Jim Manzi on the irony of youth for Obama

As I tried to get into at length in the prior post, once you get past all the mumbo jumbo, it seems to me that there is one thing we can know with confidence about deficit spending on stimulus: it will, in part, transfer wealth from future generations to our own. Of course, if you’re reading this, and you’re, say, 24 years old, then that should read as “transfer wealth from you to a bunch of Baby Boomers”.

This makes the incredible support of this age cohort for Obama seem pretty ironic, at least on this issue. You know all those rallies you went to, and how excited you were on election night? It turns out that the most important result of that, so far at least, is that you get work much, much harder over the next 40 years so that the overweight guy in the khaki pants down the hall from you at work who does nothing of much observable value doesn’t have to move to a smaller house or trade in his car.

What’s this we stuff Kimosabe? – Yes you can!
Manzi has been writing more and more frequently. More power to him, I say.


Anonymous said...

Given that the Iraq war has cost more money than the stimulus bill, why hasn't there been a similar outcry about the inter-generational wealth transfer that resulted from spending those hundreds of billions of dollars?

Maybe Obama would be better served to sit on his hands while unemployment reaches double digits. I might lose my job like millions of other Americans, but at least I'd take solace in knowing that if I still had a job, I wouldn't be working harder to support Peter Griffin in the next cube.

We should also be very wary of Obama, given his following among twentysomethings. A charismatic, inspiring orator, millions of adoring, seemingly brain-washed young admirers...the Obama Youth!

Anonymous said...

From what I have gathered, most House and Senate Republicans who voted against the stimulus bill did so because they thought that the stimulus should take the form of tax cuts, and not government spending (or, if you're more cynical, it was all just a near-sighted power trip).

Consider that cash inflows to the federal government must equal its cash outflows, i.e. tax revenue + government debt = government spending. It is true that, in line with Obama's stimulus bill, raising government spending while holding taxes constant will necessarily lead to an increase in government debt, and subsequently force younger generations of Americans to foot the bill. However, reducing taxes while holding government spending constant will also necessarily lead to an increase in debt. Therefore anyone who criticizes Obama's stimulus plan on the basis that it unfairly shifts wealth between generations, while presumably advocating the stimulus proposed by conservatives, should duly criticize the Republican proposal for THE EXACT SAME REASON.

I don't know whether Manzi supports tax cuts or the only other alternative, letting the economy "fix itself". In any event, I think it's all too easy to tee off on Obama from the conservative vantage point without realizing that the Republican proposal is in some respects THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SAME COIN.