Signs of denial

Let’s say you love jelly beans (who doesn’t?), so you use your life savings to open The Bean Counter.  Unfortunately, most of your prospective customers think you’re offering accounting services rather than candy, and the rest are worried about getting cavities, so after a couple of months you have to close up shop; your whole venture down the drain.  Now, what do you do to pick up the pieces?  Well, if you follow the lead of the current Administration, you borrow some more money to pay for an ad campaign to trumpet the success of The Bean Counter!


It’s true:  despite all evidence that the President’s sweeping “stimulus” project is a giant non-starter, millions of your taxpayer dollars are being spent to make and install giant signs plugging the stimulus package (link via

On the road leading to Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC there’s a 10′ x 11′ road sign touting a runway improvement project funded by the federal stimulus.  The project cost nearly $15 million and has created 17 jobs, according to
However, there’s another number that caught the eye of ABC News: $10,000.  That’s how much money the Washington Airports Authority tells ABC News it spent to make and install the sign – a single sign – announcing that the project is “Funded by The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act” and is “Putting America Back to Work.”  The money for the sign was taken out of the budget for the runway improvement project.

Expensive sign trumpeting the stimulus

Expensive pro-stimulus marketing

That is what passes for economic policy today:  spend nearly a million taxpayer dollars per job to “create” (the statistics have been unreliable, to say the least) a towering 17 jobs, and don’t forget to put thousands of dollars into the sign.  ABC News says that $650,000 has been spent on pro-stimulus signage in the President’s home state of Illinois alone.  That’s an unconscionable amount of money wasted for the sake of trying to convince the rest of us that our money isn’t being wasted.

In the meantime, Vice President Biden (one of the only two people in the country who think the stimulus is working) is burning through taxpayer funds traveling around the country in a full-court press insisting that the stimulus is indeed creating jobs, despite massive net job losses and flight from the active labor force as people lose hope of finding work. 
Sadly, publicity alone can’t turn a slump into a boom.  Neither can government spending.  Only a revival in the private sector can pull us out of recession, and that requires fiscal discipline.  It means taking bold, concrete steps toward giving our economy some breathing room to recover:

  • Freezing the spending on failed “stimulus” measures.
  • Refusing bailouts to companies claiming to be “too big to fail”, and making it easier for Americans to build or invest in a new business.
  • Reversing a health care entitlement regime that punishes employers for hiring more workers or expanding their businesses.
  • Relieving individual Americans of a crushing federal tax burden by permanently extending the 2001 and 2003 across-the-board income tax cuts, cutting the capital gains tax so people can put their money to work, and eliminating the senseless Alternative Minimum Tax and “death tax”.

When the only signs of recovery are the ones that were printed for ten grand apiece, it’s time for the government to get out of our way.  However, that’s not likely so long as the House, and John Hall, remains under Nancy Pelosi’s thumb.  Which is why the signs point to a big change in November, when we’ll elect a Congresswoman in District 19 with the political will and fiscal common sense to do what Mr. Hall won’t.


One Response to Signs of denial

  1. Anthony J Codispoti says:

    The failure of the Stimulus Package has been epic. The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently published a breakdown of the GDP growth numbers for the first three quarters of the recovery. Taken together, 3Q ’09, 4Q ’09, and 1Q ’10 had a growth rate in the neighborhood of 3.2%, prior to the recent downward revision of the 1Q numbers. The BEA broke down the growth numbers into the GDP components: Consumption, Investment, Net Exports and Government spending. The contribution of government spending to the growth rate was zero for the combined three quarters of economic activity.

    It turns out that whatever modest improvement could be attributed to the profligate spending by the Federal Government, spending reductions by state and local governments more than offset it.

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