It started at some $150 billion figure and then grew over the months to its current standing of something like $825 billion. It is a sum of money targeted toward various efforts to create jobs and turn this nation’s economic downfall around. It has been the main topic of conversation throughout Washington for the past few months and has led to some interesting debates between the president, senators and representatives in Congress. I’m talking, of course, about the economic “stimulus package.”
I put “stimulus package” in quotations to signify its lack of commitment to its name. This bill was proposed under the guise of economic relief. I say “guise” because of its ridiculous earmarks that you can’t see unless you go under the surface. If you recall back in 2008 during the election, President Obama said he would go “line by line” through government appropriations, ridding them of lobbyist projects or pork-barrel spending to ensure their effectiveness. With one brief look at the Congress’ appropriations announcements on their Web site, I have found a few allocations that the president must have missed during his excavation, including the General Services Administration Federal Fleet, the Alternative Buses and Trucks and the National Treasures articles of the appropriations summary. In layman’s terms, these three proceeds call for $1.4 billion to be spent on new cars and trucks for government officials, restoration of the National Mall and Smithsonian, and additional funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Here are some things I do understand about this bill. I understand that everyone likes new cars. I understand that a lot of people like the Smithsonian. I also understand that some people may enjoy the great support from the National Endowment for the Arts. What I don’t understand is how these projects are going to help the economy. At what point does Nancy Pelosi’s new Chevy Tahoe hybrid sprinkle happy dust on our economic woes? Make sure it’s a hybrid too, because we need Congress to lead by example. At least they’re buying American. That’s what you should do too: buy American. Take that $300 stimulus check you’re about to get in the mail and buy a car. However you look at it, this stimulus is loaded with pork and will likely do very little to actually help the economy.
We should have seen this coming. When America is in desperate times, Democrats want to spend while Republicans want to cut taxes. The Obama administration called for bipartisan action. Nevertheless, Democrats in the House drafted a heavy-spending stimulus bill. The vast majority of its content goes against everything Republicans stand for. As a result, the lack of Republican support ultimately led to yet another inefficient episode in the United States Congress.
So who is to blame in this constant struggle for efficiency? You can’t blame Democrats for wanting to spend; that is the basis of their foundation. But, you can’t blame Republicans for wanting to cut taxes because that is their foundation. You can’t blame Obama for wanting a quick passage of what he calls an “imperfect bill” because the country is in dire need of help right now. But, you can’t blame McCain for wanting to clean up the bill before it hits the streets; it’s loaded with earmarks and unnecessary spending.
The fact of the matter is, there is no one in particular to blame. There are plenty of people who are corrupt and wrong, but no one person can carry the weight of this problem. Politicians will do as they always do: point fingers, distract, deny and hope to get reelected next term. What’s the big deal anyway? They aren’t the ones who will pay these colossal taxes when all of our spending finally catches up with us.
A little educationI am not sure how educated you are on the stimulus package or economics but your assessment is to say the least, dead wrong. First off when Obama said that he would go line-by-line he was referring to earmarks that are not beneficial to the populace such as ones that benefit big oil, big RX, etc. Earmarks in general are not a bad thing, many times they are for projects to better America. Infrastructure improvements, like roads and highways, funding for programs that help the needy, disabled, fund aid programs, etc. Second, spending 1.2 billion on cars for… Read more »
Huh?"our capitalistic system sucks and needs to be reformed" –What capitalistic system? The one where ailing businesses are demanding a government bailout? The one where homeownership is being extended to lower income individuals through government entities? The one where wealth is being re-distributed down to lower income individuals under the idea of "fairness"? If you mean that "capitalistic system", then yes, I agree. Before we establish that the free market has failed, we must first establish that a free market exists. "So lets start from the bottom up" –Funny, I’ve never been employed by a poor person. Have you? "putting… Read more »
Guess that global econ class didn’t sink inJesseSB, the whole reason we are in this mess is that too-easy credit combined with an inflation in the money supply fueled unsustainable bubbles in real estate and finance. Shoveling out billions in newly-printed money to reinflate the bubbles is only delaying the pain, and creating more headaches down the line with astronomically increased government debt and hyperinflation once things are "safe" and banks stop sitting on the billions they’ve been given. And unless the "new jobs" supposedly being created are funded indefinitely, their effect will evaporate as soon as the government funding… Read more »