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Buffalo News Hates the Stimulus for the Wrong Reason

by on November 11, 2009

News flash: the economy still stinks.  If you blame the government, you have shocking company in The Buffalo News, which ran a story Sunday on how the feds aren’t quite fixing everything or anything.  Unfortunately, the paper claims that Washington is at fault for a curious reason, namely because the feds haven’t thrown enough money at the problem:

But there’s no doubt that, overall, the $787 billion stimulus bill has not yet had a huge impact on local employment for two reasons:


The federal funds have been flowing slowly to Erie and Niagara counties.


And recipients seemed to be in no rush to spend what they got.

Personally, I of course blame George W. Bush and those Wall Street fat cats; as a percentage breakdown, it’s probably about 70/30.  But maybe there’s a bigger cause.  The problem isn’t that stimulus funds are being spent at a leisurely rate: the problem is that there was a stimulus.  Letting the government try to spend our way out of a recession is like throwing down a shovel to a man trapped in a well.  But don’t tell that to reporter/stimulus enthusiast Jerry Zremski:

There’s no doubt that the stimulus money has already had some impact locally.


Some 55 local highway projects are under way because of the federal aid, ranging from the reconstruction of Maple Road near the University at Buffalo to the rebuilding of four roads near the inner harbor.

Oh, there’s doubt.  Fixing roads ahead of schedule won’t cut unemployment in half.  Much as how bribing consumers to buy new cars didn’t benefit the auto industry for more than a few minutes, this spending is a one-time shot with severe long-term costs.  Once the money’s spent, what then?


Government doesn’t produce: it only consumes.  Such a notion is only controversial to those who think Obamacare will turn a profit.  But that sadly delusional sliver naturally includes nearly every editorial minion at the city’s only major newspaper.  Regardless, the money in question is acquired either by borrowing or taxing, which is bad news for rich people today and present minors tomorrow.


It gets worse.  Claiming the stimulus kept things from getting worse is as shady as, well, asserting that the scheme created or saved (made-up number) of jobs.  Sadly, News readers would basically have to have conjured that thought themselves: the article contained two total anti-stimulus quotes, one from admirable local Congressman Chris Lee and another from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.  You may need to pop an Adderall to find both among the 1,700 or so words.


Fishing for token Republican quotes doesn’t count as balance.  If News editor Margaret Sullivan is genuinely tired of addressing bias charges, she should instruct her henchmen to seek quotes from those who think letting Washington fix the economy by selling debt to China is a farce that won’t help even after every dollar has been spent. 


Columns sympathetic to small-government beliefs are a good start, and not just because such pieces mean Mary Kunz Goldman and Bruce Andriatch can share a lonely table in the News cafeteria.  Now, reporters have no excuse for ignorance, assuming they read their own paper.  There’s something crucial those who are supposed to present both sides of stories need to realize about people who think the “stimulus” is anything but: they exist.

One Comment
  1. Now it is time for the Venus Project, don’t you think.

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