What is in The Economic Stimulus Bill of 2009?

Stimulus, stimulus, everywhere the buzz word stimulus, devil in detailsbut where is the devil, you know that creature who screws up the details?

Navigating the politics, the lack of analysis, the specifics and more importantly, the time line of effectiveness is not for the faint of heart. To that end we must start with the latest publicly available legislative text.

The Bill Text

The working title for the bill is, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan . The bill is also in a state of flux. The House states the bill will be formally introduced on 01/26/09.

The House Ways and Means Committee has legislative text and is also attached to this post.

The Senate text is simply a placeholder, under bill number S.1. The Senate Appropriations Commitee does have a press release which is also attached.

The House Appropriations Committee press release:

It appears Henry Waxman introduced on 01/22/09 an alternative bill, H.R. 629.

This analysis focuses in on the House versions.

The Summary

Firstly an overview, which maybe out of date, yet a more basic summary is from wikipedia:

  • 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 1st)
  • ENERGY INVESTMENTS ($58 billion): $32 billion funding for an electric smart grid, $20 billion for renewable energy tax cuts and 6 billion for weatherizing modest-income homes
  • EDUCATION INVESTMENTS ($142 billion): $21 billion for school modernization, $41 billion for various school programs, $39 billion of state aid to schools and universities, $16 billion for states for performance measures, $25 billion for states to keep public employees like teachers
  • INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS ($90 billion): $30 billion for highways, $10 billion for railways, $31 billions to modernize public buildings, $19 billion for water projects
  • WELFARE/UNEMPLOYMENT ($102 billion): $43 billion unemployment benefits and job training, $39 billion for health insurance and Medicaid, $20 billion for food stamps
  • HEALTH CARE INVESTMENTS ($111 billion): $87 billion for states for Medicaid, $20 billion to computerize health care records, $4 billion for preventive care

Below is a summary of specifics taking from the House Appropriations Committee Text, posted online and attached. This is the document to start with. While a deployment time line is not given, the amounts per action are. We will ignore the House Ways and Means tax cuts, medicaid and Welfare benefits for the moment and focus on the infrastructure and effectiveness of this spending. To read about transportation and infrastructure costs I point to BruceMF's post Transport Stimulus: You're Doing It Wrong. To read about tax cuts, see the analysis section.

  • $32 billion to transform the nation’s energy transmission, distribution, and production systems by allowing for a smarter and better grid and focusing investment in renewable technology.
  • $16 billion to repair public housing and make key energy efficiency retrofits.
  • $10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation.
  • 6 billion to expand broadband internet access so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy
  • $30 billion for highway construction
  • $31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure with investments that lead to long term energy cost savings
  • $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments
  • $10 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.
  • $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)
  • $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
  • $15.6 billion to increase the Pell grant by $500
  • $6 billion for higher education modernization
  • $20 billion for health information technology 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.
  • $43 billion for increased unemployment benefits and job training.
  • $4 billion for state and local law enforcement funding.
  • National Science Foundation: $3 billion, including $2 billion for expanding employment opportunities in
    fundamental science and engineering to meet environmental challenges and to improve global economic competitiveness, $400 million to build major research facilities that perform cutting edge science, $300 million for major research equipment shared by institutions of higher education and other scientists, $200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering research facilities at the nation’s institutions of higher education and other science labs, and $100 million is also included to improve instruction in science,
    math and engineering.
  • National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research: $2 billion, including $1.5 billion for expanding good jobs in biomedical research to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, and heart disease - NIH is currently able to fund less than 20% of approved applications – and $500 million to implement the repair and improvement strategic plan developed by the NIH for its campuses.
  • University Research Facilities: $1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research facilities and help them compete for biomedical research grants. The National Science Foundation estimates a maintenance backlog of $3.9 billion in biological science research space. Funds are awarded competitively.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: $462 million to enable CDC to complete its Buildings and Facilities Master Plan, as well as renovations and construction needs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Department of Energy: $2 billion for basic research into the physical sciences including high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences and improvements to DOE laboratories and scientific facilities. $400 million is for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency.
  • NASA: $600 million, including $400 million to put more scientists to work doing climate change research, including Earth science research recommended by the National Academies, satellite sensors that measure solar radiation critical to understanding climate change, and a thermal infrared sensor to the Landsat Continuing Mapper necessary for water management, particularly in the western states; $150 million for research, development, and demonstration to improve aviation safety and Next Generation air traffic control (NextGen); and $50 million to repair NASA centers damaged by hurricanes and floods last year.
  • Biomedical Advanced Research and Development, Pandemic Flu, and Cyber Security: $900 million to
    prepare for a pandemic influenza, support advanced development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, and for cyber security protections at HHS.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellites and Sensors: $600 million for satellite development and acquisitions, including climate sensors and climate modeling.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: $300 million for competitive construction grants for research science buildings at colleges, universities, and other research organizations and $100 million to coordinate research efforts of laboratories and national research facilities by setting interoperability standards for manufacturing.
  • Agricultural Research Service: $209 million for agricultural research facilities across the country. ARS has a list of deferred maintenance work at facilities of roughly $315 million.
  • U.S. Geological Survey: $200 million to repair and modernize U.S.G.S. science facilities and equipment, including improvements to laboratories, earthquake monitoring systems, and computing capacity.

Price tag: $825 billion

Again, there are many more bullet points. (Has Congress ever heard of spread sheets?)   This post is trying to focus on the parts of the Stimulus that would actually create jobs. This is the supposed intent of the bill, to create 4 millions jobs.

The Analysis

Now with all Scientific research there is one small problem. Universities are not focused or required to hire U.S. citizens, perm residents for research and are increasingly promoting a globalization, wage repression agenda. Offshore outsourcing of advanced R&D is increasing and universities can import an unlimited number of H-1B guest workers. There is also a host of other guest worker Visas for non-profits, research and unversities. Therefore, all of these funds should be tied to hiring/using U.S. citizens, Americans, perm residents preferred. While it is recognized that advanced research is international in scope, the evidence is pouring in that our higher educational system is not making the employment and education of U.S. citizens their top priority.

This stimulus is supposed to create American jobs, therefore one must have job creation tied to Americans preferred.

There are also massive I.T. projects, totaling 1 million jobs, but here again, the U.S. government seems to enjoy offshore outsourcing already of federal and state jobs. So where are the conditions these jobs must go to U.S. citizens, Americans, perm residents? Do we want to fund yet another Indian offshore outsourcer with U.S. taxpayer money?

If one believes Americans do not have the skills, think again. It is well documented the United States produces more STEM graduates than the U.S. can employ. These numbers are just the college graduates and do not include the many underemployed and unemployed IT workers or older technical professionals who have been displaced through labor arbitrage. Age discrimination is institutionalized in STEM occupations, so one can imagine the vast resource of highly trained, experienced and educated individuals over the age of 35 who are not being utilized. All of that talent is currently laid to waste and assuredly needs to be put to work for America.

Other analysis:

The New York Times reports massive increases in Medicaid, retrofitting the poor's homes with energy efficient upgrades and $100 billion in private sector energy development.

Once again, are U.S. citizens, U.S. firms going to obtain this $100 billion dollars in private sector development or will these funds be offshore outsourced?

Bloomberg has identified a few difference between the House and Senate Bills:

The legislation crafted by House Democrats includes $358 billion for public works projects, $192 billion in other spending and $275 billion worth of tax cuts. The Senate has begun work on part of its version of the stimulus plan, which includes $275 billion in tax provisions, including cuts for businesses and producers of renewable energy that differ from the House package

Paul Krugman in a 01/25/08 op-ed, Stimulus Gone Bad blasted the original rebate checks and tax cuts.

Aside from business tax breaks — which are an unhappy story for another column — the plan gives each worker making less than $75,000 a $300 check, plus additional amounts to people who make enough to pay substantial sums in income tax. This ensures that the bulk of the money would go to people who are doing O.K. financially — which misses the whole point.
...
Why would the administration want to do this? It has nothing to do with economic efficacy: no economic theory or evidence I know of says that upper-middle-class families are more likely to spend rebate checks than the poor and unemployed.

So why would one try something that was just proved not to work? Krugman is obviously accessing the latest bill text and following this closely (yea, rah!) and is ripping to shreds the latest Obama tax cuts, which we agree, they have proven to be a LEMON and Krugman was proved right from his analysis only one year ago:

First, Mr. Obama should scrap his proposal for $150 billion in business tax cuts, which would do little to help the economy. Ideally he’d scrap the proposed $150 billion payroll tax cut as well, though I’m aware that it was a campaign promise.

I heartily agree with Krugman, other economists and am thrilled so many are focused on the effectiveness of a plan and getting the most bang for the buck, based on sound economic theory and what has worked in the past.

Joseph Stiglitz in his January 15th op-ed, Do not squander America’s stimulus on tax cuts points out:

household tax cuts, except for possibly the poorest, should have no place in the stimulus. Nor should business tax breaks, except when closely linked with additional investment. The one tax cut that should be included is a temporary incremental investment tax credit; it provides a big bang for the buck, encouraging companies to invest now when the economy needs the spending. Increased investments in infrastructure, education and technology, relief to states, and help to the unemployed need pride of place.

Stiglitz also argues that tax cuts do not generate growth in GDP in this kind of economic climate.

Paul Krugman, in his January 6th analysis is plain whipping out the math and doing a detailed effectiveness investigation of the proposed stimulus components:

The starting point for this discussion is Okun’s Law, the relationship between changes in real GDP and changes in the unemployment rate. Estimates of the Okun’s Law coefficient range from 2 to 3. I’ll use 2, which is an optimistic estimate for current purposes: it says that you have to raise real GDP by 2 percent from what it would otherwise have been to reduce the unemployment rate 1 percentage point from what it would otherwise have been. Since GDP is roughly $15 trillion, this means that you have to raise GDP by $300 billion per year to reduce unemployment by 1 percentage point.

Now, what we’re hearing about the Obama plan is that it calls for $775 billion over two years, with $300 billion in tax cuts and the rest in spending. Call that $150 billion per year in tax cuts, $240 billion each year in spending.

How much do tax cuts and spending raise GDP? The widely cited estimates of Mark Zandi of Economy.com indicate a multiplier of around 1.5 for spending, with widely varying estimates for tax cuts. Payroll tax cuts, which make up about half the Obama proposal, are pretty good, with a multiplier of 1.29; business tax cuts, which make up the rest, are much less effective.

Just as an example, what effectiveness has job training been in the past? During the last recession, one community college literally received 3/4 of a million dollars to train college educated tech professionals to be restaurant workers.

If retraining isn't effective or doing absurd things like the above, then it should be cut. Congress could simply attach these new jobs to U.S. citizens, perm residents status plus they could easily incorporate on the job training in the process. Effectiveness is key and there are many underemployed and unemployed Americans with high skills and highly adaptable skills. In fact corporations themselves used to provide on the job training routinely to employees.

The Politics

The current politics are a non-existent, quick rough number crunch that is not public, CBO report which was leaked to the press stating most of the economic stimulus will not be released until 18 months from now. While we need an analysis immediately on each component and it's projected effectiveness! There is no point in delving into rumor.

Also, Bernstein and Romer truly gloss over the details. We need a detailed analysis on each component and it's potential for creation of jobs! To date this has not been performed adequately.

The administration and Congress are also claiming 4 million jobs, 1 million in I.T. alone, will be created, but jobs for whom? If they do not attach to those jobs U.S. citizenship or perm status, there is no doubt Indian offshore outsourcing firms, body shops will import foreign guest workers to fill those jobs instead of U.S. workers. One must put conditions for domestically incorporated firms, local small business, U.S. workers, Permanent residents for these jobs.

The idea here is to stimulate the American economy, not the Chinese or India one. This means U.S. taxpayer dollars need to stay put within it's own domestic economy.

What Next?

While the Obama administration will have an accountability website, this is only after the bill is signed into law.

Obviously we want to know before they pass more spending, specifically what effectiveness is projected to occur. Obviously $850 billion dollars is a butt load of money, so don't the American people deserve to know before a bill is passed?

Come on Congress, get smart. This is not rocket science frankly to determine the details of a stimulus and where is will be most effective. One has plenty of objective economists, policy experts, labor experts and your own GAO and CBO to help. Let's get objective, let's get serious and figure out where precisely one will get the most bang for the buck.

Update

There are multiple posts updating information of this bill.

What's in the Economic Stimulus Bill? Part IV

What's in the Stimulus Bill? Part III

What's in the Stimulus Bill" Part II

How Many Stimulus Jobs Could Be Offshorable?

Meta: 

Comments

Immigration Cost per Job Createe

The cost per job of H1b, H1BA, and associated Visa Programs should be about $42,000 per job based on last years stats from U.S DOL. The average wage figure is higher for Nursing, and IT.
So, if we pay $42K per imported job, there is very little stimulus with 1 million legal immigrants and 643k illegal immigrants per year.

We saw the failure of the first Bush so called stimulus in June and July of 2008. There is every reason to believe that the Obama stimulus follows the PC path of Bush on Trade and Immigration. Until Obama severs from Bush Trade and Immigration policiies, he is doomed.

No legislation contemplated or proposed has no bans on legal or legal immigration. The acceleration of the great vortex to the bottom of the void continues.

We should tilt all stimulus towards productive manufacturing. Such stimulus will not benefit me and others directly, but it must happen

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excellent point, Manufacturing gets almost nothing!

Beyond the infamous green jobs which I think is a grand idea but if and only if they give those jobs to U.S. citizens and first up should be all displaced STEM professionals for they have the background to easily transition to power research, power engineering, materials science, etc....

But they are not giving a break really to U.S. manufacturing.

So far we just have some good evidence they will confront China on currency manipulation but many who are expert economists on the manufacturing sector are calling for a VAT.

They should examine critical manufacturing technologies and give them some incentives, tax breaks.

They do have steel in the equation. I believe there is now incredible push back on the Buy American legislation.

Believe me, NASSCOM, Indian offshorers, China are heavily wrapped into D.C., so getting those jobs to U.S. citizens is a major battle.

As far as illegal immigrants, well, I have to agree this is going to piss a lot of people off who cannot get a job to have their tax dollars going to people who are not authorized to be in the country.

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You have been busy...

....one thing that is seems the Democrats have woken up to, via McClatchy:

 

Obstacles await Obama's stimulus effort in Congress

 

is the timing of the 'stimulus'. I found this para particularly worrying:

 

Lawmakers are troubled by last week's Congressional Budget Office report, which concluded that only 7 percent of money from key spending programs in the stimulus package is likely to be used in the current fiscal year, and only 38 percent will have been used by the end of fiscal 2010.

 

Orzag disputes this but I find the CBO more creditable. Let's hope that the Obama team has not caught Bush disease, rampant incomptence, we just cannot afford to have him and his team to fail here. The idiot Republicans are bad enough.

Will make a big effort to read through this outstanding post but due to the utter collapse of the construction industry I've gotta worry about where the money for food is coming from next month.

At this point the U.S. is looking at the destruction of it's ability to build any structure of any size. It's more than grim.

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'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

I saw this too

and it will take time to deploy some of these infrastructure projects, so they should consider what is the fastest way to get them started. I think the states have a lot of management, etc. already in place.

Anyway, because there is dispute and really no comprehensive, detailed analysis yet, I decided to leave this out and more try to point that economists right now need to start analyzing this, especially labor economists.

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I know

They are ignoring the labor economic reality that if they want to claim to grow jobs for Americans, uh, they need to specify that jobs go to Americans.

Pretty obvious no brainer and I also mentioned that billions in federal and state contracts, that's also U.S. taxpayer money, is used for jobs offshore.

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Frankly, I find it worrying that...

...Omama's rhetoric on this, which I think good, is so out of step with what I see as the reality.

Tax cuts do NOT equal jobs. This is Republican and 'conservative' economics twaddle which you would think most policy makers would know by now.

Trying to, '...we must act now...' does not square with, as McClatchy points out, the actual package. Are we looking at a redux ox of Bush II all talk and no effective policy?

If so we are in for some real trouble.

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'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

tax cuts

Romer is claimed to have a paper that tax cuts do generate a larger GDP multiplier. Mankiw (remember him, outsourcing is good for America Bush economic adviser) it trying to claim that's what her research says.

But Brad DeLong is debunking this particular research paper.

Yet from somewhere are these tax cuts coming from. Someone needs to do a detailed graph of various tax cuts and compare to economic growth.

My issue is all of these economists, left and right are ignoring the globalization realities. We have GDP that is actually production in foreign countries, due to offshore outsourcing, they count foreign guest workers in the employment statistics which skews the numbers.

They are ignoring the multibillion dollar offshore outsourcing industry, in India it's about 5.7% of GDP and most of those contracts, a good portion are previous U.S. jobs.

They ignore illegal labor and how that causes wage repression, a massive underground economy (tax cuts? how about no taxes whatsoever!), erosion of worker rights.
If it's true the U.S. has 10-20M illegal immigrants this seriously skews the labor force. The entire population is only 305 million in the U.S. with about a 100 million sized workforce (or less).

In this document, some of our institutions like the NSF are promoting wage repression, labor arbitrage of PhD level researchers and post docs and indeed they are.
Somehow these institutions are able to promote a global labor arbitrage/wage repression agenda when they receive a lot of taxpayer funds and this should be stopped, period.

and they are ignoring trade and how manufacturing is getting gutted by arbitrage and terms in trade agreements.

China just overcame Germany has the 3rd largest economy yet China still has emerging economy status! It's absurd to give China emerging economic status. India too at this point. Brazil....maybe not.

But at some point this whole global village the the resulting economic realities needs to be dealt with and they are not....and because of that I don't think any policy will be effective, or at best, maybe 30-50% less effective than it could be.

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Peace, Land, Bread

All of us in this time need to ask why the Leninist slogan now has the resonance now that it had 92 years ago. The answer lies in the abject failure of the capitalist and imperialist system. I do not shrink from being a critic of this system now when it has so abjectly failed the world. Failure to the planet is not small. Just listen to the cynics who whisper that this crisis like the Great Depression will be fixed by another world war. But the cynics do not count well. The next number is the World War schema is World War III, most surely Armageddon.

In the West, we need to be alarmed at the prospect of insurrection, and war because both are real. I spent time this summer blogging for industrial reconstruction, immigration and labor rights because the doom we face was so immanent. The way out is a concentration of resources on stimulus as outlined by economists focusing on production over consumption in each and every form. That means industry and jobs over tax cuts. More tax cuts are more money in mattresses. Students of the Great Depression recall that J.M Keynes argued for stimulus which Roosevelt underplayed. The stimulus J.M Keynes wanted was $3.4Billion in a $50 Billion Economy or 7.8 percent of GDP. Roosevelt, like Obama are underspending by both spending and tax cuts.

On the same note, leaving the banksters to keep most of the TARP is another deflationary money in a mattress scheme. All who have hoarded TARP funds need to be treated as the late aristocracy of the french old regieme before the 1789
Revolution, to avoid repeat. There is no difference to the unemployed or underemployed between Marie Antionette and Thain, Bush and Cheney.

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Burton Leed

Armageddon? probably not.

ill be forced to admit that communism had pretty good ideas and probably wouldve worked, had stalin not messed up the entire concept with his killing campaign. but who's to say that the capitalist system has failed? and while Hitler and World War II did completely bring us out of the great depression, over 60 years have passed since all that fighting. surely we could find a better way to stimulate the economy and fill our family's stomachs with food? with all the potential in wind and solar power, and the people that need money now, obama's bill is essentially a resurrection of the new deal, as you already know. The law which stated that men and women should get equal pay for equal jobs shouldve been ratified by congress decades ago! Obama is also passing bills to discourage stuffing money in the matresses, so hopefully that will entice many to start pouring money into the banks. my concern is what obama's long-range plans are, how to truly keep the economy rolling, that i believe is the real concern. I agree that letting the bankers keepp the TARP funds is unacceptable. however, TARP fund hoarding is only a small part of the problem.

and as for the idea of World War III, it probably wont happen, and if it does, it wont lead to the end of the world. America isnt stupid, China isnt stupid either. we all know that nuclear war is a no-win situation, and all this crap about the economy wont matter a bit if weve nuked each other back to the stone age.

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I'm not even sure Stalin messed up his killing campaign

Seems to me he more likely messed up who he allowed into the party- he forgot that farmers need to eat too.  And because of that caused the Holodomor- where all the food was shipped out of the Ukraine including the seed reserve!

I'm not sure if WWIII will happen- but China IS that stupid and is already persuing trade policies that in an earlier era would have resulted in war- and still should.

 

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

User Guide

See the User Guide (see link under your account, upper right hand column).

You can also toggle between the rich text editor and the plain text if you want to just use the image portion of it.

Sounds like *someone* needs a better WYSIWYG but as you know, working on it, that's something I want to improve in the site upgrade.

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Nice Catch

I grabbed the wrong piece, thinking I was copying another piece. I decided to leave it in for a lot of these current tax cut proposals are quite similar to the last "Stimulus"
and the bottom line of Keynesian spending implies they are not very effective.

But I did grab the wrong article when hunting on his latest tax cut commentary. Now corrected and the rest of the links are from 01/09.

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House Stimulus Bill

What a sham--smoke and mirrors to shield the biggest pork give away that does very little to stimulate or create jobs. The result will be to send America down the path to Socialism and insolvency.

This gigantic welfare bill sucks to high heaven. Government welfare didn't work under FDR to get us out of the Depression and the House Bill is a cracked mirror of FDR's programs. Nancy Pelosi was so gleeful when reporting passage her eyes had the appearance of a deer caught in the headlights of a oncoming car. If this package were to pass muster, we, our children and grandchildren will be strapped for decades with an outrageous debt that will never be paid off. The House Democrats are completely out of control spending like drunken sailors tossing everything they can think of into to a head on collision where no one survives. Heaven help America as is could be heading down the path of becoming a 3rd world nation so in debt that it will be vulnerable to just about anything one could imagine. Pray that the contents of this Bill die an unnatural death.

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I rated you a Troll sir...

....because that is what you are. This statement is:

Government welfare didn't work under FDR to get us out of the Depression....

a lie. It has been demonstrated to be such by numerous posters here, Presidential biographers and people who know their American history. Your comment is without factual basis and you making it here is deliberately provactive. Thus the troll rating by me.

 

Tom you need to educate yourself on what actually happened under FDR. Otherwise you are, sadly, going to be one of those of whom Mark Twain said:

Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!

Start with this book: The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope. and do not forget what George Santayana said.

 

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'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

First time homebuyers credit

I think the first time homebuyers credit should apply to everyone that bought a house in 2008!!

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What really got us out of the Great Depression...

This entire stimulus bill is a piece of crap... But sell it to us Obama ... This is in all honesty the point that is being totally ignored here... What got us out the Great Depression WWII - for a few reasons - it created jobs (yes jobs in the US when we actually manufactured here).. we killed off .32% of our work force sad to say but any economist will tell you - you can better a countries economy by getting rid of it's dependents. One of the worst things that has happened in America is that longevity of life has increased greatly and the baby boomers are all reaching retirement. Preventative health care seems in the long run to be costing this nation the most. So lets take this all into perspective - I agree no outsourcing of any jobs. There will have to be a bottle neck of some kind created world wide to handle the faltering global economic crisis - who will start WWIII??? Will it be on our soil - you bet your behind... but watch Washington & the Schooling system closely people they dumbing us down for years - they still don't push math & science, the history books are full of bs. They are leading us down the slippery slope into a Dumb Socialist Society with Bill Ayres at the helm. We do not need socialism and we should not want it... I agree with the protectionist agenda - look at how well it has been working for Russia for the last decade or so - I hope you all brush up on your Russian and Chinese because that is where this is headed. Let us not forget that Iran just launched a Satellite - so that means they can reach us with a Nuke - if we are lucky they will aim it at Washington and save us a lot of grief.

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read and learn

I decided to let this comment post because it's full of rage and confusion.

We've shown that FDR's policies did help.

The idea that one should start a war plus let people die and not provide health care is borderline nuts. Somehow I do not believe murder, war and death is good economic policy.

Socialism are parts of most societies, including most of Europe, Canada ...ya know the ones where that have a good quality of life for most of their citizens and they are economically competitive as well.

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I remember a sci-fi story like that

where a group of *experimental* economists decided to feed the world's resource allocation problems into a supercomputer with an operating system that could only exist in science fiction.

The computer recommended that the easiest answer was to simply reduce certain country's populations to zero.

In reality, of course, a computer can't come up with such an imaginary solution- it would be more like "no solution found" or an extremely complex new shipping standard. But the point remains, yes, most economics problems look a lot easier when you kill off a large portion of the population.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Government Spending - The need of the hour

I've been going through a few of the aggressive comments against this bill, that have been posted. You do have a point, for the sake of the U.S Economy, the beneficiaries of this scheme must be the permanent residents and the citizens.

But the fact remains, in an ailing economy which is struggling to support its manufacturing industries, auto sector, elastic commodities, housing and any product that requires credit for purchase, some support needs to be provided to all the mentioned sectors because they constitute a good chunk of national production and employ a good chunk of voluntary labour. This temporary support can only come from the government, it can't come from anywhere else. It must be viewed by the common man as the kickstart to the recovery of the American Economy. This measure will not only benefit America in the short and medium term, but the world as well, in th meedium and long term.

We must not debate that the stimulus bill must not be passed. However, we must address its intricaciea. Should there really be a fillip given to home construction, when so many houses are unoccuppied, lying idle in the NPA locker of financial institutions. Should the middle class be given tax rebates? Tax rebates must be given to the more needy. Should tax credits be given to loss making businesses. Maybe they can be given on condition of investment. Why not invite foreign investment into America. It fits within the American framework. One definite positive is the decision to pump money into streamnmlining energy production and consumption patterns. Reducing America's dependance on middle easetern oil and exploring renewable sources of energy will go a long way in moulding international energy consumption as well. Not only will energy become cleaner and stabler, but in taking such a huge initiative, America acts as an example to the rest of the worls. Climate change and the hold of the OPEC, can be tackled at once. Not only that, once the turbulent middle east has no takers for its oil, weapons will be hard to come by and world peace is a step closer. The details of the bill need improvement and the Obama administration is open to it. They are fully capable of delivering.

It's our job to participate in the process and make sure there's something in it for everyone.

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