Stimulus Bill or Reparations Bill?
By Arnold Kling
I think that President Obama set the bar ridiculously low when he said that 75 percent of the stimulus should kick in within by the end of 2010, but the House bill did not even get over that bar. Why is the stimulus bill so filled with non-stimulus while it omits real stimulus measures, such as cutting payroll taxes?
I think the answer is that it is a reparations bill, not a stimulus bill. People who pay income taxes tend to vote Republican. People who live off taxes tend to vote Democratic. To the Democrats, the Bush tax cuts were a heinous evil, comparable to Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality in World War I. Now, they are demanding reparations, with hundreds of billions of dollars to be paid into teachers unions and other members of the coalition that won the election.
Most of the bill makes no sense from a stimulus perspective. But all of it makes sense from a reparations perspective.
[UPDATE: comments have been turned off. Apparently, some other blogger decided that my reference to “reparations” was a reference to reparations from slavery and hence a reference to the color of President Obama’s skin. That had not occurred to me. I really was thinking about the Treaty of Versailles. But the comments were getting ugly.]