Step right up, folks, and behold the ninth wonder of the world, behind these presidential seal-encrusted curtains!!
ELKHART, Indiana (Reuters) – Chafing over congressional delays, an energized President Barack Obama began a new drive on Monday to win passage of an $800 billion economic recovery plan, taking his message directly to Americans hit by the downturn.
The president, in office just three weeks, flew to Elkhart, Indiana, for a campaign-style town hall meeting with some 1,700 residents of a city whose recreational vehicle manufacturing industry has been hit hard by the recession.
Later on Monday he was due to hold his first White House news conference.
The president was trying to regain momentum after a week in which a key cabinet nominee withdrew in a flap over unpaid taxes and his push for a stimulus plan hit unexpected snags in the Democratic-controlled Congress.
The Indiana visit gave Obama a chance to make his case for the economic rescue package in a familiar setting. The White House said the manufacturing city has seen its unemployment rate soar to 15.3 percent from 4.7 percent over the past year.
Here's an unfortunate truth of economic downturns. Those industries hurt the most are those that people are most willing to deny themselves - luxury items, like RV's. If the largest contributor to a city's economy is a luxury item manufacturing plant, that city will take it on the chin.
This Democratic-designed stimulus package is a hard sell for two reasons, and only two reasons. One is its size and the subsequent effect on the national debt. The second reason is the contents of that package, which are in large part non-stimulative.
Read the whole thing, and tell me which of these belong in a "stimulus" bill. I would be more likely buy the concept that government could spend the economy out of a recession if three things were true. First, that the primary costs of the bill aided businesses in stabilizing themselves and, in the future, growing. Second, that spending was targeted at job-creating opportunities. Third, that government spending was acknowledged to require future trimming to pay down the debt created in this emergency. Unfortunately, none of these is true in the current bill.