Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel
Congress couldn't agree on a budget, but don't worry about that. House Democrats have "deemed" the new $1.1 trillion budget as passed. "Deem and pass" allows Democrats to start spending money in 2011 without having to follow any real budget.
Meanwhile, President Obama's budget director, Peter Orszag, is now leaving the White House. He said, "I want to emphasize that it would be inaccurate to say that I have told the president personally that I'm leaving because of concerns about our fiscal policy."
Hmm. That's odd.
And former Clinton Labor Secretary and Obama economic adviser Robert Reich just came out and said: "The economy is still in the gravitational pull of the Great Recession — all the booster rockets for getting us beyond it are failing"
So big government is failing spectacularly and after a year and a half of Obama, it's starting to feel like 1932:
• The average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks
• The budget deficit is above 10 percent of GDP
• Home sales are down
• Retail sales are down
• 9.2 million people are unemployed
But despite all of this, President Obama is taking a victory lap around the country. He's calling it "Recovery Summer." That's about as ridiculous as if BP went around the country right now to promote their environmental safety record. It doesn't add up.
History shows us, time and again, that big government spending is simply not the answer to national economic problems. But, here we go again down the big government path.
How does it keep happening?
Part of the problem is we have too many politicians like Pete Stark from California. Stark is a founding member of the Progressive Caucus and, as I showed you last week, he embodies everything about progressives we told you about: They think they are better than you.
Last week Stark was mocking the Minutemen over border security. Now listen to him in this interview with journalist Jan Helfeld about the national debt:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETE STARK, D-CALIF.: The national debt measures the wealth.
STARK: The wealthier we are —
JAN HELFELD, JOURNALIST: The larger the national debt, the wealthier we are?
STARK: It's an indication of the wealth of the country. You're right.
HELFELD: So the more you owe, the more you're worth?
STARK: In federal accounting — in the national scheme of things, that's quite right.
HELFELD: So why shouldn't we borrow another trillion then next year?
STARK: Probably because — we should not necessarily borrow another trillion, but we will, inevitably.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
First of all, if you don't believe progressives think you are too stupid and have to be dragged to the right answers, just remember that clip. Secondly, more debt means we are wealthy? At the time of this clip the national debt was about $5 trillion. We're almost three times that amount now. We're rich! Where did we go wrong?
Stark went on to say this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STARK: Did you ever study economics?
HELFELD: A little bit.
HELFELD: In the University of Puerto Rico.
STARK: Oh the University of Puerto Rico? Do you have a doctorate in economics?
HELFELD: No, I don't.
STARK: A master's degree?
HELFELD: No, I don't.
STARK: How many classes did you take? What I would suggest —
STARK: They are simple-minded questions that don't relate to the realities —
STARK: If you would shut up for a minute. You're blabbing away here about something you don't know anything about.
HELFELD: I am just trying to ask a question —
STARK: You're making a lot of stupid statements, Jan.
HELFELD: So you think if the national debt increases, we become wealthier. So I don't see why you don't want to go for it — and go for two or three billion dollars —
STARK: It's why you probably never graduated from a very good college, Jan. And I'm not going to take the trouble to educate you here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
I'd like to explain this to Congressman Stark and others who think like him. I'll speak slowly for the congressman. He should probably TiVo this — TiVo is a device that records TV shows and you can play it back. I didn't know if he knew that because he's been in Congress for 37 years now, so it's been a long time since he won that first election, in which his main complaint against his opponent was that he'd been in Congress too long.
Take an imaginary neighborhood with "diverse" economic backgrounds:
Person One makes $250,000 a year. They owe $500,000 on a $520,000 mortgage, they financed a $20,000 boat, a sports car and a summer cottage on the lake as well. Life is sweet. They don't have a lot of savings — they'll do that later.
Person Two only makes $45,000 a year. But, they've paid off their mortgage, they bought used cars and have no payments. They've saved money for a rainy day.
Now, the way Congressman Stark sees it, the richest person on the block is the guy with the boat and the sports car. After all, he's got the nicest stuff and the biggest house. But, what happens if they both lose their jobs and have to take one of those jobs that Americans just won't do? Or what if their income is significantly cut back?
Well, when that rainy day comes, the richest person on the block is the person only making $45,000 a year. Why? Well, they don't have lots of stuff, but they don't owe anyone either. There's no bank or credit card company breathing down their necks if their income is slashed. Their life changes, of course, but not as much as the rich guy with all the financed stuff. He's got to scramble to sell the house, the boat, the car. When he can't, banks and credit card companies are coming after him. He could borrow more money to try and keep up, but what has that done? Made him wealthier or just more in debt? All it does is buy some time before it all comes crashing down.
It's the same with the federal government. If IRS returns drop and they continue to try and make up for the shortfall by printing more money or borrowing more money, we just fall deeper into debt.
We're not wealthier. We've only held off the inevitable. But, then again, I'm not a doctor like the great congressman. Oh wait, he's not a doctor? And I almost forgot — I am. But it doesn't take a doctorate to read some history. It's not hard to see that we are repeating the same mistakes of the past. We are repeating the 1930s:
• The Dow appears to be repeating the patterns seen during the Great Depression. After the crash in 1929, there was a brief recovery period in 1930. On July 8, 1932, the Dow bottomed out — closing the day at 41.22, an 89 percent drop from its pre-crash high; in October of 2008 stock market plummets 2,400 points in nine days
• President Hoover responded by increasing federal spending by 50 percent between 1929 until the end of his term; George W. Bush abandoned the free market system to save the free market system
• Unemployment over 20 percent by the end of Hoover's term; Unemployment was over 7 percent at the end of Bush — up from the 4.5 percent range
• In 1932, Hoover increased top income tax rates from 25 percent to 63 percent; Obama is increasing top tax rates from 35 to 39 percent
• FDR's policies included making unions stronger, regulating price controls, interfering with business and paying higher wages than the amount of productivity justified; Obama's "life work" is SEIU's life work. Obama has fired CEOs of companies and taken control of automakers and banks
• FDR tried to revive economy with massive government spending and entitlements with the New Deal; Obama has tried to revive economy with massive government spending and expansion of entitlements with the stimulus, cash-for-clunkers, health care and financial reform, plus the takeover of student loan industry
• Unemployment remained unresponsive and stayed stubbornly high throughout the New Deal and New Deal II; unemployment under Obama has gone up and stayed there, completely flat-lining despite the government "injections"
• FDR blamed Hoover for the economic problems; Obama still blames Bush for "creating the mess" he has to "mop" up
• In 1935, the Supreme Court struck down the NRA and in 1936, the court struck down the Agriculture Adjustment Act; today, 60 percent want a repeal of health care. Will the courts follow through?
• In 1946, a successful GOP campaign "had enough" of Democrats; today, Tea Parties, whose universal issue is 'stop spending'
So we've followed Hoover and FDR almost step-for-step. Are we going to bottom out again and extend this slump just like FDR did? Well, we have to understand that there are critical differences between the 1930s and today:
• Back then, the country had manufacturing. We could build ships, planes, tanks, etc.; today, we can't
• Back then, our citizens didn't have crippling debt; today, we do
• Back then, our grandparents saved their money; today, we don't
Maybe we could get someone really smart like Pete Stark to explain it to us. Oh wait, I forgot: It's people like Pete Stark who got us into this mess.
— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel