Breaking Down Obama’s Stimulus Package01.27.09
There has been a lot of discussion between the parties on how the economic stimulus should look. Apparently things have been more civil in the Senate than in the House. It actually makes sense if you think about it: senators have six-year terms so they don’t have to worry so much about pleasing their constituents in the short-term like the two-year-term Representatives; senators represent a whole state, not just an arbitrarily drawn district.
That aside, what exactly are they arguing over? David Goldman at Yahoo! Finance breaks it all down for us.
It seems that it comes down to simple partisan politics. The GOP wants to avoid too much spending and focus on tax cuts. The Democrats believe investing in infrastructure to create new jobs will help the economy more than fewer taxes.
According to Goldman, the infrastructure debate looks like this:
The case for: By investing in renewable energy, health care, education and modern construction projects, the Obama administration expects to create between 3 million and 4 million jobs and address key sustainability issues.
The case against: Opponents argue the spending will lead to a rapidly increasing and unsustainable deficit. They also say that a majority of infrastructure projects will take too long to implement.
One could argue that we’re already in a state of a rapidly increasing and unsustainable deficit. One that sure has its causes directly linked to the almost 6-year-old war in Iraq. And what are we spending billions on over there (aside from troops and weapons)? Infrastructure. I’d much rather see us invest in our own schools, renewable energy sources, and health care system.
Also, the projects will take time. Years, even. But the idea of an instant shot of epinephrine to counteract the allergic reaction that is the recession just doesn’t exist. Bush’s stimulus was supposed to be just that shot and it failed. All it did was give us a few hundred extra dollars in our pocket. That was a week’s worth of groceries for a family of five. It certainly didn’t suddenly give someone the financial ability to buy a new car or new house, or make a business able to hire new employees.
It’s time that we focus on the future and plan ahead instead of the short-sightedness that plagued the Bush Administration. Just having a well thought out plan in general is quite a change from the past.
What was that old saying? Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to fish…