Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Supreme Court's Brilliant Stimulus Program

Photo Credit: John Adkisson for The New York Times

The Supreme Court, in its Citizens United ruling, seems to have created the most important economic stimulus package of them all: unlimited political ad spending! From the New York Times:

[South Carolina] will be awash in campaign commercials, direct-mail fliers and automated phone calls in the days leading up to the Jan. 21 primary, all part of a full effort by the campaigns and their “super PACs” to break through in what could be the kind of climactic contest that the New Hampshire primary was not.

Five candidates — Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — are now running ads on local television. Four super PACs have also been on the air in recent days, and other outside issue groups are lining up behind them.

One major factor that will differentiate this contest from the New Hampshire primary is the sheer amount of money expected to go into television advertising. In just the last few days, campaigns and super PACs have committed more than $5 million. And that amount will only grow.

And the good news is that it also gets the super rich to spend all that money they have been hoarding, so its not just a stimulus package but one that addresses income inequality as well. From the Wall Street Journal:

Today, we see the effects of the Citizens United decision in action: Billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson has given $5 million to a Super PAC that supports Newt Gingrich in the Republican presidential primary race, the New York Times reported.

The group, called “Winning Our Future” — similar to the title of a book that Gingrich authored, Winning The Future — has reserved more than $3.4 million in advertising time in South Carolina, a state where Gingrich must remain competitive in the primary.

Say what you will about all of the money sloshing around politics, it sure is good for the economy right now!

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