Responding to Bob Michaelsen’s letter [DRC, Sept. 4], Republicans do not argue the Obama stimulus was of no help to the economy, only that it was of minimal help. That is borne out by the Obama administration’s own projections during the stimulus debate when they claimed in 2009 that passing the stimulus was critical to get the nation’s unemployment rate down to 6 percent. Congress passed the stimulus and the unemployment rate has stayed above 8 percent for over three years.
Had the program been directed toward real stimulus in the private sector, we might well have seen a significant reduction in unemployment. Much of the stimulus was wasted on one-time projects and more government jobs to the detriment of the private sector. It was used to fund wasteful pie-in-the-sky ideas, like solar energy subsidies that have never worked anywhere, and payoffs to union cronies. This often resulted in paying outrageous amounts, attempting to create jobs that cost more than $1 million each. Talk about ideology versus reality, this Obama stimulus package was all about ideology.
Just where does Michaelsen get the idea that tax cuts don’t increase growth and government revenue? Where was he in 1962 and 1983 when the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts were implemented, both of which increased revenues and economic activity?
The problem was that these increased revenues were then used to further increase government spending and foster the growth of government instead of being used to reduce the deficit. Tax reductions work and wasteful government spending doesn’t work.