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Weekend Wag the Blog: Debating the Stimulus

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) insists the stimulus plan is the right move for the economy. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

As the Senate debate continues today -- in the wake of an apparent agreement last night by a group led by Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) -- over President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package, we turn to the Fixistas for your take.

It's not debatable that the economy is in rough shape; witness the 7.6 percent national unemployment rate and the loss of nearly 600,000 jobs in January alone -- the worst loss in 25 years.

But, whether this plan, which will cost roughly $800 billion, is the right solution at the right time remains a point of major contention.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have been trading verbal blows over the merits of the bill -- Reid calls it a necessary move to stimulate the lagging economy while McConnell paints it as a give-away to a variety of Democratic interests.

Even Obama and his advisers acknowledge that this plan is not full-proof but believe that it is the best bet to start the economy moving in the right direction again. Public opinion polling suggests a small majority of Americans believe the bill is -- by and large -- the right move at this time.

What do you think? And, more importantly, why?

Offer your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. The best of the best will be featured in their own post later this week.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 7, 2009; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Next: White House Cheat Sheet: Sending an (Economic) Message


The Cause Of Our Current Economic Crisis Is That Our People -- Including Most “Christians” -- Have Trusted In Caesar And Not The God Of The Bible

That’s the topic discussed by John Lofton and Pastor David Whitney on this “The American View” radio program, which can be heard live and daily (11 am to Noon, EST) on the site of WTHU radio in Thurmont, Maryland. The WTHU Web site address is: To hear this program daily, just go to the site and click on the words “Listen Now” in the upper-right-hand part of the Web site page. And do call-in, please. We’d like to hear from you. The call-in phone number is: 1-866-796-5585. You can also see — yes, see — this radio program by going to, click on “Featured Media,” click on “Play” and — Presto! — there we are! Pastor Whitney is Pastor of the Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Maryland, and Senior Instructor at “Institute On The Constitution” whose Web site is; phone 1-866-730-9796.

John Lofton, Editor
Recovering Republican

Posted by: F9CEmzZ | February 11, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Since very few of us will actually read the bill and have little hope of understanding its scope, I have compiled a list of all the words contained within the text of the package and a count of the number of times the word occurs in the document. The idea is that the more frequently the word is used within the document, the more prevelant the program or initiative and therefor it is likely that more money is allocated to that program or initiative.

Posted by: 2naghoti | February 10, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Will someone please explain to me how printing and introducing more currency into our economy is going to fix the mess we are in? Introducing a massive amount of new cash into the system without supported growth in the output of goods and services seems very hasty and not the most prudent way to deal with the crisis and will almost surely result in economic hyperinflation. Hyperinflation would be a disaster to the population and could potentially result in the partial or even complete destruction of the middle class. Thereby unwittingly furthering the fascist agenda the Bush administration spent 8 years imposing upon the American people by using fear and overt nationalism to systematically strip us of our constitutional rights and civil liberties via legislation in the name of national security.

Posted by: murf3 | February 10, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse




My take on where the American People are focused today ------ is simple. The Enforcement of the Rules of Law in our Constitution is of paramount importance and they like me are looking unto to you being the Hands on Five Star General in getting that done.

There is no greater matter or thing you could do at this time than to Restore the Enforcement of our Rules of LAW and that would settle the much anger and dust of confusion that is out there in our American Culture. Small talk must go! Promises to have more oversight and writing more laws are just futile when dealing with those criminally minded folks. We are a nation that has gone the way of opulent and open lawlessness and much of our nation has been robbed.

Therefore, increase the staff in the Justice Department by FIVE FOLD. Set up platoons [50 people] of them and assign each a task. Keep the ones focused on investigating similar crimes to keep the best-suited moving things along very fast. Set up target dates and mandates to begin indicting many in less than sixty days. Hire some of the retired Majors and Generals to help with the military affairs.

I thought once the BUSH BUNCH may have been 5000 to 6000 strong Now I think maybe the number is double those.

Dwight Baker

Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | February 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a good basketball player. To use a basketball analogy he is about to score a TRIPLE Double!

Double digit inflation

Double digit interest rates

Double digit unemployment

Posted by: leapin | February 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

In learning of what the administration is apparently thinking as to changing the tax rules, I cannot argue with the government’s desire to more fully tax those who seem to be making exorbitant sums of money. However, I do believe the present plan is seriously flawed if the administration is considering raising the dividend and interest tax rate from 15% to 35%. First of all, the new plan, by raising the tax rate in higher income brackets, should catch those who are getting exorbitant sums from whatever institutions for whom they are working.

Most importantly, however, dividend and interest are what most retirees live off from. If the tax rate is raised on that source of income, you are developing an anti-stimulus plan and harming millions of Americans who are living off from their retirement savings. It is ludicrous to plan a one shot “stimulus” which may represent $300-$400 per person in America, and then to seriously jeopardize their year-to-year earnings with a tripling of the tax on dividends and interest.

This has to be one of the less intelligence ideas of the century to get the economy moving in the right direction.

Posted by: bgc123 | February 9, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

To me it seems like throwing stones in a pond: the ripples will quickly fade. Except, we have to pay for the stones over a couple of decades.

Any economy needs two things: 1) institutions that will lend and 2) someone worthy of lending too. Everyone is talking about FDR and the New Deal but no one is talking about the bank holiday FDR declared. Instead of propping up banks (see Japan, 1990-present, for how well that works) and other financial institutions, shut them down on a rolling basis and do a complete audit. Those that are hopeless - wipe out. Those that are weak, find a buyer or auction off. Those that have manageable problems give a seal of approval too. As part of the process, you can declare a refinance of mortgage debt - but do it once and only once. An across the board rate drop. No paperwork, no new appraisals, if you are willing to stay in your home and make payments, just lower the interest rate. And finally, a real stimulus so that there is someone to lend too. $1 trillion in fiscal 2009 and another $500 billion in fiscal 2010. Not on Head Start or other programs, but on honest to goodness construction projects. As businesses expand payrolls and buy new equipment to do the work, they will go to the banks for short term loans. The banks, no longer afraid someone has a time bomb buried in their balance sheets will start to lend and consumers, with lower monthly mortgage bills will save (providing cheap funds for the lending) and do a little spending themselves.

Posted by: caribis | February 9, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why you can't consider that there are better ways to create jobs. How about allowing off-shore drilling, exploring for new oil and gas, building refineries, building nuclear plants, building clean coal plants, opening up the arctic? These would create a lot of good jobs and quickly. These would also generate revenue for both the states and federal government. Do you know that while the "greedy" oil company profits from 1977 to 2004 was 643 billions of dollars, the total Federal and State taxes over the same period from oil was 1,343.1 billions of dollars. It is interesting to me that the government take was without any investment (risk). I would think that commentators and newspersons would make this point when we hear from the press that the oil companies are greedy and evil. Is there anyone out there that will set record straight? My source is the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Posted by: vitaglubet | February 9, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse


By Dwight Baker
317 words

The use of the Internet is not going to save our nation. Just because we can air our wishes and desires to bring coalitions together to discuss between ourselves the needs of others and us is far from a FIX for our GOVERNMENT.

The Internet is not the fix it is just one step along the way to bring saneness back as a core of thought between us.

But WAKE UP WE HAVE NO POWER for our thoughts and desires to be pushed along inside of our corrupt affairs of our GOVERNMENT.

Petitions and Pleas and all our blogging trying to tell each of our stories best as we can will never bring the kind of POWER to bring about the needed changes.

The economic stimulus bill being discussed has had the LOBBYIST in Washington DC in a feeding frenzy adding the things that their clients WANT ADDED to the bill and some call that PORK.

I call it GREED. The give and take and chit chat and back slaps and ballyhoo are just a repulsion to me how about you?

We have the number of folks to start our own LOBBY in Washington DC. When done we would have power to affect the changes needed to bring a halt to our run a way GOVERNMENT for a time.

Our LOBBY would represent us. They would snoop too ---- to give all of us the day by day LOW DOWN what and who were pushing for what to be added to a bill to get a FREE RIDE in our DEMOCRACY.

Our LOBBY would be seen on CSPAN each night for the nightly NEWS not VIEWS from the elites and EAST COAST BLUE BLOODS needs to have their agendas pushed down our throats.


Contact on how you can help push the concept of

Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | February 9, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

DrainYou -

You are the eptiome of a partisan, boot licking, neo-marxist. The last time you were independent, well, there was no last time.

Posted by: leapin | February 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

January 6th, 2009

“We are going to ban all earmarks — the process by which individual members insert pet projects without review,”
President Obama

February 5th, 2009

In defense of the Stimulus Bill:
When was the last time that we saw a bill of this magnitude move out with no earmarks in it? Not one.”
President Obama

Posted by: leapin | February 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Scrivener50 asks...


Someone ("scrivener60") is obviously exerting much effort on lame "psy ops" in an attempt to discredit a longtime, widely-published journalist, a frequent contributor here at The Fix who posts under the user name of "scrivener50."

Who -- or what "unit" -- would go to such trouble... so pathetically transparent as to be laughable?

Below are links to the articles that give the still-entrenched, human rights- abusing Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment network" such agita.

(Fix readers, if you are unable to access these links, please leave a message on the "forums" page of


EYES ONLY; TO: President Obama; VP Biden; R. Emanuel; D. Axelrod; D. Blair; J. Brennan; J. Jones; E. Holder; J. Napolitano; R. Gates; L. Panetta; R. Mueller; H. Reid; N. Pelosi; D. Feinstein; S. Reyes

RE: Credible reports of human/civil rights abuses by the ongoing Bush-Cheney "Extrajudicial Punishment Vigilante Network"




Posted by: scrivener50 | February 9, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse


We who know more and better than everyone else - ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING - urge President Obama NOT to ignore our warnings, and those of the other talented paranoid people close to him! WE ARE A NATIONAL RESOURCE! We are able to predict EVERY disaster with unfailing accuracy... and the fact that in order to arrive at these predictions, we may first give voice to other fears NEED NOT prevent the president from making good use of our pathology!

We who are paranoid know what is being plotted against us before even the plotters themselves do! For example, at this very moment, SOMEONE could be introducing PATHOGENS into school lunches at a secret underground lab in Oklahoma! A VIRAL TIME BOMB which will explode....... NOW! No?



uh, soon?

In any case, it never hurts to be prepared, and this level of preparation is only supplied by PARANOID PEOPLE.
If Obama continues to segregate us from his legitimate advisors, trying to distract us with crayons and little paper cups filled with APPLESAUCE as we wait for the short bus to take us back to the group home, then I - ME, SCRIVENER - WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012! And I will live in the White House... IF THERE IS STILL A WHITE HOUSE LEFT AFTER THE MINIATURIZED NORTH KOREAN AGENTS DISGUISED AS TERMITES HAVE BEEN IGNORED, DESPITE MY REPEATED WARNINGS, SINCE 2005!


Posted by: scrivener60 | February 9, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"Obama in his own words: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he says. Citation - Washington Post, 03 Jan 2007.

So my questions are 1) How much cocaine did Obama snort? 2) How much money did he pay for the cocaine? 3) Did he snort all the cocaine himself, or did he sell the rest? 4) Who did he buy the cocaine from?

Posted by: get_it_right"

Now for the answers
1. Less than half of what you boought. 2. less than a third of what you paid. 3. Silly turd, he gave it to you. 4. He got it from your mama.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | February 9, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse



I support the stimulus; the bigger the better. Let government spending pick up the slack for the reduced demand in the private sector to off-set the major job losses and to keep the economy moving And the bonus is that when/if we do emerge from this depression our economy will be better off due to the infrastructure investments we've made.

No, the problem is the BANK BAILOUT

The fat cat bankers and bank owners aren't going to lose anything while the American taxpayers will never get back the $700 billion we're putting into making these insolvent banks solvent again. The Obama plan looks like it is only marginally better than the Bush plan.

I'm a huge Obama supporter and so I'm hugely disappointed with the direction it looks like the bank bailout is going.

Didn't he learn from the Dashle situation? We're sick of watching the rich stay rich at taxpayer expense.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | February 8, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

As if people needed anymore proof as to how far the criminal Rethuglican Party has fallen in the eyes of Americans everywhere it's that now partisan rightwing hacks (see below) try to disguise their Republican Party affiliation by calling themselves and their propagana, "Independent".


Many of you might think I am republican. No, I am not, I am a free thinker that happens to see that right now the conservatives-republicans seems to be the ones fighting for the values and decency and ways that characterize this great land of ours.Respectfully,
Daniel Cabrera
Merrillville, Indiana

Posted by: morcab | February 8, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DrainYou | February 8, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

By all means, indeed!,..this plan is not good,perhaps the best thing is to start all over form top, listenin , really listening, to the republican input too.

Will Pelosi-Reid and other weeds (not Obama, for he seems not to comprehend anything about leadership on this - he is just continues CAMPAIGNING instead), so,… will ‘Pelosi-Reid and others weeds club’ will listen?

It seem, majority of democrats are just fix in their own ideas and nothing else. Republicans are different, they listen to others, too,..they articulate their objections, of course, energetically and with passion ( all that is ok) but exercise FREEDOM OF SPEECH practices,…so everyone can manifest their concerns. For expample ,the blog spectrum.

To ilustrate this directly, allow me to show everyone something never posted by CNNPOLITICAL BLOG. I,however, sent it to CNN to EVERY PROGRAM AND JOURNALIST THROUGH THEIR E-MAIL GRID, SO THEY HAVE IT IN THEIR FACES .

I also sent it in the same manner to to other tv tabloid, MSNBC. You bet they hate me for that and I do not know how many of them (if any) read it or did pay some attention to my writing.

So here it is;

“” Biden, ’shaking hands with the russians’? Does he trust them?

This idea is not good, for russians were poven to be not good in the past , logic dictates they will not be any different this time.

Here is a theory, Obama (although ‘marked as president’) is just but a ‘front’ for the masses. the ‘hidden one ‘ are out there, and need to be IDENTIFIED AND STOP LIKE OBAMA.

This group is intersted into destroy America the way we always had been. The targets are economy and national security primarily, for they are the main ones.

But America is wakening from the ‘letargic Obamanizing phase’ and this GROUP OF DESTRUCTION knows that,…. that and they are desperated,…. and want to push everything fast : - “… soon as possible,….quick and swiftly…” WHERE WE HEARD THOSE WORDS BEFORE? ,…CAN ANYONE TELL?

Got it now? I bet many of you out there did,…including this pathetic tv tabloid, CNN (actually they should suspect this all along ,…they are not presicelly stupid ,…just roten fanatics)

Anyway, sleep well,

Do not choke on your pop-corn.

Daniel Cabrera
Merrillville, Indiana

PS, If posted you will have oportunity to prove wrong ( I may be wrong, you know?)
But I think that this pathetic tv tabloid blog , CNN will not post it, for THEY ARE

___________Ok, there you have it. I welcome all opinions, favourable and unfavourables.

Many of you might think I am republican. No, I am not, I am a free thinker that happens to see that right now the conservatives-republicans seems to be the ones fighting for the values and decency and ways that characterize this great land of ours.

Daniel Cabrera
Merrillville, Indiana

Posted by: morcab | February 8, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Even a caveman understand that the so called ‘bail-out’,’stimulus’, ‘rescue-plan’, or any other pet-name can be called is just a waste of time.


That is all to it, check the events !

And what happens is that Pres Obama and his gang - KNOWING WHAT IS THE TRUTH AND KNOWING THAT THEY ARE NATIONALIZING THE COUNTRY AND THROWING THE NATION TO THE SOCIALISM-MARXIST ARENA, …they do not want to be blame alone after the public DISCOVERS that they had been CHEATED by the present administration,…they do not want to GO DOWN ALONE,…they need to say that also republicans are to be blamed too,…and that is why they are desperately trying to convince atl least some of them.

Got it now ? Excellent ! ,..see ? and you do not have to be a caveman to understand it .

One more thing, the economy is not as bad as it is said,…when Reagan became president the situation was heavely even worst, and the answer was basically, TAX CUTS !

This thing of :- “…the economy is this or that …, we are going tobe real bad,,,etc” is a desperate move to inflict FEAR into the minds of the ignorant populache ( the ones that do not get informed) and so they will accept ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT IS TRHOW AT THEM AS AN ANSWER,…they just eat it that way blindly !

Just remember when all this picture of ‘bad economy ‘ started they said the ‘BLACK-HOLE -TYPE-COLLAPSE ‘WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN IN FEW DAYS! And now we are in 2009 and they still chanting this FEAR-MANTRA ! ? Oh!, give me a brake !,…America, wake -up !, WAKE-UP NOW !

Think of this and research.

Daniel Cabrera

Posted by: morcab | February 8, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I don't care what's in the stimulus package, I just want it passed. I'm sick to death of all the insults, posturing, photo ops, sound bites, talk show appearances, etc. by the Congress. So far change hasn't come to them. Just get the job done, that's what you were elected to do.

Posted by: boleson02 | February 8, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The bill MUST be passed immediately. After all the reaching out Obama did, all the concessions he made to the Republican party, for the Republicans to cry that they've been so mistreated and not included in the process is inexcusable. I sure wish the State Aid wasn't being cut ...that seems to me like a place of significant need, and a place that would generate jobs.

Posted by: JulieReneB | February 8, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Republican policies don't ever give rise to bipartisan solutions. When the core philosophy of their party is that government cannot work and should do as little as possible, that philosophy benefits only those who have the resources necessary (the richest 1-2%, big corporations, big oil etc) to sustain themselves regardless of whether the government is massive or whether it's so small you can drown it in a bathtub. From the chant of tax cuts (for the rich) at any cost to the fanatical focus on depriving the neediest of resources under the banner of "entitlement reform," Republican governance is aimed simply at helping those who need help the least.

The Repubs will come to regret their stand on this stimulus bill and many other items that pass through Congress. Pres. Obama will lose patience with the Rethug obstructionists who cannot understand the simplist explanation about why tax cuts for the rich WILL NOT WORK in this situation.

Perhaps one of the more important tasks for Pres. Obama is to constantly hammer his common sense approach to the various bills and plans (backed by economists, health services experts, etc. in the appropriate topic) to the corporate media, and perhaps despite their cynicism and seeming rightward-leaning, Republican loving. they may eventually come to evaluate his proposals objectively -- and stop sounding like Republicans themselves.

The thug neocons who claim that the corporate media is leftward-leaning are using the same tactics that the Nazi's used. The corporate media has been kissing the rightwings backside for years but when one of the members of the media goes off the reservation and actually questions the Rethugs, they get shouted down with chants of "liberal media" from the rightwing dittohead brown shirts.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 8, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The old world, trickle down alleged blue dog conservative Republican has become a dinosaur. Brownback, Bunning, Cornyn, Hatch, McConnel, now even McCain, Roberts, Sessions, Shelby and Vitter all hold up the banner of trickle down, Reagonomics, blue dog (with Reagonomics?) alleged conservatism are old world and whose time has passed. The sensible ladies Collins, Snowe, Hutchison, and some men Lindsay Graham may be a surprise, but Specter, Lugar, Voinovich, Schwartzneggar and others bring much to the table with their input. Increasing infrastructure money in a Republican amendment was a good idea, the extended Bush tax cuts killed it.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 8, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Chines... I mean, to the Democratic Party! Here's another way stimulus funds will flow from the U.S. to China:

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 8, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

There is no serious debate here.

Only the Dems have put forward a stimulus package to address the Nation's current Depression.

Yes, the issue is "whether this plan, which will cost roughly $800 billion, is the right solution at the right time remains a point of major contention." But if it is not the right solution, the burden falls on the Republicans to offer an alternative plan, not just discredited rhetoric about more tax cuts for the rich and the promise of trickle down benefits for the middle class.

O's stimulus/jobs plan may not be perfect but it is a lot better than the "I hope Obama fails" knownothingism offered by Rush's side. It is really sad that on an issue of such global importance, the Republicans have decided to follow the counsel of extremist radio hosts like Limbaugh.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 8, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

We've been doing the Repuglican trickledown tax cuts for the rich dance for years now and it has failed in a spectacular manner, mostly because the Repugs are only interested in giving tax cuts to the rich, i.e. trickledown.

"Tax cuts", it's a great sound bite and it gets the really stupid part of the Repug party standing up and clapping on command because they're too stupid to realize that they're being used as a ruse to make the rich richer.

We have a political party (Republican) that operates with focus group tested talking points and slogans with no regards to accomplishing anything other than coming back into power or staying in power by any means necessary and you have a corporate media that has willingly kissed their butts for the better part of 30 years now.

Read up on Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi's and you'll find a lot of similarities with the modern day Repuglican Party.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 8, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

There is a simple way for those opposing the stimulus package to put our money where their mouth is. The total package is roughly equivalent to $4B per Senator and $1B per Representative. Obviously those voting no consider it wasteful. Therefore, reduce the package by the equivalent amount for each no vote and prohibit expenditure or tax cuts in the state or district with no votes. (Here in Arizona, for example, that would mean a reduction of $8B statewide and $3B in the three districts represented by Republicans.) Restrictions on expenditures and tax cuts can be regulated by zip codes. Such a system assures those voting are considering their constituents best interest, not just their own ideology. Alas, no doubt the no votes would also filibuster such an amendment.

Posted by: jimjinphx | February 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Let the Rethuglicans gloat about how they are obstructing everything now. They are in the minority for a reason. The majority of Americans hate them and reject their policies. So when they gloat, we'll remind them of this inconvenient truth and laugh as they continue to get destroyed at election time.

These are the same partisan Limbaugh Rethuglicans who will raise millions of dollars to dash the election hopes of some RINO who concedes that maybe the Confederate flag issue is not worth fighting about.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The House bill apparently contains an additional, hidden $523 billion increase in *welfare*:

This is beginning to look less like a "stimulus bill" and more like a coup, with the Dems paying back their supporters and trying to create even more people dependent on the Democratic Party.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 8, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The repubs have shown over and over again that they don't care about how their actions are viewed. They don't care about how regular Americans are impacted by their actions. They don't care about the hourly wage earners. They don't care about the working poor (yes repubs, there are people WITH full-time jobs who are still poor).

All they care about is their idealogy. They repeat it over and over again without concern for whether or not it reflects reality, is logical, or makes any sense.

Nothing will change with the repubs and the more people see that, the more support the party will lose.

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | February 8, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or are Republican's being shredded for their obstruction of the stimulas package? From my world-view is seems they are.

That's the way they spelled it back then.

Posted by: DonJasper | February 8, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Don Jasper,

I stopped reading at "despatches."

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 8, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

From: American People
To: Their government, inspired by Abraham Lincoln.
My dear Sir.
Your despatches complaining that you are not properly sustained, while they do not offend me, do pain me very much.
The numbers speak for themselves. The loss of confidence is low and still falling. It is not possible – short of Divine intervention – for any effect today to have an impact sooner than six months from now. I think it is the precise time for you to strike a blow. By delay the fear will relatively gain upon you -- that is, it will inflict greater suffering by the citizens. A citizen with a hungry belly, living on the streets cares less about law, and more about survival. The economists call it ‘civil disorder’; others call it demonstrations or riots. What was unthinkable in 1928 – a coup de ta – was thinkable five years later. What sort of economy can we expect five years from today?
And once more let me tell you, it is indispensable to you that you strike a blow. I am powerless to help this. Business’s are powerless to avoiding bankruptcy and workers are powerless to prevent lay-offs. The country will not fail to note -- is now noting -- that the present hesitation to move upon an entrenched enemy, is but the story of history repeated.
I beg to assure you that I have never written you, or spoken to you, in greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller purpose to sustain you, so far as in my most anxious judgment, I consistently can. But you must act.
Yours very truly,
The American People.

Posted by: DonJasper | February 8, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

What constitutes a debate? Does mindless rambling of partisan old farts have anything to do with debating?

Why does Obama need Republican support, this is stupid -- I'm reluctant to believe much of anything I hear from Capitol Hill's finest!!

Posted by: newbeeboy | February 8, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Just a heads up to Republicans: Do you folks REALLY think that the majority of the American people, you know, the ones that voted for Obama, are going to vote for your guys in 2010 when all you have done is menace and sabotage aid to REAL AMERICAN TAX PAYERS. You folks are cutting off your nose to spite your face. May I just ask one more time, why do you hate:





Money for crumbling schools IS OUR INFRASTRUCTURE!!

It is the infrastructure of America's future. There is so much talent that is being wasted in under funded schools and it is a crying shame that American Republicans who lauded Bush as he took us into a war based on false premises, have the AUDACITY to insist that education funds be thrashed.

It makes sense though, because they do not want a sophisticated citizenry. Then who would they manipulate? They want the B.l.o.w. the D.u.m.m.e.r and L.u.s.h. L.i.m.b.l.a.h blah blah to rule.

It is not going to work for you guys. We fought for Obama and we'll fight for America. Your hypocrisy is the only thing transparent about your political games.


21st Century Republicans: If you back these old guys not only are you hurting your party's future, your hurting the citizens who ARE AMERICA.

Posted by: southprairie | February 8, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris One point i would like to make...

whether you think Roosevelt's New deal and projects helped the short term economy etc...deserved credit whatever...

and as so many argue that "none of this helps stimulate the economy"

Why is no one talking about this...

One of the FDR projects was a huge jump ...ginormous (for the time) financial "donation" to the Arts.

Can you imagine if Obama had included something like that. People would be beside themselves. That is wasn't stimulative and what a waste...and the jokes would fly from around the republican camp through Foxnews.

You should ask a couple of those people what they would define what stimulus they think helped the country the most from FDR's initiative.

By the way... FDR's initiative toward the arts...built the infrastructure, the focus and the means to "the arts" being our second largest national exporting industry and the windfall of money that came with it. Our second largest export which also ...hands down won us more PR and good will around the world to strengthen our hand than anything any President has done since.

oh and that deal that FDR came up with...all those projects ...were partly paid off from the taxes on those films that were created out of those films and the alcohol imbibed often that accompanied the industry.

so ask those people again ...which investment do they think will reap the most for the economy... because sure seems the same arguments were made toward FDR... and good thing on at least one ...he did not listen. even after the first 2 years when the morons said hadn't worked.

Posted by: klondike2 | February 8, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

We have a terrible economic problem that this government inherited from the previous administration and doing nothing would be disastrous. On that we can all agree. The republicans want to cut taxes which seems to be their solution for every problem this country encounters. The problem with that is that this does not create any new jobs, or saves old ones. A tax cut would put between ten and twenty extra dollars a week in every wage earners pocket AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE IT WOULD STAY, IN OUR POCKETS. Considering the current economic situation, nobody is going to spend money unless they have to. Prudent financial behavior dictates that we save as much as we can. That's what happened to last years stimulus program. People put the money in the bank or paid bills with it. So, the government needs to start projects and put money in people's hands to start projects. Repair our roads and bridges, dredge our canals, straighten out our navigable rivers and whatever else seems feasible. Even the "bridge to nowhere" would put people to work. Last but not least all the technical problems that need to be solved in communication, hospitals, etc. That would lower the unemployment rate, put people to work, who in turn would start paying taxes instead of drawing unemployment. Perhaps this does not work too but we have to try. We can not go back to nothing but tax cuts. We did that for eight years and look where it got us!

Posted by: Opa2 | February 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

EYES ONLY, TO: President Obama; VP Biden; R. Emanuel; D. Axelrod; D. Blair; J. Brennan; J. Jones; E. Holder; J. Napolitano; R. Gates; L. Panetta; R. Mueller; H. Reid; N. Pelosi; D. Feinstein; S. Reyes

RE: The nationwide, ongoing Bush-Cheney "Extrajudicial Punishment Vigilante Network"




Posted by: scrivener50 | February 8, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

leeh11281 writes:

"Republicans do NOT want Government to get out of control which is why they got some amendments in the bill."

Well they have failed miserably at that. Just look at the last 8 years to prove that. Since they dont want government to get out of control how come they gave out over 800 billion in November to anyone with their hand out???

Posted by: rharring | February 8, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Johnc_80, here is a link to a portion of the text of the House version of the bill.

Posted by: leeh11281 | February 8, 2009 4:38 AM | Report abuse

doro2 wrote::
In the end, stimulus is stimulus is stimulus; it's why the Republicans who are complaining about "throwing money away on pet Democratic projects" had no problems turning in a proposal of their own last week filled 100% with pet projects (labeled "tax cuts").
Republicans do NOT want Government to get out of control which is why they got some amendments in the bill. One is to give everyone in America a $15K tax cut this year to by a house. The other is to give everyone in America a big tax cut this year to buy a car. Since the end of September last year, the US is officially bankrupt. Meaning the Government owes more than it has cash on hand.

This bill will also cause massive inflation. You see, the money supply in the last couple of years has grown enormously ($691 billion last year alone before the end of year spending spree) and you throw in the money from this bill and thats nearly $2 trillion dollars in 2+ years. The problem is a lot of people are hoarding the money that is coming into the pipeline. Now, when consumer confidence does come back (it ALWAYS does), and they start spending the money again, there will be too much money and not enough goods and services. A recipe for high inflation.

Government should be cutting spending now, not increasing it.

Posted by: leeh11281 | February 8, 2009 4:32 AM | Report abuse

sherri, the bulk of the money-not-being-spent-until thing is a canard, long disproven by the CBO.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 8, 2009 4:25 AM | Report abuse

dwelch2171 wrote::
It is astonishing how ill-informed most people are regarding the disaster our country is in. This is a Recovery and Investment in America. The Obama Administration has the vision to take the country where it needs to go with job creation in all sectors, green, infrastructure, technology, etc.
It is unfathomable how ill-informed dwelch is. Only 3% of the bill is going to job creation. Most of it is going to stimulate the government and NOT the economy. This bill was written in Nancy 'Stretch' Pelosi's office and NOT the Presidents.

Plus, illegals will get first crack at the infrastructure jobs that will get created. Illegals will also be able to register for a TIN number under this bill so they can receive $1,000 or more from the Government. This bill is an example of pork-barrel spending at its best. A majority of the country is starting to realize this.

The conservatives are the ones who put a provision in the bill so that you and I can buy a home and get a $15000 tax cut for doing so. Conservatives also put a provision in to give everyone a tax cut for buying a car. Sounds like they're really bad people doesn't it??

Posted by: leeh11281 | February 8, 2009 4:23 AM | Report abuse

in addition, those tax cuts keep money in the pockets of the people that earned it, so they can spend it, so the demand for goods and services exists. If the people don't have the money, we can't create a demand for goods and services, which grows businesses, which creates jobs. When we keep the government out of the loop, we can do quite well on our own. Like Reagan once said, "The government is the problem, not the solution. The American people are the solution."

Posted by: sherryeaton | February 8, 2009 4:07 AM | Report abuse

doro2, you are right, it would be a demand for goods and services and that would be great. Problem is the the $1 trillion + package is an expansion of government and the bulk of the money wouldn't be spent until 2011 and 2012 and that does nothing to help the economy or create jobs now.

Posted by: sherryeaton | February 8, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

I would like to use my comment to reiterate what a wise person recently said: "Even if the entire sum were to be stolen by federal employees and spent entirely on fast cars, fancy homes, gambling junkets and fancy clothes, it would still be an $800 billion increase in the demand for goods and services -- a pretty good working definition for economic stimulus" (from Steve Pearlstein's article a few days ago).
In the end, stimulus is stimulus is stimulus; it's why the Republicans who are complaining about "throwing money away on pet Democratic projects" had no problems turning in a proposal of their own last week filled 100% with pet projects (labeled "tax cuts"). They're just upset it's not THEIR issues.
If Democrats had an image of being weak when they were out of power, the Republicans remind me of spoiled children who stomp and cry and make an overly loud fuss when they can't get their way: "Fine, I'll just hold my breath!". Obama and the Dem's should take a page from Pearlstein and call the Repub's on their bluff (when's the last time we saw an actual and real filibuster, anyway...I want to see McCain talk for 90 hours straight...)

Posted by: doro2 | February 8, 2009 3:28 AM | Report abuse

As I sit here and read the posts I wonder to myself how some people can be so blind to the truth. The comment that Republicans won't support the bill and it is obstruction I am sure applied to the Democrats when they would filibuster, right? How many of the folks that support the bill have actually read it? Of those that have read it and support it, please explain to me how you feel this will create jobs. The comments that Republicans don't care about people, only war... I take personal offense to because you are flat wrong. We have no problem helping the citizens that are unable to help themselves and do not have the family network for support. What we are vehemently opposed to is the able bodied people that prefer to take the hand outs. We should give people a hand up, not hand outs. The following petition is posted at

We the People of this United States of America hereby demand that the US Congress and the Executive Branch cease and desist in moving forward with the current stimulus package. The bill is full of spending that does not create jobs and we will not have our country crippled by this debt that does nothing to aid the current economic climate.

The people demand that all items be presented with an explanation as to how the money will be spent, allocated, and what jobs will be created as a result. Each proposal must meet criteria to be established and the cost benefit analysis must be within the national standard guidelines of a sound business decision.

In the interim, to stimulate the economy immediately, every person and company that filed Federal income tax returns for 2007 will be refunded 25% of actual tax dollars paid into the government. This refund of actual taxes paid will NOT be considered taxable income for any future returns, state or Federal. People that did not pay taxes will not receive a check.

All foreclosures, repossessions, court assessed fees, evictions, and debt collection will cease for 120 days to allow time for refunds to be issued.

The IRS will hire people currently unemployed from job cuts as temporary employees and will process refunds in 8 hour shifts running 24/7.

This is a bi-partisan effort by the PEOPLE to demand responsibility and accountability from Washington.

Posted by: sherryeaton | February 8, 2009 1:54 AM | Report abuse

It is astonishing how ill-informed most people are regarding the disaster our country is in. This is a Recovery and Investment in America. The Obama Administration has the vision to take the country where it needs to go with job creation in all sectors, green, infrastructure, technology, etc. Not only will it create jobs but will shore up our future. It will help most of the States in the Union who are on the brink of bankruptcy possibly averting tax increases. I have read those on this blog who state lowering taxes have not helped us. The break on taxes started by Reagan, (remember the trickle down theory?)have gone to high income earners and big corporations. The middleclass tax breaks being implemented will circulate the money thus helping to stimulate the economy. What a concept! The hardcore Republicans want this package to fail because if Obama succeeds it will make them irrelevant. They are putting their political careers and their party first, not country. I am ashamed of each and everyone of them. Face the facts. We are no longer a creditor nation, we are a debtor nation. If people can't grasp the enormity of our situation we are in big trouble.

Posted by: dwelch2171 | February 8, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats are using the current economic downturn as an opportunity to fund every one of their pet projects that they couldn't get funded when President Bush was in office. This bill isn't stimulus its a special interest boondogle that'll spend a lot of money of big government programs but won't do anything to help the economy.

Posted by: RobT1 | February 7, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

I just got laid off from my job this week. It's alarming that this is going on all over the country and Congress is dithering about ideology. Maybe we could lay off a few members of Congress. Mitch McConnell might be more willing to compromise if his own health insurance were on the line.

Posted by: MadameDefarge1 | February 7, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Easy. whatever.. just more government spending...

Posted by: robinhood2 | February 7, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Most of the news reporting has discussed whether the stimulus legislation will be passed, without explaining what's in it. I wish I could find what the legislation actually contains. That said, there must be some merit to it, because the Republicans are dead set against it without any coherent explanation of what they would favor instead.

Posted by: johnc_80 | February 7, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd sooner have nothing and hold the Republicans responsible for their selfish, blood-sucking power play! Having Tax breaks by political blackmail is absurd! Giving me $500 bucks while stealing hundreds of thousands from my kids is criminal! Only cowardly Democrats and Senators in general more willing to preserve their country club perks than actually do what is needed is a violation of their oath of office; plain and simply! These Senators are cowards and the Republican ones are traitors as well! We need tax payer action to get their attention...or perhaps a hammer to the head is required?

Posted by: Chaotician | February 7, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I think we do need to move really fast on a stimulus. The unemployment numbers are now way outside the lines of anything since the Great Depression. I think a lot of people do not recognize how far we are into uncharted territory here and how much of the current stabilization in the markets has been due to expectation of a big stimulus bill.

It would be nice to break this into some smaller packages that could be analyzed more closely, but then the Republicans will only let the tax cut bills through even though spending is likely to be a better stimulus in this kind of downturn. (Tax cuts just get added to savings.)

I think nobody has a clue whether this will be too little or (less likely) too much. That is part of what is making the whole debate so cloudy. The other problem, as Sen. Susan Collins said, is that one man's pork is another man's targeted fiscal stimulus.

I don't think anyone is thrilled about spending an extra $800b, but we are looking at $1T deficits a year anyway until we get this thing turned around. BTW, it's China's problem if they wind up holding our debt and they don't get a good return on it. They shouldn't have tried to manipulate the currency so aggressively.

Given the way this (and the cable bill) has gone down, I do genuinely wonder (not trying to score a point here) what the Republican legislative agenda over the next 2-4 years is. Voting in rigid lockstep against everything, with 3-4 moderates in the Senate defecting in exchange for some concessions, isn't exactly a long-term plan.

Posted by: Nissl | February 7, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad something passed but this bill is not a great one- realizing that this is it- we are not going to get another 800 billion dollar spending package during this term- we did nothing ambitious with the money- there is no great new public transportation infrastructure, just a few little projects; there is not universal health care- just some help for the states and a plan to computerize records that had already passed the senate (it was a Hillary bill), there are a few incentives for innovation in renewalables but nothing amazing. One half this bill is tax relief, which has been shown to do nothing for the economy. The Dems could have rammed through anything they wanted- and this bill is what we got- which is just to point out that Barak never was the candidate of an ambitious progressive agenda- he is a raging moderate. Maybe he is saving up political points but wasting the opportunity with this bill is a shame.


Posted by: nycLeon | February 7, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

humbled by sagacious Sobi1's perspicacity, I'm off to bed.

In my 54 year old case, it's always an interesting question whether the relevant MacArthur quote is, "I shall return" or "An old soldier fades away".

Time will tell!

Posted by: officermancuso | February 7, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

In 2010 voters will teach the Republican members of the House and Senate running for re-election the true meaning of the word "unemployed"

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

In the late 1990s there was the internet bubble, in which venture capitalists threw money at technology innovations for which there were otherwise no consumers willing to pay their own money for the product or service. In the 2000s there was the housing bubble, in which lenders threw money at homebuyers who without teaser rates and actual income could otherwise not afford to buy what five years earlier cost half as much. In both environments "value" and "common sense" were tossed aside in the mad, greedy scramble to get rich quick. Now, some politicians want to ease the pain with an $800 billion spending package. In other words, they want to "restore" as much as possible the dream world we lived in before the crash. A world where "value" and "common sense" are again to be ignored. Adding insult to injury, they are borrowing from us to do it. Sorry, but that is not the kind of change I can believe in.

Posted by: bbahler | February 7, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

A trillion dollars surely deserves more than a month's consideration. It shouldn't even be all wrapped together.

You've had enough beer.

Posted by: sobi1 | February 7, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if I run out of beer, I'm just going to type, "Obtuse, Obtuse" etc. until I get more.

Posted by: officermancuso | February 7, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

How would you know whether or not a given plan will work, solving a once-in-a-lifetime problem? Where do you look for case studies?

You study, you take your best shot, and you try to make the obtuse understand that the cost of doing nothing may be extremely high.

Posted by: officermancuso | February 7, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

We cannot deal with state employees later. One of the problems that lead up to this fiasco is ignoring subsets of the population or taxing subsets of the population while serving other subsets of the population.

As long as political arguments can divide the population into subsets, it is always safe to serve one while doing a disservice to another, such as making state employees loose job income to make up for state budget failures.

The people need to look at the larger picture than what they are currently seeing. If you allow grouping into groups who will benefit, and groups who will be shafted, you might find that the over-all trend is to benefit one small group while shafting 5 others. The odds are you'll be in the shafted group more often than you are in the benefited group.

Government is larger and has more money than it ever did. Industry personnel at the top make hundreds of times more than personnel at the bottom.

We need to stop and think before we throw another trillion dollars into the control of those who already control most of the money.

The population must start thinking as an organism, a single entity. That may a reach, but it would certainly benefit us to remember that we are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law.

It isn't alright to allow subsets to take the bad of the deal. It works against all of us.

The threat of imminent financial collapse *is* a fear campaign. Political strategy: Never let crisis go by without taking advantage of it. You can get away with things during a crisis that would never be tolerated in better times.

I voted for Obama to preserve the concept in our Supreme Court that the citizen should not come second to the government. I knew he was going to pass a monstrous bill but the far right shift in the court took priority.

People are gullible, and inclined to overestimate threats to personal well being. They then become willing to give up liberty, prior administration, or money, current administration, all in the hope and prayer that the bad things won't happen to them.

A trillion dollars is too high a price for hope and a prayer. Spending that kind of money calls for doing so responsibly. That means knowing what it is going to produce, not gambling on it.

Posted by: sobi1 | February 7, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse


No matter what anyone thinks about this bill, the end result is going to be a disaster. The LAST thing the economy needs now is more money in the pipeline. Last year, the money supply grew by $691 billion dollars (that's before the end of year spending spree). Take that money plus the 1trillion this bill is going to end up costing and you have a recipe for massive inflation. This is because once consumer confidence comes back (it always does) and people start spending money, there will be too much money in the pipeline and not enough goods and services. The result higher inflation. DO you think the economy as it stands now will be able to take that? No.

Posted by: leeh11281 | February 7, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of a stimulus is to jolt the economy with money. The Republicans spent 8 years worth on the military and tax cuts. Unfortunately, the oil from Iraq has not produced revenue to cover itself. Most spending will stimulate the economy as long as it isn't hidden under a matress or a banker's vault. The Democrats might as well get the programs they want, the Republicans got more than their share and never saw a spending bill they didn't like if it poured money to the weathy. Banker's and Wall Street look down on the rest of the country and hold their nose. How dare some loser that didn't go to to college make $75.00 an hour after working for a company for 25 years. Close those factories and ship them overseas. Let them live on the street. Most Republicans would just as soon see the poor starved to death or enslaved. I've heard them say this after a few too many drinks. They know they can hold out for four more years until the economy readjusts itself. There is money to be made in a crash as well as an upswing. Banks will benefit by selling off their derivatives to the government and holding their foreclosures until housing turns in four years. The only way to stop the housing crisis sooner is to lower the interest rate for all homeowners and discount the notes on the least credit worthy of home owners. Mortgage companies would rather write off the loans than do that; their best offer is to lower payments, add the interest to the back of the note and take a share of any appreciation (80%). Credit card companies need to be limited to a fair return; prime plus 5% is more than enough, forget the 25% they now charge most consumers who fall behind on their bills or even those whose credit score has fallen through no fault of their own, just credit report companies becoming "cautious." I hold Joe Biden responsible for a lot of this. Companies who send their work overseas need to pay 50% of their outsource savings into a general fund to offset the unemployment they have created. I they are paying a guy in Indonesia $0.60 an hour for a job that would cost them $6.00 an hour here chunk in $2.20. Put your comany headquarters in a foreign country and lose your American citizenship sounds fair to me. Family planning, cut from the stimulus bill, would have saved a lot of money in unwanted children without abortions. Why pay for pills when you can condem someone for having sex who can't afford it - pills aren't covered by most insurance. I really have no faith in our country, instead of our upper class being humbled by their luck and position they want to follow in the foot steps of "American Psycho."

Posted by: txajohnson | February 7, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Liberals starting to regret voting for Obama (wait it hasn't been 3 weeks yet?) ...

Posted by: leeh11281 | February 7, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: get_it_right | February 7, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

A. We are here now and the sky is not falling.
B. Same goes for 2001
C. Same goes for 1991
D. Same goes for 1981
E. Same goes for 1978
F. Same goes for 1963
H. Same goes for 1954
We got thru it then - hey, Mr. and Ms. Congress
Stop the whining, we did it before, Maybe you should just study the history before you put the noose on my grandkids. Please
do not give us a stimulus into an the wrong part on my anatomy.

Posted by: kellydkelly | February 7, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Lifelong liberal Democrat here. President Obama is not served by those of us who want desperately for him to succeed to fail to point out to him that this stimulus plan is a joke. He needs to invest the time and effort into going over line by line a carefully thought out plan that will generate jobs. GOP is just waiting to remind him two yrs from now that he promised this thing would generate 4 million jobs, which it is very UNLIKELY to do.

Posted by: gleedom | February 7, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama in his own words: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he says. Citation - Washington Post, 03 Jan 2007.

So my questions are 1) How much cocaine did Obama snort? 2) How much money did he pay for the cocaine? 3) Did he snort all the cocaine himself, or did he sell the rest? 4) Who did he buy the cocaine from?

Posted by: get_it_right | February 7, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Filibuster, Senate Republicans, Filibuster!!. Oppose Obama on every bill and at every turn. Dissent is patriotic. Treat Obama with the same respect that left-wingers showed to George Bush.

Posted by: get_it_right | February 7, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to the left-wing media's interest in the Alaska "Troopergate" investigation? There were a lot of reporters concerned about the poor trooper who suffered through an "Abuse of power" at the hands of Sarah Palin. Its funny that the Washington Post never followed up on that. It was such a huge campaign issue.

Posted by: get_it_right | February 7, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Now is the time for any person of good concience who is having an affair with a married Republican to step forward with that information for the good of the country.

Republicans need to be "outted" as hypocrites.

Democrats should point out Republican hypocrisy every time Republicans try to call stimulus spending "pork"

Republcians don't care how many of their fellow Americans live or die.

The only stimulation Republicans care about is the kind they go looking for in Public Restrooms.

Stimulus = spending

Tax cuts do NOTHING to help the situation America is in.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

So, the repubs, who had 8 years to screw up the economy, get to take another whack at it.. while millions of people are losing their jobs and the economy is slowly grinding to a halt. Tax cuts on zero income, is still zero. Tax cuts in this economy, don't put people to work, spending does...wake up, Repubs, businesses aren't cuts aren't going to get them to spend... consumers aren't spending... someone needs to spend... so government in this case needs to spend. They spent in the 1930's and they need to spend again

Posted by: jenheinz | February 7, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no reason this needs to go through in such a hurry. We need two or three weeks to look at this thing and figure out exactly what the impact will be. For example, today we learned that some of the spending in this bill won't go into effect until 2013!! Some of this stuff needs to be stripped out and put through the regular appropriations process. Obama's ridiculous fearmongering diminishes his credibility.

Posted by: get_it_right | February 7, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Now is the time for any person of good concience who is having an with a married Republican to step forward with that information for the good of the country.

Republicans need to be "outted" as hypocrites.

Democrats should point out Republican hypocrisy every time Republicans try to call stimulus spending "pork"

Republcians don't care how many of their fellow Americans live or die.

The only stimulation Republicans care about is the kind they go looking for in Public Restrooms.

Stimulus = spending

Tax cuts do NOTHING to help the situation America is in.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: get_it_right | February 7, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I have been horrified, genuinely horrified, by the media coverage of this bill over the course of the past month. The message we have heard as primarily been from Republican pundits, extolling the bill as a "Christmas tree of give-aways for the tax and spend liberals' wish list". All we have heard is that "tax breaks is the answer".

How about some journalistic integrity here? How about the news media actually raising the issue that it seems that the only bipartisanship that Republicans seem to be interested in is Bush-ian bi-partisanism, in which the Democrats give and give until they meet the uncompromised demands of the GOP?

A ZERO vote in the House? THREE votes in the Senate? That's not philosophical objection, that's obstructionism, and with the good will and fortitude that the President has shown in working with them, it's a damned farce that they offer when they say they're actually coming to the table.

They're the bullies of the playground, in the majority or the minority, and their sole interest, "tax breaks for the wealthy", has been proven DEAD WRONG. It is a one way ticket to go faster down the trumpeted slide of decay and decline that they've had us on for the past eight years, and it's about damned time they got called on it in the media.

Posted by: BlusterMonkey | February 7, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The income tax cuts in the bill, as reported in the media, are highly inequitable. The upper middle class will receive thousands in reduced taxes with AMT relief, working folks will receive a puny $ 500-1,000, retired persons, housewives/househusbands and those not working will receive nothing. The $15,000 tax credit for all homebuyers may help speculators the most.

Giving up tens of billions in education spending for AMT relief, benefitting persons with high incomes, is immoral and will do little to stimulate the economy. As with the Bush-Paulson bailout bill, Congress is proceeding too hurriedly with the stimulus bill. Congress should go forth in a more careful deliberate manner. Taking a couple or few more weeks to draft a better bill would be better than another flawed, huge expernsive bill, such as the Bush-Paulson bailout of the financial system. President Obama should insist upon a more focused stimulus bill.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 7, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps it would help if we called this bill by the name Roosevelt used--a "relief" bill, meant to provide relief to millions of people who need a break. The WPA was created as an agency providing relief. It provided work for eight million men, women, blacl and white. And it built roads, bridges, schools, libraries, and Cap David, among other things. Did it help get us out of the depression? Maybe. More important, it provided relief from the dark days to workers and their families.

Posted by: saulfriedman1 | February 7, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I have questions, But I do not have the answers. Will this current bill do some recognizable good? If more spending is required, how much? Now showing themselves (Republicans) obstructive at any cost, for Mr. Obama will be blamed for failure, when does it become evident that the majority party simply needs to strong-arm its legislation through? Is that even possible? Is this an indication that gridlock and partisanship can neuter new approaches and very little good can come from Washington? Why won't the Democrats gently, firmly dump Sen. Reid. in favor of a Rahm Emmanuel-type thug? Will any amount of continuing suffering move the Republicans? I can go on and on, which is good. I am as confused, desperate, and angry as my neighbor, with no answers, actions or hope forthcoming. Mr. Obama means well and is trying, but Washington doesn't and isn't.

Posted by: gaystaggo | February 7, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Just heard Obama's YouTube video, and it reinforced a gut feeling that has given me heartburn since the election: reporters should, er, stop yammering about "wins," "stumbles," "losses" and return to their core mission: delivering information. Such as: what amounts are currently allocated to what areas? I'm not interested in listening to talking heads any more. I want to read what my tax dollars will be spent on. I'm happy to spend them. Change is very difficult - no wonder Daschle had to withdraw. But this administration is built on carrying out the wishes of citizens. Here's a thought: I know budgets are tight, but why not try to hit the streets, maybe virtually?, and leave the Beltway! I am a keen participant in all things political, but I just realized that I have been wasting time listening to men and women who really have nothing to say that I don't already notice all around me.

Posted by: davidarosy1 | February 7, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse


Those of us who have access to the deepest secrets of government KNOW that the Senate has been infiltrated... by SPACE ALIENS! Led by Mitch McConnell, the Aliens claim to come in peace, and have even offered up one of their own... LEONARD NIMOY... as a presidential candidate! You might THINK that the next election will not take place until 2012, but the insurrection has already begun to plan the "accidental" disappearance of the entire White House. At this time, Nimoy and McConnell will step forward, along with Jabba the Newt. They will reveal themselves and claim to come in peace, all the while HUNGERING FOR HUMAN FLESH!'s-a-cookbook/


Posted by: scrivener60 | February 7, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Stimulus = Spending

It is supposed to be spending. Pick up any macroeconomics 101 textbook. Find out what stimulus means.

This is like saying the patient at the ER should not be shocked back to life because electricity is dangerous. It's ignorance run amuck.

I know it's fun for some people to play these games and Rush Limbaugh has made it seem clever and witty to do so, but the American economy and future generations is our responsibility, and playing games by calling all spending "pork" (an undefined, meaningless term) is neither clever nor witty. Making trouble for the delight of causing trouble isn't fun when a disaster is already unfolding for all Americans.

I hope that these Republican Senators get an earful from real constituents when they go home over the presidents day holiday.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | February 7, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The term "pork" has absolutely no meaning. It is thrown around like it does. Most people commenting on this site have no knowledge of civics or economics. Sending money to the states so they can continue essential functions is not pork. It gets money into the economy quickly which is stimulative and also ensures services that are sorely needed can be provided. Making federal buildings more energy efficient is not pork. Reducing the cost of heating and cooling buildings, providing employment and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil is not pork. I hope the majority of people will not get sucked into this neocon name calling game when the aforementioned neocons don't understand what the names they are calling even mean.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | February 7, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The only morally defensible thing is to help the people who need it the most first.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm a strong supporter of the President and believe that its absolutely critical that as large a stimulus be passed as quickly as possible becsuse America's economy is in what business people call a "death spiral" and they are extremely hard to break out of.

Republicans are putting party over country, yet again, just as they always do.

The entire Republcan Party could be replaced by a single parrot trained to say the phrase "tax cuts"

President Obama should simply ignore them.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

This is a horrible waste of money being rushed to judgment at breathtaking speed. It is a payback to Democratic special interests and does very little for the agony facing many today - loss of a job and foreclosure. The fear mongering by Obama to get this passed is reminiscent of Bush and Paulson with TARP. Did you get the proper oversight for your tax dollars there? Didn't think so.

The one key provision TARP got right is the two part nature of the plan. Maybe (but I doubt it), Govt can get part two right. There will be no such luxury when this "stimulus" is frittered away, just another return to the trough for a second helping. And what if the Chinese won't lend us the money for Round 2?

Anyone who believes state and local govt will do the right thing, please remember two words - tobacco settlement. The States showed no compulsion at all using this on anything and everything except tobacco education.

And quite blaming the Republicans. McConnell already stated there will be no filibuster. The Senate could pass it at anytime. The Democratic leadership is just as bankrupt as the Republicans in both chambers and Obama does not have the courage to call them on it. Forgive us, Hillary, for we know not what we have done.

Posted by: PghGuy | February 7, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the Repuglican (il)logic goes something like this... "It's OK to spend a trillion dollars in the "war" on terror because if we didn't, there would be no America and therefore no American economy to stimulate".

The Repuglican world view is that no amount of money is too much to spend on the military and any amount at all is too much to spend on government, children, poor people etc etc that happen to live in America.

The Repuglican clowns still have no idea whatsoever about why they can't win elections anymore.

I love the smell of Wingnuts freaking out in the morning, it smells like VICTORY...for the Dems, again.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 7, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the compromise will have to do. If we do nothing then the eocnomy will really tank. We can come back with a bill to keep the state and local employees on the job later.

Posted by: bradcpa | February 7, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

So, we dress a pig up in a silk dress and it becomes a Stimulus Package instead of pork? From this middle class citizen's perspective, the government and big business are completely off target in their feeble attempts to jump start the economy and save the middle class.

No one wants to address the huge white elephant dancing on the coffee table, and that is Illegal Aliens and the cheap wage base they create in being here, in stealing our jobs. Take the amount that illegal aliens send back to their home countries in remittances, combine it with the yearly amount they depress wages (over 200 Billion) add it to what it costs us on a state, local and federal level to provide them (and their four million anchor babies) social services and you have enough money to offset this stimulus package, and you put some 3 million legal citizens and legal immigrants back to work at a higher rate of pay, and with more benefits in what would become a workers market instead of an employers market.

The stimulus package much like the Wall Street bailout is nothing more than water down a rat hole. You want solutions that work, then address the problem instead of its symptoms. Illegal Alien infestation of our work force and our communities is the stink weed ruining the garden in which the American Dream is supposed to reside.

Posted by: RoycePenstinger | February 7, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I read within the comments a reference to supporting the states as an important part of recovery. I've read that elsewhere. California and New York cry out weekly.

California decided that the way to save money was to take away income from state workers--to lessen the value of their jobs by reducing work hours.

Take a look at your state's budget and ask yourself if it is allocated correctly before you volunteer my tax dollars to keep them operating as they currently operate.

As far as I see it, not one more dollar, *not one* should go to a state that thinks it is more important to jail people for getting high than to maintain services, infrastructure, and job stability.

If they have the money to worry about people misbehaving (according to the state's moral perceptions--an oxymoron if I've read one); anyway, people misbehaving in their own homes, then they have too much money, not too little.

If you want liberty, stop granting them unlimited dollars because they campaign on fear platforms. Frankly, wise up.

Posted by: sobi1 | February 7, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The stimulious has to pass, hopefully, without too much more damage from the republicans. For them to demand states, which are all almost bankrupt, receive less funds and insist on their worthless tax cuts, proves to us once again how the republicans have no regard for middle class America or our country. To them it is party first, ego trips and big business, etc.
It is so disappointing that they could not find their way to do what is best for our nation, but that is the republicans.
But, that is and always will be this hypocritical party.

Posted by: kathlenec | February 7, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, no cool heads prevailing in DC nowadays. And clearly most pundits on this posting need to go back to class and take ECON 101 and HIST 101. The proposed "stimulus" is in name only; very little in form of economic stimulation. This is reality. As the anointed "O" has intimated, "the same old policies" no longer work; however, quite the same applies to his side of the aisle as his proposed policy will be just as ineffective as in the 1930's. This is plain and simple guys. Apathetic American voters continue to slurp up whatever the press tells them is the truth. I recall lobbyists saying –“The American people believe whatever I tell them to believe.” C'mon people, think on your own. Less money in Washington is always "a good thing". When has Congress ever produced wealth or job creation?

Posted by: CTZoomie | February 7, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

We all tried to warn our President Obama that the Republicans don't care for him or being bipartisan. OBAMA will learn the hard way about how messed up the Republicans are.
1. He needs to fire all the Republicans in his cabinet.
2. Fire Robert Gates.
3. Withdraw Judd Greggs nomination
wake up and smell the coffee about how screwed up the Republicans are. One thing i like about the Clintons, is that they did not deal with any Republicans. When President Clinton took office he fired all of them. OBAMA will learn......

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 7, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse


Jon Stewart on The Daily Show had it right: It should be a "trickle up" stimulus...

...give the money to struggling homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure -- and those who LOST their homes due to exploitative loan agreements and covert government "programs of personal destruction" that have financially decimated many unjustly "targeted" American families.

Because THAT'S the apparent genesis of this thoroughly avoidable, "generated" global economic crisis.








The Bush-Cheney "multi-agency action" extrajudicial vigilante network and its related unconstitutional array of "programs of personal destruction" remain in place.

President Obama may not even be aware of some of the deeply entrenched "ops" that threaten his presidency...

... The "multi-agency action" nationwide army of "community stalking" citizen vigilantes hiding behind federally-funded volunteer organizations;

... the deployment of radiation weaponry to localities and operatives nationwide;

... and the multi-agency unconstitutional programs -- ranging from pervasive spying to a parallel system of transaction processing that amounts to fascistic theft by deception.

This "extrajudicial punishment network" must be dismantled. Immediately. Before more damage is done.

Before another "generated crisis" claims the renewed American spirit and again plunges the nation into despair and submission to "the dark side."

The agencies of government that are covertly commandeering this devolution of American democracy -- via their draconian "multi-agency action" programs -- must be reined in and reformed, top to bottom, never again to subvert the rule of law.


Posted by: scrivener50 | February 7, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Having been a member of the middle class for most of my life, I appreciate the efforts being made by the Obama administration and most of the Democratic members of Congress to provide relief for the middle class. The Economic Recover legislation is much needed -- and needed immediately. But, now that I am a poor senior, I would hope that there would be some relief for us too. We may not have the expenses of a family (although many seniors are supporting their children and grandchildren in these terrible economic times), but we still face high food, energy, and other prices. And many of us have lost our retirement funds in the banking and stock market meltdown. Since many of us are retired, we do not receive the benefit of tax reductions, so I would appreciate the efforts of members of Congress to remember us in their deliberations.

Posted by: marmac5 | February 7, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

i think i speak for millions of americans when i say, just pass the damn bill.

Posted by: cprach | February 7, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

For some "lessons", see:

I take away the following:

1] Japan created no recovery until it cleaned its banking system [TARP is more fundamental than "Stimulus"]

2] While we deal with our deferred maintenance issues on bridges and tunnels and the like, funding should go to investing in "human capital" - education and health; and long term restructuring to renewable energy. Japan skimped there, and that hurt their recovery.

3] Pure "make-work" is wasteful. An actual bridge-to-nowhere is depicted in the NYT linked article.
Lehrer featured an interview with a Swedish economist on the "bad bank" idea. It worked for Sweden in the 90s. Over time, the "bad bank" sold off its toxic assets for more than it paid for them. On the other side of the equation, Sweden temporarily nationalized the good banks, but now they are all re-privatized. This is an example of an alternative to RTC - thrift reorganization that worked.

Conceptually, I think the TARP side of the approach to recovery still needs to address the mortgage-foreclosure issue. Again, Prof. Guttentag's approach, which I have heard echoed by Volcker, seems to touch all the bases.
Let us see what Geithner does with TARP-2. He is well aware of the Japanese experience and the Swedish one and our own RTC reorganization of the thrifts, and he rubs elbows with Volcker, so I am hopeful.
To summarize, without a successful TARP, "Stimulus" will fail [IMHO].

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 7, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

This is a tragedy unfolding. The crash happened last fall, months ago, but no stimulus was proposed or passed.

Then it just got worse and worse after the election, but the Bush administration and the (old) Congress seemed to have this "school's out" attitude that they didn't need to do much except fight about the car companies--no big stimulus when the economy first needed it.

Then the idea was that the incoming Congress and administration would work hard during this interim period so there could be a stimulus ready to sign the day Obama was sworn in, still a huge delay from the fall, but all that could be managed because the Bush administration couldn't or wouldn't do anything before January 20.

Then, all of a sudden, a delay of an entire month to Presidents Day. Then, a good plan nibbled to death by Republicans who really cannot be as stupid and illiterate of basic economics as they are pretending to be. Their goal is best expressed by Senator Cornyn, that at least they gave the Democrats a bit of a black eye. Not, at least they did what they could to come together behind the president in the face of an economic September 11th.

Now it seems we are on the verge of an okay deal, but still the clock and calendar keep running, because having the fun of delaying Obama is all the Republican Senators have left, and goodness knows, the fate of the country doesn't seem to be a big concern for them.

How much human misery, how much expert advice from economists, does it take to get the message: Time. Is. Of. the. Essence. The delay since last fall is horrific. Don't make it a day longer.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | February 7, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The Dems should just label all of the provisions in the Ameican job stimulus bill - "Plan for World Domination by brute Military Force".

The Repugs love to waste money on pretend tough guy war games and they're not very good at reading the fine print.

I find it both amusing and sad the way GOP continues to be able to con some of the blue collar Americans (mostly in the south) who always parrot their calls for more tax cuts. Apparently they don't have an internet connection or they only listen to Druggy Rush and Faux News because if they ever read the fine print they'd notice that when the GOP talks tax cuts they're talking about tax cuts for the wealthiest 1-2% of Americans, Big Corporations and Big Oil.

They've become used to blaming others. The Repuglican leadership (Rush, Faux News etc) is very, very skilled at identifying scapegoats so that almost all of their blue collar supporters have someone else to blame for their sorry state of affairs i.e.: "liberals, tax-and-spend Democrats, hippies, communists, immigrants, gays". It's an easy way to avoid facing reality. - "Gay people drove my property values up! And Mexicans took my $50.00 per hour lettuce-picking job from me! And the Demoncrats take all my tax money and use some of it for THINGS I DON'T NEED! And the hippies made us lose Vietnam! And the Communists...well...not sure what they did...and the liberals killed my cousin's baby after I got her pregnant! And the immigrants! How dare they have the chance to earn the same quality of life and hope for their childrens' future that I have for me and my family"!

Most of the average GOPer's still haven't figured out that wealth doesn't ever trickledown to them.

It's like a shell game to the Repuglican leadership, using diversionary tactics to steer the people away from seeing the real problems. Unfortunately for them, they're starting to lose that game nowdays.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 7, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

According to Moody's Economy.Com, "Fiscal Bang For The Buck": spending increases specifically General Aid to state, temporary increase in Food Stamps, Temporary extension of Unemployment Compensation, and increased infrastructure spending offer substantially more bang for the buck than Federal Tax reductions.
Tell me why we reduced some of these to placate obstructionists with increased tax cuts. You compromise to get something in return. If the only republicans that vote are the leaning dem state of Maine and swing state Specter..then fix it in Conference to look more like the House Bill minus the silly stuff and pork...and move on.

Posted by: wernier | February 7, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have been shown the door after losing the House, Senate, and now the White House. Obviously the people of this nation are tired of the republican way, yet they can still slow down an urgent bill with their bickering. I'm not suggesting that this bill is perfect, and I think the lower dollar amount that was agreed to is fine, but to have only 2 Republican Senators vote for it just shows how misguided they are. If the Republicans are not careful, and more thoughtful of the working masses, their future will be as bleak as our current economic situation.

Posted by: unki1959 | February 7, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

20,000 lost jobs a day is not acceptable.

There may be more social engineering in the bill than purity would permit, but we did vote for change and now's the time to begin.

Trample the obstructionists, now.

Posted by: joe2chase | February 7, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The Congress has been shamefully reduced to piece of the pie lobbyists for the small percentage of voting public in their districts or state. All of us squeal our fair share for what we want. Our Reps and Senators try to get it to keep us quiet to ensure they retain their power and stature.
Obama tried to structure what was needed to shake us out of this downslide. His mistake was thinking you could throw a hunk of meat in with all these piggies and expect them to behave for the greater good.

Posted by: wernier | February 7, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

McCain and the rest of the GOP: PARTY FIRST!!!!!

Destroy the economy and destroy Obama, therefore, they must destroy the economy.


Posted by: PJF311 | February 7, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The republicans goals is simple. Make Obama and the democrats fail on the economy, then use that to beat them in 2010. They don't know how to govern and have run out of ideas, so the only thing left to do is to ensure the democrats fail and then blame them for it.

When the republicans were in power, they spent taxpayers money as it there was no tomorrow. Suddenly, however, they have found religion and is so circumspect and vigilant with our money - now that the democrats are driving the legislative agenda

That being said, however, I must give the republicans credits - they can truly teach the democrats a thing or two on how to be a good opposition or should I say obstructionist. Its amazing how they were able to get almost everything they wanted through the congress when they were in power with fifty five or less in the senate.

Even thought it is clear that the republicans are not interested in any bipartisanship, Obama should still, at least publicly, try to promote since it is a part of his brand. Behind the scene however he should try and rake the republicans over hot coal whenever he can.

Posted by: amthomas40 | February 7, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans find a way to screw this up, they might as well fold up the 'big tent' and declare their party dead... it's on life support as it is now thanks to the likes of Bush, Cheney, Lott, Delay, Palin, Stevens, and so on.

Republicans that are trying to block Obama's "Big Deal" plan should remember what happened to the "Hoover Republicans" just before the Great Depression: these Republicans were of the opinion that nothing needed to be urgently done, the market would fix itself, etc. How'd that line of thinking work out for their political life?

Get the deal done, Republicans! We know you cater to the super rich who give you the donations that are the life blood of your election campaigns, but it's time to do what is right for America, all of America!!

The people spoke loud and clear on November 4th. Might be a good idea to listen to our voices.

Posted by: jgarrisn | February 7, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The Senate needs to pass the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act now, so that it can get through Conference and onto the President's desk for his signature ASAP. People are losing their jobs, their health insurance and their homes. The time for game playing is over.

If the Republicans cared anything about real people they'd stop their posturing and get with the program. The time for all their nonsense has passed.

And what did McCain think he was doing yesterday? Did he forget he that the campaign is over and that he lost? Why would anyone listen to him on yammer on about the economy? He readily admitted that it wasn't his thing last spring. This was the same guy who said - as Wall Street went into a tailspin at the end of the summer - said that "the economy was fundamentally sound". What of value could this man possibly contribute to a constructive national debate on the stimulus plan? He has no credibility on the subject, none.

This is a man who's been on the government payroll virtually all of his adult life, a man whose education was paid for by we the taxpayers, and he has the nerve to object to the spending provisions of the act? Spending for education, infrastructure, healthcare and the environment? What an outrageous hypocrite!

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | February 7, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

We all tried to warn our President Obama that the Republicans don't care for him or being bipartisan. OBAMA will learn the hard way about how messed up the Republicans are.
1. He needs to fire all the Republicans in his cabinet.
2. Fire Robert Gates.
3. Withdraw Judd Greggs nomination
wake up and smell the coffee about how screwed up the Republicans are. One thing i like about the Clintons, is that they did not deal with any Republicans. When President Clinton took office he fired all of them. OBAMA will learn......

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | February 7, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I only have one degree in economics but compared to congress, I feel like Cyclops in a room full of blind people.

Posted by: claudedunger | February 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

At a 63+% approval rating and a Congress with hardly any approval rating, I vote again for Obama. Obama knows that this bill can accomplish two major parts of his campaign promises: tax cuts for the middle class and jobs, jobs, jobs.

The Republicans who are upset with the spending parts of the stimulus package are just plain nuts. Real stimulus comes from spending. Tax cuts to those who already are spending what they are probably going to spend anyway is crazy. The people who will spend the money are those getting the unemployment checks and the working poor. I say put the unemployed to work so that they feel like they have earned their unemployment checks. Let's raise the minimuwm age. We now know once and for all that a decent minimum wage is not the culprit.

Posted by: EarlC | February 7, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Git 'er done!

Posted by: duanelaw1 | February 7, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Its a shame that so much time has been wasted in trying to compromise with Republicans. I agree with poster above: the Repubs are not interested in bipartisanship, compromise, or in getting things done. It is a waste of time negotiating with people who then say, "well thanks, but I'm voting against it anyway." (Like Lisa Murkowski) That said, I have been following this closely, and the country really needs this bailout. But I thought that it was supposed to be creating jobs through infrastructure and construction, which is what is really needed, not tax cuts. Not tax credits for people who buy cars or houses. Houses and cars would be selling right now if people could get loans.
And finally, the safety net issues- it was the banks and wall street that got us into this, so the least we can collectively do is provide interim measures for those who have been hurt the most.
So, #1: Infrastructure #2 safety net, like unemployment insurance, and health care.
I mean, how can you debate with people like Bush who say that the trouble with SCHIP is that it provided health care for kids?

Posted by: janiak | February 7, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans' pathological resistance to anything Obama (including Cheney's refusal to keep his mouth shut for more than two weeks and Card's lies about the White House dress code) are further indications that they refuse to accept the reality that they lost the election. The public desperately wants some sort of change and action after the total incompetency and arrogance of the last eight years. Even with all its problems, this legislation is preferable to anything the Republicans have offered to help middle-class Americans, which is basically nothing.

Posted by: rutha1 | February 7, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

There is far too much ignorance out there to have a substantive discussion even among political pundits or reporters. In this case the macro economics and history is quite clear if you are educated and knowledgeable about it. As Krugman so eloquently has titled his book "A Return of Depression Economics".

So the 'Neo-Hooverite' Republicans have held together to make one last dash and distribute cash to the U.S. instead of properly funding investment. I thought Thune and McCain showed how truly ignorant and insolent they were on the floor last night. Yes, Senator Lindsay Graham you are on the outs----you fail to understand your worldview is dead and caused this. Sure as my Grandfather and Father noted the old elite will vilify the Neo-New Deal Democrats for reorganizing society again.

Essentially what is evident is that the GOP just doesn't get that we are in a Depression---unfettered Deflation. My father complained the other day without any empathy from me that his primary real estate investment, a second vacation lakeside home has devalued already from $1.2M to $750K. That is deflation and unfortunately he might see another $250 in paper losses.

His is a small tragedy for he won't lose the property just be unable to take a loan out on its equity. But 3.6M have lost their jobs in the last year, I am one of them. I suspect that we might see 5M or more in 2009 joining us and that might be conservative. This is no recession.

Here is my take as I organize another OFA house meeting. Get this bill passed as best it is. Work on the worker organization rights and healthcare reform.

Then exact a political measure on the GOP without mercy. I will help put together grass roots activists attempting to remove the last two GOP Congressman from out state even though they are in deep Red Districts. Mobilize volunteers to remove GOP Senators from states of opportunity; NH, OH, IA, KY, TN, LA, FL, MO, AZ even KS. Remove them from having the Minority Rule function and corner their world vision in to realm of obsolete land.

Democracy is a two-way sword and so are elections. Act irresponsibly and selfishly at a time of national crisis and you should be removed. Having power is not an entitlement it is a privelege and permission in this society.

Posted by: RWNem | February 7, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Great....can't get Countrywide to lower my 10% rate reset...10k behind now with late fees and additional interest...but this wonderful government gives 15K incentives to buy my foreclosed home...great country we live in...

Posted by: rcmckissick | February 7, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are breathtakingly incompetent at running anything.

The President should just ignore them.

Its time to fire up the Steamroller.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh how great would it be to see conservatives march and picket for a change. Count me in, I'll dig up a ancient pair of Birkenstocks, and not wash my hair for a month like old Cindy.

Posted by: thebink | February 7, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Would someone PLEASE get rid of Madame Pelosi and Mr Reid? They are the staunchest supporters of business as usual in the Congress, building up alliances that benefit their own agendas, not those of the nation.
Time for change at a number of levels if the Dems aren't going to self-immolate in the next 2 years. President Obama can only do so much even if he is the smartest one in the sandbox.

Posted by: aross1 | February 7, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame the GOP is too dumb and partisan to make the most of this opportunity, but then, these are the same people who got us in this mess in the first place. Kudos to the White House for getting a compromise that's even this strong. Once it starts working, we're going to wish we'd done more.

Posted by: hbg16 | February 7, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that with the exception of 3 Senators, the Repubs are not at all interested in "coming together" or working out a compromise. The Dems added more tax cuts and cut some of the spending and they STILL aren't happy. For them, its more "my way or the highway" mentality. They don't get that for the most part, the Americans are tired of the Repubs standard mantra of "tax cuts are the answer".

So until the Repubs as a whole are willing to accept that this won't work and that we need a new direction, there will be no room for compromise beyond what has already been done.

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | February 7, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Republicans keep on forgetting what successful business leaders have always done.

Henry Ford Paid his workers a high wages compared to other jobs they'd be able to find an do, and it gave them enough money by buy the cars he made cheap enough so they could do exactly that.

Personal Computers and cell phones became a multi-billion dollar business and things that nearly everyone on the planet either has or wants, because Silicon Valley made them cheap enough for everyone to afford, and inspired people to invent them by the promise of wealth beyond imagination.

That's the way to create global prosperity.

Having a nation's wealth held by a small number of Plutocrats has never worked.
Its stopped innovation in its tracks whenever and wherever its been allowed to happen.

Factories and businesses close, and the wealthy become poor, because there's nobody to buy what they're selling.

A strong middle class is necessary for society to survive and prosper.

Our modern society is based on mass and volume production of everything that people make, use, buy, and sell.

The Republicans, and leaders of Plutocratic movements are astounding poor businessmen.

That's why Plutocratic countries always fail.

Because there's one thing no company can exist without --


That's what the Arabs should have thought when Israel was formed, not "kill them!"

All the Arab countries would have made so much money from trading with Israel, and so much respect from the world for building a region based on respect for all religions they would be the envy of the world.

Hatred, greed, and war aren't just bad for children and other living things, they're bad for business too.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Aren't we just stirring the pot if we haven't read the bill?

Posted by: wernier | February 7, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

No matter where and how the money is spent, we need the leaders of both parties to come together to solve our nation's problems.

The country needs to know that in spite of our philosophical differences, our elected representatives are marching together for the common purpose of saving our economy.

I believe if our congressional "leaders" cannot compromise and work together, than any so-called stimulus program is doomed to fail. Without true bi-partisan support, half of the country won't believe in the program and will actively work against it.

Posted by: mikem1 | February 7, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The only good thing that the country has going for it is
President Obama. The war-pig-Cons sure know everything there is about pork .One would think these Fat Bloated UN-American War Piggies, have done enough to hurt the country. But no the they are at it again. Even when they have taken the country and the world to the abyss even now it rears it's evil lying head, only for the American people to put our foot on neck.
The Re-Con- the- people- party have only existed for their Own War contracts profit, their Own Big business profit. Everything they have lived for has been and will be for their own personal profit, and the very rich. Never for the middle class never for the American people never for the good of the country.

Posted by: rebeccajohnson1 | February 7, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Bottomline: If an item in the bill doesn't have a direct impact in the next six months, it shouldn't be in the bill. To call it a stimulus package when it's so loaded with pork is just business as usual. Is this the change Obama promised?

Posted by: 3rdgeneration | February 7, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Some time ago many of us took a step into the abyss with a leap of faith for a Trust The Force thing is still going on because that's what faith is. That said..why extend that pure faith to the very impure House by handing them a fill in the blanks outline to create a Stim Package? Why no apparent ground rules keeping it on point? Rahm Emanuel, what the heck were you doing letting Nancy Pelosi pork it up? The President counted on you and you failed him. Did she out Pit the Pit Bull? or Don't you get this change thing?
It's on you Rahm. Obama lost the high ground right then..and hopefully, will recover it in the next week with his public appearances and Talk to the Nation.
Let's get this done and move forward to the heart of the matter: the banks.
The whole deal hinges on building public and market confidence...John McCain leading the opposition on economic matters? Come on. Let's get a hold of things here. President Obama, few republicans will change no matter what you do..and most of us at home dems don't believe that Washington Dems will either. It's you and us, bud. Together,we gotta.

Posted by: wernier | February 7, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"This bill is not about creating jobs, except in working for the government. Congress' bill is a pork barrel shout-out to the 1976 Congress and Jimmy Carter."

Amen to that. This is the biggest bunch of pork barrel payoffs to favors owed that I've seen in decades and it isn't going to do squat for the average American where it's needed the most. So much for change, not a damn thing has changed. Pathetic......

Posted by: franklinone | February 7, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I learned in Econ 101 about how government spending can stimulate the private economy to the benefit of all. I have observed that tax cuts tend to favor the wealthy and do little to stimulate the overall economy because the wealthy do not need to use their money to consume so they put it away so they can gain more wealth. This bill trys to appease both camps and as a result probably does not please either. This may be necessart to achieve any stimulus so we have to accept less than an optimum solution. My take is that the Republicans are more fixated on ideology than on practical solutions. They have demonstrate a preference for government to do nothing and let the economy take care of itself. This approach can work during a mild downturn but we are in a deep recession and we need as big a stimulus as we can afford. Inflation would be a concern if we were approaching full employment and full utilization of our productive capacity. Obviously neither is true so we need to get this bill enacted as soon as possible. The stimulus needs to be as big as politically achievable. Those who demonize the stimulus are not friends of the middle class.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | February 7, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

First things first. Tax cuts have little stimulative value for people out of work who's income has diminished so much they don't pay taxes.

Number two involves help for the fiscal crisis in states. This is probably one of the most important measures, in that it will not only help states continue to provide services, but it will protect against unemployment for a large sector of the work force; state employees, including University faculty and staff, K thru 12 teachers, government workers, etc. If states lay off large numbers of workers, those are added to the unemployment roles.

I wish I knew the role the Obama administration took in crafting this bill and then shepherding it through the Congress. I think in the future the administration should submit bills with all the details worked out. They may have done that in this case, but it didn't come across that way. Secondly, the Republicans are primarily obstructionist and if you let them dictate the news cycle, you are ceding the bully pulpit to them. Obama is already beginning to confront them, but he should take pages out of FDR's playbook as "The Happy Warrior". I know when FDR took over the Republicans were routed and demoralized and initially provided no opposition. The Republicans today are probably as routed, but they just don't know it. Nor was Washington as partisan then as it is now (I could be wrong about that). Obama started with the carrots (e.g. superbowl party, consultations with Republicans), but it's time for the sticks, delivered with steel wrapped in the gauze of humor. The Congress has to respect him and fear him.

Posted by: mbeck1 | February 7, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Spam6, reservoir idea is the kind of thinking that got us into the global warming stuff in the first place. The idea is to REDUCE. You're encouraging that we consume just as much as before by desiring a humongous over supply of ____ fill in the blank. We need to be better managers of the resources we have.

As for Sessions, he appears to be opposing this bill and he also opposed the bailout, which to my way of thinking was the real piece of stinker legislation. When I said he's consistent, I meant that he voted against a Republican bill and a Democratic one.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 7, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Too much devoted to tax cuts. They haven't worked to stimulate the economy the last 8 years, why expect them to work now. I understand Obama's desire for bipartisianship, but when the opposition keeps bringing the same tired ideas (tax cuts and obstruction) to the table, I think it's time to act on the desires of the people that voted you into office, not the desires of the opposition. Let them filibuster and expose them for the fools that they are.

Posted by: houston_progressive | February 7, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Steve Pearlstein had it right on Friday. Any spending is stimulative--remember Bernanke's "throw money from helicopters"? He was serious, insofar as in this situation it is demand that has to be created artificially (which is why tax cuts to businesses to encourage production won't work). To be sure, some spending can be more stimulative, have a greater multiplier effect and come through more quickly but it's all good. Why is Obama's team not sure it will work? Not for any reasons the republicans give, but because no one knows if anything can work in this situation, but massive stimulus certainly must be tried. The real problem Obama faced and still faces in "selling" the plan is that most people, even educated people, do not understand the most basic causes of the problem or the kind of situation we are in, making it that much easier to demagogue the numbers. (Oh my, a trillion dollars!) He really needs to do fireside chats and educate people in a nuts and bolts way about precisely what is happening and what he is doing...or it's going to be a very long year for him and for us.

Posted by: woodside1 | February 7, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Good for Sessions? Why, so admitting that the GOP is a 'terrorist' organization, like the Taliban, out to destroy this country?

They've done a great job of that for the last 8 years, and now they're continuing to try to create a feudal system by destroying the middle class and turning everyone but a few of the wealthiest [themselves included] into serfs and peons. That is what their constant redistributing wealth upwards accomplishes, and it's working.

And that is what their attempted sabotage of the Recovery Act is all about. They don't want to Democrats to succeed in strengthening the middle class and creating jobs and benefits, they want a huge class of desperate unemployed people who will work for nothing.

Posted by: drindl | February 7, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

If tax cuts worked, we would be in great shape as a country. They dont. Harry should just go nuts on everyone and this administration will do great.

Posted by: ttarathobe | February 7, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I've read the Senate version of the stimulus pork package at:

And for the life of me, I don't see how this stimulates the economy. It looks like something from the 1978 Congress and Jimmy Carter's White House.

With all the talk of global warming and shrinking fresh water supplies, I would love to see $50B to $100B allocated to develop innovative desalination technology to turn sea water into affordable drinking water. Instead of worrying about rising oceans, we could pump the ocean water out, desalinate it, and create huge fresh water reservoirs.

This bill is not about creating jobs, except in working for the government. Congress' bill is a pork barrel shout-out to the 1976 Congress and Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: spam6 | February 7, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The economy model that is being served is the wrong one for the people. The idea is for people to spend money they do not have for things they do not need to keep commerce in motion and therefore all the underlying predatory industries who take a small bite out of every moving dollar.

The stimulus seeks to preserve industry and commerce, not people and jobs. Nor is there any long--term benefit in simply moving money. That is the model that is collapsing. That is the model that consumed all the dollars and ran away with them.

Why preserve the predatory industries and the model that assures money accumulates in the purses of those who know how to shave a bit off every moving dollar rather than those who do the work to produce the products and innovation that actually improve our lives?

Americans are already doing the right thing instinctively. They are keeping their own dollars instead of spending them. The government seems determined to keep the predators alive. The people should continue to hang on to every dollar until the predators die.

Posted by: sobi1 | February 7, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

President Obama should just steamroller over the Republicans.

Posted by: svreader | February 7, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans wanted more tax cuts...they got them. They wanted less spending...they got it. For the Republicans, "bipartisan" = "my way or the highway". They will never be satisfied with the bill because their objective is to have the stimulus fail, just as Krauthammer is already saying Obama is a failure. Of course it took the Republicans eight years to screw things up, you'd think they'd give more than two weeks for the Dems to fix things.

Posted by: tlundell | February 7, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The bill should be focused on creating incredibly strong incentives for investment, economic growth and a sustained increase in spending. The current bill seemed primarily concerned with throwing money at people and favored interests. I don't think the GOP has done a much better job at offering promising alternatives. The best policies would include a reduction in the payroll tax and a reduction in the corporate tax.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | February 7, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Lone Wacko dot com. That was useful.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 7, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

This bill needs to be massive given the state of the economy, but the rhetoric needs to be focused on how it will create jobs and thereby stimulate the economy. I am deeply disappointed that the Obama admin. lost control of the debate on this issue. They have not, nor has Speaker Pelosi, adequately explained to the American people why this bill will stimulate the economy by dealing with the staggering loss of jobs. In addition to having to shift his focus to his cabinet appointment mistakes, the primary reason why they haven't been able to focus on this issue is because Pres. Obama failed to insist that he get a clean bill, enabling the Republicans to argue that Speaker Pelosi put in too much worthless pork that won't stimulate the economy. That gave the Republicans a huge opening to argue against passage of this bill. Pres. Obama apparently asked Speaker Pelosi to take out some of the more headline grabbing "pork" issues, like funding for contraception, but it was too little, too late. Senator Kerry tried on the floor today to explain one part of the bill, new energy technology, that will help create jobs, but Pres Obama and the Dems need to be out front on HOW THIS BILL WILL CREATE JOBS AND TRULY STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. It's not too late to take control of the debate Pres Obama!

Posted by: jrosco3 | February 7, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Here's the list of the worthless projects that L.A. wants $7 billion for:

As soon as I saw that list, I realized just how much of a scam this whole thing is. Check out your own city's plans here:

If you comment on your city's plans, leave a comment at the first link.

Note also that the Senate plan (or at least the version as of a couple days ago) would provide billions of dollars to employ illegal aliens:

Note only that, but it would bail out states like CA and paper over the CA legislature's strong support for illegal immigration.

Some call it the "Generational Theft Act", and they're right.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 7, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good for Sessions on consistency. He voted against the bailout, the real legislative culprit here.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 7, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

How can Ensign call the stimulus a "democrat" bill and not suffer some disciplinary measures for disrespect on the floor of the Senate?

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 7, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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