November 26, 2008

"Democrats are bailing out on the word 'stimulus.'"

Writes Carl Hulse.
In a notable shift, Congressional leaders and officials of the incoming Obama administration are actively trying to retire that term and use the more marketable “economic recovery program” as the descriptor for the multibillion-dollar economic initiative to be considered early next year.
Is this just label-changing? "Recovery" -- is the result you want, the end as opposed to the means. No, no, no, it's a recovery program. The means is a program.
The change in emphasis reflects a realization that words matter. Architects of the $700 billion Treasury Department program concluded too late that something unabashedly promoted as a Wall Street “bailout” conjured images of well-heeled suspects sprung from jail or water feverishly tossed from a rapidly filling boat.
And it made everyone want one.
And “stimulus” — a buzzword from earlier this year — combines bureaucratic wonkiness with the concept of shock therapy, Democrats worried....
Combining bureaucratic wonkiness with the concept of shock therapy... hmmm....

31 comments:

Original George said...

Another classic shock therapy scene at 0:19 from the Samuel Fuller movie "Shock Corridor."

Maybe what we need instead is an economic tranquilizer....free cable TV, free internet access, free Xbox games....

Lem said...

I want a stimulus package of generous samples of Viagra.

Darcy said...

LOL, Lem!

As for the "program" I don't think it matters what they call it, does it?? We're gonna get it and like it!!

I want pie.

peter hoh said...

From the NYT home page
President-elect Barack Obama named former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker chairman-designate of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

ERAB. Like a mash up of Ebay and Ay-rab.

TosaGuy said...

ERAB....doesn't quite roll of the tongue like such New Deal acronyms as NRA, WPA, CCC, AAA....

vet66 said...

lem;

Be careful what you ask for. If the government provided you free Viagra you would have to take it rectally.

"Hi, My name is MS. Schmucketelli and I am from the federal government. I'm here to help you!"

(Key in the sound of latex gloves snapping into place...)

vet66 said...

By the way, the name of the Agency in Charge (AIC) carries the acronym FIVA..

I will leave it to your imagination what that could possible stand for.

TosaGuy said...

Also, New Deal programs were "administrations". "Board" sounds less authoritarian yet implies a small group of dedicated expert....unless these "experts" are dumb as posts....which in lumber parlance is a type of board.

Chuck Stertz said...

The difference seems to be duration. Stimulus connotes short term expenditure to jump start (shock) the economy. Program connotes long term program with continued expenditures over time. I am not sure the Democrats thought this one out enough.

Lem said...

The numerous press conferences, the endless leaking of names for positions and now a dictionary makeover.

Obama’s departure from Bush is right on schedule.

Freeman Hunt said...

Let's just call it what it is "taxpayer reaming." "We'd like to propose another taxpayer reaming to go along with our last taxpayer reaming..."

Paul Snively said...

Yesterday I characterized all of this--and I mean the Wall Street bailout as well as the potential Big 3 bailout, and now the additional gov't spending proposals--as BOGU: Bend Over and Grease Up.

My apologies to Darcy, who, IIRC, had kind things to say about my post on "taste and decorum" in the sex-in-religion thread.

Der Hahn said...

You think maybe they were aiming for pogrom but missed? Sorta like MS Word still thinks I'm misspelling Osama? Can't have kulaks gumming up the realization of the Glorious State, Comrades.

AllenS said...

No, we're not going to get f*cked, we're going to get screwed.

Robert Cook said...

As if the trillion dollars we'll be paying for Bush's illegal wars of mass murder is NOT "taxpayer reaming?" As if the billions we've already given to the same bankers who fucked the financial system for their own profit is not ALSO "taxpayer reaming?"

Complaints may well be due once Obama's adminstration takes office--two months from now--but you would be better served for the time being directing your ire at the the crooks already in office who are helping the American people be robbed blind.

Lem said...

Governing via press conference.

Is that what what we have to look foward to?

Ave maria.

Chip Ahoy said...

I thought the stimulus package seemed like electric vibrator in a box with a bow, and I don't want one. I got a small check but, honestly, I didn't feel it. The bail out to me created an image of immaculately tailored executives frantically shoveling buckets of water from a wooden lifeboat. But now that it's being called an initiative, well, my mind is completely changed. From the old tired dull way, to the bright shiny new way, to refer to the exact same thing. But now I see a start at an attempt to try to begin an onset of a genesis of an idea to test out a whirl, of something that might be possible. And that's a lot better. This is going to be a great myth. A fabled myth of fabulous mythic proportions! Yay for Obama!

* glees *

But so far I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not one single tiny change except a war has been won and gasoline appears to be a little cheaper, for awhile at least, but I don't really feel that either.

I love Thanksgiving. It gives me a chance to glee and to give away food like this chocolate cheesecake and to stick a gigantic bird like an ostrich or an emu or a California condor, or perhaps even an ordinary turkey like this one, into cold brine water, causing it first to release moisture into the brine, then to drag the brine back into the dead bird until equilibrium is established by osmosis between the outer brine and the internal moisture which is now brined, inside the animal which doesn't come out when it's baked, and this is all about eventually baking a giant bird. Poor thing, bred for being eaten, and couldn't even fly away and hide. That's always fun, and something to be thankful for.

That, and the joy of hypnotizing turkeys. That's fun too. When I was a teen, I and a mate trespassed onto a black woman's crop share. She lived in a shack with a tin roof. We were fascinated. She busted us and we became friends. She caught us as twilight just as a rooster mounted a chicken, grabbed its neck and started vigorously hopping up and down. The hen squawked noisily. Knowing full well what they were doing, we asked the woman,

"What are those chickens doing?"

Innocent little white boys. How were we to know?

" I don't know wut days doin' but day shore is doinit ! "

This caused us to fall about the place laughing. She let us see all her animals, pigs in slop, bunnies in hutches, chickens wandering around, and turkeys. All right there outside her own shack. We learned we could grab a turkey by the neck and holding its head firmly, make a circular motion around one of its eyes, then pull the finger back. The turkeys would just drop half dead, dazed by the circling experience. We hypnotized them all, like master hypnotists. Eventually they'd shake it off and resume wandering. For a boy, that's fun. I don't know if you'd call it looking for trouble or staying out of trouble, but it was fun.

Darcy said...

That's quite alright, Paul Snively. :)

Kirby Olson said...

They should call it Reparations.

EDH said...

Hmmm.

Makes me wonder what it'd be like if Althouse became the Nurse Ratchet over us readers and participants here on the comment thread.

AJ Lynch said...

You know the Bailout (excuse me the ERP) ain't going well when they plow another $800 billion into it and not one member of Congress shows up to get their picture taken!

Is Paulson in charge now? Does Congress & Bush even need to approve what Paulson does?

AJ Lynch said...

If Althouse became Nurse Rachet? If ?

Do you think we comment here voluntarily?!

AJ Lynch said...

Time for a drink don't you all agree? Got some JD in my office. Pour myself a tall shot blub blub blub.

I toast all the Althousians and wish you each a Happy Thanksgiving!

Peter Blogdanovich said...

So they plan to build a battle ship sized vibrator and apply it to the tip of Florida?

Jay Manifold said...

"... you would be better served for the time being directing your ire at the the crooks already in office who are helping the American people be robbed blind."

That would be the 110th Congress. Damn right I'm directing my ire at them. Unfortunately the 111th will be even worse.

ravail136 said...

I want a package that will provide me income to offset the failure of my business (small cabinet shot--one employee--me)

So...which party is going to give me a bailout. I was fine until the economy tanked...all my clients bailed fearing tax increase next year...I lost 5 clients...kept their deposits...but what is 10% of posposed cost against the lost business.

I DESERVE A BAILOUT...where are you Congressman Sarbanes or Sen's Mikulski/Cardin...I'm you constiuent and I need a bailout...won't cost much...just $100K per year for the next 4 years.

big sigh...won't happen, I'm in the wrong party

Darcy said...

Cheers, AJ Lynch! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

AJ Lynch said...

Thanks Darcy. Just had my 2nd shot and now it is time to head home, workout for an hour or so then I head out to dinner and to watch the 76ers-Magic game.

God bless President Elect Obama, his fine family and all the rest of you average and in some cases exceptional Americans!

But God damn the current Congress. May each and every one of you lose your seat within the next six years! We need fresh ideas and new blood! heh.

theMickey's said...

Stimulated

M. Simon said...

Stimulus Package: it has an accountant, a girl in a bikini, and explains stimulus economics - all to a rap beat.

M. Simon said...

Well here is some New Blood in an old package.