'Bulls & Bears' Guest Can't Find Example of Stimulus Success

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, people might want to be wary of the economic stimulus package.

Four analysts were arguing on Fox News Channel’s “Bulls & Bears” that stimulus spending has never fixed a recession. But when one proponent of the hotly debated stimulus bill was pressured to refute this claim, she was unable to find an example.

Leslie Marshall, a talk radio host and stimulus bill supporter, was asked to give any example of past stimulus spending that has worked. “Bulls & Bears” host Brenda Buttner asked Marshall, “Tell us when spending has brought us out of recession,” during the Jan. 31 broadcast.

Marshall dodged the question before Buttner asked her again. In the midst a tangent about Ronald Reagan’s financial adviser supporting the stimulus bill, Buttner interrupted Marshall: “But you still haven’t given us an example, though. I’m waitin’ for that example, Leslie.”

Finally Marshall confessed, “I’m not gonna be able to give you an example of this plan because this plan has never been proposed before.”

Another show guest, Tobin Smith, ChangeWave research editor and author of “Billion Dollar Green: Profit from the Eco Revolution exclaimed, “there is no example!” Eric Bolling of the Fox Business Network also reacted saying, “There is no example – that’s the whole point!”

Before that exchange, Buttner had asked analysts whether “doing nothing” would be better than passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Marshall claimed the government needs to be proactive to spur economic recovery. “We can’t not do anything. We have to do something,” she insisted.

Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner, agreed with Marshall’s call for action, but argued that tax cuts are the solution because they work. He said stimulus spending will just lead to more economic pain.

“You know Obama will get us out of the recession with, with what he’s doing. I agree with that. AND right into a Depression. That’s what happened with FDR! Look, this whole Keynesian stuff as I’ve said time and time again. Give me the one example where this has worked and I will say, ‘O.K. maybe it has a shot this time,’” Gary B. Smith said.

Later on in the segment, Marshall went on the offensive and asked for an example of “a tax break that did work when we were in a recession like we are right now.” Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, and Bolling listed John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush as successful examples of presidents that sparked economic recovery during a recession by cutting taxes.

Throughout the show, various guests explained their opposition to the stimulus bill. Tobin Smith folded his hands and prayed “Please Lord lay me down to sleep and have them do nothing! Do nothing!” rather than pass the stimulus bill. He explained that the government has already “done a trillion dollars of deficit spending,” and spent it on “nanny programs” and normal infrastructure spending. Tobin Smith also criticized the current legislation saying, “This is a health care bill – this has nothing to do with stimulus.”

Bolling referred to the bill as a “porkulus package” and cited $4 billion for community organizers like ACORN and $335 million for STD education as examples of government waste in the stimulus bill. “No way, no how this is gonna help the economy,” he concluded.