Thursday, December 23, 2010

Congress functions but why...

The Start Treaty with Russia passed, funding for 9/11 workers illnesses approved, "don't ask don't tell" done away with, unemployment benefits extended as part of what amounts to an additional $858 billion stimulus package, all in a few weeks. Why so much so quickly after almost two years of partisan fighting?

Simply put, the more left leaning Democrats capitulated on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and the estate tax limits in order to avoid middle class tax increases and the Republicans decided to stop blocking legislation that the majority of Americans support while in this lame duck period that is two years before the next elections("maybe our right wing anti-libertarian base will forget").

The one bill that missed is the immigration reform proposal to benefit children of immigrants, and to benefit our society, as it did not make the hurdle. Maybe that kind of constructive charity was just one bill too many, and the issue may be a tea party essential that cuts across a wide demographic of insecure and intolerant citizens.

The biggest question now is how this third stimulus package,combined with quantitative easing(printing money and debasing the currency), will play out. Are we priming the pump so that by third quarter 2011 the economy will be growing on its own and creating jobs or are we doubling down with a tenuous bet, one that will be painful when the economy continues to improve in an ever so gradual way and unemployment stays well above 9%.


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