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July 27, 2011

Laptop broken? Enroll in an Owensboro, KY public school

  • FREE Macbooks for kids in Kentucky! source

» We were generally supportive of the 2009 stimulus package, but aspects of it are starting to seem a bit questionable, to say the least. Case in point: 2,200 students and staff in the town of Owensboro, Kentucky will soon be enjoying a free Macbook Air, courtesy of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While we’re all for providing students with the technical competency needed to compete in the 21st-century global economy, you don’t really need to give everyone a Macbook Air to do that. The cheapest Air is $999; if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Apple gave Owensboro a 50% bulk discount, that’s still over a million dollars of federal money being spent so kids can have free laptops. Opponents of “wasteful government spending,” your Exhibit A is right here.

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21:57 // 3 years ago
July 25, 2011
A little perspective on this whole deficit mess
This graph, courtesy of the New York Times, has been making the rounds today, and it’s worth examining. Note that health care reform, much-maligned by the right as deficit-killer, cost less than even the most inexpensive of George W. Bush’s policies (that policy being Medicare Part D). Note also that the Bush tax cuts alone added more to the deficit than all of President Obama’s new policies combined — and that’s including projected spending over the course of a theoretical second term.  source
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This graph, courtesy of the New York Times, has been making the rounds today, and it’s worth examining. Note that health care reform, much-maligned by the right as deficit-killer, cost less than even the most inexpensive of George W. Bush’s policies (that policy being Medicare Part D). Note also that the Bush tax cuts alone added more to the deficit than all of President Obama’s new policies combined — and that’s including projected spending over the course of a theoretical second term.  source

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23:09 // 3 years ago
November 19, 2010
On its current economic trajectory, the United States runs the risk of seeing millions of workers unemployed or underemployed for many years. As a society, we should find that outcome unacceptable.
Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke • Explaining why the much-maligned stimulus plan (which involves shoving $600 billion into the economy whether it likes it or not) is necessary to save the economy. Republicans and Tea Partiers claim that the plan could raise prices of essentials such as food. Internationally, there’s worries about the stimulus driving down the value of the dollar (thereby making exports to the U.S. more desirable). Republicans in Congress are talking about stripping the Fed of its mandate to promote full employment as a result of this action. We’d like to see Republicans, rather than reacting to things they don’t like, offering up ideas. Is it really that hard, guys? You’ve had two-plus years. Where are your economy-fixing ideas? source (viafollow)
21:45 // 3 years ago
November 3, 2010

The Federal Reserve shoves money into the economy’s flagging corpse

  • $600
    billion
    the amount of money headed from the Federal Reserve to the U.S. government
  • $75
    billion
    the amount that breaks down to between now and June of next year; will it (finally) help? source
21:32 // 3 years ago
October 19, 2010

Obama’s tax cuts: Stealthy and unnoticed by most Americans

  • 95% the percentage of people who got an Obama tax cut
  • $400 the size of the maximum tax cut for individuals ($800 for couples)
  • 1:10 the ratio of people that realized they were actually getting a tax cut
  • 8:10 the ratio who thought their taxes went up or stayed the same source

» Why nobody noticed: Well, Obama’s method for doling out the tax cuts was a little weird. Most people expect tax cuts on the back end, in the form of giant refund checks. Obama, on the other hand, put the cuts (as part of his $787 billion stimulus plan) directly in paychecks, to be distributed slowly, week to week. In a way, it’s brilliant because nobody thinks about a couple extra bucks in their paycheck and will spend the money like nothing ever happened. But in another way, it means the effects of the stimulus went unnoticed by millions of people. Hmm. For point of comparison, most people are well-aware of Bush’s tax cuts.

23:53 // 3 years ago