More on the Temporary Stimulation Package

As you may know, the bill that came out of the House did not include any extension of unemployment benefits. Now, the Senate committee reviewing the bill wants to add a temporary plan for an extension of benefits.

Michelle Malkin has a source who is a staffer in one of the House sub-committees who forwarded her some research concerning past “temporary” extension of benefits, that turned out to be not so temporary. Socialism at it’s best!

Great information:

Unemployment benefit program 1991-1994
Original proposed program length: 8 months
Original estimated cost $7 billion
Actual length: 29 months
Actual cost: $39 billion

Number of extensions: 5
Unemployment rate at start of program: 7 percent
U rate at end: 6.4 percent

Unemployment benefit program 2002-2004
Original proposed program length: 10 months
Original estimated cost $9 billion
Actual length: 29 months
Actual cost: $26 billion

Number of extensions: 2
Unemployment rate at start of program: 5.7 percent
U rate at end: 5.8 percent

Unemployment benefit program 2008
Original proposed program length: 11 months
Original estimated cost $10 billion
Actual length: ? months
Actual cost: ? billion

Number of extensions: ?
Unemployment rate at start of program: 5 percent
U rate at end: ?

SFC [Senate Finance Committee] documents suggest the “temporary” extended unemployment benefits program would operate only through CY 2008 and cost $10 billion. But these sorts of programs never work out that way.

  1. RS reports that no “temporary” extended benefits program created since 1970 has expired without being extended
  2. Programs created in the 1980s and 1990s were extended 6 and 5 times, respectively.
  3. The prospects a temporary program created today will expire at the end of 2008 as the SFC proposes – with the window of eligibility shutting two days after Christmas – is both dubious and would be without precedent in the last generation.

Even if it operated only as long as the “average” program created since 1980, a “temporary” program created now will be paying extended benefits in mid 2010.

  1. The average duration of extended benefits programs created since 1980 is 30 months.
  2. If a program started in February 2008 and paid benefits for 30 months, the final payments would be made in July 2010.
  3. The total cost of such a program would likely be $30 billion or more.

If prior extended benefits programs began when the national unemployment rate was as low as 5.0%, these “temporary” programs would have operated for decades.

  1. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.0% or higher in every month between January 1974 and April 1997 – more than 23 years in a row.
  2. Today’s 5.0% rate is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
  3. During the Clinton Administration (1993-2000), the average unemployment rate was 5.2%.
  4. According to a 2007 report by the Congressional Budget Office, today’s 5.0% unemployment rate is the same as the “natural rate” CBO will use “both currently and for the 10-year projection period through 2017.” Put another way, according to CBO today’s unemployment rate is “normal” not “high.”
  5. Creating an extended benefits program now will create a precedent to repeat this action every time the unemployment rate reaches this historically modest level. That will cost billions of dollars and encourage more and longer unemployment.


Illegal Aliens Included in Stimulus Package

Update (31 Jan): They are now saying that there is or will be language in the bill that specifically excludes illegal aliens from getting checks. If they can somehow know who not to send checks to, I guess these criminals don’t need to come out of the shadows. It also indicates we know who they are, can go to them and ask them to go home…

You’ve got to be kidding me. Although the so-called stimulus packaged passed by the House yesterday does not specifically include illegal aliens in the payout, it does not exclude them either.

Michelle Malkin and Border Fire Report has comments released by Rep. Tom Tancredo.

Tancredo Assails Stimulus Package “Giveaway” to Illegal Aliens
Bill would dole out millions of dollars to illegals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) today criticized the tax package passed by the Tom Tancredo Democrat-controlled Congress as a giveaway to illegal aliens. The package, among other shortcomings, would direct the Internal Revenue Service to issue checks of up to $600 to individuals and $1,200 to married couples, as well as rebates for any children. The legislation does not, however, contain any provision barring illegal aliens from taking advantage of these benefits.

“This package will stimulate one thing for certain: more illegal immigration,” said Tancredo. “It’s just the latest unfortunate example of American workers footing the bill for illegal aliens.”

The bill would allow so-called “Resident Aliens” to receive rebate checks. The Treasury department classifies someone as a “Resident Alien” based on how much time that person has spent in the United States. No proof of legal presence, however, is required. The IRS’ explanation of the term can be found [here].

“Worse, a large portion of this money will just be sent back to the home countries of illegal aliens,” concluded Tancredo. “So it might stimulate someone’s economy – just not ours.”

The bill was considered under a procedure in the House of Representatives that did not allow for any opportunity to amend the bill to restrict payments to illegal aliens.

This is simply election year politics at it’s worst. It’s not as bad as the absolute flood of money that was stolen out of our pockets after 9/11 in the name of national security, but this rebate is just taking water from the deep end of the pool and putting it in the shallow end.

Walter Williams referred to this analogy spoken by Russell Roberts recently. The full column is a must read.

There are three ways government can get the money for a stimulus package. It can tax, borrow or inflate the currency by printing money. If government taxes to hand out money, one person is stimulated at the expense of another who pays the tax, who is unstimulated and has less money to spend. If government borrows the money, it’s the same story. This time the unstimulated person is the lender who has less money to spend. If government prints money, creditors, and then everyone else, are unstimulated. As my colleague Russell Roberts said in a NPR broadcast, “It’s like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a pool and dumping it into the shallow end. Funny thing — the water in the shallow end doesn’t get any deeper.”

Where do people think this money is going to come from?

I’ll be the first person to cash my check, but I’m one of those taxpayers that actually pay taxes. Since the checks are being sent to “taxpayers” that did not pay any federal tax, the definition of those checks would be federal welfare.

On top of that, if you make more than$150k as a couple you’re out. You get nothing. You’re rich. You’re help in stimulating the economy is not needed. Nice.

Do people get this? By limiting the stimulus to a “targeted group” they are admitting that this is not an economic stimulus, but just a feel good measure. See, Washington is doing something! Feel-good politics at its worst. I feel your pain, and I’m going to give you money.

Welcome to socialism.

Legalized Theft – by the Feds

The term economic stimulus is being tossed all over the place the last few days. Stimulating the economy can be done many ways, and the best way to do that would be to reduce the size of government, reduce the tax burden and reduce the amount of business over-regulation.

The stimulus being touted today, described recently on, includes a perfect definition of legalized theft. The act of government where they take money from someone and give it to someone else. This is theft, it’s immoral.

Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make too little to pay income taxes.

What? Are they kidding? People who do not pay any taxes should not be getting cash from thieves.