Sunday, February 08, 2009

Greetings, Everyone - we're trying to settle in our new home in the lovely hamlet of Encino. I've been perusing the headlines and I'm a little baffled by the recent stories about how much spending for education and construction is coming off the stimulus bill in favor of more tax cuts. See stories here, here, and here. This seems entirely unnecessary to me. Some thoughts on this -

1) Spend the whole $950 billion dollars - lopping $150 billion off of the bill is not going to somehow make the bill more "fiscally prudent". Who knows if any of this will work, but if you're going to have a stimulus bill, then go all in.

2) Yes, the cuts are part of a laudable effort to achieve "bipartisan" support - which is nothing more than a play to get 60 votes in the Senate to prevent a filibuster on the bill. But this seems like a cop out to me. Why not pass the bill and let the GOP try to filibuster the thing. It puts the GOP in the position of blocking action, when every day, more job cuts are being announced.

3) I realize I'm not an economist, but if the GOP is cutting stimulus spending to promote tax cuts, two things come to mind - a) tax cuts don't help people without a job and b) does it occur to anyone that the GOP may, in fact, be purposely diluting the effectiveness of the bill so they can point to Obama as ineffective?

Just some thoughts. I'd encourage your Congressperson and Senator to ask for an "up or down" vote on the full, undiluted bill.


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