19
   

Despite a bipartisan effort...

 
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:58 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

I'm saying that this, written by you, is false.

Quote:
$30 million is allocated to save the marsh mouse. $30 million!



0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 06:04 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

Then you are suggesting there is no $30 million budgeted/planned for a 'conservation of wetlands' project in Nancy Pelosi's district?

On Thursday, Rep. Mike Pence from Indiana insisted on the House floor that the bill contained "$30 million for San Francisco mice." My fellow Northern Californian, Rep. Dan Lungren, supported the claim, calling it "Nancy Pelosi's mouse."

Turns out, there isn't a penny in the bill for mice. A Republican staffer claims someone at an unnamed agency said $30 million might go to federal wetlands restoration. Since San Francisco Bay has wetlands and some are home to an endangered species called the salt marsh harvest mouse, he naturally concluded, "The bottom line is, if this bill becomes law, taxpayers will spend 30 million on the mouse."
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 06:13 pm
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/feb/13/tale-house-mouse/

Tale of the House Mouse
By Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 04:58 p.m.


Many Republicans definitely don't like the stimulus bill. They've called it wasteful and pork-laden.

But they've also said it had money to protect San Francisco mice, and that it could prevent college students from holding Bible studies in their dorms.

We found both claims to be False.

• Several Republicans claimed this week that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi put $30 million in a bill to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse. We looked into the issue, though, and found that was not the case. There's no money for mice in the bill. There might -- or might not -- be money for a major coastal restoration project in California that could help out the mice. And a state agency submitted the project, not Pelosi. We rate the claim, made most plainly by Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, as False.

• Sen. Jim DeMint said a clause in the stimulus bill "would make sure that students could never talk openly and honestly about their faith." We looked into this and found the bill contained standard language that says money can go to colleges for buildings, but not buildings for "sectarian instruction or religious worship; or in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission." We rated DeMint's statement False as well.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 06:18 pm
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_11696283

Bay Area mouse spurs national debate over stimulus bill
By Paul Rogers


Bay Area News Group

Posted: 02/13/2009 12:27:14 AM PST


It was the mouse that roared.

A 1-inch-tall endangered rodent found in the marshes of Palo Alto and other San Francisco Bay cities became a national symbol of wasteful spending Thursday for opponents of President Obama's stimulus plans.

"Pork for Rats?" CNN trumpeted. "Pelosi's mouse slated for $30M slice of cheese," proclaimed the Washington Times.

Trouble is, the facts were mostly wrong. But the lightning speed of Internet news enabled it to take on urban legend stature within hours.

The tale began Wednesday, when Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent an e-mail to reporters and political leaders that noted Republican staff members have been asking federal agencies how they would spend the stimulus money.

"One response? Thirty million dollars for wetland restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area " including work to protect the salt marsh harvest mouse," wrote Steel.

The Washington Times then wrote a story citing Steel and claiming that $30 million for the mouse project is contained in the bill. The paper suggested the money was put there by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. Blogger Matt Drudge, whose Web site receives 26 million hits a day, posted a link to that story.

And by mid-day Thursday, the tiny salt marsh harvest mouse " and Democratic supporters of the stimulus bill " had been ridiculed by hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer on Fox News;

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana on CNN; MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and by bloggers from coast to coast.

Steel, however, said the Washington Times story is incorrect.

"There is no language in the bill that says this money will go to this project," Steel told the San Jose Mercury News. "There are large pots of money in the bill that go to various agencies. One of those agencies said the salt marsh harvest mouse project is something we'd do if you gave us the money."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hamill agreed that funding for the mouse is not in the bill, and said she did not lobby for it to be on any list.

Then where did the $30 million figure come from, if it's not in the bill? It turns out that $30 million is the total amount that the California Coastal Conservancy, a state agency, recommended more than a month ago to numerous federal agencies, looking for lists of "shovel ready" projects as part of the stimulus bill planning.

The conservancy's wish list included five major ongoing wetlands restoration projects totaling nearly 4,000 acres, said civil engineer Steve Ritchie, a Coastal Conservancy staff member who helped draw it up. And the federal Army Corps of Engineers included all five projects on its own list of possible ways to spend stimulus money.

The projects, which range from Napa County to Silicon Valley, involve moving levees, creating islands and converting former industrial salt ponds back to marshes. Each could begin by year's end and would benefit dozens of species, including salmon, steelhead trout, ducks, egrets, and yes, the endangered mouse, Ritchie said.

The work also would provide increased flood protection to homes and businesses around San Francisco Bay, he said. In 2003, the Bush administration endorsed and helped fund the largest of the projects, the purchase of former Cargill salt ponds for wetlands restoration.

"This isn't school kids planting little sprigs of plants. We are talking about thousands of acres, building levees and islands with heavy equipment," said Ritchie. "It's at least 100 new jobs."

Even if the stimulus passes, there's no guarantee the projects will get the money, since they're not named in the bill. That will be up to the Army Corps of Engineers, which does everything from harbor dredging to building dams to restoring wetlands.

Is Ritchie upset his "wish list" became a national punching bag?

"In the atmosphere we're in you expect it," Ritchie said. "But the disappointing part is that this isn't just about one critter. It's about jobs, construction, flood control " there's a lot there."

0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 06:19 pm
@Foxfyre,
I am curious where you think this provision is in the bill Fox.

I suspect it is similar to your claim that Obama promised to release legislation for comment before it was passed by Congress.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 11:20 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
Foxfyre wrote:
Some analyst on TV last night said that only about 11% of it would be spent in 2009, another 37% in 2010, and the remainder no sooner than late 2011.

Don't believe everything you hear on TV.


OK, so this is what the CBO writes about the outlays of the stimulus bill, if I understand it all correctly. The total costs of the whole bill, government spending and tax cuts combined, is as you know $787 billion.

A total of $185 billion of that is spent (outlays) or not collected in newly cut taxes (negative revenues) in 2009. That's 24%.

Another $399 billion is spent or left out through tax cuts in 2010. That's another 51%.

In short, three-quarters of the stimulus included in this bill will go into the economy within the next two years.

Another $134 billion comes in 2011, for another 17%.

Just 8% of the bill's costs is only laid out after 2011.

Source: Table 1 in the Enclosures of this letter from CBO director Douglas W. Elmendorf.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 11:23 pm
@Foxfyre,
Writing about the Buy American provision in the stimulus bill, Foxfyre wrote:
Well you'll have to convince our new president of that. He's the one who recently backed down in the face of such threats.

I can't, of course, but I wish I could. It's hardly the only thing I disagree with Obama on.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 11:41 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
(In other analysis by the CBO, it concluded that we would do better doing nothing than by passing this spending bill.)

Can you tell me what analysis you're referring to here?

Because, in case you missed it, I posted the analysis that the CBO sent on request to Republican Sen. Gregg on this thread a few posts above where you wrote this. And in that analysis, the CBO predicts significant positive short-term effects of the stimulus bill.

The CBO predicts that the stimulus package will provide the economy with a temporary jolt in the years 2009-2011 that involves GDP being 1-4% higher in the next two years with this stimulus legislation, than it would otherwise have been. And that involves some 1-3 million jobs that would have been lost or not have been created without the stimulus in the next two years.

Did you not see that? I spent a fair bit of time compiling the numbers for you in that post, and they're straight from the horse's (CBO's) mouth, not filtered by the media.

I don't see how those numbers could possibly get translated into you being "better [off] doing nothing than by passing this spending bill".
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 12:41 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Ok, then use this example then and look at what the 2002 steel tariffs did.

OK, but we're not talking about tariffs here. No higher obstacle would be imposed on commercial imports from China than ones in place now. The provision merely defines what the government's own spending could be used on. So while both measures are arguably forms of protectionism, they're very different types of measures.

If you think the Buy American provision for government stimulus spending would violate the treaty, I'd be interested to hear how - John Judis argued the opposite, but I sure don't have any background on the issue myself, so I'm open to any information. But considering that the 2002 measures (tariffs) and the measures proposed here (obliging government spending to be spent on domestic products) are different beasts, I dont see the argument that since the measure then violated the treaty, this one does too. It might, but it doesn't seem to automatically follow or anything..
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 03:10 am
@Butrflynet,
"
Quote:
This is bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes. These are major earth-moving projects to break down levees, to re-sculpt the landscape and to make sure nature can do its thing," Ritchie said. "Right now, we just have these lousy little salt pond levees and they break."

"These are real jobs, and these are truly ready to go," he added. "We can definitely spend this money for construction by Nov. 30, 2010."


So this is a temporary job creating plan?
What happens to all of these workers AFTER this restoration is done?
They will then most likely be out of work again.How is it a stimulus plan, or a plan to create jobs, if it is only creating temporary jobs?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:26 am
@mysteryman,
It's called economics MM.

If people work they have money to buy stuff which in turn puts other people to work which in turn increases tax revenues which in turn causes more infrastructure projects in the future.

Of course if we don't put them to work then they won't buy stuff so other people will lose their jobs and tax revenues will decrease and it could spiral down further.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:32 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

It's called economics MM.

If people work they have money to buy stuff which in turn puts other people to work which in turn increases tax revenues which in turn causes more infrastructure projects in the future.



And the recycling of Treasury borrowings to finance the growing public debt sucks all the investment capital out of the economy, resulting in higher interest rates and no economic growth -- it was called "stagflation" in the Jimmy Carter years, and the recovery from it was very painful.

This too is basic economics.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:37 am
@georgeob1,
I didn't realize that Treasury borrowings were the reason for stagflation. Do you have a source that backs that up?

By the way the economy grew under Carter.
Code:
Year -- GDP GDP
change adjusted for inflation
1976 11.4 5.3
1977 11.3 4.6
1978 13.0 5.6
1979 11.7 3.2
1980 8.8 -0.2
1981 12.2 2.5

Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:49 am
@nimh,
Nimh, I read the CBO's letter much differently than you do. Certainly a trillion dollars pumped into the economy will have an effect. But the letter that you seem to think is an endorsement of the plan does suggest that the initial stimulus will not be sustainable and within three years will result in lowered GDP though they do downscale the negative impact a bit in that letter than they did in their initial evaluations. You won't find anything from the CBO suggesting that this is a smart thing for the government to do.

But lets assume that the stimulus package does create or save 3 million jobs and change if that is the primary basis for justification of the stimulus package. By my calculations, if I did the math right, that figures out to about $300,000 per job. And a lot of those will be government jobs that provide a drain on the economy rather than add to it.



georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 09:54 am
@parados,
The stagflation of the Carter years had several causes. My reference to the expected result of the current policy reflects the much higher public debt we now have and are approaching relative to GDP, and what I believe it will do to private sector investment.

The growth you cite during the Carter years was very low by our historical norms, and corrected for population growth represented almost no growth on a per capita basis. Are you attempting to suggest that this was not the case, or that the Carter years were noteworthy for their upbeat prosperity?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:43 am
@georgeob1,
A couple of things george.

The borrowing by the Treasury was much higher during the Reagan years compared to Carter if your argument is Treasury borrowing hurts the economy.
US deficits as % of GDP were higher under Reagan than Carter. Under Carter the deficits as % of GDP were - 3.2, 2.7, 2.7, 1.6, 2.7
Under Reagan, 5 of his eight years saw deficits over 4% of GDP and 3 of them over 5% of GDP.
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf
Table 1.3


The REAL GDP growth was NOT very low compared to historic norms.
From 1950 to 2008 the average REAL GDP growth was 4.1. The REAL GDP growth for Carter was
4.6
5.6
3.2
-0.2

I would hardly call that "very low compared to historic norms." 1980 was a recession year caused in part by the fix for the high inflation rate, the Fed raised interest rates. Inflation was the killer in the 70's. Compare the REAL GDP growth to the growth not adjusted for inflation in my previous post.

Trying to use "per capita" as a qualifier is weaseling george. I would have thought you to be above that.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:47 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
The growth you cite during the Carter years was very low by our historical norms, and corrected for population growth represented almost no growth on a per capita basis.

Wait, what? That doesn't compute.

Let's take the GDP growth numbers, the ones adjusted for inflation, that Parados posted, and calculate the total growth over the four years:

1976 - 100
1977 - +(4.6*1) = 104.6
1978 - +(5.6*1.046) = 110.5
1979 - +(3.2*1.105) = 114.0
1980 - +(-0.2*1.14) = 113.8

So a total of 13.8% growth in the Carter years. Did the US population relly grow by 14% in four years back then? Because that's what it would have had to do, to make your assertion correct that there was "almost no growth on a per capita basis".

I dont know, did it? Seems like a lot.
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:07 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
But the letter that you seem to think is an endorsement of the plan does suggest that the initial stimulus will not be sustainable and within three years will result in lowered GDP

First off, the CBO does not, according to the numbers it presents in this letter by the director to Sen. Gregg in any case, " suggest that the initial stimulus .. within three years will result in lowered GDP". It just doesn't. It says that it will depress the GDP by 0.2% after 2014. I don't know, but I think that's six years from now.

Secondly, there seems to be a core misunderstanding about the purpose of the stimulus here. You write that "the initial stimulus will not be sustainable"; it will only create jobs and GDP growth for a few years. Well, yes. That's the point. That's the whole idea behind a stimulus package.

I'd think you would be happy, as a libertarian-minded person, to know that the government does not plan to legislate, through this bill, some added long-term state involvement in providing jobs and incomes through the next decade or more. In the long run, this legislation leaves, as I'd think you want it to, the further economic development of the country to the market. But right now we're facing an economic crisis that is freezing up the normal mechanisms of the market - no lending, no investment, no trust, no consumption. A vicious downward cycle looms. That's what this legislation - and TARP - is aimed at changing.

The stimulus bill is set up as a temporary intervention by the government to pump money into the system, both to "unfreeze" it and to provide the jobs and investments needed to weather the country through a few years of crisis (which without action stands to cause a lot of misery and suffering). We're talking about the biggest crisis since at least 1980, after all, and soon predicted to become the biggest since the 1930s.

So no, the stimulus does not create extra GDP growth in 2014. That's not the goal. But it stands to add several points of GDP and millions of jobs over the next couple of years as the crisis really hits.

This is how Lawrence Summers, Obama's Director of the National Economic Council described the purpose of the bill: it should be "temporary, targeted and timely".

And that's exactly what the CBO numbers confirm: the effects will be temporary, targeted and timely, almost all of it manifested in the next three years.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:15 am
@Foxfyre,
On a side note, again I am puzzled a little, Fox, by what to me at least seem to be contradictions within your complaints.

First, you pass on the complaint - based on false numbers, it turned out - that only a measly 11% of the funding in the plan is already spent in 2009, and still less than half of it by 2010.

In short: the stimulus bill won't kick in soon enough. It's not focused on the short term enough, too much money in it will only be spent years from now.

Then, you complain - again using a number that turns out to be wrong - that the effect of the stimulus will be short-lived. As soon as three years from now, the stimulus will stop creating new jobs. The plan will not lead to any extra economic growth in the long run.

In short: the stimulus bill is exclusively focused on the short term. The money it pumps into the economy will only help for the next year or two, and not beyond that.

Aren't those, like, contradictory complaints? I dunno. I'd almost think you're just looking for reasons to oppose the plan now. Wink
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:19 am
@nimh,
http://www.npg.org/facts/us_historical_pops.htm

The answer would be "no". The population growth under Carter was similar to under Reagan. 4.2% population growth for 4 years of Carter. 3.8 and 3.7 for Reagan's 2 4 year terms.
 

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