I suspect I shouldn’t be surprised by educator Rhonda Browning’s recent letter labeling anyone who opposes the president’s new stimulus bill as an “un-American traitor.” While I doubt many people will take Browning’s accusations seriously, it’s worth considering why President Barack Obama’s latest proposal is a remarkably bad idea.

First, by Obama’s own standards (keeping unemployment below 8 percent, providing “shovel-ready” jobs), his earlier stimulus bill was a failure. Obama apologists say no one knew how bad the economy really was when the first stimulus bill was passed. However, if Obama’s economic experts couldn’t correctly measure how bad the economy was in 2009, why should we believe these experts can now predict how effective a new stimulus bill will be? The truth is that modern economies are simply too complex for government bureaucrats to manage (that’s why we talk about the “former” Soviet Union).

Second, we have ample evidence of the inevitable political corruption associated with stimulus spending. Consider the solar panel manufacturer Solyndra’s recent bankruptcy barely two years after receiving a staggering half-billion dollars worth of taxpayer-guaranteed loans. Reports suggest normal administrative protocols were bypassed when making the loan guarantees. Of course, it’s just a coincidence that a major Democratic donor had a large stake in Solyndra. Likewise, I’m sure it’s another coincidence that teacher unions, another primary supporter of the president, are a main beneficiary of the new stimulus bill. The bill provides $35 billion in teacher funding and $30 billion in school repair/modernization funding (conditioned on school districts promising not to lay off teachers).

No doubt even an incompetent community organizer can create a number of short-term, dead-end jobs right before an election if he has half- a-trillion dollars to throw around. But these jobs will evaporate as soon as the stimulus money runs out and the economy as a whole will be left in worse shape than before.

Our economy doesn’t need quick-fix gimmicks; it needs lower, flatter tax rates, massive rollback of idiotic regulations, serious entitlement reform and a stable currency.

I promise you, Obama’s new stimulus plan has nothing to do with saving your job; it’s all about saving his.

Lance Foster


Baton Rouge