CBO Not Impressed (Updated)
I‘ve just been watching Pres. Obama speaking to the Democrats at their luxury retreat. He had a lot of red meat for them. He also spoke passionately about the immediate need for the stimulus package, telling them–and the nation–that passing the bill is absotively necessary. If we don’t pass it, he asserted, millions will be thrown out of work, the economy will collapse, blood and flaming frogs will rain down from the sky, etc., etc., etc.
But what’s even more scary is that the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ non-partisan budget analysts, has announced that this stimulus bill will do pretty much the reverse of what it’s designed to do.
President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.
Apparently the president isn’t buying it, and the Democratic majority in Congress has decided that their own budget analysts are full of sh–shamefully inadequate analysis. So,we’re being told by the politicians that their bill is necessary to prevent economic collapse, while the professionals they employ tell us that the bill is worse than inaction.
Who do you beleive?
UPDATE: The CBO’s web site is back up again. The text of the letter states:
Including the effects of both crowding out of private investment (which would reduce output in the long run) and possibly productive government investment (which could increase output), CBO estimates that by 2019 the Senate legislation would reduce GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent on net. H.R. 1, as passed by the House, would have similar long-run effects.
In other words, 2019 is the year that the bill comes due, and the crowding out effect begins to become a drag on the economy, presumably until that bolus of debt is paid off. In other words, it becomes a long-term–and increasing–drag on GDP growth, as the crowding out effect overrides the increasingly smaller return, if any, from the stimulus.