The Following is an Open Letter to President Barack Obama:
My name is David Teesdale. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your historic election to the office of President of the United States of America, and upon your swift legislative victories in your first sixty days in office.
Among these victories, the economic stimulus bill, aimed, as the Congressional Budget Office states, to “boost economic activity during periods of economic weakness by increasing short-term aggregate demand.” This, the largest single government expenditure in American history, is intended to “save or create” 3.5 million jobs (your advisers only expect a 2.1 million increase in jobs), at a cost of $789 billion. This means the government is spending roughly $225,000 per job created or “saved.”
The public is poignantly aware that the government never comes in under budget. The Capitol Visitors’ Center was just completed at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., late and over budget. Ground was broken in 2000 and the project was slated to cost $71 million. Completed in late 2008, the building cost a stupefying $621 million. At this rate, the “stimulus,” programs expected to break ground in 2010-11 should begin somewhere around 2020 and should actually cost around $9 trillion.
Even if we use the conservative estimates of the Congressional Budget Office, which peg the true cost of servicing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (HR 1) at $3.27 trillion, the cost per job will ring in at $9.3 million per job.
I don’t mean– by any stretch–President Obama, to sound at all disrespectful, but this seems like a terrible waste of public tax dollars. I have the utmost regard for your desire for good stewardship of Americans’ dollars, so I have confidence you will find the following proposal much more palatable.
You’re a pretty smart guy, O. Can I call you O? Anyway, you’re pretty smart, and I am pretty smart too. I recently graduated with a degree in Political Science from Syracuse University and interned at the White House, before you took up residence there. I’m not Ivy bred, but I am strongly confident that I can create–yes, create, not save–jobs for you at a rate below $9.3 million per. In fact, I am confident that I could create jobs at a rate under one million dollars per.
In fact, O–I mean Mr. President–all I ask is to be provided with 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of the stimulus bill’s $789 billion dollar price tag. Roughly $79 million, tax-free, low-denomination, unmarked bills, preferably in little black briefcases. With this much tax money, I can assure the creation of hundreds or thousands of jobs, or I will pay back every red (no commu-puns intended) cent.
As a driven and hard working recent graduate, I feel I can bring youth and energy to the stimulus package. Even by any Keynesian measure, you’ll be getting more bang for your buck than the $600 million used on digital TV converters, $50 million for cemetery repair work, $1.7 billion for the National Parks Service, $2 billion for groups like ACORN and $300 million to fund cars for bureaucrats in the Federal government.
I assure you that the businesses that I create will be much more effective in creating lasting jobs, even if those jobs are as my housekeeper and butler (though, I will need a bigger house to accommodate more servants–which should probably cost no more than $1 million dollars–but will create one landscaping, and two housekeeping jobs at the very least). This plan is clearly what America needs right now, especially in my home city of Knoxville, TN, where unemployment is becoming a problem.
If I can’t, I won’t even ask for a bailout.
I am sure you, Mr. President, as a person who can see a great deal when it is presented to him, can see the virtue in my plan. I save the government money, I make a whole bunch of money, and I save the government further embarrassment when the public finally realizes that government cannot create wealth it can only spend it (First Law of Government Dynamics).
You may call my office (leave a message after the beep if you can’t get through, I screen calls from the ‘202’ area code) with any questions you or your 40 person economic team at Treasury may have, or if you wish to see a business model.
All the Best,
David E. Teesdale
David Teesdale, delights in poking at millions of dollars of sliced ham subsidies as part of the economic stimulus. Comment here or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org