The LME has asked this question quite a few times when we are discussing Obama's orgy of deficit spending. This is a very sensible question and one that no one in the Obama Administration has ever discussed. Well, life is predictable in it's [sic] unpredicability [sic] and now we may have the start of something "really bad" that will require a massive governmental response. Too bad that our government is broke.
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If this continues I'll attempt to layout the massive financial impact of a flu outbreak on the global economy.
Needless to say that this couldn't have come at a worse time. The global economy is already weak from the financial meltdown and the United States which would usually be expected to lead on a issue like this has an in-experienced back bench Senator from Illinois as its President. It's likely that Obama will use this crisis to further his goal of nationalizing healthcare, drug and device manufactures [sic] and other sectors of industry.
While we all wait with bated breath for Tracy to enlighten us as to the worldwide economic consequences of a flu pandemic, consider this from The Nation:
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.
Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.
But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans -- led by Maine Senator Susan Collins -- aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.
The article continues:
Famously, Maine Senator Collins, the supposedly moderate Republican who demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus, fumed about the pandemic funding: "Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill? No, we should not."
As late as Sunday, Collins was still using her official website to highlight the fact that she led the fight to strip the pandemic preparedness money out of the Senate's version of the stimulus measure. On Monday, after her machinations with regard to the stimulus bill were revealed, Collins attempted to defend herself, dispatching a spokesman to declare that, "There is no evidence that federal efforts to address the swine flu outbreak have been hampered by a lack of funds."
Discuss, boys and girls.