Understanding the 'stimulus'
The big question being batted around these days is: Why isn't the stimulus working?
To ask that question is to miss the point: The truth is that the stimulus is working.
No, it's not turning the economy around or lowering unemployment numbers. Far from it. But that was never the intent of the stimulus to begin with.
The reality is that there was nothing in the stimulus package that could reasonably be expected to result in economic stimulation. The way to stimulate the economy is to remove governmental barriers to private-sector-driven economic growth. The stimulus package did nothing of this sort - nor was it supposed to.
The purpose of the stimulus, rather, was to pay back political favors and to increase the government's control over the economy. Remember when Rahm Emanuel said, "never let a serious crisis go to waste"? That was the whole point. The stimulus package was nothing more than an opportunistic power grab.
Those who are surprised that the economy is continuing its downward spiral, even after the stimulus was passed, simply lack a fundamental understanding of why recessions occur and how they are overcome. If you're among the confused, the best and simplest cure for you is just to remember this: "Fixing the economy" was never the goal. The goal was to grow government and weaken the private sector.
And in that sense, it's working like a charm.