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((sigh))

There are days that I just want to pull my hair out and then go strangle certain Republicans with my newly-liberated tresses.

Teh Stupid just got deeper after raging f**kwit Mitch McConnell opened his mouth in opposition to a particular part of the pending stimulus bill.

Curious?  Transcript from the segment that appeared on CNN and some much-needed reality after the fold.

I transcribed this live from CNN's commentary in the 2pm EST hour:

REPORTER: But the top Republican in the Senate dismisses buying green cars as wasteful spending.

MCCONNELL: $600M to buy government employee's cars is not exactly what the American public had in mind.

::snip::

REPORTER: Who's right?  One economist thinks the provision would create jobs immediately.

PROF. PETER MORICI: Buying cars is just like bridge building.  It puts auto workers to work, it provides work for engineers - especially these green vehicles - it's an ideal stimulus package.

REPORTER: Others argue if the Government borrows money to spend on fuel efficient cars, less money is available for private business to borrow to create jobs.

J.D. FOSTER (HERITAGE FOUNDATION): So every time you're creating jobs from the spending, you're destroying jobs from the borrowing.  Net effect, no new jobs - you've just redirected the money.

WOW.  There is SO MUCH to comment on in that one short excerpt.

Let's begin by addressing Sen. McConnell's statement.  First, he implies that the government is simply going to go out and buy cars for its employees.  Not so.  The government, through the General Services Administration, buys about 60,000 new model non-tactical (e.g., not military) vehicles annually.  That's not chump change.  That's also not simply deciding to buy cars for government employees as McConnell suggests.  The fleet exists today and Obama's proposal is to replace that fleet (vehicle replacement is a normal occurrence) with fuel-efficient cars.

So that we can cut down on pollution in the environment.
And help out the auto industry without providing a handout.
And keep some auto workers employed.
And invest in alternative fuel technology for vehicles of the future.
And cut down on the amount of money the government current spends on fuel for those 60,000 vehicles.

So - McConnell's been in the Senate for 24 years.  According to Wikipedia, his stated profession is "lawyer".  Perhaps this explains his fundamental ignorance of basic (I'm talking college Freshman level) economics and the concept of economies of scale:

When more units of a good or a service can be produced on a larger scale, yet with (on average) less input costs, economies of scale (ES) are said to be achieved. Alternatively, this means that as a company grows and production units increase, a company will have a better chance to decrease its costs. According to theory, economic growth may be achieved when economies of scale are realized.

The most expensive unit produced is the first one.  Think about it in the case of hybrid cars - you've had to build the plant and invest the money in the research prior to that first hybrid vehicle ever rolling off the line.  But as purchasing (demand) of hybrids increase, the fixed costs (plant, research) remain the same.  Thus, the cost of producing the 1,000th vehicle is less than producing the 1st one, and the cost of producing the 100,000th vehicle is less than the 1,000th - etc. and so forth.  In a competitive market - and more than one auto manufacturer makes a hybrid model(s) - the cost savings are passed to the consumer, and the average price of a hybrid vehicle comes down.  Which makes owning a hybrid more affordable for average car buyers.

Which means you.  Do you think maybe 60,000 hybrid/alternative fuel cars purchased by the government might help lower the cost of buying one for the rest of us?  Yeah.  Me too.

Now let me turn to J.D. Foster of the Heritage foundation and his assertion that somehow the government will borrow the money to buy these cars and - magically - there will now be less money to lend to businesses and individuals.  J.D. has clearly embraced Teh Stupid lately - because government doesn't borrow money from banks, thereby making money less available to businesses.  The government issues bonds that people and financial institutions and foreign governments can buy.  That's one source of funds.  The government can also raise taxes, print more money, or reduce spending to satisfy paying back the bonds.  I'm being purposefully overly-simplistic here - but suffice it to say that it's ludicrous to think that there will be less credit available to businesses because the government 'borrows' to buy an alternative fuel fleet.

So clearly, Teh Stupid, rather than Teh Perfect, is the enemy of Teh Good where Republicans are concerned.

Want to give the good Senator from Kentucky your own economics lesson, or simply let him know what you think of his comments?  Here you go:

Sen. Mitch McConnell
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510
202-224-2541 (ph.)
202-224-2499 (fx.)
Contact form

Update [2009-2-9 16:7:21 by RenaRF]: h/t to vancookie for this comment:

You CAN use the online form linked in the diary

Just choose any old county, and once you reach the form it gives you the option to choose from any of the 50 states so you can fill in your entire proper address... (FWIW the capitol is in Franklin county, so that's a good one to pick).

Teh Stupid lives - and unfortunately, he's the minority leader in the United States Senate.

Update [2009-2-9 15:54:19 by RenaRF]: Ensign just intensified Teh Stupid by saying we need to trash the stimulus and start all over.

Chambliss is bringing up the rear of Teh Stupid by decrying the lack of mortgage relief - maybe he should have read the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and TARP - THAT is where mortgage relief is authorized and from whence it will come.

Originally posted to RenaRF's Random Ramblings on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 12:37 PM PST.

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