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Liberal Outrage

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

Anti-hunger provisions:

  • SNAP - 20% temporary increase in maximum food stamp level above the FY2009 level for two years. Cost = approximately $24 billion and increase in funds for state food stamp administrative costs Cost= $250 million;

  • WIC - increase funding to make up for shortfall not covered in the current Continuing Resolution. Cost = $450 million and increases for management information system and related infrastructure improvements. Cost = $50 million;

  • School meals - provide a 15% increase in funding for breakfast and school lunch programs. Cost = $1 billion;

Medicaid payments to states (FMAP). Cost = at least $15 billion

LIHEAP assistance to provide low-income Americans relief from higher energy costs. Cost = at least $5 billion

Job creation via down payment on rebuilding America's infrastructure and schools, starting with massive investment in commercialization of green technologies and related job training that promote environmental protection and energy independence. Cost = at least $100 billion

In general:

  • No funds for Iraq or Afghanistan wars and no funds for defense procurement.

  • Prevailing wage to be paid for jobs created and upholding of Davis-Bacon Act

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 | Link

Bipartisan means chump.

DDay at Hullaballoo:

The stimulus isn't a horrible bill, and there's a lot to like in there, particularly in the energy and health care provisions. But it's certainly Chamber of Commerce-friendly at a time when their member organizations are laying off tens of thousands. Obama has maintained this sugar plum fairy vision of bipartisanship, yet his bill manifestly does NOT value "what works" over ideology. Quite the opposite. It makes room for ideology, conservative ideology, and pre-empts provisions that would work much better in bringing back the economy. Despite a mandate for major new social and economic programs from the public, Obama is still playing small ball. He's responding to Republican hissy fits and teaching them that all they have to do to wring a concession is scream for a day or so and let their media allies whip up a frenzy. He's offering half-measures when they won't do the job.

And then after the Republicans get all the good stuff out of the bill and add their tax cuts, they're intending to vote against it anyway. Win win for them.

Also see Krugman.

By fnord12 | January 27, 2009, 1:55 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

End of the 50 State Initiative

Disappointing, if true.

By fnord12 | January 21, 2009, 3:27 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Please, Sir. I Want Some More

The banks "need" more money.

It'd be nice if there was a point where the government thought of the same solution i did. Save the banks by taking over them.

Oh, you'd like some more tax payer money? Sure. Now you belong to us.

By min | January 14, 2009, 3:25 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Plumb Dumb

This is for real:

By fnord12 | January 13, 2009, 2:40 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link

Spider-man should've punched out Obama, just like Captain America did to Hitler.

Anything less is treason.

Debbie's contribution to Big Hollywood's war on Hollywood liberals is a post that proves that Marvel Comics has been infiltrated by Mooslims. Her evidence? Barack Obama makes an appearance in a Spiderman comic book. No, seriously

By fnord12 | January 8, 2009, 5:09 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Link

Anti-Universal Health Care guy named Surgeon General

CNN's Sanjay Gupta, who inaccurately attacked Michael Moore over Sicko, is going to be our Surgeon General. Kind of dashes one's hopes about universal health care, let alone his general competence. See Krugman for details.

By fnord12 | January 8, 2009, 5:05 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (4)| Link

Democrats stand up and fight for what they believe in!

I don't really have much of an opinion on whether the Senator appointed by disgraced Illinois governor Blagojevich should be seated or not. I just think it's funny that after eight years of unjustified wars, encroachments on civil liberties, betrayals by Joe Leiberman, phoney Republican filibusters, etc., etc., etc., this is where the Senate Dems finally have decided to make their stand.

By fnord12 | January 6, 2009, 2:28 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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