Saturday, February 14, 2009

Less Than Stimulating

When President Obama warned Republicans last week not to "come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped to create this crisis," one idea he may have had in mind is a second American Jobs Creation Act. The GOP proposal was rejected in the Senate last week, but lives on in conservative rhetoric.

The first AJCA, enacted under President Bush in 2004, allowed corporations with offshore profits to repatriate them at a steep tax discount – virtually a tax holiday. Like many conservative tax giveaways, the AJCA was supposed to create jobs and boost the economy. There were doubters.

Read more at Campaign for America's Future ...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Re: Stimulus Package

I want a better bill with more capital spending. One thing you'll notice in this debate, however, is that critics want more capital spending in the mix (infrastructure,etc.), but none of them offer a shopping list. Why not?

I have a feeling that the folks in the White House aren't fools. If there were more "shovel ready" projects out there, they'd be in the bill.

And if there were more non-shovel-ready projects proposed in the package, critics would complain that they are "not stimulative" because they take too long to get money into the economy. (Remember, big projects are what I do, and they take 12-18 months to go from proposal to "shovel ready.") Yes, the bill isn't anywhere near perfect. Things this size never are. Obama's efforts are also suffering from the mistrust engendered by the previous administration's efforts.

One of the things economists fear is that the spending won't be large enough to jump start the economy. My feeling is that Congress put in as many "good" projects as they could find and then filled it out with other stuff to ensure the spending was as immediate enough and large enough to meet the threshhold needed, warts and all. I saw the WS Journal article listing most of the bill as "pork" and "not stimulative." But phrases like "loaded with pork" or else "not stimulative" aren't terribly descriptive. Anything that's not a tax cut, is pork to Republicans. Where's their alternative? I mean, to more tax cuts? Where's their shopping list?

As I said over at Scrutiny Holligans, it's a bit like getting babies to eat their vegetables, isn’t it?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Standing Athwart Recovery

Conservatives are never ready to stand athwart history, yelling Stop when faced with sending troops to war or bailing out a financial system they destroyed. But when it comes to government spending that might help out ordinary people they consider bad apples, conservatives go all Jack Benny and complain, "I'm thinking it over!"

On the economic stimulus package, they’re thinking it over.

Read more at Campaign for America's Future ...