Economic Stimulus Package

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Economic Stimulus Package

Postby Mike » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:38 pm

Opening up a discussion here on the proposed Economic Stimulus Package. I don't want this to become bashing this or that President but a focused discussion of what this package should be. First and foremost the idea is to create jobs. We all can agree on that. What is being done though is things have been inserted into this that inflated the costs to nearly a trillion dollars. I haven't found anything yet with all proposed items from Obama, House, Senate but here is what I've got so far. They are in no particular order.

- $6 billion for broadband access for rural areas, this would take years to get done and create few jobs
- $8 billion for computerizing medical records, this would also take years create some jobs but there would be massive layoffs of clerks, receptionists and other medical personal in this field. On the positive side it would help reduce a great deal of errors in the medical field but this should be part of the health revamping, not in this stimulus package.
- $70 million for climate research
- $20 million for the "removal of fish passage barriers"
- $41 billion set aside for school districts
- $1.5 billion for university research grants
- $2 billion for Energy Department labs
- $3 billion for the National Science Foundation
- $4 billion for health programs like obesity control and smoking cessation
- $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health
- $462 million for the Centers for Disease Control
- $900 million for pandemic flu preparations
- $400 million for sexually transmitted disease prevention
- $350 million for computers at the USDA
- $14 million for cyber security and millions for NASA research
- $11 billion to make interest payments on most auto loans and sales tax on cars deductible
- billions more for homeland security programs
- billions more for one-time Social Security payments
- new home buyers in 2009 receive 10% credit of home value up to $15,000

What do you think? Should not health related stuff be done separately. This should do what the intention is, new jobs. Again, stay focused to the topic. What should be added or removed. What are your opinons on what will create real jobs. Not a type of jobs like sodding a park. That's a temporary job. Any ideas? The politicians sure haven't got it yet, maybe some of us can come up with a few better items.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby Mike » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:30 am

- $50 million for indoor rain forest in Des Moines, Iowa

Sure uproot some trees, put up some rocks, kidnap a whack of birds from the rain forest and put them in this detention camp. I thought the idea was to close Guantomino. Oh, I get it, they want to move the terrorists to this rain forest :)
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby chris » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:09 pm

thanks for inviting a civil discussion about something that could turn uncivilized.

it looks like the stimumus package has tentatively been agreed on. is it perfect? no. will it work? i don't know, but i suspect it is only the first of what will prove to be many attempts to fix things.

you brought up more than a couple examples of what are commonly referred to as "pork". that usually comes with the territory of spending bills. i know dems have the repuation of all pork spending. but the truth is nearly all politicians do it. why? well, it gets politicians reelected. why should we vote this governor out of office if he got us that new ballpark, bridge, casino...whatever. rarely does a bill pass that is cleanly only for what it should be for.

it seems that, tentatively, 58 democrats and 3 republican senators are (said to be) voting for it. that is not nearly as bi-partisan as obama would have liked, i'm sure. the plan calls for 780 billion in spending. that involves 42% in tax cuts for the middle class and 58% in spending. but that does show that the current administration is willing to negotiate with the other side. something that past administration(s) have not been willing to do because they did not have to. i think a lot of moderates on either side of the aisle were responsible in working out a deal that would work.

i think something, anything had to be done. it seems the public was all for the bill at first. but as time went by, public support began to wane (probably because of the way TARP money was being wasted by banks and lenders.)

listen, i have long been a democrat. but i have voted republican when i thought it was the better candidate. i do not now believe that one side is always right and the other side is always wrong. if i have learned one thing about politics over the years is that the guy i voted for is very likely to let me down by the time its over. and during the campaign, i was completely guilty of drinking the obama cool-aid. but now that he has been elected, he gets no honeymoon from me. its time for him to show he is capable of delivering some of the promises he made. he may not be given a chance by about half of the population. thats just the way politics goes. but i'm waiting pres. obama...lets get to it. time is running out. and i am looking at my watch.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby Mike » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:21 pm

The discussion is not about sides. Look at the spending examples and these are just a few. If they don't create jobs they should be cut. You don't have to choose any sides, liberal/conservative. How is spending money on sex education, going to give those Caterpillar employees or any of the recent laid off workers any satisfaction. It ain't and that's why more and more of the public are against what was laid on the table.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby chris » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:34 pm

Mike wrote: How is spending money on sex education, going to give those Caterpillar employees or any of the recent laid off workers any satisfaction.


it isn't, mike. my point was you cannot take one example of a spending plan and say what is wrong with it when all apending plans have little extras (and some not so little) here and there. all of them. i don't think anyone is claiming it is perfect. but what cannot happen is both sides argue about a few small details when nothing gets done. i also think that as divided as things seem to be, maybe both sides working together can partially appease both sides. no plan will make everyone happy. regardless of whom suggests it. this is politics, man. its all about someone not getting what they want. what fun would politics be if someone wasn't complaining about it.

and as much as you'd like to deny it...its always about sides. can you name something, anything where dems were right on and republicans were wrong? we all have sides. nothing wrong with that. my views have had plenty to complain about the last administration (although i did not do so here) but i heard very little complaining from the right. must be they thought their side was doing okay. we all have a side.
Last edited by chris on Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby Mike » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:41 pm

Why not take another week and take the crap stuff out. Again, I say how is rehabilitating ATV trails or building a frizbie park, yes a frizbie park is going to help get those good paying engineering or factory jobs back. They are not. Take the extra week or two and take out those BILLIONS more of wasteful spending. Save those BILLIONS for other programs down the road that no doubt will be needed.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby james1985 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:08 am

Mike wrote:Why not take another week and take the crap stuff out. Again, I say how is rehabilitating ATV trails or building a frizbie park, yes a frizbie park is going to help get those good paying engineering or factory jobs back. They are not. Take the extra week or two and take out those BILLIONS more of wasteful spending. Save those BILLIONS for other programs down the road that no doubt will be needed.


I think you're missing the point a little. Things aren't just going to go back to the way they were before Lehman collapsed. This bill isn't about restoring the satus quo, it's the first step in completely reforming the model for a western economy. Those factory jobs, regrettably, probably aren't ever coming back in those numbers. This isn't just a common-and-garden recession, it's fundamentally changing the world.

And with spending out of recessions, I think you have to give governments a little more slack. It's not as if, unlike in the UK, the sitting government is actually responsible for the mess the country's in. Some things will work, others wont; of course the failures will cost money. But I really don't think it's worth getting worked up about frisbee parks or sex education. In the short term, all jobs created are good news. Remember this, I think, is only the start of a re-structuring of how our economies operate. The 21st century is going to be about India and China, not the US and Europe.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby mr h atom » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:07 am

james is quite correct.

moreover...while we/they could argue until the cows come home...the republicans (of which i have been (and am) a registered member: lo, these last 30 years) have NOT shown the fiscal responsibility in even the slightest bit for quite some time: their endless bleating, at this point, serves nothing.
they are not getting involved in any substantive way.
they are not offering anything new.
thier flawed, failed policies are exactly the root and cause of almost all the current economic plight.
the world economy/economic model IS changing, drastically...has been for sometime..

while a damned good argument could be made against the pork added...it is NOT such an overwhelmingly huge amount of the entire package, and dwelling excessively on those minor issues is, once again (in typical 'i'm not gonna do anything to help (even tho i'm more responsible for all this crap, anyway)' fashion that is the republican leaderships stock in trade..
kudos to those members of the 'grand old party' that have actually stepped up and worked with the democrats...

i believe that if we assume president obama would actually like a second term in office; to go down in history as, not just a 'momentous/historic' president (because of his race)...
but a great, world-changing leader (because of his policies): he will have to deal with a truly open, bipartisan effort: including getting his left wing friends to back off...

because : if the so-called leadership on my side, came to president obama, with serious, respectful intent to create a real bipartisan effort, obama would, i believe, eagerly ditch most/all of that left wing agenda in exchange for equal cooperation..

but, in the current circumstances..why should he throw aside his base of support: NONE of these scalawags have lifted a finger now, or in the past, to dwell in economic reality and get a competant job done..

it would be nice if president obama felt he had the power to ditch all this excess, and really pull the rug completely out from both the left AND the right wings of each party...and force a bill that was solely and only 'stimulus'...but, i think he's of the mindset that a creative, competant, across the board effort is the best way to go: consensus building is a great leadership style; it just may not be perfect for this moment in time...
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby Mike » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:11 am

It was people standing up and fighting to get a lot of the pork removed, still there is a lot there. You call it dwelling excessively, you should be happy a lot was removed, it can be better. 80% of the original bill wasn't going to be spent til year four. It's now better than it was, and you call that wrong? Of course it isn't perfect but it still could be better, what is another week of making it better going to do? The sky is falling.

My point is point is this. Excess and the same old, same old, coming from everyone. You mean none of you are upset over billions spent for landscaping, frisbee park and so on. Come on. Don't spend those billions, use those billions more effectively.
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Re: Economic Stimulus Package

Postby mhnso » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:11 am

This is really a hard topic to discuss but I guess there is a need to put some Viagra into the economy and also a need for president Obama to mark HIS stamp on this package. Without doubt Obama is trying to make a change when it comes to us policy. A welcome one if you ask me but if there will be a success is another story.
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