. This would make the federal government the single most important decision-maker regarding health care for every patient in America."
--public affairs consultant Douglas O'Brien

"It is easy for the other side to advocate for higher taxes because, you know what? They don't pay them."
--House GOP Whip Eric Cantor

"Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry."
--revolutionary Thomas Paine

"More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's 'lost decade' in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today."
--two hundred economists in an open letter disseminated by the Cato Institute

"During his upcoming administration, Obama has promised to out-do FDR by putting an additional 2.5 million people on the federal payroll. He has also threatened -- I mean, promised -- to create some sort of civilian paramilitary group that sounds suspiciously like Hitler's brown shirts, but I could very well be mistaken. For all I know, Obama may dress them in blue."
--columnist Burt Prelustsky

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free."
--President Ronald Reagan

"Didn't you ever wonder if the witch doctors themselves thought dropping a virgin in the volcano would really bring good crops? I'm thinking they didn't. But it kept them in their witch-doctor jobs and gave them a few final moments in private with the virgins. And that, boys and girls, is how government works."
--columnist Randall Hoven

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home