Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stimulus FAIL/WIN 

So it looks like the stimulus bill will pass and the arguments rage about whether it will "work" or not.

I was looking at it today, although not too closely, and realized that its not botched or compromised at all, and that in fact it is already working!

Consider: of the roughly $820 billion in the stimulus, about $275B go to tax cuts, and about $544B to a more Keynsian/New Deal approach. So that's about a 65/35 split, Keynes vs. Supply-siders.

So what happens if in a couple years the bill appears to be FAIL?

Democrats say that the concessions they made to the GOP in the form of tax cuts watered down the bill and made it less effective. Thus Republican intransigence set us up for FAIL. Shorter Donkle, "Vote for us, they are FAIL."

Republicans say that it's a Democratic bill through and through, since they didn't vote for it. Democratic tax & spend has lead us down the path to ruin just like Reagan said. Shorter GOP: Vote for us, they are FAIL.

And if the economy is WIN in two or four years?

Democrats: Our bill is WIN. Vote for us, we are WIN.

Republicans: The only thing about that bill that made it WIN were the tax cut concessions we got by playing hardball and making teh Obana come to us. Vote for us, we are WIN.

So no matter what happens, both parties are poised to claim victory. Granted if the economy is WIN, then the GOP likely has a harder row to hoe. From a political standpoint though, this is a perfect bill. It has just enough of your stuff to take credit and just enough of the other guy's stuff to place blame, and completely leaves out any stuff that might endanger you or the other guy's relative social position. Political parties: WIN! People in charge: WIN!

This is all leaving aside the inevitable debate about what constitutes economy WIN/FAIL and whether WIN/FAIL has been achieved. A debate that will take much time, much swill will be inked, nits picked, and hairs split. During which time everyone will become sore confused and look to their favorite entrail reader for guidance or just go with whoever most resembles their inner fantasy life. This will have the effect of taking the economy off the table as an electoral issue and returning the field of play to the control of those who invest most in the players.

Kind of amazing if you think about it. The 'murrican people just voted, albeit narrowly, to set aside race as a class-divisive wedge issue, and united around their class interests. So the overclass response is to effectively take class interests off the table. Brilliant.

Of course nothing in this bill has anything about restructuring or anything that would move society into an economic system that was actually just and sustainable. Both parties are just beating dead 20th Century horses. Keynes vs. Friedman State-Capitalism Celebrity Deathmatch (likely setting us up for more FAIL). So all you people not in charge? Either way, you are FAIL.


This also has a striking resemblance to the terror-fighting argument - If there are no terror attacks it is because of our awesome rulage. Vote for us, we are WIN.

If you get blown up by a brown person, only your rulers have the means to kill, vote for us, we are the only hope of WIN.


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