Is Obama Crying Wolf With This Stimulus Package?

“It is inexcusable and irresponsible to get bogged down in distraction and delay while millions of Americans are being put out of work. It is time for Congress to act.”

-- President Barack Obama, this morning

There're two arguments surrounding the stimulus plan currently dragging through Congress. One says if we don't pass a bill quick enough, we'll be on a crash course to another Great Depression. The other says if it's passed too hastily and ends up being a drunken $800-billion (or thereabouts -- the final number is still in flux) spending spree, we'll be on a crash course to the Greater Depression. I'm siding with the latter.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pleaded for passage without letting another second pass. "If necessary, we're going to work through the night ... I can’t imagine what would happen to financial markets tomorrow if there are reports this bill might go down," Reid said.

Is that what this is down to? We're hellbent on pushing through $800 billion -- 6% of GDP -- because we don't want to have a bad day in the stock market?

Now, I understand the urgency and severity of our economic problems. This morning's report that 598,000 jobs were axed in January -- bringing the unemployment rate to 7.6% -- is proof positive that the economy is in freefall.

Something needs to be done. I just worry that focusing on time rather than quality is a dire mistake. President Obama mentioned this morning that the current version, "is not perfect, but a bill is absolutely necessary.” True, but if we're talking about $800 billion, we deserve as close to perfect as possible.  

It was a different story when the $700 billion TARP bill was passed this past fall. After the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , and the near bankruptcy of AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , there was a literal run on the banks that threatened the collapses of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) , Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS  ) , and just about every other bank. Counterparties were yanking credit lines. Panic was calling the shots. Back then, the sense of minute-by-minute urgency was real. As Ben Bernanke said, "If we don't do this, we may not have an economy on Monday."

The urgency of an economic stimulus today isn't nearly as up-to-the minute. Again, I'm not trying to belittle its importance, but if it takes Congress an extra few days to hammer out a bill that will actually work in lieu of one that'll leave us with little stimulus and $800 billion of debt, by all means, take your time. Whether the bill will actually be effective is up for debate; the debt it'll burden us with isn't.

What's your take on it all? Should we rush something through ASAP, or really focus on a quality bill, even if that means a few days of debate? Take a second to weigh in via the Fool poll below. If you care to elaborate, leave your thoughts in the comment section as well.

Fool contributor Morgan Housel doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Bank of America is a former Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 1:55 PM, dacowboy wrote:

    The Stimulus Package will be Buyers Remorse for a very long Time to come.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 1:56 PM, FinancialFellow wrote:

    I think he's totally crying wolf. I'm largely opposed to the stimulus package as it is today. Way, way too much gov't spending on programs that will make the government larger and create a small number of jobs at a huge expense. One other thing: We can't afford to spend $1 trillion. This is just going to be another downward step in the American Empire's decline. The only good expenditure in that bill is the tax credit for home buyers that was passed in the Senate's version.

    If you are looking for a little economic stimulus of your own you should take a good look at some of the benefits your own company offers that you may not be taking advantage of: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2009/02/06/home-buyer-tax-...

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 1:57 PM, FinancialFellow wrote:

    Correction on the link: http://financialfellow.com/2009/01/27/employee-stock-purchas...

    (Although the above link provides some good detail on the $15K tax credit.)

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 2:05 PM, willisarmcandy wrote:

    I think I get it, it's important to save the Wall Street bonus babies, but out of work Real Americans can go fish?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 2:27 PM, TMFHousel wrote:

    willisarmcandy,

    Thanks for your comments. I'm certainly not saying stimulus isn't necessary, just that rushed timing shouldn't take precedence over getting it right.

    -Morgan

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 2:32 PM, costsandprofit wrote:

    It is so hard to tell, because much of what is said is coated in media hype and the same old bipartisan politics. Democrats keep wanting larger government and Republicans keep wanting tax cuts. Not every social programs needs to be saved and not every tax cut will stimulate the economy and create jobs. I do think there is a sense of urgency and we can only hope that the economists are being true to their professions and looking at the best way to stimulate the economy and that Obama makes the right call not just the popular one. We need quick resolution without long term negative impact. The immediate goal is to keep and create jobs so that people will spend and stimulate the economy RIGHT?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 2:50 PM, ewpettus wrote:

    The government needs to get out of the way, and let the free market function. All these policies, and bailouts will cripple us.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 2:50 PM, jahartmu wrote:

    Already the "change" politics have changed into... the usual. GOP members of Congress who turn out to be vertebrates are derided; what about the creatures who mixed all the pork into the stimulus bill to begin with? Daily we hear more about how TARP, though arguably far more necessary than the bill under consideration, has been managed poorly - in part because it was rushed through. Why doesn't President Obama use some of that bipartisanship we've heard so much about to cut earmarks, cut taxes, and stand up to Pelosi & Reid?

    Sadly, the same old tropes are alive and well: Corporations and high earners spending their money for selfish ends is A Bad Thing. Politicians spending OUR money for selfish ends is A Good Thing, so long as they talk like populists. We elected them! At the moment, it seems unreasonable to hope for a better government than we deserve.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:07 PM, PMcNulla wrote:

    My 15 year old commented last night. Borrowing because you are in debt is dumb. It requires a change in lifestyle.

    The Fed needs a lifestyle change. Living within their means seems like a start.

    We are already hearing the bank bailout was not as necessary as we were led to believe. Based on the leverage they are imposing on Wall Street and the banks that money comes with some pretty significant strings. How do you change the conditions of the money after the fact?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:20 PM, dividendgrowth wrote:

    Retail investors are hopeless. They deserve to suffer more!

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:21 PM, willisarmcandy wrote:

    Wow, racist much Dianna777?

    Oh wait, Poe's law?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:28 PM, PMcNulla wrote:

    willisarmcandy, where was the racism? Perhaps you are projecting.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:35 PM, RMoor wrote:

    There are too many opinions from uninformed people, including many in Congress. We need to witness a public discussion among our best qualified economists, absent partisanship and in full public view. Only then can we have any faith that reason and not ideology have prevailed. Congress should have organized that months ago but instead they have fiddled while our economy worsens and real people suffer.

    No more games and self-serving mantras, please. Our elected representatives and our media are treating this like a horserace instead of a problem in need of a reasoned solution and frankly I fear for America.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:38 PM, CathrynMataga wrote:

    The stimulus program will expand government services to a level that can only sustained with continued budget deficits. These people will be hired and they will want to keep their jobs, and they will insist on this. They will attain political power. If we don't keep paying these guys, they'll all go back to being unemployed and we're back to another recession.

    There is no tax rate that can ever pay for this, so instead we end up locking ourselves into endless monetary expansion. Eventually this leads to inflation and hyperinflation. It's a common story, really. You'll see.

    Note: Fiscal stimulus needs an off switch. We need a way to stop the tap when inflation starts to come around, or it can go very bad.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:40 PM, TexasLonghorns wrote:

    When...oh when....will RACE cease to be an issue when someone is just WRONG. A credit application shows what it shows....either your credit worthy or your not, please get over shouting racist everytime your not agreed with.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:40 PM, rolls20 wrote:

    I have a feeling that this whole bill is pork fat. These "stimuluses" are going to ruin USA for a long, long time.

    PMcNulla, sounds like you're raising a financially responsible, and smart, kid there.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 3:51 PM, Wharton93 wrote:

    lol, what a thread. whenever we're ready to roll down to DC to fix things, let me know. As Jefferson wrote:

    "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:07 PM, Deepfryer wrote:

    Crying wolf? Um, no. We're in a financial meltdown, in case you hadn't noticed. Feel free to disagree with the way Obama is handling the crisis, but it's just plain stupid to say that he's "crying wolf".

    Dianna777: Interesting theory. So, are you saying the republicans and democrats worked together to collapse the banking system? After all, Bush has pretty much had free reign to pass whatever legislation he wanted for the last 8 years. Is he a secret, evil liberal too? Maybe he's really a 1/3 black, 1/3 arab, 1/3 chinese, brush-clearing cowboy from Connecticut? That would explain his socialist bailout of the auto industry, and his continuation of Bill "the communist" Clinton's de-regulation policies. Wait a minute, de-regulation of the banking industry isn't socialist... or is it? Who cares. You are truly a prophet.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:08 PM, RMoor wrote:

    "I have a feeling that this whole bill is pork fat."

    With all due respect rolls20, if you make decisions and lobby for or against legislation based on feelings then you are part of the problem.

    If you have more than feelings to back you up it would be helpful to see a link to information that supports your claim.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:19 PM, kartha1 wrote:

    The economy is fundamentally flawed based on 'money = debt' equation. We have gotten into this mess through carefully orchestrated policy that is bound to fail governments and the people across the world. We need a radical departure from this economy. Neither democrats nor republicans nor any government nor corporations will admit to the in-built failure of the economic system as we have it.

    For those interested, see zeitgeist addendum: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:22 PM, West3160 wrote:

    The real issue here isn't who gets the money, the question everyone should be asking is where do we get the money from, and then how do we pay it back. Has that plan been revealed. I don't believe this country will ever recover from another trillion dollars of debt. The only possible way the government can fund this is by printing more money which will devalue the dollar even further. I believe there are alot of personal agendas being served by this proposed bailout most of which will not help this economy. One thing that will positively happen if this bailout is passed , as is or revised, will be to bring this country to it's knees. The American people don't want to hear that they need to hurt for some time in order to get through this, and our leader knows that. He is well educated and very charismatic. He knows exactly what is happening and I can only assume that is exactly what he is hoping to achieve. The majority of Americans believe they are in need of help, I am one of them. But to risk seeing this country fail in order to save a few for a short time is unthinkable. The problem with most Americans is they actually have faith in our government to do the right thing. And up until now it really wasn't a major problem. How can going further into debt to the extremes that are proposed be right or even logical. It will put this country at the mercy of others who would like for nothing more than to see us crumble. I certainly hope the American people wake up soon and realize that this solution to our problem may be far more sinister than the problem itself. If a child was freezing and begging you to warm him up you wouldn't put him in a tub of boiling water and then try and make the authorities believe that you had to do something to "thaw him out" fast. I'd say they're probably going to charge you with child abuse and possibly murder, becasue abuse is the only logical explanation for an intelligent adult to come to when they see another adult do something that is so stupid and will almost guarantee death. He got thawed out fast but now he will never recover from the "good intentions" of his parent. Do we really believe this parent didn't know that throwing their child in the boiling water wouldn't result in death. Now do you really believe that someone as intelligent as our new leader doesn't know that another trillion dollars of debt at this time with no viable way of getting rid of it will do great harm or bring death to this country as we know it? He knows. So why aren't we asking what's really going on here?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:30 PM, CoastalTrader wrote:

    I believe that the stimulus is needed and if done correctly will turn the economy arround much faster than if the economy is left to its own devices. But the key word is CORRECTLY.

    The measures must be stimulative in nature and not merely spending for spending's sake. The sooner the measures are passed the better, but it is IMPERATIVE that the CORRECT steps are taken. Non-stimulative pork is not the answer.

    Get it right Congress, but don't take all day doing it.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:36 PM, Deepfryer wrote:

    West3160: Take a deep breath, no one is boiling babies here. If the first trillion was ok, then why is this trillion going to cause the death of western civilization? The answer: it won't. The worst case scenario is that we'll need to print more money to pay off our debts, which will cause inflation to rise for a few years. Big deal. It will take a lot more than that to bring America to its knees.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:43 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    If you want a real stimulus package go to www.fairtax.org.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:47 PM, WasANichelender wrote:

    Your daily EMAILS cry wolf and if I followed your advice I'd have much less than I have!

    PASS THE DAMN BILL!!!!! You want real shambles, well, they're coming your way soon enough, probably even with the bill passed.

    Don't be surprised to see families living together, and I don't mean in 3 Flats, and SOON. No, I'm not a gloom and doomer, it's just reality. We're printing money and it's just not right....Bush and his boys screwed the pooch to begin with by bailing anybody out....let em' die, that's what he should have done.

    Have a nice day, see you on the other side.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 4:54 PM, EMFreak wrote:

    what do you all think of this economist's take: http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/brian.barry/igm/Evaluating_the...

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:04 PM, wayne233 wrote:

    We (the tax payers) are going to be paying for this for a long time. Have you seen the pork in this? How much is actually going toward fixing the problem?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:07 PM, Roush86 wrote:

    This is the same old congress and same old captains of industry that got into this mess to begin with. Why do we think they can get us out of it? Bush is a great target but where was the Democratically controlled Congress? My favorite saying is now "unintended consequences" and that is what this bill will us. No jobs, lots of pork, and huge debt. Very discouraging.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:10 PM, amateureconomist wrote:

    West3160 and Dianna777 have it right

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:27 PM, Dentoy wrote:

    I am not very sophisticated when it comes to the details of mortgages or stimulus packages but I would like to offer the following:

    Mortgages= while I am aware that the exotic mortgages that were offered helped to worsen the crisis, would it not be possible to offer mortgages that would help the crisis subside? I.E. why can't we, after doing "ability to pay" triage with those "most credit worthy" yet in need of help, offer not just 15 or 30 year mortages, but 35, 40, 45, or 50 (or more) year fixed rate mortgages, (arrived at by bank and mortgagee agreement),

    While no one would even think that a 50 +year mortgage would be held to maturity, the fact remains that down the road somewhere, when the economy recovers the homeowner could go in to a shorter length mortgage. It certainly is preferable to forclosure for both sides, and would help the banks determine the relative worth of the paper that backs them up. I have a small home mortgage and when I went from 30 yr fixed to 15 yr. my payments went up about $300 a month. To do the reverse at the same rate of interest should mean that you "save" the same amount monthly if you went from a 30 year to a 45 year mortgage.

    Stimulus= I don't understand why tax credits are not being used for the stimulus. I kind of looked inward to think about what would "stimulate" me to spend money right now. I need siding on my house, if the govt. came out and said I could get a significant tax credit in 2009/2010 if I did it, I probably would be persuaded to do it. The same with cars, buy a car get a tax credit. You could do it with a whole varity of things that would create instant demand for products and services if the tax credits were big enough. If the problem is tax credits going to the wealthy, then phase it out at a high enough income to make it work, yet not be an advantage to the super rich (God forbid!!)

    I just think that if our govt. thought a little bit more like the common man they could do things better.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:38 PM, Dianna777 wrote:

    Talk to ACORN and the Socialist wing of the DNC about Racism, they are the ones that are USING it to further a strategy, I am just calling it like it is.

    A spade is a spade, no matter what color it is. What these people have done is WRONG.

    The Black community before Obama became the leading candidate for President were questioning if he was "Black enough" so talk to THEM about race. After all Obama is more white than black.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:39 PM, tomojr wrote:

    Tea, anyone?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:39 PM, pmbarrett wrote:

    How can you tell if he is crying wolf? Easy, he wants the congress and senate to pass a package that will not create a single job! His own guy just shrugged his shoulders when he was asked how many jobs this package might save or create. It will only grow the size of government.

    To grow government, he has to take money away from the citizens, and future citizens, to give to.....who? Not to the citizens, because he already took it from them. Then who gets the money? Figure out who gets the money and then you will know the true intentions of this POS, stimulate the government package.

    To get some idea of what this administration is up to simply look at the child welfare/health care bill that BHO signed into law yesterday. Where is the funding coming for this little jewel? Why we will just add 62 cents to each pack of cigarettes to provide the funding. And, what happens if everyone stops smoking? Oh, that will never happen. OK, but what if everyone cuts down on smoking? Oh, that will never happen. Yeah sure. Get it passed then worry about funding it...along with Medicare and Social Security. Spend, spend, spend, spend.

    God help us because we are too stupid to help ourselves.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:42 PM, Dianna777 wrote:

    Deepfryer -

    there is more than enough blame to spread on both sides of the Isle, however, where the blame lies with Republicans is that they did not stand up and prevent this when they could have. Which is not to say that they didn't try, because they did at various times over the years. That being said, by FAR this is a Neo-Marxist Socialist leftist Democrat Policy and its Democrats that are deliberately using the Cloward-Piven Strategy to gain power. So I blame THEM.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:44 PM, ldreher wrote:

    "If the first trillion was ok, then why is this trillion going to cause the death of western civilization?"

    I'll tell you why... The first trillion in tarp wasn't spent. It was exchanged for preferred stock in banks which by and large will make payments on that preferred. In the end we may come out even or possibly with a small profit. The treasury's cost of Capital is under 3% and the preferred is paying 8%.

    After we spend the money in the stimulus it will simply be gone. If we really were investing in real infrastructure projects that were long term investments to make the country more efficient it would be different but we are not by and large doing that.

    I live in Milwaukee. Some of the stimulus is earmarked to build new schools in our school district. The problem is that enrollment has been declining for years and they already have more buildings than they can use. Trust me, that same scenario is being played out all over the country.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 5:50 PM, phillyarchitect wrote:

    some observations:

    Obama still thinks he is in a campaign, and doesn't understand that he is now to be blamed for what is wrong. To continue to malign George W. Bush will no longer cut it.

    Obama is not in control of the Democrats in congress. They are marching to their own drummer, and pretty much ignoring his direction.

    The jury is very much out on Mr. Obama. I didn't vote for him because I studied his record, and he has never done anything such as pass meaningful legislation, or act as an executive at a high level of government or business, or do anything whatsoever with the military or foreign governments. I don't trust him and I fear that basically he will be another Jimmy Carter, self righteous, narcissistic, and not up to the job - the downside potential is terrifying. When you are in the midst of two wars, and an economic collapse, it's not good to have a political intern in the white house.

    This Stimulus bill, whether you are liberal or conservative seems to be deeply flawed in the opinion of many scholars whose views I respect. It also does not seem to be supported by a majority of Americans, depending on how you parse the polling data.

    I think we need a good stimulus bill soon, but I think it better to step back take some more time, and start being truly bipartisan and get a compromise solution that will really work.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 6:01 PM, Dianna777 wrote:

    Deepfryer -

    I forgot to get into your point about GW Bush. 1) Democrats have been in charge of congress for the last three years, starting in 2006. These problems came to a head with DEMOCRATS in charge of the wallet (Nancy and the House of Representatives) in the 3 years they have had control of it. The President can ONLY ever sign something THEY send him, or Veto it. That's it. GW Bush has little to do with the horrific monstrosity that Nancy and the Congress have created. It's ALL on Democrats watch.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 6:08 PM, libertarianlib wrote:

    After reading all of the above comments, I would like to know and insist that everyone posting to this list first clearly identify whether they supported the last 8 years of deficit spending, especially without any oversight, to the military industrial complex, which effectively flushed what has approached $1 Trillion, off budget, down the toilet in Iraq.

    And if you are honest enough to own up to it, please justify that spending, in comparison to this spending proposal, and the evidence that it has improved our national security*.

    *Unacceptable evidence, because there is no way to independently and objective substantiate it, is the claim that "there hasn't been another attack on the US."

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 6:09 PM, babypoop wrote:

    I want it to happen because I'm long stocks right now. I know it won't work and that the current rally won't last long even if it goes through, but I want to make some money right now.

    I won't go short against the system.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 6:15 PM, Deepfryer wrote:

    Idreher:

    Most of the spending seems pretty reasonable to me. I think you're really reaching if you're trying to say that all the money will be "gone". I mean, tax cuts are by far the largest part of the stimulus. Are you really arguing against tax cuts?

    If you remove the tax cut part, you're left with about $550 billion in total spending. In case you're wondering, that's equal to about one quarter of the cost of the Iraq war, according to the estimates of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

    In terms of schools, it's about quality not quantity. I'm sure a lot of what he's doing will require tearing down some outdated schools to replace them with modern ones.

    I think the investment in health care will save us a very large amount of money in the long term, because Obama is focusing on the idea of preventative care, as well as increasing the efficiency of the healthcare system. Are these ideas really so horrible?

    Yes, he's increasing welfware benefits by about $102 billion. Well, this is a bipartisan stance, believe it or not. Remember the increase in unemployment benefits that Bush passed right before leaving office? Whichever party you belong to, I think it's pretty obvious that this stuff is needed right now.

    Anyway, here's the breakdown of the stimulus so that people can talk about reality instead of just vague ideas:

    Tax cuts ($275 billion):

    Payroll tax cuts ($500 for each individual, $1000 for couples)

    $2500 tax credit for higher education

    $7500 non-repayable tax credit for first-time home buyers (for houses bought until July 1)

    Education ($141.6 billion):

    $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cutbacks to key services, including $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formulas, $15 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures, and $25 billion to states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education

    $41 billion to local school districts through Title I ($13 billion), IDEA ($13 billion), a new School Modernization and Repair Program ($14 billion), and the Education Technology program ($1 billion)

    $15.6 billion to increase the Pell Grant by $500

    $6 billion for higher education modernization

    Health care ($112.1 billion):

    $87 billion for a temporary increase in the Medicaid matching rate for the states

    $20 billion for health information technology, including electronic medical records to prevent medical mistakes, provide better care to patients and introduce cost-saving efficiencies

    $4.1 billion to provide for preventative care and to evaluate the most effective healthcare treatments.

    Welfare/unemployment ($102 billion):

    $43 billion for unemployment benefits and job training

    $39 billion for short-term Medicaid insurance and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) subsidy

    $20 billion for the Food Stamp Program

    Infrastructure ($90 billion):

    $31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure with investments that lead to long-term energy cost savings

    $30 billion for highway construction

    $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments

    $10 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption

    Energy ($58 billion):

    $32 billion funding for an electric smart grid

    $20 billion for renewable energy tax cuts

    $6 billion for weatherizing modest-income homes

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 7:00 PM, Dianna777 wrote:

    Libritarianlib -

    Don't you mean the last three years of a Democrat congress who has been spending MASSIVELY only checked by a GOOD Republican Administration? In case you forgot your lessons in the Constitution, it's the House of Representatives that has hold of the checkbook, and THAT has been run by DEMOCRATS for the last three years.

    It's the fault of DEMOCRATS. Better be checking your OWN party if you are wanting to lay blame, because the Democrats own it.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 7:03 PM, Dianna777 wrote:

    DeepFryer

    the ONLY stuff in that who sick trough is this:

    Tax cuts ($275 billion):

    Payroll tax cuts ($500 for each individual, $1000 for couples)

    $2500 tax credit for higher education

    That's the ONLY stuff that has a prayer of stimulating the economy. The rest is "Spend till its gone" and it ads NOTHING to the long term health of the economy. Its the Day labor style Keynesian Economics that got us the great depression and you fools don't seem to know your history, and so are trying to REPEAT IT. SPENDING programs ONLY spend. They do NOT grow the economy. No more than Contraceptives will.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 7:28 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Tomojr,

    Thank you. I would fancy a cup.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 7:36 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Who is Barak Obama? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Nancy Pelosi tell it, anybody could have worked for Obama. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, poof. He's won the election.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 8:28 PM, energyconcepts wrote:

    I read an article by William F Hubble on how money works The government bailout how it works he shows how with revolving debt no principle payment one trillion dollars can be handled with a 1% tax increase I believe it. There seems to be plenty of money when one knows what to do with it. Deeply entrenched wrong practicess and misplaced values keep the down cycle going I have heard one person suggest 3% mortgage fixedfor 30 yrs. suggested I know this would have great results. many people dont want to give up there current possitions for true success. The right result will come in time Wise people could eliminate the fog in print and mummble jummble if they desired but it makes them fell important to say it is complicated. after all if it was simple why would we need them?. The entire system is really a raquet.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 8:38 PM, CathrynMataga wrote:

    The numbers are scary on this thing. American Income tax receipts, that is all income tax collected in a year is around $1.5T, and this one bill is $0.8T. This is not sustainable.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 8:50 PM, richsue3 wrote:

    PhillyArchitect:

    You ae so right. There is no reason to trust Mr. O. He has already gone back on some of his campaign promises and he definitely does not know how to lead. His ranting shows the fear of a man less informed on the real matters and just following his herd mentaity by doing what his handlers want without regard to the consequences. He actually is ignoring his oversight committee that has said this package WILL NOT WORK or BRING JOBS. It also stated that within one year the economy even with this bad stimulus will be worse off than it is now. These are non partisan oversight intelligent individuals - Who is he using??

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 9:01 PM, cincyjem wrote:

    If this administration/legislature wants a quick econ stimulus, then look to the credit industry...cap the interest rate, instead of giving direct funds to non tax paying let the govt do a 6 month rebate back on credit card interest with some ceiling cap on this. If we want instant buying this will do it and can help those who lost jobs weather their personal financial storm. Lets start thinking out of the box. There is no historic that compares to what is currently happening; never in our history have the few who lead taken so much-govt and corp. Lets stimulate small business and international export where we stand a chance of truly jumpstarting our economy on a national and global leve;!

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 9:22 PM, foolishafterall wrote:

    All

    There is much to much political posturing in the comments.

    Someone please explain to me that when too much spending and too much easy credit got us into this mess, how will more spending by the Govenrment with your and my money get us out of this mess?

    Yes it is a mess. My Wall street portfolio like most lost 40%. However I am very much in tune with local technology companies and while taking a lot of money out of Wall Street I invested it in people I know, I visit, I help them and so my miserable return was 96%.

    I don't see how the government or Wall Street both over bloated and out of touch will be that close to real non-political opportunities. I was working with garage inventors.

    So please don't tax me to the hilt. I get involved with inventors on a day by day basis and I certinally do not see that happening in Congress whose approval rating is in the very low double digits and with this stimulus legislation probably approval will likely be heading into the low single digits. There are no real answers within the beltway. Or for that matter on Wall Street.

    Well some may think there are answers on Wall Street. How well did your portfolio do with their advice?

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 9:31 PM, RMoor wrote:

    It has to be said. The Republicans who are opposing this package, trying to make it smaller, trying to add more tax cuts, are operating on politics and not patriotism. They do not have economic theory on their side and they should be ashamed to show their faces because they are working against the clear needs of their country. And if the Democrats let them get away with it then they are not patriots either. America is in serious trouble and we cannot survive if our Representatives are not willing to take political risks for the sake of their country very soon. The Reagan policies of moving the wealth upward and radically deregulating financial activities have brought America to crisis and we cannot allow the pretense to continue if we truly love our country. Please people, you need to recognize the danger we are in!

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 9:32 PM, andys2i wrote:

    Sure Obama is posturing and using his political capital to get the bill passed. Gives him a lot of money to play with. However I think America needs this spending, because it boost consumer confidence. Based on some comments I got on the package and tax rebate ( http://www.savingtoinvest.com/2009/01/no-second-stimulus-reb... ) there clearly is a need for the money and assistance the bill provides. Also, I do believe that Obama has the best interests of the nation at heart rather than just wasting tax payer money.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 10:20 PM, SnapDave wrote:

    A stimulus should stimulate in the near term. What this monster does is spend it after we should theoretically be coming out of recession. Please look it up yourselves. This is all about slipping in the BHO agenda under the guise of saving us from Armageddon. He will then conveniently tell us it is not his fault because he wasn’t in office when the trouble started.

    Diana,

    Please take this as constructive criticism: You are not being helpful. You come across as a nut job. Do you really expect anyone to believe some commies had planned this all along? As much as I’m sure Democrats are worse than Republicans, GWB failed to use his veto power and congressional Republicans have spent like drunken Democrats for at least 10 years.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 10:40 PM, crustyoldcrum wrote:

    When The Wall Street Journal correctly noted that only 12 percent of this spending can honestly be regarded as growth stimulus, it didn't mean that the rest was pork, the traditional definition of which is wasteful spending on local projects (like former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' infamous Bridge to Nowhere). To be sure, that kind of pork will be passed around liberally from HR 1's pool of funds going to states and cities. No, it's worse than that.

    Jim Manzi calls it "The European Social Welfare-State Bill." While it's framed as an emergency stimulus bill, only 15 percent will be spent in 2009 and almost half is scheduled for 2011 and beyond. As revealed in the above quotes from Pear and Emanuel, the bill's grander, ulterior motive is to expand or create government social programs that will long survive the current economic downturn and be forever set in political concrete. This is the Democrats' "new" New Deal.

    Once established, government "entitlement" programs - largely transfers of income from net taxpayers to net tax receivers - are almost impossible to roll back, much less repeal. As the legions of voters dependent on or addicted to such programs increase, the Democrats distributing these goodies plan to perpetuate their reign.

    In the current era of Euro- socialism, while leftist and (so-called) conservative governments have come and gone, the welfare state has survived and flourished. (Margaret Thatcher's UK government in the 1980s was an all-too-brief truly conservative interlude.) Unfortunately, whether in Europe or the United States, this game can only go on so long. At some point the diminishing fraction of net taxpayers is overwhelmed by the ever-increasing majority of net tax receivers. And that's when a welfare state implodes under its own unproductive weight.

    For a preview of coming attractions, see the 2008 Financial Report of the U.S. Government, an official publication that recalculates the officially stated $10 trillion national debt to account for the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs (which President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats plan to expand). The restated debt figure becomes $56 trillion, which will worsen dramatically as our population continues to age and entitlement spending consumes more than two-thirds of the federal budget by 2030.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 10:52 PM, Dianna777 wrote:

    Snap-Dave, go back and read History. Go Research Cloward-Piven. I am NOT making it up, its all out there for you.

    Cloward and Piven WANTED to bring down Capitalism. Today's Democrats are using plays right straight out of their playbook, as was taught to William Rathke, who created ACORN who hired and loved and campaigned for Obama. You do the math.

    Don't believe me then look up: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/

    this will show you how its all tied together, and how each and every part and person relates to the other.

    If I am a nut job then what does that make those of you who refuse to take your heads out of the sand?

    Um hummmm

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 10:59 PM, rwk2008 wrote:

    Unimaginably, 77% of the Fool readers in the poll appear to think that any attempt to get us out of the current problems should either be delayed or avoided altogether. I would not have thought that such a large number of readers were staunch far-right loyalists, after the abject failure of their policies over the last 8 (or possibly 28) years.

    There aren't any good models for solving this problem. Holding off won't 'get it right', it will just delay any help. Not everything tried will succeed. But not trying guarantees failure.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 11:04 PM, RMoor wrote:

    SnapDave, you say "A stimulus should stimulate in the near term. What this monster does is spend it after we should theoretically be coming out of recession. Please look it up yourselves."

    Well I did look it up and below is what Nobel prize laureate Paul Krugman says. I really think the discussion needs to be among people of his expertise because otherwise we get nothing but slogans.

    Krugman:

    "It’s not a problem if some or even most of the stimulus arrives after the official recession, as determined by the NBER, is over. Why? Because in modern recessions, unemployment keeps rising long after the NBER has determined, based on things like industrial production, that the recession proper is over. You can see that the need for stimulus doesn’t end with the recession by the simple fact that in each of the last two recessions the Fed continued to cut interest rates long after the official cycle trough. if it’s good enough for the Fed, it’s good enough for fiscal policy.

    So what is the right criterion? Actually, I think it’s quite straightforward. The reason we’re talking about fiscal policy is the fact that monetary policy is up against the zero lower bound. Stimulus will still be valuable as long as we’re still up against that bound — which is likely to be the case for a long time.

    Again, I think it’s helpful to look at the last two recessions, even though we didn’t hit the zero bound either time. The 1990-1991 recession officially ended in March 1991; but the Fed kept cutting rates, and it didn’t start raising the target rate until Feb. 1992, 2 years and 11 months later. The 2001 recession officially ended in Nov. 2001; but the Fed kept cutting, and didn’t start raising rates until June 2004, 2 years and 7 months later. This suggests a long window, even after the recession officially ends, before the zero bound stops binding, and hence before the current strong case for fiscal expansion goes away.

    Suppose, for example, that the recession ends this summer (which seems wildly optimistic). If recent experience is any guide, the Fed will still be keeping rates at zero 2 1/2 years later, that is, at the end of 2011.

    Which brings me to the CBO report, which presents spending profiles in terms of fiscal years (which begin Oct. 1 of the previous calendar year). Given what I’ve said, any spending that comes in fiscal 2009, 2010, or 2011 is good, and it’s no tragedy if some of the spending trails off into the years following. CBO divides the plan into three parts: Division A, which is more or less stuff like infrastructure spending; Division B spending, which is stuff like increased food stamps;and Division B revenue, which is tax cuts.

    By my count, 70 percent of the Division A stuff and 91 percent of the Division B spending comes within the fiscal 2009-2011 window. If you go up to the end of calendar 2011, we’re probably up to about 77 and 96 percent. That’s not at all bad."

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/page/3/

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 11:04 PM, CathrynMataga wrote:

    "almost half is scheduled for 2011 and beyond."

    Yes, spending won't help our economy now, if it's not spent now. Worse, this money may be spent as prices are beginning to rise and result in inflation or hyperinflation.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 11:05 PM, SissyTheClown wrote:

    The basis for this economic debacle is the housing and financial industries. Our government's banking committees have allowed the financial world to set usury rates on lending. If congress wants to stimulate the economy/prop up the financial industry, just have every homeowner submit the amount they owe on their mortage, their loan account number and lending institution. The government could then pay X dollars (up to some maximum amount) on everyone's mortgage. That would keep people in their houses, give lending institutions more money to lend, allow people the means to refinance, and/or help people buy new/newer houses. Then those idiots in congress could correct the lending practices that caused this debacle in the first place.

    We need jobs, not indiscriminate spending. You can't correct the problem by throwing billions of dollars at it. Just spending for spending's sake is a stupid idea...unless you're hoping no one notices you're trying to pay off those that helped elect you to office.

    Most of the things in this bill have absolutely no correlation toward creating and sustaining permanent jobs and infrastructure. That is what we need. We don't need additional schools in a city where there are schools standing empty already. At the rate we're going, we will soon have more people on the government dole than are contributing tax monies to the coffers. The more you depend on the government, the more they have control over you.

    I, for one, like my freedoms; too much government interference already exists. I do not like Socialism and that is what we're making a beeline for at this time. Personal responsibility is key to getting out of this mess...not a government "sugar daddy" doing everything for us.

    Wake up people. Take off the blinkers before it is too late. This is one Democrat who is no longer mesmerized.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2009, at 11:58 PM, 1stGradeStudent wrote:

    We need a trillion dollars to save our economy.

    That's just great! That's a dollar per second for 31,709 years!

    My grandfather told me that in order to get a world government, something he thought was a bad idea, all the guns of every country would have to be confiscated and that the economy of every country would have to be destroyed first.

    He told me that that would never happen in the United States.

    He was proud to be an American!

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 1:52 AM, EricinOC wrote:

    I am reminded of former California Governor Grey Davis...panicking when electricity rates were going up and making a deal with the devil (and effectively ending his political career). Yes things are bad..let's not make it worse by throwing more funny money at it. I say let's take our lumps (let the big, mis- managed companies go under) rebuiild (allow new well managed companies to fill the market needs) and move on.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 7:55 AM, SnapDave wrote:

    RMoor,

    There are plenty of experts on both sides of this. Nobel Prize? Yasir Arafat had one of those. The Nobel committee and Krugman have both shown their ideological stripes. What part of what I said makes you think I’m using slogans? We’re all too dumb to figure it out so let the geniuses in congress do their job? To boil it down, you are telling me to shut the hell up because I’m not going along with what your political party is pushing on us and therefore I’m too stupid to be thinking about such important matters. Rather than Google to find the first expert to support your party’s position, do some thinking on your own first.

    That is all a distraction from the fact that in the face of the worst economic disaster in 75 years congress and the president are greedily going to expand the already enormous debt in order to permanently grow the government to advance partisan agendas.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 8:15 AM, SnapDave wrote:

    Let me be specific. Roughly $170 billion is for this year and 356 the next and 175 in 2011. If this is so urgent why is so little being spent this year? The answer of course is they are hoping to pass it before too many people catch on.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 9:34 AM, pennysworth56 wrote:

    You they could really stimulate the economy by giving every tax payer a real tax rebate. Instead of spending all of this money just give each a 1,000,000. Just think how that would stimulate our economy.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 9:38 AM, kevnix458 wrote:

    Everybody here that is arguing for a particular side is wrong? Democrats and Republicans are on the same team. Conservatives voted in GWB and he gave them bigger government and socialism. Liberals voted for BHO and he voted for F.I.S.A and is going to give us hyper-inflation. Both sides are leading us down a path to a New World Order. All of you in here need to find out what the NWO is and then you will see that no matter what party is in power they are all pushing for a NWO. One Bank, One Government and One Currency.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 9:39 AM, kevnix458 wrote:

    That last line should have said: One Bank, One Government and One Currency for the World.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 9:47 AM, West3160 wrote:

    Deepfryer

    the "boiling babies" as you put it was an analogy, so that some people would understand what was trying to be conveyed. maybe I should have said deepfryer instead of pot of boiling water. The fact remains Obama is doing his best to bankrupt this country, all under the guise of helping the poor and getting this economy back on its feet. He is a self admitted "friend" of ACORN, the radical left wing socialist organization who has been trying for years to disrupt our economy with the the notion, that is working, that if you cause enough turmoil you will have a great opportunity to move in and "fix things." I may not be the brightest crayon in the box but it's very frustrating to see so many people missing the big picture. It's not about what's in the package for him except he wants to be sure he pays back everyone that has helped to get him elected, it is very obvious he wants failure and more disruption. That's why the money isn't being spent now, they are very patient and calculating. Why do you think Green is so important to him. You can't fault someone for trying to "save the earth" as you can't fault someone for trying to "save the poor". But their plan is two fold. They take a strong stance on Green, so now what about oil, coal, steel, mfging. He's going to create Green Jobs he says, again, you can't fault him for that. What about all of the jobs he has now eliminated, what about the cost of electricity, what about all of the money that is now going to go out of this country again so that we can be green? And please don't anyone say we NEED GREEN or the past administrations wanted it too. You need to look at what motivates him! Yeah it doesn't take a genius to figure out that we need to get greener, but I didn't believe it would take a genius to figure out Obabma while he was campaigning and offering to give away the store. I will stop at this because I get very frustrated with those who can't see what is so obvious and I begin to use the dumb analogies to try and put things in a way that even an idiot, who hasn't done any research into this man and what he stands for, can understand. Next, the person who wrote to Diana777 saying she isn't helping that she just appears to be a nut will be writing to me with the same advice. It is possible that the majority (and I say possible majority because voter fraud has not been investigated and if we were to deduct multiple votes, dead peoples votes etc it might not be the true majority) of Americans wanted change but weren't bright enough or care enough to look at where this guy came from and what his motivations are. Because of people wanting something for nothing so desparately we now have a President who isn't an American he is a socialist. America is not a socialist country, but I am afraid that people are going to get that change they have been asking for, like or not.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 10:45 AM, Deepfryer wrote:

    You and Diana are really hurting the credibility of the Republican side of this issue. If you're going to post again, please try to be coherent, and use some paragraphs. Paragraphs are your friend.

    Snapdave: In the short-term, the reason why this will stimulate the economy is primarily because of the $275 billion in tax cuts. As I mentioned earlier, tax cuts are by far the largest part of this bill. Is it really "socialist" to give a massive tax cut to the American people? I don't see how anyone can say this won't create jobs, when he's saving money for the average American and putting more cash in their pockets.

    As for the future spending, well, you need to realize that Bush has wasted about $2 trillion of taxpayer's money with his crusade in Iraq. As a result, he neglected our nation's infrastructure, our schools, our healthcare, and our research into renewable energy. I don't think you fully understand the damage that has been done over the past 8 years. Investing $300 billion is a pretty small amount considering everything that needs to be fixed. People are only opposing it here because it's all consolidated into one bill, where the price tag is so easy to see.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 10:56 AM, Julia1234 wrote:

    It is an excuse to steal money from us little guys and will eventually, over time, destroy our economy as we know it. There is very little "stimulus" in this bill. It is outrageous!!

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 10:59 AM, rick1936 wrote:

    These bailouts/stimulus plans have the earkmarks of a ponzi sheme-see Wikipedia.com under "ponzi" and then read "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul".

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 11:05 AM, a6shadowhawk wrote:

    It will take time for the financial and mortgage debacle to run its course and there is little we can do about it and spending a trillion dollars that we don't have to stimulate the economy is a huge mistake that could cripple the economy for decades.

    A better plan is for the government to force the recession to run its course sooner by taking possession of the bogus AAA rated mortgage backed securities from Wall Street and employ an army of auditors to isolate the risky loans from performing loans. The performing loans go back to the banks that held them and the risky loans go back to the originators. The originators can re-write the loans to the satisfaction of the homeowners or take possession of the property. This will do two things: First it will remove the toxic assets from the bank's balance sheets stabilizing the financial industry and second it will help define the bottom of the real estate market with a large supply of empty homes for sale. Identifying the value of real property is a lot easier than placing a value on toxic assets.

    The government would guarantee the modified loans and offer incentives to buyers to purchase the repossessed homes. Obviously the originators will need a lot of support from the government but this seems like a plan with a timetable attached to it while giving confidence to the U.S. and the world that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will never stop bailing out Wall Street until we know what's in these toxic assets and determine the real value of the property attached to them.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 11:33 AM, libertarianlib wrote:

    Dianna777,

    Thanks for ignoring my request, and I am amazed at your historical amnesia. Deficit spending didn't begin three years ago. Answer the original question: Did you support the Iraq War and its associated $1trillion in unfunded spending?

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 11:38 AM, Dianna777 wrote:

    DeepFryer, who said I was a republican? It's knee jerk assumptions like the one you just made that take all validity from your argument.

    The information is all out there on the internet, in the Library of Congress, LexusNexus. Read Cloward and Piven's published works, they are quite clear in stating what they were after. Collapse of Capitalism. The current Democrat Party is using the exact tactics Cloward and Piven developed. Look at All of the headlines," CRISIS, WE MUST ACT NOW! WE RISK TOTAL COLLAPSE IF WE DON"T PASS THIS STIMULUS" The sense of urgency that is coming from the users of this strategy is PART of the strategy. What happened to the 700 Billion Bailout. We got the same thing shoved down our throats, and you know what, it didn't work. It wasn't MEANT to.

    Now hold onto your shorts here hombre, I am holding GOVERNMENT responsible. I don't care what party is what anymore, if they are not standing AGAINST this Obamanation, then they are FOR it. Its as simple as that.

    The Government is NOT acting in our best interests. If it were, it would GET OUT OF THE WAY. Stop taking our tax dollars and wasting it in studying global warming and various other STUPID wastes of our Dollars. They are forcing me to pay for Abortions for God's sake! WTF?! How does THAT stimulate the Economy? How does doing a water canal study in Eugene Oregon do a damn thing to stimulate the economy? 1 job for 750,000$?? Have you LOOKED at what is in that abomination of a bill? Apparently not!

    The Federal Government is supposed to be about a very few things, go read the tenth Amendment. The Federal Government has overstepped its bounds so far as to be utterly laughable.

    I don't care what party is what anymore, as far as I am concerned, if a person votes FOR this, then they are AGAINST America, even as they spout off how FOR America they are. BS.

    I leave you with a quote:

    If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy. Their finances are now under such a course of application as nothing could derange but war or federalism. The gripe of the latter has shown itself as deadly as the jaws of the former.

    Thomas Jefferson, 29 November 1802

    We find ourselves under the jaws of federalism run rampant, and it will be the death of us.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 11:41 AM, Dianna777 wrote:

    Sorry LibritarianLib, I didn't see your post.

    I support the fact we created FREEDOM for 25 million people, and THEY know the price and meaning of Freedom better than YOU do.

    The price of 1 trillion dollars was WORTH it. 2 trillion would have been worth it. Freedom is ALWAYS worth it.

    This Monstrosity known as Porculus takes away our freedom, it rips from us and from our children more freedom than any other single piece of legislation in the HISTORY OF THIS NATION. That is not worth a single dime.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 11:45 AM, Dianna777 wrote:

    A6shadowhawk -

    Right on. Until we know the real value, no one knows the value of anything and therefore we can't find where the bottom is.

    The root is the Housing Market. Real Estate. Notice how Porculus DOES NOT ADDRESS IT? If it was intended to really work...why isn't it dealing with the CAUSE?

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 12:27 PM, esotericrajen wrote:

    I was all for spending money to create more jobs. However, in true fashion, Congress and Senate have basically turned this attempt by President Obama into a "grab for all" - i.e. cut taxes for corporations, give bailouts to the "not needy" executives, and get their pet projects into the bill. It is just ludicrous how this process works and it is time the President started using his line-item veto to remove all the pork from this bill. Anything that does not further the primary goals of this bill should be removed. And, all those items need to be exposed to the public, together with their sponsor(s) so that we may all see who added what to the mix.

    I am tired of wasting my hard-earned tax dollars to keep unhealthy corporations going, and filling the pockets of executies who don't really care for anything except to get their money.

    But, there are too many needy corporations and empolyees out there who should be helped. Unfortunately, they always get the short end of the stick once the lobbyists have had their say.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 12:47 PM, RMoor wrote:

    SnapDave, I'm not accusing you of using slogans and I'm sorry it came across that way. You at least raised a valid question about whether some of the stimulus in the bill would come too late and it just so happened I had seen it answered recently by Krugman. I take it that you accept his response since you did not respond to the substance.

    As for what I want I'll repeat what I wrote at the top of the thread:

    “We need to witness a public discussion among our best qualified economists, absent partisanship and in full public view. Only then can we have any faith that reason and not ideology have prevailed.”

    In our mass-media-dominated world the only way this would happen is if the media were to organize it or, since they cover what politicians do, if the Congress or Whitehouse were to organize it and promote it widely. Sadly it is not going to happen and if we ever do get a full discussion among experts of what federal action would be optimal we will probably get it in history books.

    We can only hope our economy is strong enough to withstand the damage we will suffer by accepting the politicians' compromise instead.

    You say “in the face of the worst economic disaster in 75 years congress and the president are greedily going to expand the already enormous debt in order to permanently grow the government to advance partisan agendas.”

    I say there is no way to judge the truth of that without a rigorous economic analysis of our situation to determine how much spending is needed and the vast majority of those expressing an opinion do not have the competence, including the politicians. In place of competence most are willing to substitute their own prejudices and jump to conclusions they would like to be true.

    Wouldn't we all be much better off if everyone demanded an honest economic discussion? If enough of us did they would have to respond. But everyone accepts the BS and we are left in ignorance.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 1:03 PM, USAeconomist wrote:

    Financial institutions are dropping like flies, See Data: http://wethepeopleoftheunitedstatesofamerica.com/bank_failur.... 23 Banks failed in 2008, 6 banks have already failed in 2009. A bank in Utah was closed by the FDIC and depositors were mailed checks. The situation is pretty bad and there is a need for a unified plan where businesses & the government come together to create jobs so that consumers can pay their bills so we don’t have a total financial meltdown.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 1:12 PM, libertarianlib wrote:

    Dianna777,

    Your capitalized histrionics are laughable. The fact that you are enamored with and proud of spending $1T and even $2T of US taxpayer dollars on the ideologically, ill conceived notion of nation building for 25 million Iraqi's and and not willing to spend one dime for Americans who need jobs speaks volumes on very warped priorities.

    Please assure all on this list that you will not ever again, now and in the future, avail yourself of one dime of any taxpayer funded government services. It is the only logical course for one with such a rigid ideology

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 1:44 PM, West3160 wrote:

    Deepfryer, sorry about the rambling long paragraph. I won't need more than one here. Who said I'm a republican?

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 2:04 PM, Langalier wrote:

    This may be simplistic, but is it not possible to break this Bill into more than one section and pass, like "yesterday" a section everybody can agree on, while still "working" 24/7 to get the !@#$%^& thing through!!! How much worse does it have to get?

    Lang.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 2:31 PM, chilln868 wrote:

    Let's try this.

    We stay away from rhetoric and partisan politics. We all have our beliefs at why this failed and who is responsible, I have to agree with we made loans to people who shouldn't have gotten them. If you don't believe this, then look at your friends, coworkers relatives who met are now homeless.

    Post your ideas that will fix the problem and offer a better solution then what is being offered today.

    Eliminate Capital Gains Tax

    Tax credits for big ticket purchases (houses, cars)

    Tax credits for small businesses

    Get rid of social security tax.

    Let the people decide how to invest in their own insurance (life, retirement, incaseof) to use as their protection, retirement.

    If you want people to spend give them more money to do with, you want business to succeed, make it easier for them to make a profit.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 2:32 PM, chilln868 wrote:

    Can we agree on what will work?

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 2:39 PM, kurtisj wrote:

    Hey Morgan-

    Methinks you protest too much: "Again, I'm not trying to belittle its importance"

    Let's be straightforward -- the article belittles the plan's importance and its urgency, which distracts from the destructive impact of reckless and impactful BushCo fiscal irresponsibility. The article makes excuses for closed door backroom deals that BushCo completed over weekends, ensuring a lack of accountability for proposed TARP funds while playing down the current state of the country's financial situation.

    That is a lacking perspective. BushCo was the most liberal spending bunch of Nixon hand-me-downs, doubling the national debt in a time of plenty -- after they inherited a healthy economy and federal budget surplus. The article lacks any mention of the unaccounted for mountain of tax obligations that BushCo created and how that burden is to be dealt with, all while dealing with a housing market that BushCo promised to fix with the proposed TARP funds but failed to. In the face of that consistent lack of competence and responsibility, unemployment is rapidly rising and the housing market is not improving. It is no longer a valid concern to question the urgency of an already well-thought out stimulus package's passage here. The only thing some extra amount of debate on this bill provides is content for Rush Limbaugh to collect, misrepresent and twist out of context on his next show. Maybe he can then complain that too much money is going to a program that doesn't preach an abstinence plan (that interestingly doesn't work, but does buy votes).

    Would I trust my tax dollars to a bill quickly passed under Obama's direction? Unfortunately, yes (I shouldn't have to). Would I trust BushCo to a dime of my money? No. But BushCo already borrowed ten times against it and handed it out to fat friends, instead of fixing the problems. Unemployment is now at 8%. The housing market drops and the debt market is only starting to solidify. The previous plans mentioned in the article were a failure at huge taxpayer expense. Good riddance.

    Cheers to a stimulus plan! Get it passed now!

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 3:29 PM, PIpatty wrote:

    Diana777 --

    Give 'em hell! You're right about everything.

    AND -- Didn't anyone notice yesterday? In two different Fox interviews of two different women senators (one from ME, one from MO,) it was let slip how this damn thing came about: Obama doesn't care what's in this bill (and -- my note -- very likely doesn't know.) What he told congress was that he wanted $800 billion. That's it. That was the extent of his "leadership." And that's where they started, where they're coming from. It's no wonder the Dems won't agree to cut all the pork/socialism from this. Their only assignment was to find a way to spend $800 billion.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 3:51 PM, Deepfryer wrote:

    It's hilarious that people still take Fox News seriously.

    Almost as hilarious as Dianna's idea that the war was being fought over "freedom for Iraq". Bush does nothing to stop the genocide in Darfur, and all of a sudden he cares about helping people all around the world? Yeah that's really believable. Maybe that's why Bush is so popular in the Middle East, right? Because he's the defender of freedom? She even capitalized the word "freedom"... that's just priceless.

    Tell me Dianna, if you're not a republican, what political party do you belong to?

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 4:11 PM, garyc27 wrote:

    If we can step back from the political bickering, finger pointing and playing the blame game and use some common sense there are some reasons to have caution and question the current bill in its current form.

    Recent reports have stated that economist Elizabeth Warren testified before a Senate Banking committee that the Treasury overpaid by $78 Billion in its first round of investments into troubled banks. The Congressional Budget Office has pegged that number at an understated $64 Billion. Which ever number is correct is immaterial what this clearly demonstrates is that a “hasty fix” resulted in spending more money than required.

    The following items will not create jobs and should be considered for future bills:

    1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years;

    $2 billion for child-care subsidies

    $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts;

    $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects

    $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons

    $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars, of course we could look at the number of vehicles, who uses them and maybe cut the fleet

    $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities

    $150 million for the Smithsonian; I love the Smithsonian, too, but this is a job creator?

    $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all

    $81 billion for Medicaid.

    $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, we need to do this for states like New Jersey that used $4.4 Billion collected for unemployment benefits but the state Legislature spent it for everything but unemployment benefits

    $20 billion for food stamps

    $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax—isn’t this called welfare?

    $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.

    $66 billion more will go to education, $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects, however, on page 257 wording explicitly states that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools." Heaven forbid we might have a non-union teacher educating children

    The desire to “fix” every aspect of society in one fell swoop is a very, very bad idea.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 4:28 PM, hegibson wrote:

    The government has contributed to the problems through its manipulation of the system. It has allowed, even encourage, the corporate culture and myth of never ending prosperity, spend, spend, spend. There should be some regulation in order to promote honesty and rational judgment. Both of those have been increasingly lacking in both government and business over the past decade. Honesty and irrationality are symptoms of a broken human nature. Laws are necessary for protection from the destructive effects of such behaviour, yes, even in business and government. The mindset in America is that "yes we can" fix anything and everything because we are the greatest nation on earth and nothing is impossible for us. Money can make up for irresponsibility. Let's not make ourselves face the painful consequences of the choices that we have made. As ususal, let someone else suffer for us. America is a culture that has lost its moral compass. It has jettisoned many of the core values that made it great. If this is not it, there will be a day of reckoning for her leaders are only the product of such a moral morass.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 4:32 PM, Celtics17 wrote:

    Pelosi lit the match, Reid provided the gasoline, and Obama took them to the forest. And that was the end of America.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 5:11 PM, HadEnoughNow wrote:

    Morgan 628 is right. When you go down the list, it is obvious this is just more social spending that we cannot afford. We have a clear choice to make: stimulate the economy now, or not. To stimulate an economy that is stalled because people have too much debt, the answer seems to be to get money in their hands to help them through this downturn.

    $1,000,000,000,000 divided by 100,000,000 households in the US would be $10,000 per household. I am NOT advocating this socialistic approach, but merely demonstrating that you could do a more effective program to get debt-ridden families money in this manner than the unbelievably bizarre methods being discussed. But, this method would not give government more control over our lives--and that is what all politicians want.

    Or, we could be adults, admit that this society has spent stupidly, unnecessarily, borrowed to do it, cannot continue to do it, and accept the fact that we are all going to have to adjust our lifestyles to less consumption. Further, with China and Japan owning most of our debt, and now needing to liquidate it on the open market to fund their own stimulus plans, exactly what group of fools with over $2,000,000,000,000 sitting around were you planning on buying our rollover and new debt, especially when Mr. Bernanke and company have just taken the interest rate to zero, and are flooding the marketplace with excessive dollars?

    For some strange reason, other people expect a return on their investment, even if the American government has forgotten it. Maybe we could go back to common sense, let corporations (including banks) that make bad decisions fail and go through bankruptcy. Can't value toxic assets? A bankruptcy auction could--pennies on the dollar. And it would cost the taxpayers zero.

    The bailouts and "stimulus" bills are fiascoes by, for, and of the federal government and the large corporations that provide the funding for the politicians' campaigns and lifestyles. Why would anyone trust the US government or big business to do anything right? They created this meltdown. Let capitalism work to rid us of the business failures, then have an election to rid us of the political failures.

    If not done soon, our currency will implode from the excessive debt service and rapidly expanding budget deficits for the foreseeable future. Can you say "banana republic"?

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 5:21 PM, SkippyStone wrote:

    The anxiety and panic from President Mrs. Pelosi, I mean Mr. O'bama, is ridiculous. Where did listening to Paulsen's hysterics get us? Why $78 billion in mis-applied TARP funds.

    There are some thoughtful posts and then there are some ridiculous ones. These two cracked me up.

    A. The first because fiscal responsibility is a far-right loyalist ideal. Okay - call me reactionary, then.

    B. The second because Apparently there is a difference between tossing Tax money (MY money) down one President's rat hole as opposed to another President's rat hole. Pass the rat bait, I need some of that almond aroma.

    Quotes from above:

    Unimaginably, 77% of the Fool readers in the poll appear to think that any attempt to get us out of the current problems should either be delayed or avoided altogether. I would not have thought that such a large number of readers were staunch far-right loyalists, after the abject failure of their policies over the last 8 (or possibly 28) years.

    Would I trust my tax dollars to a bill quickly passed under Obama's direction? Unfortunately, yes (I shouldn't have to). Would I trust BushCo to a dime of my money? No. But BushCo already borrowed ten times against it and handed it out to fat friends, instead of fixing the problems.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 5:46 PM, Robin1938 wrote:

    I love numbers. Thanks to those of you who used them. Otherwise a lot more heat than light

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 6:08 PM, RMoor wrote:

    Here are some "bang for the buck" estimates calculated by Mark Zandi of Moody's. He is quoted frequently in the WSJournal and already a month ago he was quoted as saying “Without such a stimulus, the economy appears headed toward the worst downturn since the Great Depression.” He also served as an adviser for the McCain Presidential campaign so you cannot accuse this guy of shilling for Obama.

    The numbers show government spending is a more effective stimulus than tax cuts. Can anyone cite numbers from other experts that show the opposite? Or can you give me a reason why I should listen to you instead of Mr. Zandi?

    Pretending we don't need this stimulus does a great disservice to America.

    Fiscal Stimulus Bang for the Buck

    Source: Moody's Economy.com

    Tax Cuts

    Non-refundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate 1.01

    Refundable Lump-Sum Tax Rebate 1.22

    Temporary Tax Cuts

    Payroll Tax Holiday 1.28

    Across the Board Tax Cut 1.03

    Accelerated Depreciation 0.25

    Permanent Tax Cuts

    Extend Alternative Minimum Tax Patch 0.49

    Make Bush Income Tax Cuts Permanent 0.31

    Make Dividend and Capital Gains Tax Cuts Permanent 0.38

    Cut in Corporate Tax Rate 0.30

    Spending Increases

    Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits 1.63

    Temporary Increase in Food Stamps 1.73

    General Aid to State Governments 1.38

    Increased Infrastructure Spending 1.59

    Note: The bang for the buck is estimated by the one year $ change in GDP for a given $ reduction in federal tax revenue or increase in spending.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2009, at 9:17 PM, breaktrack wrote:

    Harry Reid is giant wind bag!! I don't understand how he gets elected in Nevada! He made a stupid comment about the markets crashing harder around 1.5 months ago and the next day they actually went higher. He's a jackass in my humble opinion.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 12:22 AM, SnapDave wrote:

    Deepfryer,

    The tax cuts are only about $70 billion this year, roughly 2.5% of federal revenue and 0.5% of GDP. I’m not sure that’s more than a drop in the bucket. There are new home buyer credits in the bill. What for? To hold the bubble up? Home sales are far from zero right now. This part of the economy should absolutely not be stimulated right now.

    We can argue the necessity of the Iraq war all day long but in the end this is a temporary expense. Defense/Iraq war spending will go down. You say there has been domestic neglect but the fact is non-defense spending has increased a great deal under GWB. The fact is this bill will result in much more permanent spending beyond what is in it.

    It is a good thing, not bad, that this is all in one bill for everyone to see. Maybe people will wake up and see what the crooks are up to but it looks to be too late.

    RMoor,

    No, I don’t accept Krugman. I’m not entirely against the idea of stimulus to slow the downward spiral but this is too little in the short term and has little to do with stimulus. Krugman is making himself into a tool. You hit the nail on the head through when you say congress isn’t even qualified to be doing this. I’d say it isn’t because they aren’t smart enough. It is because they are blinded by self interest.

    I come to my conclusions on the nature of the spending because I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last year studying what Obama is about. Then I start looking into this spending bill and find some remarkable coincidences. We were all told BHO let congress write the whole bill, but there is plenty here on his wish list so that is BS.

    I have to reject your ideas that we are not qualified to comment. As an analogy, the Motley Fool has been preaching that we are all qualified to do our own investing. We don’t need to leave it to the “experts” on Wall St. whose interests are often not in line with ours. I think we both know that open discussion you seek isn’t going to happen, unfortunately.

    A6shadowhawk,

    Your MBS idea is fine in theory but I fear it is simply too big an undertaking. You might want to look into the cleanup of the S&L mess. As a practical matter, the government simply sold huge amounts of assets at deep discounts rather than spend the time and money trying to micromanage the best return for the taxpayer.

    The other problem is sending bad debt back to originators is a nonstarter. It would break contracts, which is not how our market system works nor should it. You send them back to originators many of which no longer exist. If they do exist they simply can’t afford it. Do you then bail them out? So this is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    To Diana and the other guy (sorry I can no longer find your post),

    I’m well aware of what the old radicals are about. Let me be clear. While I think Obama is a horrifically poor choice for President he in no way intends to deliberately destroy the country. To say otherwise makes you no better than those wacko Marxist radicals. I say this not to change your mind but to distance you from rational conservatives.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 1:14 AM, daftstockpicker wrote:

    800Billion in stimulus is chump change to revive the economy in the current state. Stimulus Bill has to be more in the 2 TRILLION range for there to be a positive impact.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 3:36 AM, Entertainme wrote:

    Dianna777, Dianna777, where art thou? Ya gotta go getum some more.

    Me thinks we would see what is going on if the drafters of the stimulus bill (Dems) would tell the American people how they came up with such nice round numbers (B as in billions) for each expenditure, i.e., why $2 Billion instead of an apparently thought out amount of, say, $1.785 Billion.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 4:37 AM, upupaepops wrote:

    Consumer spending is a major component of the economy. When people are laid off, or fear being laid off, they tend to curtail their spending. When large numbers of people curtail their spending, the shock waves are felt throughout the economy.

    Therefore, government spending along the lines of jobs creation programs, unemployement insurance and other forms of assistance to those most in need will help the greatest number the fastest and help get the country going again.

    What we definitely don't need is delay while Rome burns and more give-aways to the rich.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 6:05 AM, mlaursen wrote:

    Rome is not burning. We've had the same unemployment levels not that long ago.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 9:09 AM, elliecamp wrote:

    From an average American trying to get by, we need stimulus in this dire economy. We need simple language that we can understand so we can get behind any bill. We need immediate tax cuts - income tax, capital gains tax and big ticket tax credits. We can not allow our schools to suffer any longer and it is pathetic that the spending on education has to be cut. Creating more schools and providing more money for education not only creates jobs but will educate our young so maybe they won't be as ignorant as we have been in allowing this mess to occur.

    This country desperately needs improvement to our infrastructure. Money for this creates jobs, many jobs. Cut the federal fat and create some real jobs rebuilding this once great country.

    Get off your butts Congress and do something for all the people not just your own little empires. We need education, we need infrastructure, we need jobs. Simple. Americans are resilient. We will come back from this but we need some help and it needs to be simple and straightforward. If the American people can understand what is in the bill and can see that it will help them and not bureaucracy and fat cat bankers - they will get behind it. Give us the meat not the fat.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 9:55 AM, tweetypielori wrote:

    We can afford to spend one-trillion and more if needed. After all, we have spent that on rebuilding IRAQ. I see first hand how many unemployed people are out in the street. I live in Chicago. It is not pretty. There are no JOBS. People I know can't even get part time jobs and with the closing of Circuit City, wow the numbers are just staggering. I agree that useless programs won't work. I look at all the empty buildings, new banks that aren't completed and my own job on the line. I say stimulate as quickly as possible. Stop bailing out useless companies and start rebuilding new and vibrant companies that will be around for ever. One quick question, why doesn't Dunkin Donuts hire American People to work in their stores? I am very curious about this but I have never seen a American person born in my country behind the cash register in any Dunkin Donuts.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 10:05 AM, MitchinMS wrote:

    Do we really have to pass it ALL now? Even the New Deal was passed in bits and pieces - Roosevelt (and even Hoover before him) tried different things, then stuck with and expanded those that worked. Sounds like a decent approach to me...

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 12:40 PM, germpd wrote:

    All this back and forth finger pointing at each other sounds just like our law makers. Shows how divided this country is, and if times get real tuff it will get ulgy.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 2:48 PM, Natador54 wrote:

    I'm perplexed - not with Obama's plan or the concept behind it - but by the dead silence that came from our Morgan Housel and the other MF guru's last year, last summer, even last fall, when the market was in the process of crashing and an enormous wall street ponzi scheme revealed. At no point were we MF'ers told, like for example Cramer told with his audience, that they should pull their money from the market. I'm perplexed and wonder why we should now think that Housel really has a clue as to how to fix this mess.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 4:17 PM, jtpaul wrote:

    The United States may need a bailout but the one the House of Representatives passed on Friday smells of the leadership’s self-interest and not what is in the best interest of the citizens of this Great country. When we look at the primary leaders behind this bail-out the first person we should look at is the Speaker of the House – Nancy Pelosi.

    I call Nancy Pelosi Broom Hilda, not because I think she is a witch ( she may very well be but I have nothing to prove it), I call her Broom Hilda because of her claim to fame as the one who sweeps up George Bush’s messes. Unfortunately, whenever she goes to sweep up a mess she uses a wet broom and instead of cleaning anything up she muddies everything up. (see http://www.9news.com/news/world/article.aspx?storyid=95998&a... )

    The truth of the matter is, while the Bush administration does bear some responsibility, the partisan majority party Congressional leadership in their need to displace and blame solely the Bush Administration and the Administrations party rather than taking the responsibility for their actions in this mess and as they continue to displace blame, continue to lack the proper solutions and continue to cause harm to our own economy and our ability to act on the world stage. And though these leaders I believe were well intentioned, I am reminded of the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Watching our House leadership over the past few months afraid that once where they want to lead us will prove that “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned”.

    A case in point, Nancy Pelosi’s house of representatives had just passed a bill “bailing out” Freddie and Fannie and sending “mortgage relief” knowing this country was having fiscal difficulty and she is bragging about the Democrats joined with Bush this summer on one of his initiatives, he wanted to double U.S. aid for fighting AIDS in Africa and other poor countries. The Democrats instead used our tax money and apparently tax money that our Children and Grandchildren will be paying and tripled it, to $48 billion over five years. Bush went along with it. (See http://www.thedenverdailynews.com/article.php?aID=1409 ) What kind of governor brags about increasing the money we send abroad when the people in our own country are suffering? I am not saying stop sending money abroad, but we should certainly not be increasing it while we are trying to work through these trying times.

    According to the Article “Your State Tax Refund Might Be a Big IOU” Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) December 31, 2008 By Sue Doyle, Staff Writer Californians planning to stuff their thinning wallets with money from 2008 state income tax returns could be disappointed.

    For the first time in 17 years, California finance officials warn they could pay taxpayer income tax refunds in April with IOUs. And don't get any ideas: Residents who owe tax cannot pay the state with IOUs.

    Though the plan sounds like a desperate move from a down-and-out Vegas high roller, it's actually one of the few alternatives remaining for the world's eighth-largest economy as it struggles to close an ever-growing budget gap - now estimated at nearly $15 billion for this fiscal year. If nothing's done, the gap could widen to $41.6 billion by July 2010.

    In the near term, the cash-strapped state could run out of money in 60 days unless Sacramento officials can agree on a budget plan.

    The State of California is the eighth largest economy in the world and their legislative body has created so many social laws and regulatory laws that are bankrupting the state that they can no longer do business and are instead discussing how they can steal or forcibly borrow from their citizens (see. Apparently, Nancy Pelosi has brought the California way of doing business to our own Federal Government and it is in her self interest that those States that have been fiscally responsible pay for California’s errant ways. The state bailout plan is smoke and mirrors to protect Nancy and a few other Democratic States that have created their own messes. One suggestion has been to make enforceable no interest loans to these poorly legislated states with penalties for not paying back rather than the FREE RIDE Nancy and her leadership passed in the house bill. Now the Democratic Leadership wants to give states money that haven’t lived within their means. Is this what spread the wealth around means? Is Nancy Pelosi pushing this Bailout, not because it is good for the United States, but because it protects her states irresponsible socialist agenda and that agenda’s reputation?

    We know that Nancy is good at playing smoke and mirrors. In an article by Ben stein called Drill, Baby, Drill Posted on yahoo Monday, September 29, 2008, 12:00AM he reminds us that a few months ago oil was heading higher, gasoline reached unheard of prices, and Americans were essentially hysterical? Remember when

    Americans demanded, actually screamed in the politicians' ears that we wanted to

    drill in our offshore areas?

    “The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives gave the American people a firm slap in the face while it planted a big wet sloppy kiss on the lips of Hollywood’s glitterati. On September 16th, the House of Representatives narrowly passed Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comically named "Access" Bill. This past Saturday, the Senate approved the lifting of the 26-year ban on new offshore oil drilling. In the guise of doing what America wants Speaker Pelosi's bill does the following:

    * Places off limits areas within fifty miles of the coast line, where 80 percent of the oil and gas deposits are. This bill, if it becomes law, will place these energy rich areas off limits permanently.

    * Places off limits such energy rich areas as the Destin Dome off Florida and the super-rich areas off the coast of California on a permanent basis.

    * In a gesture of what she probably thought was courage, Speaker Pelosi allows drilling on seven percent of the acreage offshore in the most difficult, deep water areas, one hundred or more miles offshore.

    * If state legislatures sign on, drilling would be allowed in a further 12 percent of the untapped areas between 50 and 100 miles offshore -- again, difficult areas to explore and difficult areas in which to drill.

    This is a bad joke. Why are we doing this to ourselves? What is the utility of making us ever weaker, more vulnerable, and dependent upon people who hate us?

    This is a bill that cries out for veto or massive revision. It's just a bill to curry favor with the beautiful people, not with ordinary citizens. It is exactly what we do not need, which is vastly more drilling and production of American oil and gas in American waters”

    While we need to figure out how to do things more efficiently in regards to energy we also need the time in which to do it rather than bow down to her friends in Persia.

    A very partisan democratic congressional leadership (please note the use of the word leadership here and emphasize it) have been instrumental in bringing this country the financial mess we are in, while at the same time blaming the administration. Many or our Democratic representatives ran on the word “change” and then put the same poor leadership in the House back in their position. Unfortunately, when the political agenda is to redistribute wealth in order to promote political gains (kind of like the High School Class presidential candidate promising free lunch to all the classmates that vote for him/her) without the proper mechanisms in place the promise becomes a failed policy and a promise made in vain. When a voter hears a candidate promise "Change" the elector must be aware of what the word "change" means, and if that cannot really be determined except by promises that seem empty or are constantly shifted by the winds of political tidings or polls BEWARE. As we have all learned from childhood, "one should be careful what they wish for" because the change may be for the worse not the better.

    I have met many good American Democrats who believe in this country’s greatness and who want only what is best for the U.S. as a whole. It is obvious that there are good democrat representatives that can be shown by the number of Nay votes in the House of Representatives, and in the trust that the American people have in many of them. However, I cannot understand how these representatives could allow the worst leadership in decades (if not a century) could be re-elected to the leadership of the House and Senate. This leadership was saying how bad the economy was even when it was growing at 3% and finally said it enough to help create a fear so great in the public that we are facing the worst economic times of my generation. When Barney Frank said "These two entities - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis. . . . The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." (see http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/what_really_happened_... ) Obviously knowing that pushing an “opinion” into public view can cause adverse reactions whether what someone is saying is true or not has adverse effects and at the same time the democratic leadership continued to pound on the economy this was hypocrisy at its worst. Barney obviously wrong about what needed to be done in the mortgage industry and the numbers proving the democratic leadership wrong at the time the economy was growing and they were saying how bad it was.

    The ability for every American to move between the classes has been tantamount to the success of our Nation and her culture, when one believe "wealth" can just be handed to everyone it can create bigger problems, as we are now witnessing. For example when one promises to pay for everyone (i.e. socialism) usually the middle class is diminished and this group of people usually ends up paying for the problems that occur either through higher taxes or fewer jobs or both.

    This Great Nation and her constituents have been disserved by this congress, and now we have leaders of nation states who make great claims in the name of power (i.e. Hugo Chavez), where their inflation is 30%, using this mess to further their agenda's and create diplomatic problems for us. The integrated system that Hans J. Morgenthau describes (i.e. big picture) certainly should be contemplated in our course of action as we move forward from here. Ouch.

    I can only hope that our House of Representatives take to heart these words of wisdom spoken by Abraham Lincoln many years ago:

    * You cannot help the poor, by destroying the rich.

    * You cannot strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.

    * You cannot bring about prosperity, by discouraging thrift.

    * You cannot lift the wage earner up, by pulling the wage payer down.

    * You cannot further the brotherhood of man, by inciting class hatred.

    * You cannot build character and courage, by taking away men's initiative and independence.

    * You cannot help men permanently; by doing for them what they could and should, do for themselves.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 4:19 PM, karenbe111 wrote:

    Obama is not crying wolf, but he is experiencing the result of Bush's previous crys of wolf. Now that the real wolf is at the door, most (from your poll) believe it is another false alarm. Wake up people!

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 4:35 PM, Scotbgaw wrote:

    I agree with the theme of this article: that Congress is attempting to move forward quickly with an ill conceived bill by pushing spening on every pet project they can think of. It seems pretty obvious that this is the excuse politicians have been waiting for, as Rahm Emanuel was recently qouted as saying "“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity

    to do things you think you could not do before.”

    This is exactly what I expect from politicians, so I'm not very shocked when I hear about it.

    However, as a community of investors I think we should be more supportive of each other and note that we are all here to learn how to better invest. And whenever Congress starts to generate excessive quantities of debt either someone has to to buy it or someone has to print the money to fund it. So pay close attention to the bond market and see if buyers are showing up to treasury auctions (and initial signs are that they aren't). If they aren't then the market is saying that it needs higher interest rates to unload the debt, which means this is a great opportunity to short bonds for rising interest rates. Of course, with the Fed Funds Rate pegged at near zero, rising rates are a near certainty in the future.

    Then look at the Federal Reserve's actions. If the Fed refuses to raise rates in the short term, then there will still be a lot of Congressional spending that needs to be funded with no willing buyers of the bonds. This means the Federal Reserve will have to monetize the debt which will be our first indication that inflation is coming hard and fast. Purchasing the commodity companies that have been beaten down recently will probably give nice returns.

    Foolish best to all no matter how you feel about the bill. Remember, we can't control Congress directly, so prepare your portfolio accordingly now, and then get ready to let your voice be heard in the next election cycle (whether for or against the current policies).

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 6:00 PM, boogaloog wrote:

    So many of the comments here scare the crap out of me!!!!!! One who holds extremist views is likely not one to be capable of rational research and decision-making. And reading so many media-derived partisan catch phrases used as arguments makes me wonder if this country is ruled more by the herd mentality of partisan politics and the hatred of alternate viewpoints handed down from generation to generation than by the least bit of intellect.

    To be sure, not every bit of this stimulus package will not help. We're all human and make mistakes. But to claim that the money being spent will simply be gone, is to claim that it's not being spent ON anything. Even if it's spent on a project most people would find stupid and wasteful (let's say $500 billion to mow the White House lawn with fingernail clippers), it's still going to PEOPLE who are doing the WORK. Because when you get right down to it, the only place money ever goes is to people. It costs nothing to dig gold out of the ground -- it costs to pay the people to do the digging, make the machines, extract the gold from the dirt, and on and on. So even if you think some projects in the package sound wasteful and you disagree with them on some level (which you have every right to do), all the money spent on them really only goes to pay people to do work somewhere in the process. And isn't the big problem right now that enough people aren't getting paid?

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 6:52 PM, jtpaul wrote:

    Well, we know that President Obama when he was running promising to redistribute the wealth. And it may be that he and the democratic party are trying to continue to redistribute the wealth and power as Senator Dodd and Representative Frank have done over the years. Here's my take on the type of representative we are dealing with I do this by profiling Senator Dodd and some of the "economic bailout" that we have experienced so far.

    The United States finds itself in another recession. It may or may not be worse than the recession we faced in the 1980’s, which also saw problems in the finance industry with the fall-out coming from Savings and Loans and the government formed the Resolution Trust to help fix the mess created by legislation issues back in the day.

    From 1976 to 1980 we found out that President Carter’s economic policies didn’t work, and we continue to see the fallout from some of his policies (later enhanced during the Clinton day’s) with a refusal by the Democratic legislator’s to regulate the industry until the bottom fell out. And now the legislators will probably over react, and just like until recently you couldn’t carry lighters onto planes (but could carry matches), they will start making laws that don’t make much sense.

    If this bailout really is about the economy this new bailout (called a “Stimulus Plan”) is worth watching, and will certainly point to the direction our choice of leaders will take us. Do we want more of the same as we've had these past few years or do we want a real change?

    Perhaps it is time for the democratic leadership of the House and Senate and those who have been leading the Banking committees, at least these past 2 years (the House of Represnetatives and the Senate were a Democratic Majority) and perhaps these past 6 years (The Senate has had a Democrats have had a majority off and on for the past eight years beginning in January 2001 meaning half the time George Bush was in office.) These legislators and our past presidents were major architects (though not the sole architects of this financial mess).

    Perhaps it is time for real leadership instead of Change really means= more of the same (see Barak Obamas record on the Housing issue and his use of ACORN) who's definition of change really means only one party will govern, therefore there won’t be any dissension so we can get poor legislation passed but people like Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi won’t be throwing lightning bolts through the press.

    I mention Chris Dodd because he is once again Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. He ignored George Bush when George wanted to better regulate Fannie and Freddie Mac and then using his political guile blamed it on the Administration.

    I start with portions of Playing the Blame Game On Fannie and Freddie, By Al Hubbard and Noam Neusner in order to get a perspective of why we are in this mess and need the bailout/stimulus plan.

    Taxpayers face a tab of as much as $200 billion for a government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the formerly semi-autonomous mortgage finance clearinghouses. And Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has the gall to ask in a Bloomberg Television interview: "I have a lot of questions about where was the administration over the last eight years."

    Starting in 2002, White House and Treasury Department economic policy staffers, with support from then-Chief of Staff Andy Card, began to press for meaningful reforms of Fannie, Freddie and other Government- sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

    The crux of their concern was this: Investors believed that the GSEs were government-backed, so shouldn't the GSEs also be subject to meaningful government supervision?

    President Bush was receptive to reform. He withheld nominees for Fannie and Freddie's boards -- a presidential privilege. While it would have been valuable politically to use such positions to reward supporters, the president put good policy above good politics.

    In subsequent years, officials at Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisers (especially Chairmen Greg Mankiw and Harvey Rosen) pressed for… reform…. In 2005, Republican Mike Oxley, then chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, brought up a reform bill (H.R. 1461), and Fannie and Freddie's lobbyists set out to weaken it. The bill was rendered so toothless that Card called Oxley the night before markup and promised to oppose it. Oxley pulled the bill instead…

    Meanwhile, Dodd -- who along with Democratic Sens. John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were the top four recipients of Fannie and Freddie campaign contributions from 1988 to 2008 -- actively opposed such measures and further weakened existing regulation.

    The president's budget proposals reflected the nature of the challenge. Note the following passage from the 2005 budget: Fannie, Freddie and other GSEs "are highly leveraged, holding much less capital in relation to their assets than similarly sized financial institutions. . . . A misjudgment or unexpected economic event could quickly deplete this capital, potentially making it difficult for a GSE to meet its debt

    obligations. Given the very large size of each enterprise, even a small mistake by a GSE could have consequences throughout the economy."

    As recently as last summer, when housing prices had clearly peaked and the mortgage market had started to seize up, Dodd called on Bush to "immediately reconsider his ill-advised" reform proposals. Frank, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that the president's suggestion for a strong, independent regulator of Fannie and Freddie was "inane."

    These very Democrats who are screaming about our economy, who are the ones that are claiming to fix our economy with this ill advised bill, are the ones leading the charge for this stimulus plan. Doesn’t that scare you a little? Perhaps that isn’t enough!

    Lets look at Senator Dodd a little closer in an Article titled Countrywide Gave Special Attention To Lawmakers Washington Post - June 14, 2008 , By Jonathan Weisman and Dina ElBoghdady Washington Post Staff Writers Lender's Chief Executive Offered Incentives to VIPs A01

    Conrad (D-N.D.) said yesterday that he sees nothing wrong with calling Mozilo, the chief executive of the nation's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial. And the Senate Budget Committee chairman is adamant that he received no special deals. ..But by reaching out to Mozilo, Conrad became another VIP enrolled in the "FOA" -- Friends of Angelo -- loan program…"[T]ake off 1 point," Mozilo instructed a subordinate in a March 17, 2004, e-mail obtained by Condé Nast Portfolio magazine. In another e-mail that April about a Conrad loan, Mozilo wrote: "Make an exception due to the fact that the borrower is a senator." …The Portfolio investigation alleges that favorable loans also were extended to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.); President Bush's former housing secretary, Alphonso Jackson; former United Nations ambassador Richard Holbrooke; and former Health and Human Services secretary Donna E. Shalala……But Conrad and Dodd, both of whom have committee jurisdictions that affect Countrywide, yesterday dismissed the notion that they received favorable deals, and they said they did not know that the FOA loan category existed. .."I was never told I was given preferential treatment. I didn't ask for it, didn't seek it, and as far as I know, I didn't get it," Conrad said. …"As a United States senator, I would never ask or expect to be treated differently than anyone else refinancing their home," Dodd said in a statement…Bryan DeAngelis, a spokesman for Dodd, said neither the senator nor his wife ever spoke to Mozilo about their loans. .. Dodd borrowed $506,000 at 4.25 percent to refinance his Washington townhouse and $275,042 at 4.5 percent to refinance a home in East Haddam, Conn., according to Portfolio. Quoting internal documents, the magazine said Countrywide waived three-eighths of a point, or about $2,000, on the first loan and a quarter of a point, or $700, on the second. .."When my wife and I refinanced our loans in 2003, we did not seek or expect any favorable treatment," said Dodd, who is negotiating a bill to crack down on some types of subprime lending. "Just like millions of other Americans, we shopped around and received competitive rates."

    Of course, this does not make him guilty of anything, but it certainly makes one wonder. It is the appearance that the most powerful member on the Senate Banking Committee is taking favors. This becomes even more pronounced when his actions can have a profound, lasting and very real effect on the United States for years to come, in fact, across generations. This is a man who supposedly decides whether or not a presidential nominee can even be brought before the senate for a hearing. Mind you the Federal Reserve is not a district judge, he is more like a Supreme Court Justice who influences our economy so that it is protected and he has no “Real” boss.

    In an Article Fed Governor Mishkin Will Step Down, Wall Street Journal – May 29, 2008, Vacancies May Offer Rare Opportunity For Next President, By Damian Paletta And Greg Ip, Page A3

    The next president could have a rare opportunity to redraw the Federal Reserve's leadership by immediately nominating four of its seven board members, quickly putting fingerprints on regulatory policy… Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) has blocked three nominations sent up from the White House last year, including the renomination of Mr. Kroszner. Among other things, Sen. Dodd cited the length of Mr. Krosnzer's 14-year term. Several months ago, Senate Democrats offered to confirm one of the nominations but only until the end of President Bush's term. The White House refused.

    Experts say the makeup of a new board would have little impact on monetary policy, that is the setting of interest rates, which has generally been nonpartisan in recent decades. The more likely impact is on the rules affecting bank supervision and consumer protection.

    "Four new governors will make a difference, there's no doubt about that," said Susan Phillips, a former Fed governor who now heads the George Washington University School of Business, adding that "the places that people tend to differ on political lines tend to be in the regulatory area."

    Among the areas the Fed is expected to review are policies that impose restrictions on investments in banks by private-equity firms and other companies. That issue is becoming more significant as financial-services companies continue building capital in the wake of the credit turmoil. Fed officials also will have an important say in next year's debate about whether the central bank needs broader powers over investment banks.

    The three board members with terms that extend beyond 2009 are Mr. Bernanke, Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and Fed Governor Kevin Warsh.

    Chris Dodd was part of the group of legislators who stonewalled President Bush in regulation that would have helped us avoid this financial crisis, withheld nominations that may have given a broader perspective in how to deal with the problem as it began tumbling across all lines of the public sector and eventually out onto main street. He only started giving the Fed more tools to work with after Barak nominated Daniel Tarullo as Fed Governor, who was sworn in earlier this year, leaving two

    vacancies on the seven-member board. Taullo takes over an unexpired term that ends Jan. 31, 2022. Three and a half Presidential terms from now - fourteen years. I hope and pray that Tarullo does not hold the same views as Senator Dodd did that got us into this mess. Now Dodd is Voicing doubt on the Fed Systemic Role after he refused to give the human capital, and averted regulation, that would have helped us if we had acted rather than reacted (See [url=http://url] http://www.americanbanker.com/login.html?action=login&pr... [/url]

    Of course, Senator Dodd’s resume wouldn’t be complete without looking at the article for which I have tried to incorporate the relevant pieces here from Review & Outlook: $600 Million Baby

    Wall Street Journal - July 8, 2008 Page A20

    As the Senate prepares to vote on its mortgage bailout this week, one part of Banking Chairman Chris Dodd's bill deserves more scrutiny. It's a section called "affordable housing allocations," and while it sounds innocuous, in practice it amounts to a new tax to create a permanent subsidy for state governments and political activists.

    Like the bailout that has already passed the House, the Senate bill features a special new tax on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We have long urged reform of the two mortgage giants, which operate with an implicit government guarantee and therefore a license to endanger the taxpayer if they take on too much risk. The shares of both plunged yesterday to new lows based on their credit risks. But as a price for allowing more oversight of the two companies, Mr. Dodd and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank want to cut their allies in on even more of the action.

    Mr. Dodd creates an annual tax of 4.2 basis points on the mortgages that Fan and Fred purchase each year. Initially this money will go to finance losses resulting from the bill's bailout of refinanced mortgages. But by 2012 most of the cash from this tax will be directed to the new "affordable housing" funds. Mr. Frank applies a 1.2 basis-point tax on the value of all the loans Fan and Fred hold or have guaranteed, to

    collect roughly the same amount of money. The annual windfall here could amount to more than $600 million at the start, growing to perhaps $1 billion or more, depending on how fast the companies grow.

    Even better for the pols, this money won't end up in the Treasury's general fund. Instead, they've written the bill to steer the cash toward some of their favorite political allies. In the Senate bill, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development gets the largest pot to distribute, a full 65% of the "affordable housing" funds. Within guidelines established by the bill, the HUD chief has discretion to favor particular states while punishing others in creating a formula for doling out block grants.

    Much of the political clout will be enjoyed by state politicians once they receive the checks from HUD. The state pols will be free to share the wealth with favored organizations, which will include both nonprofit

    and for-profit groups with an agenda.

    Back at the federal level, the Treasury Secretary receives 35% of the affordable housing funds to distribute, but he doesn't have to ship it off to the states in the form of block grants. Treasury can make grants directly to nonprofits, and the one certainty is that most of this cash will be directed to the most powerful allies of the politicians in power. While Mr. Frank's version only authorizes this river of cash until 2012, the Senate would make it permanent and don't expect the House to object in conference.

    Democrats claim the bill has ample protection against money going for electioneering and lobbying, but it will surely go to activists who promote ever-more taxes and spending. We see nothing in either the House

    or Senate bills to prevent money from flowing to Acorn, the left-wing activist outfit that was infamous for its bare-knuckle politics even before eight of its employees pleaded guilty in April to election fraud in St. Louis.

    Acorn operates an "affordable housing" arm, so it is structured to immediately board the new federal gravy train. The Center for Responsible Lending, which lobbies and litigates against market rates in

    consumer banking, also should be able to tap these funds via its affiliated Center for Community Self-Help. If later investigations prove that taxpayer funds were misused, the bills provide that recipients can

    simply return the amount of the grant, with no further financial penalty.

    The affordable housing funds also give Members of Congress an even larger stake in the growth of Fannie and Freddie. Heretofore, the companies have had to influence Congress through lobbying and campaign donations. But now Congress will get a direct percentage in how much new business the companies do.

    This, in turn, will give the companies more incentive to take even greater financial risks. While the bill gives Fan and Fred's regulator more power to limit their business, good luck to the human regulator who

    tries to do so. The companies will go to Messrs. Dodd and Frank, who will quickly let the regulator know he's not supposed to cut into their share of the loot. A bill that allegedly reins in the companies after their multibillion-dollar accounting frauds will thus make Fannie and Freddie even more politically invulnerable.

    With rare exceptions, Republicans seem happy to go along with all this in the name of "doing something" about housing before the election. We doubt it will stem their electoral losses this year, and in return they'll be funding their political opponents for decades to come. Genius.

    Unfortunately, The “economic “Stimulus Plan” could look a lot more like this self-serving piece of legislation that continues to sap the energy of the American Middle-Class and work force because of the taxation it will call for some day, rewarding people who live off the Governments money teet, and causing more harm than good over the long term. It is so bad that the short term good it MAY do is not worth doing at all. And I suspect the characters pushing this bill know it… but they may be looking at their own narrow self-interests (or perhaps their agenda) rather than looking at the interest of the American people.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 7:41 PM, RMoor wrote:

    "The Nobel committee and Krugman have both shown their ideological stripes." "Krugman is making himself into a tool."

    Krugman is one of the few people who come close to understanding what is going on and I believe you ignore him at the peril of us all. Too many people comfort themselves by dismissing what he says just because he was right about the wrongdoings of the Bush administration so early and so often. But he follows where the logic leads him and has criticized Obama a lot too. Recently he said he does not see any economic reason why it is not possible for an economy to be effectively driven by the massive spending of a few super rich people just as well as by the moderate spending of a much larger number of people even though ideologically he prefers the latter case. He was right early about the housing bubble and he recently published a new book on Depression era economics. His Nobel prize was for work he did decades ago and economists of all stripes recognize it as significant. I suggest it is irresponsible to dismiss him just because he has "shown his ideological stripes." Even if it were true it is an ad hominem argument and it is not an adequate substitute for showing what is wrong with his reasoning.

  • Report this Comment On February 08, 2009, at 11:28 PM, clevelandrudge wrote:

    Boogaloog and RMoor make some very good observations.

    I too am shocked an saddened that so many of the arguments posted here consist of nothing but hyperventilated talking points lifted straight from Fox News and other shills of the right wing echo chamber. All this angst over Acorn---give me a break! What a bunch of bunk!! Diana, you really need to get a grip.

    Let's quit the finger pointing and the blame game, but before we do that, let's remember that is was the disgraced and disgraceful Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Gonzalez/Paulson administration that got us into this mess. OK, now we can quit the finger pointing.

    Seriously, trillions for an ill-conceived and badly mismanaged overseas adventure that harmed our national security but not a penny for investment in our infrastructure? What is this resistance to helping the American people get out of a huge economic crisis? Is it more "patriotic" to spend huge money on a war based on hubris and fried intelligence than on social programs that will help real people out of financial ruin? Maybe it's becasue "social programs" sounds too much like "socialism." Oh, no!

    Well guess what---I'm not afraid of "socialism." To those of you who try to use that word like a billy club, remember we haven't had a purely capitalistic system around here in a very long time. Ask your parents and grandparents if they think Social Security was such a terrible idea. What about the 8-hour day and 5-day work week---that was called creeping socialism when it was introduced under pressure from the labor unions. And driver's licences---hey, get the government off my back and just let me drive, and get that damn seatbelt offa me!

    So to all you rough and tough, don't fence me in and get out of my face individualists, remember this: this country would be poorer, nastier, more dangerous, less secure, more screwed up, more desperate, more brutal, more miserable, less healthy and less happy if we had never adopted any aspects of "socialism."

    I don't scare that easy, and neither should you. And stop listening to that crap on the radio!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 10:58 AM, RileyBrown wrote:

    I think Obama understands (more than any other current Congress Person) what "living within your means" encompasses, but he did not create this mess and now he has to do SOMETHING to deal with it. I think the stimulus package is a good start and he has a team that should know how to manage it. My concern is that, the longer it takes to pass, the less confident the team will be in enforcing its management and that could be a critical downfall for all of us! I do agree that nothing should be rushed through, just for the sake of politics and pandering to constituents and lobbyists, but no one in congress appears to know how to deal with money effectively, and I would much rather see some type of line item veto for the current administration for this particulair situation.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 11:06 AM, Deepfryer wrote:

    jtpaul: Interesting ideas, but I just don't buy it. You're underestimating Bush's power, and vastly overestimating Dodd's. Don't forget that under the Bush years, America was transformed into a country where the president has virtually limitless power to do anything he wants. The president can now start wars without congressional approval. Our system of "checks and balances" is dead. So my point is, if Bush really wanted to pass something as simple as banking regulations, he certainly could've done it.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 11:26 AM, robertf36009 wrote:

    This bill is a runaway PORK TRAIN bearing down on the American tax payer. So far I haven't even heard any of these people identify the correct causitive agent (Hint it's not Bush/Chenney.). Without correctly identifying cause and effect how can we expect the correct measures to be taken to fix this? In short we can't. This bill will only make things worse. Financing debt with more debt is sheer stupidity. This action will lead to a devalued dollar and hyper inflation down the road. Invest in gold while you can.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 11:32 AM, robertf36009 wrote:

    Deepfryer: You do remember the democrats fillibustering against virtually everything for the last six years including judicial nominees for the first time ever don't you? You do realize that democrats have held the majority in both houses of congress for the last two years don't you? Have you ever heard of the CRA and the legal actions that stemed from it?

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 1:03 PM, PoundMutt wrote:

    Bipartisanship:

    When the EVIL party and the STUPID party get together and do somethiing BOTH EVIL and STUPID.

    In this case, since NO REAL republican Party input was allowed, the Democratic Party, in itself, IS BOTH EVIL AND STUPID!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 1:09 PM, PauvrePapillon wrote:

    From His Most Beloved and Exalted Excellency Barack Hussein Obama, JD, the FIBPOTUS (9 January 2009):

    "There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy."

    Public response from over 300 economists:

    “With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.”

    “Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's "lost decade" in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policy makers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

    Signed by economists:

    Burton Abrams, Univ. of Delaware

    Douglas Adie, Ohio University

    Ryan Amacher, Univ. of Texas at Arlington

    J.J. Arias, Georgia College & State University

    Howard Baetjer, Jr., Towson University

    Stacie Beck, Univ. of Delaware

    Don Bellante, Univ. of South Florida

    James Bennett, George Mason University

    Bruce Benson, Florida State University

    Sanjai Bhagat, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder

    Mark Bils, Univ. of Rochester

    Alberto Bisin, New York University

    Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans

    Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University

    Michele Boldrin, Washington University in St. Louis

    Donald Booth, Chapman University

    Michael Bordo, Rutgers University

    Samuel Bostaph, Univ. of Dallas

    Scott Bradford, Brigham Young University

    Genevieve Briand, Eastern Washington University

    George Brower, Moravian College

    James Buchanan, Nobel laureate

    Richard Burdekin, Claremont McKenna College

    Henry Butler, Northwestern University

    William Butos, Trinity College

    Peter Calcagno, College of Charleston

    Bryan Caplan, George Mason University

    Art Carden, Rhodes College

    James Cardon, Brigham Young University

    Dustin Chambers, Salisbury University

    Emily Chamlee-Wright, Beloit College

    V.V. Chari, Univ. of Minnesota

    Barry Chiswick, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

    Lawrence Cima, John Carroll University

    J.R. Clark, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    Gian Luca Clementi, New York University

    R. Morris Coats, Nicholls State University

    John Cochran, Metropolitan State College

    John Cochrane, Univ. of Chicago

    John Cogan, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

    John Coleman, Duke University

    Boyd Collier, Tarleton State University

    Robert Collinge, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio

    Lee Coppock, Univ. of Virginia

    Mario Crucini, Vanderbilt University

    Christopher Culp, Univ. of Chicago

    Kirby Cundiff, Northeastern State University

    Antony Davies, Duquesne University

    John Dawson, Appalachian State University

    Clarence Deitsch, Ball State University

    Arthur Diamond, Jr., Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha

    John Dobra, Univ. of Nevada, Reno

    James Dorn, Towson University

    Christopher Douglas, Univ. of Michigan, Flint

    Floyd Duncan, Virginia Military Institute

    Francis Egan, Trinity College

    John Egger, Towson University

    Kenneth Elzinga, Univ. of Virginia

    Paul Evans, Ohio State University

    Eugene Fama, Univ. of Chicago

    W. Ken Farr, Georgia College & State University

    Hartmut Fischer, Univ. of San Francisco

    Fred Foldvary, Santa Clara University

    Murray Frank, Univ. of Minnesota

    Peter Frank, Wingate University

    Timothy Fuerst, Bowling Green State University

    B. Delworth Gardner, Brigham Young University

    John Garen, Univ. of Kentucky

    Rick Geddes, Cornell University

    Aaron Gellman, Northwestern University

    William Gerdes, Clarke College

    Michael Gibbs, Univ. of Chicago

    Stephan Gohmann, Univ. of Louisville

    Rodolfo Gonzalez, San Jose State University

    Richard Gordon, Penn State University

    Peter Gordon, Univ. of Southern California

    Ernie Goss, Creighton University

    Paul Gregory, Univ. of Houston

    Earl Grinols, Baylor University

    Daniel Gropper, Auburn University

    R.W. Hafer, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

    Arthur Hall, Univ. of Kansas

    Steve Hanke, Johns Hopkins

    Stephen Happel, Arizona State University

    Frank Hefner, College of Charleston

    Ronald Heiner, George Mason University

    David Henderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

    Robert Herren, North Dakota State University

    Gailen Hite, Columbia University

    Steven Horwitz, St. Lawrence University

    John Howe, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia

    Jeffrey Hummel, San Jose State University

    Bruce Hutchinson, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga

    Brian Jacobsen, Wisconsin Lutheran College

    Jason Johnston, Univ. of Pennsylvania

    Boyan Jovanovic, New York University

    Jonathan Karpoff, Univ. of Washington

    Barry Keating, Univ. of Notre Dame

    Naveen Khanna, Michigan State University

    Nicholas Kiefer, Cornell University

    Daniel Klein, George Mason University

    Paul Koch, Univ. of Kansas

    Narayana Kocherlakota, Univ. of Minnesota

    Marek Kolar, Delta College

    Roger Koppl, Fairleigh Dickinson University

    Kishore Kulkarni, Metropolitan State College of Denver

    Deepak Lal, UCLA

    George Langelett, South Dakota State University

    James Larriviere, Spring Hill College

    Robert Lawson, Auburn University

    John Levendis, Loyola University New Orleans

    David Levine, Washington University in St. Louis

    Peter Lewin, Univ. of Texas at Dallas

    Dean Lillard, Cornell University

    Zheng Liu, Emory University

    Alan Lockard, Binghampton University

    Edward Lopez, San Jose State University

    John Lunn, Hope College

    Glenn MacDonald, Washington

    University in St. Louis

    Michael Marlow, California

    Polytechnic State University

    Deryl Martin, Tennessee Tech University

    Dale Matcheck, Northwood University

    Deirdre McCloskey, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago

    John McDermott, Univ. of South Carolina

    Joseph McGarrity, Univ. of Central Arkansas

    Roger Meiners, Univ. of Texas at Arlington

    Allan Meltzer, Carnegie Mellon University

    John Merrifield, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio

    James Miller III, George Mason University

    Jeffrey Miron, Harvard University

    Thomas Moeller, Texas Christian University

    John Moorhouse, Wake Forest University

    Andrea Moro, Vanderbilt University

    Andrew Morriss, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Michael Munger, Duke University

    Kevin Murphy, Univ. of Southern California

    Richard Muth, Emory University

    Charles Nelson, Univ. of Washington

    Seth Norton, Wheaton College

    Lee Ohanian, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

    Lydia Ortega, San Jose State University

    Evan Osborne, Wright State University

    Randall Parker, East Carolina University

    Donald Parsons, George Washington University

    Sam Peltzman, Univ. of Chicago

    Mark Perry, Univ. of Michigan, Flint

    Christopher Phelan, Univ. of Minnesota

    Gordon Phillips, Univ. of Maryland

    Michael Pippenger, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks

    Tomasz Piskorski, Columbia University

    Brennan Platt, Brigham Young University

    Joseph Pomykala, Towson University

    William Poole, Univ. of Delaware

    Barry Poulson, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder

    Benjamin Powell, Suffolk University

    Edward Prescott, Nobel laureate

    Gary Quinlivan, Saint Vincent College

    Reza Ramazani, Saint Michael's College

    Adriano Rampini, Duke University

    Eric Rasmusen, Indiana University

    Mario Rizzo, New York University

    Richard Roll, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

    Robert Rossana, Wayne State University

    James Roumasset, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa

    John Rowe, Univ. of South Florida

    Charles Rowley, George Mason University

    Juan Rubio-Ramirez, Duke University

    Roy Ruffin, Univ. of Houston

    Kevin Salyer, Univ. of California, Davis

    Pavel Savor, Univ. of Pennsylvania

    Ronald Schmidt, Univ. of Rochester

    Carlos Seiglie, Rutgers University

    William Shughart II, Univ. of Mississippi

    Charles Skipton, Univ. of Tampa

    James Smith, Western Carolina University

    Vernon Smith, Nobel laureate

    Lawrence Southwick, Jr., Univ. at Buffalo

    Dean Stansel, Florida Gulf Coast University

    Houston Stokes, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

    Brian Strow, Western Kentucky University

    Shirley Svorny, California State

    University, Northridge

    John Tatom, Indiana State University

    Wade Thomas, State University of New York at Oneonta

    Henry Thompson, Auburn University

    Alex Tokarev, The King's College

    Edward Tower, Duke University

    Leo Troy, Rutgers University

    David Tuerck, Suffolk University

    Charlotte Twight, Boise State University

    Kamal Upadhyaya, Univ. of New Haven

    Charles Upton, Kent State University

    T. Norman Van Cott, Ball State University

    Richard Vedder, Ohio University

    Richard Wagner, George Mason University

    Douglas M. Walker, College of Charleston

    Douglas O. Walker, Regent University

    Christopher Westley, Jacksonville State University

    Lawrence White, Univ. of Missouri at St. Louis

    Walter Williams, George Mason University

    Doug Wills, Univ. of Washington Tacoma

    Dennis Wilson, Western Kentucky University

    Gary Wolfram, Hillsdale College

    Huizhong Zhou, Western Michigan University

    Lee Adkins, Oklahoma State University

    William Albrecht, Univ. of Iowa

    Donald Alexander, Western Michigan University

    Geoffrey Andron, Austin Community College

    Nathan Ashby, Univ. of Texas at El Paso

    George Averitt, Purdue North Central University

    Charles Baird, California State University, East Bay

    Timothy Bastian, Creighton University

    John Bethune, Barton College

    Robert Bise, Orange Coast College

    Karl Borden, University of Nebraska

    Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University

    Ivan Brick, Rutgers University

    Phil Bryson, Brigham Young University

    Richard Burkhauser, Cornell University

    Jim Butkiewicz, Univ. of Delaware

    Richard Cebula, Armstrong Atlantic State University

    Don Chance, Louisiana State University

    Robert Chatfield, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas

    Lloyd Cohen, George Mason University

    Peter Colwell, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Michael Connolly, Univ. of Miami

    Jim Couch, Univ. of North Alabama

    Eleanor Craig, Univ. of Delaware

    Michael Daniels, Columbus State University

    A. Edward Day, Univ. of Texas at Dallas

    Stephen Dempsey, Univ. of Vermont

    Allan DeSerpa, Arizona State University

    William Dewald, Ohio State University

    Jeff Dorfman, Univ. of Georgia

    Lanny Ebenstein, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

    Michael Erickson, The College of Idaho

    Jack Estill, San Jose State University

    Dorla Evans, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville

    Frank Falero, California State University, Bakersfield

    Daniel Feenberg, National Bureau of Economic Research

    Eric Fisher, California Polytechnic State University

    William Ford, Middle Tennessee State University

    Ralph Frasca, Univ. of Dayton

    Joseph Giacalone, St. John's University

    Adam Gifford, California State Unviersity, Northridge

    Otis Gilley, Louisiana Tech University

    J. Edward Graham, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

    Richard Grant, Lipscomb University

    Gauri-Shankar Guha, Arkansas State University

    Darren Gulla, Univ. of Kentucky

    Dennis Halcoussis, California State University, Northridge

    Richard Hart, Miami University

    James Hartley, Mount Holyoke College

    Thomas Hazlett, George Mason University

    Scott Hein, Texas Tech University

    John Hoehn, Michigan State University

    Daniel Houser, George Mason University

    Thomas Howard, University of Denver

    Chris Hughen, Univ. of Denver

    Marcus Ingram, Univ. of Tampa

    Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University

    Sherry Jarrell, Wake Forest University

    Robert Krol, California State University, Northridge

    James Kurre, Penn State Erie

    Tom Lehman, Indiana Wesleyan University

    W. Cris Lewis, Utah State University

    Stan Liebowitz, Univ. of Texas at Dallas

    Anthony Losasso, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

    John Lott, Jr., Univ. of Maryland

    Keith Malone, Univ. of North Alabama

    Henry Manne, George Mason University

    Richard Marcus, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    Timothy Mathews, Kennesaw State University

    John Matsusaka, Univ. of Southern California

    Thomas Mayor, Univ. of Houston

    W. Douglas McMillin, Louisiana State University

    Mario Miranda, The Ohio State University

    Ed Miseta, Penn State Erie

    James Moncur, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa

    Charles Moss, Univ. of Florida

    Tim Muris, George Mason University

    John Murray, Univ. of Toledo

    David Mustard, Univ. of Georgia

    Steven Myers, Univ. of Akron

    Dhananjay Nanda, University of Miami

    Stephen Parente, Univ. of Minnesota

    Douglas Patterson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University

    Timothy Perri, Appalachian State University

    Mark Pingle, Univ. of Nevada, Reno

    Richard Rawlins, Missouri Southern State University

    Thomas Rhee, California State University, Long Beach

    Christine Ries, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Nancy Roberts, Arizona State University

    Larry Ross, Univ. of Alaska Anchorage

    Timothy Roth, Univ. of Texas at El Paso

    Atulya Sarin, Santa Clara University

    Thomas Saving, Texas A&M University

    Eric Schansberg, Indiana University Southeast

    Alan Shapiro, Univ. of Southern California

    Frank Spreng, McKendree University

    Judith Staley Brenneke, John Carroll University

    John E. Stapleford, Eastern University

    Courtenay Stone, Ball State University

    Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, UCLA

    Scott Sumner, Bentley University

    Clifford Thies, Shenandoah University

    William Trumbull, West Virginia University

    Gustavo Ventura, Univ. of Iowa

    Marc Weidenmier, Claremont McKenna College

    Robert Whaples, Wake Forest University

    Gene Wunder, Washburn University

    John Zdanowicz, Florida International University

    Jerry Zimmerman, Univ. of Rochester

    Joseph Zoric, Franciscan University of Steubenville

    http://www.cato.org/special/stimulus09/

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 1:10 PM, PauvrePapillon wrote:

    “I call upon all responsible, productive people to work hard and sacrifice so that we can redistribute their incomes to those who will never be able to find a decent job because they refuse to buy into bourgeois middle class values like staying in school or learning a trade or finding a husband before starting a family but are, nevertheless, the Ones We Have Been Waiting For because they will get on a bus and go vote for me whenever and wherever I need to send them.”

    His Most Beloved and Exalted Excellency Barack Hussein Obama, JD, the FIBPOTUS

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 3:06 PM, libertarianlib wrote:

    To PauvrePapillon,

    Please don't reguripost disinformation that has been clearly shown to be false over nine months ago (see below), a list which was used by John McCain in his failed candidacy and which has nothing to do with the recovery plan currently being debated.

    If this is typical of the best that you can offer in rational debate, another instance of dissembling and misattribution of information, it is perfectly understandable why neocons had their asses handed to them in November. See you in four years.

    Dated 7/12/08

    FACT: Many of the 300 economists don't support McCain's whole economic agenda. On Monday, John McCain's campaign released a statement signed by 300 economists who "enthusiastically support" his "Jobs for America" economic plan, providing a heavyweight testimonial to the presumptive Republican nominee's "broad and powerful economic agenda." There's just one problem. Upon closer inspection, it seems a good many of those economists don't actually support the whole of McCain's economic agenda. And at least one doesn't even support McCain for president. In interviews with more than a dozen of the signatories, Politico found that, far from embracing McCain's economic plan, many were unfamiliar with - or downright opposed to - key details. [Politico, 7/9/08, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11618.html]

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 5:08 PM, PennyPincher12 wrote:

    Yeah, the stimulus is by and large a bad idea (on paper).

    But, it may help psychologically turn the recession around. And maybe we can grow our economy to actually afford the debt.

    Have faith and God bless the USA!!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 5:15 PM, libertarianlib wrote:

    To JTPaul,

    I read your screed above. How can any of it be believed without any documented citations?

    Here's how:

    For grins, I looked up your words of wisdom attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

    He never said them!!

    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/lincoln-quotes.htm

    My conclusion: none of the facts you posted can be trusted!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 9:40 PM, jtpaul wrote:

    On February 09, 2009, at 11:06 AM, Deepfryer wrote:

    It has been a constitutional argument for many decades of what the constitutional power "to make war" as a presidential power and "to declare war" as a Congressional power means. Historically, you will find that whether a war is "declared" or it is a "police action" as Korea may be described, most wars have been an action taken by the president over the years. The argument continues, but if a president, in todays environment was unable to take action in order our to protect our interests the security of the United States would be jeopardized. Lyndon Baines Johnson was a prime example of moving from "military advisors" to a "war" without a declaration of war, Ronald Reagan bombed Khadafi and took him from being a "warlord" to a very quiet player after American lives were lost in a "Khadafi sponsored" terrorist act. Congress acted on George Bush's actions and continued to fund the war on terrorism and the Iraq war.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 9:46 PM, jtpaul wrote:

    February 09, 2009, at 5:15 PM, libertarianlib wrote: Perhaps you overlooked the cites in the article and the links so I have extracted them for your benefit below. You may be interested to know that Investors Business Daily carried the cite and link from American Thinker regarding how the mortgage crisis happened.

    http://kdvr.biz/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=96

    (see http://www.9news.com/news/world/article.aspx?storyid=95998&a... )

    . (See http://www.thedenverdailynews.com/article.php?aID=1409 )

    According to the Article “Your State Tax Refund Might Be a Big IOU” Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) December 31, 2008 By Sue Doyle, Staff Writer Californians planning to stuff their thinning wallets with money from 2008 state income tax returns could be disappointed.

    In an article by Ben stein called Drill, Baby, Drill Posted on yahoo Monday, September 29, 2008, 12:00AM

    (see http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/what_really_happened_... )

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 9:51 PM, jtpaul wrote:

    Oh and thank you for the correction: I looked at your link and the "Abraham Lincon quotes" were actually published in 1942 by William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister. He released a pamphlet titled Lincoln On Limitations, which did include a Lincoln quote, but also added 10 statements written by Boetcker himself. People who got the pamphlet thought the 10 statements were written by Lincoln and they have been distributed widely under Lincoln's name.

    "Let us have Faith that Right makes Might and Dare to do Our Duty as We Understand it!"

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2009, at 10:01 PM, jtpaul wrote:

    Oops, did it again "Let Us have Faith that Right maked Might and in that Faith Let Us Dare to do Our Duty as We Understand it!"

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2009, at 6:19 PM, horse2see wrote:

    I think it depends on if you still have a job and a house that has even a dollar of appreciation on it. If you are one of the unlucky millions who are now looking for a job and are standing in line with hundreds of others who want the only job in town...and maybe you are a hair away from saying good-bye to your home, well, then you might be thinking that Obama is not crying wolf. BTW, that phrase is for WHEN someone screams danger, and there is no danger. Last I saw, we have lost millions of jobs, home are in foreclosure, banks are failing...need I go on? Wake up folks. There is danger, major economic danger spreading all across this country. I agree that the stimulus package needs to be put together with greater wisdom and care. But urgency, yes, there is increasing urgency. Obama is not yelling danger because he thinks he looks good doing that. He is doing so because he loves this country, and he see a big tsunami pulling up. But in every crisis, there are always those who remain in denial.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2009, at 7:23 PM, jimfolmer wrote:

    The only thing that is being stimulated by the "Porkulus Plan" is the growth of Big Liberal Government. The plan is buying the control of you and me. Campaigning with scare tactics and lies will succeed in getting it through...the same tactics that got the Exalted One elected.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2009, at 10:15 PM, splashx3 wrote:

        The average working class person and the average business person, even those that "need" this money and have lived through the ups and downs of life and business, know that there is a cause and effect to everything.  We that do not trust this bail out because we know that all of these (free) 700 billion here and a trillion there, will cause HUGE inflation. Any way you look at it, it is designed to get housing "Values" back to the ridicules levels they were when the crash happened. (by getting those that did things "right" to pay for the stupidity, greed of a lot off "well meaning" laws and intentions. Think about it, that is the whole point of the stimulus a.k.a. Bailout. (replace the "lost" paper money with new money)

        In other words, To President Obama and ALL of the elected officials of ALL parties, you are going to re-create what got us into this problem in the first place. The only difference will be the ending. You (not us) will have dug the hole deeper and the walls will probably cave in on us.

       

        A little lesson on "Economics 101" from a non-educated student of economics.

    "In a free society, economics work because those who do it wrong (intentionally or not) usually FAIL. Those that do it right, WIN."

    (I admit, in this case, there is always some collateral damage a.k.a. innocent victims)

     

    "In a Government controlled society, those that do it wrong WIN, those that do it right LOSE"

    (In this case, there is always complete collateral damage a.k.a. those who do it right quit doing it right because the reward is in

     doing it wrong)

     

    Republican or Democrat. The one question you have to ask yourself is, "I have saved and worked for my future. Now I have lost some or most of it. Would I give what's left to ANY one person or group of people in either party of this great nation, the balance of it, to invest as they see fit and expect to win in the short or long time?" Your honest answer, not your "hoped for" answer, is the way you should feel about this bailout.

     

    If you can show me one society in my life time (66 years) where any of these simple truths are not true, I will adjust my thinking.

     

    Jim Farris

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2009, at 10:48 PM, tallmabu wrote:

    Few people comprehend the stakes of the situation or the gravity of it all. Both action and inaction will have far reaching effects on every citizen of this nation--careful calculation is in order. Throwing money at the situation is a bandaid on a bullet wound. We are looking at a reset of the American psyche where people's attitudes towards money, saving, and spending will change...

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2009, at 10:51 AM, JTShideler wrote:

    I find it odd that the people largely responsible for creating the problem in the first place, have now become the only people capable of stopping the "catastrophe".

    Also its historically proven, that this is not the worse Economic Crisis since the Great Depression, only the worse economic crisis since the Carter administration.

    While I think there is a minute possibility that congress could do something helpful (current package is not it) the risk of them acting fast and making it worse has a far greater chance of becoming a reality.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2009, at 11:31 AM, dargus wrote:

    Everyone seems worried about inflation. Why is no one considering the terrible effect deflation might have on our economy? Also, can anyone name the last president who wasn't elected using fear tactics?

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2009, at 5:48 PM, sowsage wrote:

    Speaking of odd, it's interesting that the nay-sayers are mostly graduates of the tax-cuts-are-cureall-worship-degulation seminary (not a school because this is dogma, not reason) that got us here.

    Fact is that such legislation passes only via momentum and there is no 'right'. Any argument about delay to 'do it right' is just 'let's do nothing' in sheeps clothing. The spending should be larger if anything. The business tax cuts proposed are either useless or dangerous. Spending creates jobs. It always has. The danger is deflation...it's already here. (See commodities markets, housing).

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2009, at 7:37 PM, Quarto wrote:

    I think they are using the stimulus package as a cover for a spending spree, which will do little to spur the economy.

    The best stimulus package would be to eliminate income tax for several months. People would have more take home pay thus more money to spend on goods and services, which would put people back to work producing them.

    Isn't that what it's all about?

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2009, at 9:48 AM, xenon2050 wrote:

    Sowsage: How are business tax cuts useless? Business provide jobs and when they have a high expense (like taxes) it cuts into their bottom line. So when you are losing money do you stop paying taxes or lay someone off? Well if they don't want to get into legal trouble they will lay someone off.

    Yes, spending will create jobs, but the question is how long with these jobs last and will these jobs help to create more jobs? I would venture that they don't. Building a new government building will create construction jobs for a little while and then a government job. But that government job will never create jobs, because it is not a business that profits, it is just another tax payer expense. Government spending for infrastructure is good, otherwise it is just wasteful spending.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2009, at 10:17 AM, RMoor wrote:

    xenon2050, please see my entry above re Mark Zandi of Moody's. His calculated figures disprove your surmises and I'm still waiting for someone to respond to my challenge to post substantially different conclusions supported by any credible economist.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2009, at 1:55 PM, bunnyslope90 wrote:

    Pres obama wants accountablilty for the money he will give these banks and such but he will not get it by simply giving someone a check for $165 billion. why, instead, does he not keep this money in government hands and as banks approve loans, they can request it loan by loan from the government? this will keep it from going towards jets and unnecessary employee benifits. Make the bill happen but include safetys that will prevent unnessary spending

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2009, at 5:43 PM, xenon2050 wrote:

    RMoor: Well my response to that is, if that is the case then why do we even need this stimulus package? We already had a few hundred billion one last year, a bailout for the banks and a bailout for the big three. So why hasn't the economy gotten better?

    Or how about when FDR implemented the New Deal plan? Tons of government spending accompanied by high taxes and what happens? The economy continued to sink and didn't get better for years.

    Tax cuts worked just fine when Reagan got into office. The economy wasn't doing so great and after the tax cuts it started doing quite a bit better. He was probably one of the reasons that the economy grew to what it was in the late 90s.

    When Bush Jr. cut taxes after he took office the economy was "stimulated" enough that it hit 14k late 2007...

    Anyway, this can be argued all day and all night to no avail... I don't support spending increases as the Government already spends a lot more than it should. I have no problem paying taxes, but I don't exactly make very much and more than 20% of that is taken away, not counting sales tax and the tax built into products that I buy (businesses pass on income tax as a expense to consumers). Its gotten rather crazy especially for the middle class like me. So how about a spending cut along with a tax cut? Sounds like a sound plan to me. Balance the budget and stimulate the economy all in one fell swoop.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2009, at 6:25 PM, RMoor wrote:

    Xenon2050, I'm tempted to answer your questions but I realize I don't really understand it all and I would probably be wrong in many respects. That's why I have been calling for a public discussion by those who do understand it, at least to the extent anyone really does. What we get instead is people who don't understand telling us things they could not defend if pressed, mostly politicians and media "pundits". So my approach has been to look for points of agreement among economists of all ideological persuasions and to ignore everyone else. Where those agreements exist there is a relatively high likelihood they are correct. To me it seems most well-credentialed economists are in agreement that doing nothing brings a very high risk of entering a deep recession or even depression and remaining there for years. Most also seem to agree we need the government to spur the economy by spending during this period when everyone else is, with good reason, too scared to spend and that in the long run that course will leave our economy in better shape than saving the money now by not letting the government spend would leave it. I don't pretend I can prove that but I do believe it is the opinion of most non-partisan economists.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 3:31 AM, withoutlimits wrote:

    The Government has overspent and printed more and more money to the point that it's getting harder and harder to survive for the average Joe.

    Inflation has gotten to the point that I used to pay 1/4 of my income for housing 25 years ago. Now, I pay almost half for the same type of place with a much better job!

    .Printing more money and borrowing money just makes the money worth less for all of us.

    Let's reward production for a change!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 4:18 AM, daphinytsno wrote:

    I am not a bigtime Investor or Finacial bigwig, infact I have just started investing and reading these sites and learning.. So maybe I dont see things with such detail and broken down by dollars and cents like many of you ... So excuse my lack of knowledge.

    But the thing that bothers me is that so many people are saying President Obamas Stimulus is going to fail, and many of them say it with such confidence. The way the economy is now, and no matter which party youre a part of it all seemed to fall apart when President Bush and Alan Greenspan decide after 9/11 to pump up the economy and it took 8 years for it to get this bad and almost collapse.. Why not let President Obama try his plan, he is our President and he wouldnt do anything that he KNOWINGLY knew was going to fail. He and many great minds think it just might help us, lets see... Me and many of my friends and family are part of the MIDDLECLASS and some lower, we are the ones that this is affecting really hard and need the help, not handouts or anything, just a handup. The rich got their handup, and I never complained, let us have that same chance... And if it fails , then americans will let President Obama know and he will not be re-elected, and everyone can say AH I KNEW IT , but at least give it a chance and put a little trust in your President ... And our Nation ... We will beat this like we have every problem our great nation has faced... Together ............ Thanks for listening ..

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 4:24 AM, daphinytsno wrote:

    Forgot something ... The Stimulus is spending ..right? Isnt that the idea of the Stimulus, to spend money to kick start the economy ? I hear people saying its a SPENDING spree, it has too much SPENDING, etc... lots of things like that...

    Isnt that what it is supposed to do...?

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 9:22 AM, zgriner wrote:

    Balack Obama is a lying pol. 3/4 of the spending is pork. Spending for the sake of spending does not last. Look at all those stimulus checks we got. How long did that stimulus last?

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 9:39 AM, xenon2050 wrote:

    RMoor: Ah I see. You want to get past the people who just have opinions and try to see more credential based opinions... Well I'm not an economist, I do have a business degree but that doesn't really make me qualified to answer to the fullest. But lemme ask you something. Is the benefit of this massive package really worth the long term cost? The government is already paying 500billion a year in interest payments on their debt (http://www.federalbudget.com/) do we really want to add another nearly trillion dollars to our debt? No matter how bad the economy is now having this massive debt weight us down is just delaying the inevitable.

    That said, I think that what the people need the most is confidence. There is trillions on dollars in money market accounts right now and if people had confidence that the economy was going to get better they might just be persuaded to move that to the stock market, which would obviously help out the economy a lot! But with the media forecasting doom and gloom all the time what is the normal person to think...

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 11:03 AM, dargus wrote:

    This problem is not so simple, not that anyone claims it is. If the government cuts spending, it will no doubt cause people employed by the government to lose jobs. Since right now unemployment is a problem, we have to ask ourselves if that sounds like a good idea. Tax cuts don't help you much if you have no income. It is also worth noting that tax cuts raise the deficit too, unless you think the Laffer curve will save you. Right now, what I believe we need are a combination of targeted tax cuts and targeted spending, and that is basically what the stimulus bill does. If you want to debate what tax cuts are beneficial and what spending is beneficial, that would be a good debate. However, partisan grandstanding and bickering will sink us all.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 12:34 PM, RMoor wrote:

    "Is the benefit of this long term package really worth the long term cost?"

    Xenon2050, I'm not in a position to do the calculation myself but it seems to me most who are in that position do say it is worth the cost. However, that brings up questions that we never even get to ask. Like worth the cost FOR WHOM? It may be worth the cost for those with lots of money but not worth the cost for the average citizen, for example. We now have wealth inequity in the US at ratios that we have not seen since shortly before the Great Depression and I don't think that is a good thing. And since the 80's both income and wealth inequity have soared. So if I have to choose I will choose to believe economists who have shown a concern for the average citizen and I will assume their calculations take into account the long term cost to the average citizen. Paul Krugman is one of those and in his most recent column he writes

    "For while Mr. Obama got more or less what he asked for, he almost certainly didn’t ask for enough. We’re probably facing the worst slump since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office, not usually given to hyperbole, predicts that over the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between what the economy could produce and what it will actually produce. And $800 billion, while it sounds like a lot of money, isn’t nearly enough to bridge that chasm.

    Officially, the administration insists that the plan is adequate to the economy’s need. But few economists agree. And it’s widely believed that political considerations led to a plan that was weaker and contains more tax cuts than it should have...

    So far the Obama administration’s response to the economic crisis is all too reminiscent of Japan in the 1990s: a fiscal expansion large enough to avert the worst, but not enough to kick-start recovery...

    I’ve got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach — a feeling that America just isn’t rising to the greatest economic challenge in 70 years..."

    However, as I have said, I don't think I really do need to choose whom to believe because it appears to me there is consensus among those who can do, and have done, the calculations.

    I think you are probably right that what we need is confidence that things will get better. But if foreclosures are still on the increase, unemployment is still rising, and the credit markets are still functioning poorly, what would you have the media do? I want them to tell us the truth so that we at least have a chance to respond appropriately. In fact I wish they had listened to the economists who have been warning us this crisis was coming for several years and given us the bad news much earlier.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 3:26 PM, rjean2 wrote:

    instead of giving all this money to the bank give it to the people that are loosing there homes so they can pay off there own morgage and then make the pay it back at a reasable rate that can afford. This way the bank gets there money back the people get to keep there homes and the goverment gets there money back every body wins

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 4:46 PM, Dart65GTConv wrote:

    Just pay peoples bills that can't do it themselves forget the middleman and give the savings back to the responsible already, we will even promise spend are stupidly.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 4:51 PM, motherof12 wrote:

    as we all know the members of Congress are too bias to make the decision on how much money is needed and where are best places for it to go to get the biggest and fasest results. The companies that are outsourcing jobs need to bring those jobs back home. the foreclosure on homes need to be given a priority but not given away to present owner. Immigration laws need to be enforced and ALL ILLEGALS need to be put out of the US and border Security boosted to stop the crossing ( dig a moat and fill it with gators if need be).Our Congress has given America away and still are trying to. Entitlements to illegals is a Congress thing that cost BILLIONS a year and it is stupid.. America will never be the same unless the stupid group in Congress are replaced by real working people not the son/daughter of some rich person. The US is a service industry not a manufacturing giant anymore.Most people live beyond his/her means and those on gov't entitlements are bitching because they don't have as money as those who have to work for money.. Most people on entitlements are OBEIST..wonder why ?? The tax payer gives them everything they need to be able to sit on their butt, eat, watch Tv, have heat and a/c, clothes, shelter, and so forth.. The US is in a handbasket on the way to hell...Congress is USELESS, BIAS, and SELF-SERVING...Show me a congress person whose been in office for four years and his wealth is less than when he entered Congress.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 7:21 PM, skulbone wrote:

    I'm going to assume everyone here still has a job.

    Hasn't had to sell their computer to pay rent.

    Because I'm thinking if you had, you probably wouldn't be bitching and name calling and not making a single difference in the world by ranting on this site. Probably the time wasted by the folks copying and pasting links from fox.com to this thread, in man hours could feed a family of four for a year.

  • Report this Comment On February 13, 2009, at 8:15 PM, overtaxt wrote:

    "Stimulus" package or "Rescue". Which is it? Yes, some "bleeding" should be stopped, yet everyone knows how clumsy Congress, for that matter, government-in-general, is at field surgery during the heat of battle. And listening to the endless and competing prescriptions for the proper remedies for America's largely self-sustained trauma is enough to kill even Superman, the mythic man of steel. Look, we need actual industries employing actual American workers with actual long-term momentum. Any "stimulus" monies directed toward anything less at such a crucial time as this is pure economic suicide.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2009, at 12:14 AM, Richnz wrote:

    “There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jump start the economy.” PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA, JANUARY 9 , 2009

    "With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true" ".... we the undersigned" signed by about 185 economists "do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s “lost decade” in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates AND A REDUCTION IN THE BURDEN OF GOVERNMENT" (emphasis mine) "are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.

    Paid for by the CATO Institute , WWW.CATO.O R G

    and here is another one "Leading economists sound off on the $800 billion stimulus package" http://www.reason.com/news/show/131632.html

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2009, at 10:39 PM, norm246 wrote:

    I've read all this, and Boogaloog's post is the best.Some applied common sense.

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