Economic History and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

By: Brooks A. Mick

Looking backward–and ain’t hindsight grand!–we can note that, with the economy nosediving in the 30s, the Hoover stimulus plan, more government spending and tariffs on foreign goods, didn’t work. The Roosevelt stimulus plan, government makework programs and more spending, didn’t work. We could note that Japan recently went through ten years of a horrible economy, trying government spending and various interventions, and it didn’t work.

And now President Obama, while making speeches that were copied almost verbatim from Ronald Reagan’s addresses, is planning a huge Hoover-Roosevelt-Japanese style plan which is nothing more, analyzed objectively, than pork-barrel payback to various constituent groups that got him elected (ACORN, Planned Parenthood, the teachers’ unions, funding for arts, and welfare checks for the poor disguised as income tax rebates even though they go to people who didn’t pay income taxes, and on and on) much as Bill Clinton tried to implement after his inauguration in 1992. Clinton’s proposed “stimulus plan,” proposed without laughter or shame in the face of an economy already growing quite well in the latter quarters of the GHWB term, was much smaller. But an interesting thing happened: The Clinton stimulus plan was recognized for what it was and it was shot down by Republicans.

The economy did well under Clinton not because of massive spending plans, but because Republicans behaved as Republicans should in those days and kept a partial damper on spending increases. And now Republicans have apparently awakened from a liberal hypnotic state induced by living inside the Beltway and have returned to proposing fiscal responsibility, tax cuts, and eschewing pork-barrel-laden spending bill currently under discussion.

The difference is that they took a detour, wandered through the Washington Wilderness, and their numbers have been drastically pared by the voters. The voters apparently were oblivious to the fact that, in voting big-spending Republicans out of office, they were letting the humongous-spending Democrat vampires across the threshold, and anyone who watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows that, once invited into your house, vampires are mighty difficult to evict and they can wreak havoc on the inhabitants.

I realize my metaphor mixer has been set on puree here, having alluded to the Great Depression, hypnotic seduction, Israelites’ wanderings, and Buffy, but I hope you get my point. The voters, in their infinite capacity to avoid acquiring knowledge about economics and political candidates and voting for whoever sounds more cool or compassionate, have invited the left-wing vampire camel to stick his nose and then his entire head and neck inside our economic tent, and he’s about to start sucking the lifeblood out of the taxpayers.

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