What's good about the stimulus, and why i'm still not happy.
The Progressive Caucus has released a memo touting the good things that are in the stimulus bill.
Unemployment benefits (UI) extension. Cost = at least $12.7 billion
Everything listed here is very good, but the focus here is helping the truly poor. Again, that's great (no sarcasm), but it continues the dichotomy of Democrats helping the poor and Republicans helping the rich, and no one really looking out for the middle class. The middle class is struggling in this recession, and that causes a spiral effect that deepens the recession as the middle class cuts back on spending. It's also bad from a political point of view; this is a chance for the Democrats to really show that they are the party of working people, and creating or expanding welfare programs while letting the middle class struggle creates resentment and turns people towards the Republicans.
I can't say enough that the items listed here are very valuable. They create a safety net that helps those teetering on the edge of middle class and that definitely has a bottom-up ripple effect as well. But we need real... "change". Massive infrastructure investments, more than just rebuilding schools, that will create high tech jobs and potentially improve the way we handle transportation and energy, reducing costs in those areas. Real health care reform. Changes that the average voter will be able to feel the impact of. It's still possible that the "green technologies
A lot of proposals that were initially being considered for the stimulus were dropped to make way for Republican tax cuts. Politically that sends a message to the middle class that the only way to help them is by cutting taxes; that government programs are never effective. In reality, tax cuts are not going to help very much in a recession because there is no guarantee that the saved money won't be hoarded away until the recession is over (in fact, for wealthy people, that is the likely effect).
By fnord12 | January 28, 2009, 1:42 PM | Liberal Outrage