Sun 8 Feb, 2009 09:16 am
First, the House Democrats screwed up with the content of their stimulus. Now the Senate has made it useless. The Republicans are trying to revive their Party and it's pathetic useless tax cut ideology at the expense of the American people. A committee of hundreds can't achieve what is needed to save the country's economy. It's like trying to herd cats. Obama must be going nuts in frustration with the Congress' inepitude. It's time the Congress turned the stimulus planning over to the Obama Administration---and then vote it up, or be stupid and vote it down. ---BBB
February 7, 2009, 5:36 pm
What the centrists have wrought
by Paul Krugman
I’m still working on the numbers, but I’ve gotten a fair number of requests for comment on the Senate version of the stimulus.
The short answer: to appease the centrists, a plan that was already too small and too focused on ineffective tax cuts has been made significantly smaller, and even more focused on tax cuts.
According to the CBO’s estimates, we’re facing an output shortfall of almost 14% of GDP over the next two years, or around $2 trillion. Others, such as Goldman Sachs, are even more pessimistic. So the original $800 billion plan was too small, especially because a substantial share consisted of tax cuts that probably would have added little to demand. The plan should have been at least 50% larger.
Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending " much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast " because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects " and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.
My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.
The real question now is whether Obama will be able to come back for more once it’s clear that the plan is way inadequate. My guess is no. This is really, really bad.
We are in deep, deep ****...and I doubt we will get out of it smelling like roses. Fact is, there is a decent chance we will not get out of it. This may be a fatal blow.
The powers that be really do not know what to do...and the best political move for these people, who by instinct are cowards, is to oppose whatever it proposed.
If the plan works...the opposers will simply pretend they truly did not oppose the plan...but merely wanted to make it even better.
If it doesn't work...they will say, "I told you so."
In any case, we are in very, very deep ****.