Differing views on the stimulus

Just to share with you some of the e-mail that I ran through just before leaving the office for the night, here are three views on the stimulus bill that passed the House today.

First, Jim Clyburn really LIKED it:

February 13, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the following statement praising House passage of HR 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
    “Our economy is shedding 20,000 jobs a day.  Just last month nearly 600,000 jobs were slashed, marking the deepest cut in payrolls in 34 years.  The unemployment rate in January reached 7.6 percent, the highest level in more than 16 years. Of the top 20 highest months of job loss in America’s history, five occurred in the last seven months.  It’s time to turn those statistics around.
     “The American Recovery and Reinvestment plan is the bold action that President Obama called for.  It will create and save 3.5 million jobs, cut taxes for 95 percent of American workers, and strategically transform our economy for years to come.
     “Yesterday we marked the bicentennial anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln and the centennial anniversary of the NAACP.  It’s not coincidental the NAACP founded its organization on Lincoln’s birthday.  Yesterday, to mark their anniversary, the NAACP celebrated the breaking of glass ceilings, but also admonished us to uplift the grass roots by focusing on economic issues.
     “The last time our country faced an economic crisis of this magnitude, the government’s response in large measure omitted the communities that I represent and for which the NAACP advocates.  As we crafted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we targeted our efforts on traditionally underserved communities and rural communities using census tracks and poverty levels to direct the greatest need. I believe we met the challenge put forward by the NAACP for equity and fairness, and I expect this recovery package to deliver the hand-up that Americans so desperately need.
     “The American Recovery and Reinvestment act makes targeted investments so the children in Sumter, South Carolina will have clean-water, so that children at J.V. Martin Junior High School in Dillon, South Carolina will not have to learn in a 150 year old school, so that the mother in Charleston, South Carolina will not be homeless, so that kids Columbia, South Carolina will have a summer job,  so that a teacher in Anderson Primary School in Williamsburg, South Carolina will not lose their job, and so that families in Florence, South Carolina looking for a way-out out this economic recession will not suffer under a Governor’s political ideology.”


Lindsey Graham really DIDN'T like it:


February 13,

Graham to
Vote Against Stimulus Package


– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made these statements on
the stimulus package the Senate will vote on later today. 

    “The stimulus package creates more government than jobs.
The original goal was to work together to create jobs and stimulate our
economy.  It’s clear we have failed miserably in that

Lack of

“There was never a real effort to find common ground. 
We’re spending $1.1 trillion over the next ten years and we never had a
thoughtful discussion to figure out how we could come together on something with
bipartisan support.  The idea that this is bipartisanship does not meet any
realistic test of bipartisanship.

Lack of Job Creation

“About seventy percent of the jobs in our nation are
created by small business.  If our goal was to crate jobs and stimulate the
economy, one of the tests should be how much did we do for small business?  Not
much.  Less than $3 billion in the entire package is directed to small
business.  It’s one of the areas of the bill where the focus missed the target
by a country mile. 

Untimely Spending to Create Jobs and
Stimulate the Economy:

“There are so many things in the package completely
unrelated to creating a job in the next 18 months.  Only 11 percent of the
appropriated spending will be spent in the first year.  In fact, over half of
the money will not be spent until two years from now.  We waste money in this
bill that could have gone to shoring up the financial sector and fixing our
housing problems.”


And Columbia Mayor Bob Coble sent out this spreadsheet
with the message:

Here is the final version. Very good for cities!

14 thoughts on “Differing views on the stimulus

  1. Brad Warthen

    Meanwhile, Joe Wilson put out one that seemed a tad ambivalent. The headline said, “We all share the urgency for bold and decisive action,” which kinda makes you think he WANTED to pass a stimulus bill, but of course he voted against this one, as did all Republicans.

  2. Doug Ross

    The bill is supported by career politicians who think taking money from people, funneling it through an inefficient and unaccountable government, and passing it on to people who either a) are politically connected b) have strong lobbyist or c) don’t pay any taxes in the first place is a good idea.
    Sure, Mayor Bob supports it wholeheartedly. With the current accounting practices in the city, we should see at least 1/3 of it actually make it into the hands of people who need it.
    It’s a mortgage on our kids future. Solve today’s problems with tomorrow’s money.
    Question is: who are they going to blame when this doesn’t work?

  3. Harry Harris

    There will be plenty of people to blame if the package doesn’t work. It will include the same sort of people who work in any organization that decides to use strategies that they don’t agree with, so they do everything they can to point out failings, undermine success, and negatively affect outcomes. They try to disguise and deny their disruptive behavior – often trying to fool themselves. Even if largely successful, the group will deny the successes, largely to promote their hidden agendas.
    Some years ago, South Carolina initiated some “accountability” reforms in public education comprised of increased testing/reporting/intervention measures coupled with increases in funding. Many of the broad-based measures have improved notably (NAEP, SAT improvement rate, ratings on standards rigor). Some measures and components have not improved significantly (SAT position, dropout rate, educator morale). Rather than focussing on needed improvements, a group of citizens (with outside support) have tried to undermine the public school system to promote the private school voucher/tax credit approach they have wanted all along. They take every opportunity to undermine by pointing out, exaggerating, and inventing flaws in order to promote a private school agenda that has been repeatedly rejected by the citizens and legislature. Anybody come to mind?

  4. Lee Muller

    There were lots of signs of recovery before the passage of the largest budget deficit spending bill in history.
    Politicians just want to be able to claim credit when the recovery occurs. It will occur when the private sector overcomes wrongheaded spending and regulation by the incompetent politicians and their bureaucrats. The more they meddle, the longer recovery will take.

  5. Phillip

    I’ve been for the stimulus primarily because A)I’ve tended to accept the majority view of economists about the need for such a package, and B) I think there are systemic needs in this country (infrastructure, retooling energy orientation, etc.) that need to be addressed anyway and that we can get at some of those things with this package.
    However, on a road trip today I heard an extensive interview on NPR with British economic historian Niall Ferguson and I have to say, he was very persuasive. I can’t find the link but here is one to a similar piece he wrote for the LA Times. He’s taken a kind of combination position—that the stimulus will be relatively ineffective in non-closed economy such as we now have in the world, but that the banks should be taken over much more aggressively than Geithner has proposed.
    If you can track down the interview, on “Here And Now” on NPR Feb. 13, give him a listen.

  6. Lee Muller

    The majority view of economists and economics professors is that this much spending is not necessary, and will not do much for the economy. Many of them oppose any spending. Many more opposed this spending legislation as it shaped up to be a partisan spending spree by Democrats.
    Hundreds of notable economists took out full-page advertisements in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and other papers to oppose this reckless spending.
    In the financial press, and on the financial TV channels like CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business, the experts in the business and CEOs overwhelmingly oppose this spending.

  7. Doug Ross

    > They take every opportunity to undermine by
    > pointing out, exaggerating, and inventing
    > flaws in order to promote a private school
    > agenda that has been repeatedly rejected by
    > the citizens and legislature. Anybody come
    > to mind?
    Harry, are you talking about the governor who has been elected twice by a wide marin by these supposed citizens who reject a private school agenda? The one who would be elected again if he wasn’t prevented to do so by term limits (unlike the politicians who are actually responsible for the state’s education woes?)
    Let’s see some compromise on that issue. Do what the people voted Sanford to do.

  8. Rich

    We won’t have truly free elections here in S.C. until the census is redone in 2010 and reflects the actual population of the state. If we could also eliminate the current voter registration process and replace it with election-day registration as well as secure voting over the internet (if banks can protect our accounts online, the government can do the same with voting).
    Of course, Republicans know that the more the people are properly counted and the more they vote, the less they will win.
    Just think of how much better off we would have been if George Bush had not been handed a tainted election in 2000!

  9. Lee Muller

    Democrats propose letting felons vote, even those currently in prison.
    Obama proposes instant citizenship for illegal aliens.
    The Democrat goal is to have a majority who don’t pay taxes, and live off welfare, grants, and crooked federal projects, like the real estate scams run by Barack Obama and mobster Tony Rezko.

  10. Lee Muller

    This CBO graph is really good. It shows how the $50 Billion stimulus package grew to more than $800 billion, while tax relief kept shrinking to only 15%.
    I downloaded the CBO report, about 219 pages, but the bill kept changing.
    Some database people dissected the bill with Unix text tools and put it into a searchable database, by state, city, type of projects, but the Democrats changed it some more and them put it into a locked PDF format so it could not be searched by database tools.
    List of projects in the stimulus package. Searchable by city/state. Note how many have listed “0” as number of jobs created.

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