Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.”     Thomas Jefferson

December 8, 2008

Return Of The WPA

by Brad Warbiany

Prior to the election, the question loomed — would a potential Obama administration govern as a political moderate?

The recession and financial crisis have solidified the answer… FDR and LBJ may have nothing on BHO!

President-elect Barack Obama is focusing his economic recovery strategy on making the biggest investment in the nation’s infrastructure since President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the interstate highway system a half-century ago.

Speaking yesterday at a Chicago news conference and on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama said state governors have many such projects that are “shovel ready,” meaning they could be undertaken swiftly and have an immediate impact on jobs.

He declined to specify a price tag for the stimulus, saying his advisers are “busy working, crunching the numbers, looking at the macroeconomic data to make a determination as to what the size and the scope of the economic recovery plan needs to be. But it is going to be substantial.

How substantial? Let’s just say that price is no object to this administration:

Later at the Chicago news conference, he said “more aggressive steps” are needed to cope with the housing crisis.

Even with the prospect of a federal budget shortfall approaching $1 trillion, “we can’t worry, short term, about the deficit,” he said on NBC. “We’ve got to make sure that the economic stimulus plan is large enough to get the economy moving.”

It seems we’re in stage three of Reagan’s aphorism:

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

And oh, the subsidies will be expensive. We’ll all pay for them, whether through crushing taxation or runaway inflation, but we’ll pay. Welcome to the United State Formerly Known As America, people.

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5 Comments

  1. Since any job requirements that actually have a demand are filled in the marketplace, I’m assuming these economy-boosting jobs would consist of people doing jobs which aren’t market feasible and being paid by everyone else in the country.

    Dig a hole. Fill it in. Here’s your pay, extracted from everyone else in America, whether anyone needed that hole dug or not.

    Great way to increase productivity and get the economy moving: tax or inflate more funds to pay people to do things that an unfettered market doesn’t value.

    Comment by Akston — December 8, 2008 @ 11:09 am
  2. Libertarians ought to simply give up the fight. Trying to reverse the tide is probably not even possible any more. I suggest a new tactic: advocate for massive spending programs and nationalization of industries so that the end can come sooner rather than later. Why leave the mess to our children and grandchildren? Why not advocate for those things that will cause the demise of the state within our lifetimes so that we and they can at least have a chance to secure freedom once again when the state inevitably collapses?

    Comment by Justin Bowen — December 8, 2008 @ 5:21 pm
  3. Justin,

    At times, I’m tempted to agree. But when the whole thing comes crashing down, someone has to have a blueprint to put it back together. It’s a lot more credible to have been explaining the whole while how it’s going to fail, because then when we’ve been proved right, they might finally listen.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — December 9, 2008 @ 9:35 am
  4. Justin/Brad:

    I too am frustrated by the direction we are headed. We’re basically pushing Sisphus’s boulder up the hill.

    But it’s not in my nature to sit quietly as the government continues to take our remaining liberty from us. So what will I do? I will keep pushing that boulder up the hill no matter how hopeless our prospects seem.

    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” — Wendell Phillips

    Comment by Stephen Littau — December 9, 2008 @ 11:49 am
  5. Consider the dissidents in the Soviet Union. If you had asked one in 1975 as to their chances of ending communism, they would to a man describe their chances as ‘hopeless’. Yet, 15 years later, the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut was coming apart at the seams.

    Obama’s plans will, if enacted, wreck the U.S. economy. Out of the ashes will rise some new system. If we stay quiet, that system could be some flavor of fascism. If, on the other hand, we stick to our guns, our track record of making good predictions and consistent advocacy for freedom will pay off in spades. People will have some familiarity with our ideas. They will entertain the notion that freedom works.

    Comment by tarran — December 9, 2008 @ 4:32 pm

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