The Make-Believe Results of the Stimulus

Republicans won in New Jersey and Virginia yesterday and not surprisingly the dismal state of the economy helped them earn their victories:

A plurality of voters in both states cited the economy as their top concern, according to exit polls. Majorities in both states said Obama’s job performance was not a factor in their vote.

So, what does this mean for New Mexico and the 2010 elections? Well, it looks promising that those serving in leadership positions in the current Administration will be shown the door. Keep in mind, that New Mexico has always lagged behind other states when it comes to experiencing economic downturns, and this truth has continued through the current crisis. But, inevitably the piper has to get paid.

Spaceport funding for billionaires and trains serving the geographically privileged continue to drain state coffers, while talk of raising “painful” taxes on the masses, turning prisoners loose on a scared public and breaking contracts with municipalities is the Administration’s agenda of the day. This set of priorities just won’t sit well with voters come Election Day 2010.

Now, for those of you who think the economy is getting better, and all will be well by that fateful November day, I say think again. Earlier this week, we looked at the economic deception of the Cash for Clunkers program. Now, let’s look at the reality of job creating/saving stimulus scam:

President Barack Obama’s economic recovery program saved 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, an impressive success story for the stimulus plan. Trouble is, only 508 people work there.

Of course, that’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg the same article from which the excerpt above was taken also notes:

The latest stimulus report, released Friday, significantly overstates the number of jobs spared with money from programs serving families and children, mostly the Head Start preschool program. The report shows hundreds of the programs used nearly $323 million to provide pay raises and other benefits to their existing employees.

The raises themselves were appropriate — the stimulus law set aside money for Head Start salary increases — but converting that number into jobs proved difficult. The Obama administration told Head Start officials to consider a fraction of each employee as a job saved.

Nice. Turning pay raises for some government employees into make-believe new saved/created jobs. Now, you know why the phrase “stimulus scam” has entered the popular vernacular. Okay, so if jobs created/saved numbers are false, then what does that mean for our economy. It means we’re in trouble. It means that the unthinkable is starting to be thought about:

Governments of rich countries are borrowing so much that it’s conceivable that one day the twin assumptions underlying their burgeoning debt (that lenders will continue to lend and that governments will continue to pay) might collapse. What happens then?

Of course, that question is talking about governments on a national scale. The problem we’re facing is an economic collapse in state and municipal governments. You’ll recall that in the state of New Mexico government is the largest employer. Now factor in all of those in our relatively poor state that are living on the government dole and about to lose it. It’s not a pretty picture.

Government is spiraling out of control, and the lack of real leadership has never been more obvious. If those connected to the hip with Governor Richardson think they are going to fare well come November 2010, well there is a good chance they also believe that the stimulus package created/saved jobs, and the that tooth fairy leaves money under pillows.

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