Monday, February 09, 2009

The stimulus package --- necessary chaos?

From this perspective today, there are only two things that can be said for sure about the pending stimulus plan --- a plan is essential soon and it will not be close to perfect. It is essential. Details are bouncing all over the place and impossible to follow from here. $40 billion deleted that would help states and municipalities meet budget shortfalls because the Senate Republicans(should a small r be initiated) don't think that it will create jobs. Hey, what about saving jobs and what about paying state and municipal workers who have mortgages and their childrens' sneaker bills for a full weeks work. Stimulus is preventive as well as stimulative in a literal sense. These "republicans" see political gain and tax cuts at a time when tax cuts are the stimulus with by far largest lag, isn't that intuitive at this point in this downturn(if by chance the supply side economists are right and I don't think so, it is certain that almost no republican member of Congress could intelligently explain the issue). COBRA support for health insurance may still be there, who knows at this point, but why is supporting health care for the people most hurt by this economic catastrophe and supporting the hospitals that provide the care for the most needy in rural and inner city areas not stimulative. It keeps hospitals and people alive and vital. What is the definition of "stimulus" Mitch?

Tonight's press conference will be interesting. It seems like we have moved to one of those parlimentary systems where governments can collapse and a vote be called at unanticipated times given the perpetual campaigning needed to get anything done. That's a change in our lifetime. In the meantime, maybe we'll learn something tonight, those of us on the outside hoping to understand what this "democracy" in Congress is doing.


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