Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hillary Clinton Just Being Honest

During a recent visit to Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was apparently brutally honest with the Pakistanis. She complained about the Pakistani government's apparent lack of money. She had the following apparent recommendation.

"The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world. We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan."
And that's supposed to be encouragement?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cash for Clunkers in the Rear View Mirror

Now that "Cash for Clunkers" is thankfully in our rear-view mirror, perhaps it's time to evaluate the economic and historical impact of the program.

Let's see, auto analysts at Edmunds calculate that the government needlessly stimulated car sales that would have happened anyway. Estimated cost? About $24,000 (of borrowed money) per car.

Car sales figures show that yes, the Cash for Clunkers program TEMPORARILY stimulated the auto market, which then promptly fell back to previous sales levels once the the government "stimulus" ended.

So why was the government so eager to continue this bad economic policy, even printing more money to continue the program? Did they really believe it to be an effective stimulus measure? Was it because we, the Collective, now own General Motors (GM) and they expected to sell more GM cars? GM came in second overall behind Toyota. Japanese and Korean manufacturers benefited most.

Or, was it to pump the durable goods financial statistics so that the government can claim that the recession is over?