Looking over this massive, 627-page “stimulus package” offered by President Barack Obama, I am left wondering, what part of the economy will this plan actually stimulate? I really don’t see any. All I see is a goliath of a spending bill that makes the GOP’s infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” transportation bill of 2005 look like a drop in the bucket.
People are expecting and democrat officials are touting this bill as legislation that will save the economy. They say it will create “at least” 3 million new jobs, restore confidence in the stock market, and force the Red Sea to part (Ok, i made that last one up). Either the provisions that will do all that is written in invisible ink or the President has been taking too many trips to the bathroom to “powder his nose”, because NOT ONE of the components of this stimulus will do anything to get us out of this financial crisis.
You see, in order to cure the economy’s ills, you have to attack the pressure points that have been hurting. In our case, that would mean doing the following:
(1) Preventing more of the mortgage foreclosures that have caused banks and other lending institutes to either implode or freeze credit. The government already tried to fix this on the lenders end with the bailout, but that failed because the banks didn’t use the money for what they were supposed to. But hey, at least AIG got a new corporate jet out of it, right? It might be smart for the government to help out those people who are hanging on to their mortgages by a thread by giving them a little breathing room.
(2) Helping small businesses make payroll and buy more inventory.Small businesses have been rapidly shutting their door since this mess started months ago. If we keep the ones we have and prompt new entrepreneurs to enter the market, millions of new non-government jobs will be created overnight.
(3) Making investment in the stock market more marketable. The government is capable of providing incentives for those still playing the market to remain in the game and spur new investors to dive right in. Once a company’s stock recovers, they will be in a better position to expand their business, which means creating jobs.
(4) Motivating Americans to get out there and spend their hard earned dollars at the store. The only way this will happen is if those who have jobs can get caught up on their bills (see #1) and have more disposable income or if those who don’t have jobs can find one (see #’s 2 and 3). Once we start digging into our wallets to buy needless things again, companies will make more money, their stocks will go up, creating a desire to expand, which will create jobs. See how cyclical this all is?
So, out of these four key points, how many does the Obama Stimulus Plan address? ZERO.
Well then, what does it do exactly?
First, it allows democrats the opportunity to pass their own ridiculous bridge to nowhere without the political fallout. $100 billion is appropriated to transportation projects like road and bridge repair and other infrastructure needs. Good, right? Only if you are not a white male construction worker, according to the President’s chief economic advisor Robert “Third” Reich. Plus, due to the bidding process and the length of the planning phases, these projects aren’t likely to get started for another 18 months to 2 years from now. So, how will any of this stimulate our current sagging economy? Answer: It won’t. But, Obama and Congressional democrats know that such gargantuan appropriations is an ordinary transportation bill would never fly with the American people (ask Sen. Ted Stevens and the residents of Alaska). So, they dressed it up under the guise of putting Joe the Plumber back to work before Easter and VOILA! You have pork barrel spending that everyone can support.
Second, it gives democrat politicians funding for failing pet projects that have been on life support for the past eight years. $100 billion for failing public schools who can’t get funds from No Child Left Behind. $1 billion to give welfare moms high speed internet access. $50 billion for companies to switch to eco-friendly light bulbs. $5 billion to enviro-wackos to save the spotted owl. And so on and so forth . . . .
Third, it pays back the poor folks , minorities, and college kids, who came out to vote for Obama on Election Day by giving them free government paychecks paid for by the American taxpayer. The President calls them “tax cuts”, but all they really are is government subsidies. Do you really think that you will see any more money in your tax refund? Here’s who gets a break:
(1) People who make under $8500 per year will now be able to get the full $1000 per-child tax credit. The things is, if you make under $8500 currently, you already get EVERYTHING withheld from your paycheck each week back in your IRS refund. So what exactly does this accomplish? Well, with credits, if you have more credits than money paid into the system, you get the entirety of the credit anyway. So, a single mother with three kids who works 10 hours a week at minimum wage as a crossing guard (and is eligible to receive welfare, WIC, etc already) and has $500 withheld at the end of the year, will get a check from the IRS in the amount of $3500 instead of her usual $500. Meanwhile, Joe and Nancy Skook, who make $25,000 a piece working as a teaching assistant and fork lift driver, respectively, will get the same amount back for their 3 kids as they would have without this “stimulus”.
(2) People who have at least three children, but make under $32,000 together, and already receive the earned income credit will receive MORE of a credit. This credit works the same as the one I discussed above. They will get back the amount of their credit, not what they put in. This currently results in most families getting $1500 to $3000 more than they contributed in payroll. That will now double.
(3) People in college will receive a $2500 tax credit fot tuition and expenses. Same deal as in #1 and #2. Oh yeah, and those professionals with jobs currently who are seeking graduate degrees in their field so that they can make more in salary, do NOT qualify.
Does this sound like any of you? Does it sound like these people and these plans will help break our economic funk? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, I am still scratching my head, too.