Because it's important we piss away as much cash as we can in this crisis.
DENVER - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that a $150 billion economic stimulus plan is needed now because of the faltering economy and she may call the House into session after the election to pass it.
Pelosi told reporters that the stock market meltdown, which has caused an estimated $2 trillion loss from pension funds, was a factor in her recommendation for a second stimulus bill. The first relief plan sent out $600-$1,200 tax rebate checks to most individuals and couples this year.....
Pelosi said a stimulus package would create jobs by investing in public works, increasing food stamps benefits and extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless. She said lawmakers need to "hunker down" and look closely at the federal budget for possible savings, and reconsider whether the U.S. can afford to fight "a war without end" in Iraq.
I'm all for a real stimulus package that isn't just pissing money away, but I would hate to see another round of "stimulus" checks.
I think that any new stimulus plan should focus on reducing the cost of living for working class Americans. In particular, I'd like to see money spent to bring the ancient housing that's in most city cores up to a level of energy efficiency that is comparable with new construction. I think that it's often missed that poor folks often pay more for heating than for rent in cold months. And even though replacing windows and furnaces would pay for itself in a matter of a few years, they can't do it because they have no access to capital.
If you have someone who's in a $50,000 house, they may only pay $400 a month in mortgage, taxes, and insurance, but they may end up paying $500-$600 a month in heating costs during winter months. For making someone making $14,000 a year. (Just over the minimum wage.) That winter cost of $900-$1,000 a month is going to eat up over 75% of the gross monthly income. Now if you can cut that heating bill in half, you put money into the hands of put who need it, and who will spend it.
This is the type of stimulus I'd like to see. I doubt that we will be so lucky.