Monday, February 09, 2009

Pork and Stimulus – Mixing Opposing Economic Realities

The Stimulus Bill now in the Senate bears some resemblance to the version passed by the House, except it has increased in taxpayer liability by approximately 65 Billion Dollars – they are still working on it. The bill, which has received weakening support from the American Public, is laden with extra “programs”, otherwise known as “pork”. The final version is expected to be passed today, however, this mixed bag of tax credits (loosely based), infrastructure spending and a hodgepodge of “special state projects”, is putting our grandchildren into debt. There is also some question as to the packages ability to create jobs – There will, no doubt, be jobs created on the federal level, but it is unclear if any jobs will trickle down to the private sector, which remains bogged down in a credit crunch. What to expect? Political fall-out for the party in power should the stimulus fail to work and work fast – regardless of how many times President Obama stresses that it will take years to recover, the reality of a 7.6% jobless rate with no end in sight is making those who are on the receiving end feel a little less confident. What else? No-one knows for sure – there are divergent studies from a variety of economists – it is not an exact science.

The President will speak to the nation this evening in his first press conference, slated for a 7:00 pm Eastern Time slot. in usual partisan style, the press, along with the President are pointing fingers at those pesky Republicans who are finally doing their jobs. The article here at the Austin Statesman is true to form. The problem that the press and the President face is not the Republican Party, rather their constituents who, in the past few weeks, have grown leery of adding billions of dollars to an already over-extended deficit. If, and only, if, the stimulus can be modeled in such a way as to remove all unnecessary programs, will the people fall into line, otherwise, those Republicans who are now supporting the stimulus in its present form will be subject to the same backlash as their Democrat counterparts.

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