From Conn Carroll at The Foundry: “What Is the Spending Multiplier on a Pack of Condoms?”
The entire intellectual underpinning of President Barack Obama’s spending plan rests on the belief that certain types of government spending creates a “multiplier effect” which raises national income beyond the size of government’s initial spending increase. So, for example, Mark Zandi has concocted a table which purports to show that for every one dollar the government spends building “Infrastructure” GDP will grow by $1.59. There is also an entry on Zandi’s table for “General Aid to State Government” which Zandi knows for an absolute fact has a 1.36 spending multiplier. So if Obama’s stimulus plan bails out California’s spendthrift government, and Sacramento then spends that money buying condoms for Nancy Pelosi’s constituents, Mark Zandi wants us to believe that this entire transaction will increase GDP by $1.36 for every $1 in condoms Sacramento buys. Does anybody really believe this?
Again, the family planning issue is just one example of how the left is using the cover of the stimulus to advance their long-term goals of increasing the size of the federal government. The stimulus plan increases Washington’s control over spending on education, spending on health care, spending on the environment, and even spending on local law enforcement. As the Washington Post editorialized this weekend: “All of those ideas may have merit, but why do they belong in an emergency measure aimed to kick-start the economy?”