Bail Out Déjà Vu - Experts, Reps Say Stimulus Needs Work, So Why is Congress Ramrodding the Bill?

It's only $875 billion dollars and counting. But don't stop rushing and ramrodding unread or not thoroughly analyzed bills through Congress!

WaPo has some of the dissent.

In testimony before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Alice M. Rivlin, who was President Bill Clinton's budget director, suggested splitting the plan, implementing its immediate stimulus components now and taking more time to plan the longer-term transformative spending to make sure it is done right.

"Such a long-term investment program should not be put together hastily and lumped in with the anti-recession package. The elements of the investment program must be carefully planned and will not create many jobs right away," said Rivlin, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. The risk, she said, is that "money will be wasted because the investment elements were not carefully crafted."

Someone silence this woman! She is speaking common sense!

Peter DeFazio is also piping up, as he did on the bail out.

"Every penny of the $825 billion is borrowed against the future of our kids and grandkids, and so the question is: What benefit are we providing them? What are we doing for the country? It's the difference between real investment that will serve the nation for 30, 50 years and tax cuts, and that's a very poor tradeoff," said Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.). "I go to my district and people say, 'Yeah, I can use 10 extra bucks a week, but I would rather see more substantial investment.' We've gone through a couple bubbles that were borrowing and consumer-driven. We want a recovery that's solid and based in investment and productivity, and that points us at building things that will serve us decades to come."

Note this quote. It's not the GOP leadership screaming tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts like some supply-side dead religious mantra they cannot stop chanting...

Republicans too are talking about effectiveness:

Even some Republicans echo the call for more infrastructure spending, saying they would be more willing to support the bill if it showed more tangible and focused benefits, instead of being scattered across an array of existing programs. Rep. John L. Mica (Fla.), the ranking Republican on the transportation committee, called the proposed infrastructure spending "almost minuscule" and expressed regret that the administration had not crafted its plan around an ambitious goal such as building high-speed rail in 11 corridors around the country, which Mica said would cost $165 billion.

So, why can't Congress, the House specifically, take a week or two and do this right? Why is it so hard for anyone in that town to quit the politics, special favors and just be good managers, effective legislators, thorough analysts and efficient administrators?

Not nearly enough fluff and drama for cable news but it sure sounds like the American people would greatly appreciate it.

Anybody listening? Anyone want to bother to make sure it's money well spent or does Congress just abhor crafting good legislation, the job they were elected to do?

Subject Meta: 

Forum Categories: 

The same old stuff

I have been watching certain financial networks all day today and writing pieces on my website about the stimulus. One thing that comes to mind is that Washington is constantly talking about how things need to change. Education needs to change, tax law needs to change, lobbyists need to change. If we're all about change, why is Washington still running the same way. Partisan this and that. Kids do what their parents do and not what they say. If Washington wants change, then Washington needs to do it first. How about coming together on something and not voting down party lines on everything.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Economic populist poll

in your poll, "which single policy was the worst for the U.S.?"
well you left out the Community Reinvestment Act. that is the single worst policy that has simply destroyed the country and should be put on there. im sure you wont cause then Democrat would be at fault, and we cant have that can we. the truth, noooo nobody wants to know that. just keep blaming Bush.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

We blame Bush because

well, the economic results of Bush are apparent, no?

EP is not a partisan blog. The goal is to focus on historical statistics, economic reality, not partisan politics. It is also a community site so others partisanship maybe will imply The GOP leadership and some of the economics they have attached themselves to are dead wrong for the national interest.

;)

The Community Reinvestment Act is now added to the poll, but I need to see the proof on how specifically, what specific economic harm this act caused.

There has been documented predatory lending, but the biggest cause of the financial crisis is currently the estimated $65 trillion dollar shadow banking system, otherwise known as derivatives.

The idea lenders were making loans, predatory loans to borrowers with no proof of income, no identification and even dead people is also obviously a real problem but what the percentage is, I do not know at the moment.

Bottom line message is to be objective, find out the real data, real statistics as well as the details of bills like this.

Case in point (since you are implying you are a Republican) is "amnesty". The problem does not seem to imply the original "amnesty" but in the fact that they did not enforce employment law, improve the entire legal immigration process or do anything with border security, they ignored huge sections of that bill. Did at that time "amnesty" lower wages? I do not think so, the numbers were too small, but has illegal immigration since that time lowered wages? I believe one has a very good case w/ 9-20 million illegal workers to claim illegal immigration has lowered worker wages as well as created a massive underground economy.

There, how's that for some acknowledgment!

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.