Government never “stimulates” economic growth. Left quite alone, people engage in rational commerce guided only by enlightened self-interest. More crucially, government cannot predict the real consequences of its efforts to stimulate the economy. Republicans around the country are telling Americans that the ocean of dollars which the federal government spent on the future credit of our children in order to stimulate growth in America is actually being spent in China.
Over the recent clamor of approval for the outcome of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which Beltway insiders are proclaiming a success because of the high rate of repaid funds, a lone voice of comparative sanity reminded Yahoo! Finance’s Aaron Task that the Obama bailout has done far more damage than the government-massaged figures indicate. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who seems to understand finance and banking better than most celebrity economists, told Task that the monies paid back to TARP are “just a drop in the bucket compared to damage done to the economy.”
The foreclosure crisis continues to threaten the U.S. banking sector with more headaches, admitted Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, on October 25. According to a Reuters report, the expected wave of litigation stemming from improper or downright fraudulent procedures banks have been using to speed up the foreclosure process could be “very damaging” to the housing market.
In yet another economically destructive ploy to “go green,” the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended an unprecedented barrage of harsh federal regulations on fuel efficiency standards for semi-trucks, buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks, and heavy-duty pickup tricks.
Now that the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ electric car, is about to arrive in selected dealers’ showrooms around the country, it has been getting a lot of press. Some are puff pieces, one of which appeared in USA Today, while others are much more critical.