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I know moderation sounds like an oxymoron coming from me but it when it comes to the stimulus package all I am hearing are exaggerations and fantasy island wish lists coming from both major parties.  The only sensible thing to do is to turn the stimulus package over to Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine along with Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bill Nelson of Florida to sort things out.  Let the other senators submit their ideas to these moderate senators, so they can draw up a new bill for an up or down vote.  This won’t happen, so I guess that’s my fantasy island wish list.

An overwhelmingly majority believe we need a stimulus package and we need it right now and only a very low minority think we should do nothing at all.

I read the alternative GOP plan that was loaded down with tax cuts (68 %,) so they don’t really have the answer either.  The most recent debt to GDP (gross domestic product) is at 23% and climbing.  What does that mean?  It means companies made too many products (inventories) so the demand side of the supply and demand equation is down.  This is the reason for the layoffs.  American savings rate has increased from almost zero to about 3%; further proof that the demand side is lacking. Giving corporations a tax cut at this juncture will not stop the layoffs because demand is down. We do have some reason for hope because the senate did pass an amendment calling for an 11 billion tax incentive for buying new cars and light trucks.

The stimulus equals short term job creation or something that will jumpstart our stagnant economy.  We cannot use the 1929 depression era model because we are in a global financial crisis.  A part of the bill stipulated that all the steel for the infrastructure repairs had to be produced in America.  That sounds noble but guesses what our European consumers thought?  They would raise the price of imports negating savings or stimulus; we had by using only American steel.

Nancy Pelosi did not help Barack Obama by filling the stimulus package bill with built up frustration projects that were ignored the past eight years.  Nancy Pelosi makes a good point that the republicans ignored infrastructure repair but funding for projects like the endowment for the arts, STD, and others only gave the republicans a reason to unite.  The republicans under the Bush administration probably held down their heads but they did not object to any spending bills.  They seem to have found new life with this bill which was easy to ridicule. As Senator Kit Bond, a Republican, put it, there were so many good targets that he felt “like a mosquito in a nudist colony.”  Hopefully the senate will send a bill over to committee for administration input before submitting it to the house for another vote.

I really don’t know if a stimulus package will work but I strongly believe we should try one despite what the extreme ideologues say, because if it works we will never know what triggered the recovery; each side will exaggerate what they believe. It’s not about ideology because it’s about the millions out of work and the pain and suffering that goes with that.

I just saw this on CNN so maybe my wish list still has a chance.

Snowe: Obama Agrees To "Scrub" Economic Plan

Sen. Olympia Snowe said that President Obama has agreed to re-evaluate spending measures in the economic recovery plan, to "scrub" from it items that may not have an immediate stimulative impact.

The moderate Republican said that of $366 billion in discretionary spending contained in the bill, only 12 percent would be spent within a year - and that 12 percent is giving the president "100 percent heartburn." Snowe, one of the "Gang of 14" who is now part of a group of centrist lawmakers who met with Obama at the White House this afternoon, told reporters afterward that he agreed to a process in which a bipartisan group would more closely vet the overall bill.

"He said he understands that it needs to be scrubbed," she said. "He's prepared to be receptive to the ideas and to reevaluating some of the spending measures that were included that are raising questions about whether they are stimulative."

Snowe also said Obama emphasized the need to move on the plan quickly said it's also important to get it right. "Those aren't mutually exclusive goals," she said. "I think it's going to require some bipartisan cooperation."

 

 http://www.realclearpolitics.com/politics_nation/2009/02/snowe_obama_agrees_to_scrub_ec.html