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Have you been hearing a lot of the GOP talking points on the stimulus plan? I have, and so have the media. The GOP are on a jihad against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and it appears our new President won't get the overwhelming bi-partisan support he originally wanted.

All the GOP spin was actually starting to get to me about the effectiveness of the 825 billion dollar plan until Mr. Krugman laid it all out in his latest New York Times article called "Bad Faith Economics" where the star liberal economist destroys the republican talking points. More below.

The American people hate pork barrel spending and don't trust government all that much either. So anytime democrats propose spending, the GOP resort to their tried and true railing against "Big government" and "Pork Barrel Spending." Yes sir, its a fast ball right down the pipe and our conservative friends don't even need to form a coherent thought before uttering their decades old criticisms.

The last few days this propaganda has been getting to me and I started questioning the merit of the stimulus package. That was until I read Mr. Krugman's article "Bad faith Economics" and realized I too was falling prey to the conservative propaganda machine. Thanks Paul for re-orienting my thinking to reality.

The article starts with the premis that conservatives are not arguing in good faith and that they are scared to death about a Liberal spending agenda actually working. As Dr. Krugman puts it "Conservatives really, really don’t want to see a second New Deal, and they certainly don’t want to see government activism vindicated."

Conservatives are indeed frightened. They got smoked in the election, have virtually no power on capital hill and the new President is very popular. That is a scary thought for conservatives. If Obama's large spending package does what it's designed to do, Americans may open their minds to the fact that the government can actually work if done right, and that scares the hell out of the right wing.

Mr. Krugman goes on to dispel conservative spin with facts:

1.The Obama plan will cost $275,000 per job created

Bogus. That's typical conservative math whereby they take the cost of a plan over many years and look for jobs created in the first year. As the good doctor says:

"The true cost per job of the Obama plan will probably be closer to $100,000 than $275,000 — and the net cost will be as little as $60,000 once you take into account the fact that a stronger economy means higher tax receipts."

Hmmm. $60,000/job while saving the economy and making the country more competitive in the future through key investments? Sounds good to me.

2. Cutting taxes is better than government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.

Nonsense. lets listen to what the professor says:

"It’s clear that when it comes to economic stimulus, public spending provides much more bang for the buck than tax cuts — and therefore costs less per job created (see the previous fraudulent argument) — because a large fraction of any tax cut will simply be saved."

 So spending can actually work better than tax cuts? Haven't heard that much from the MSM.

3. Barack Obama's chief economic adviser says monetary policy is better than fiscal policy in response to recessions.

Again, not a valid point. Dr. Krugman:

"It’s true that the normal response to recessions is interest-rate cuts from the Fed, not government spending. And that might be the best option right now, if it were available. But it isn’t, because we’re in a situation not seen since the 1930s: the interest rates the Fed controls are already effectively at zero."

Wow, I had actually heard that argument, glad its been straightened out

Mr Krugman finishes saying that Republicans are throwing everything they have at Obama and hoping something will stick, and offering support to the new President over Obama's much reported "I won" statement to the GOP house representatives and asking the new President to stick with the plan.

Indeed, he did win. So if anyone out there starts to get jittery about the Stimulus package, remember, no longer are we going to listen to conservative dogma that got us into this mess. We're going to do what works. Spending is needed and spending is what we'll get.

Thank you again Mr. Krugman. We need more experts setting the record straight.

Sorry for the copyright infringement. New poster and still getting used to the rules. Hope the remake is satisfactory.

Originally posted to mholden01 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:00 AM PST.


The President should:

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  •  The United States paying for an air traffic (10+ / 0-)

    control system diverts resources from a high speed rail system.

    So it is important where money gets spent.  THe government can do alot of damage by spending money that encourages urban sprawl and wasteful growth.

  •  Ahem (14+ / 0-)

    It's Nobel Prize.

    Other than that good diary.

    I think it's time to start calling the Republicans Anarchists since they basically want to eliminate the government and whenever they're in power they try to do exactly that.

    Now is the time to investigate, prosecute, and imprison the former Bush regime. -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:08:50 AM PST

    •  Words have meanings. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Techie, thethinveil

      Someone who seizes power and eliminates the restraints on power is a despot, and the opposite of an anarchist.

      Anarchism is a philosophy which opposes hierarchy. One of the corollaries of opposing hierarchy is trying to restrain government and abolish the state. Anarchist organizing focuses on creating voluntary egalitarian alternatives to hierarchical institutions: "creating the new society in the shell of the old."

      By contrast, the Republicans try to destroy or co-opt the alternatives, to concentrate power in the government, and to remove restraints upon it.

      Remember Duanna Johnson. Tortured by the Memphis PD for being black and trans. Killed by the Memphis PD for speaking up.

      by Marja E on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:37:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe anarchist isn't the best word. (0+ / 0-)

        It's not that the Republicans don't believe in government. You're absolutely correct in that area. They are however out to prove that government is ineffective at dealing with any problems that come up, which of course they make sure to stack the deck in favor of that argument when they are in control of the government. They intentionally mis-managed the aftermath of hurricane Katrina as a way of trying to prove that point. The thing is we know from history they are incorrect as the government has managed previous disasters quite well in the past. When that didn't work they resorted to manufacturing problems, the biggest ones being the Iraq war and the unnecessary deficit spending.

        They think we've forgotten for nearly six years they needlessly spent like drunken sailors turning a budgetary surplus into record deficits. In good economic times the government should be amassing surplusses so that when tough time hits there is money available to pay for a recovery. The Republicans made damn sure that wasn't going to happen this time, basically manufacturing a scenario to try to prove their assertion of ineffective government.

        Now is the time to investigate, prosecute, and imprison the former Bush regime. -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:16:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Thank you again Mr. Krugman", (6+ / 0-)

    and thank you mholden01 for your effort.

  •  Paul Krugman takes Sam Donaldson to task (29+ / 0-)

    From This Week the panel discussion on the stimulus package. Following Stephanopolous' opening Republican frame that the money from the stimulus package isn't going to make its way into the economy right away, Paul Krugman shows us why talking heads in the media should not argue with Nobel Laureates in economics.

    Same stuff you've outlined here.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:12:05 AM PST

    •  I can't see video @work, so I read the transcript (5+ / 0-)

      It looked more like Paul Krugman took George Will to task and simply swatted the others away.

      But thanks for that link.  I keep thinking I should record "this Week" because of the guests, but I don't because I've come to loathe the "moderator."

      Boy, oh boy, talk about false equivalencies: Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman in a discussion group with four pontificators who have been wrong about practically everything for at least eight years.  My cat would have made better contributions to the conversation than Will, Roberts, Donaldson, or Stephanopoulos.

      There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who know binary and those who don't.

      by JBL55 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:09:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, it was painfully obvious (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that he was the only person there that really knew what he was talking about--versus talking heads who just stick to the party line without ever really thinking about it.

        Major kudos to Snuffy for including Krugman.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:11:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman is a genius??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At 4 minutes into the discussion, Donaldson says the government should give a tax credit to consumers who buy cars or refrigerators or computers to stimuluate spending.

      Krugman then responds:

      We want to see consumers spending less. This is not the problem.  We don't want a return to the spending ways of 2006.

      Obviously Krugman did NOT win the Nobel prize for his study of Keynesian economics.

      To aver that we now want to see consumers spending less and saving more is stupid beyond comprehension. Krugman sounds like the most conservative Republican in the country.

      He has said repeatedly that there are not enough "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects to stimulate demand.  Yet now he is saying that infrastructure is the way to go and consumers should spend less, even though consumer spending is already severely depressed.

      We are doomed.  Even the experts are now delusional.

      •  Jobs can be created w/o shovels (6+ / 0-)

        Like in FDR's WPA projects, there are many ways to create jobs and steady income for Americans without having to build infrastructure.

        Giving an unemployed person a job that pays $25,000 a year provides much more benefit to the economy than giving him/her a $300 per year tax rebate and expecting  them to spend it at Walmart.  Buy a car?  They're unemployed.  How the hell can they buy a car with a tax rebate when they don't have  jobs?

        Targeted tax rebates may be somewhat helpful, but only if we're also using the stimulus to create jobs.

        Suggest you read more of Krugman's columns and his blog than judge him by a few comments on a tv show.  If you do, you'll see he demonstrates how FDR's programs to create jobs helped the economy more during the depression than tax cuts ever could.

        There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:30:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Think Outside the Box (0+ / 0-)

          Buy a car?  They're unemployed.  How the hell can they buy a car with a tax rebate when they don't have  jobs?

          Tens of millions of Americans do have jobs and could buy cars.  If they bought an extra 5 million cars this year (at the same level as 2006), millions of workers would be back at their jobs and no longer unemployed.

          But Krugman, incredibly, says we shouldn't be spending like we did in 2006.  Unemployment then was 4.6% and falling.  

          Now it is 7.2% and rising fast.  So I guess Krugman prefers high unemployment to consumers buying North American made cars.

          He sounds very Republican to me.

          •  Sorry, that tactic hasn't worked (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            squarewheel, Fickle, thethinveil

            We've been getting tax cuts from the federal and state government for the last 8 years, with only a failing economy and massive budget deficits to show for it.

            The way to build it up is to create jobs, establish safety nets and keep people working.  Very limited, very targeted tax cuts can be experimented with, but massive, wholesale cuts are already a proven loser.

            There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:52:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not a general tax cut (0+ / 0-)

              A tax credit for buying something specific, like cars or computers or houses.

              That would create millions of jobs immediately.

              What you are talking about is government jobs that contribute very little to the economy.

              •  Marginal bang for the buck (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brooke In Seattle, CWalter, Fickle

                Lucky perhaps for those who work in the industries that are targeted, for the others, not so much.

                You also aren't doing anything for the people who already lost their jobs.  What about them? No job, no tax cut.  

                There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

                by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:43:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "No job, no tax cut. " (0+ / 0-)

                  People who lost their jobs will get jobs - duh.

                  They don't need a tax cut; they need a job.

                  The bang for the buck is 5-1:  government puts up 20% of the cost of a car, computer or house and the consumer puts up the rest.

                  Infrastructure spending is negative leverage because of government administrative costs.

                  Millions of new jobs will be created right now, not 10 years down the road.

                  •  If tax cuts were helpful (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CWalter, Fickle

                    We wouldn't be in this mess now.  

                    People need jobs, not a few hundred dollars to spend on computers.

                    There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

                    by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:58:33 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Let me be clear (0+ / 0-)

                      My tax credits would mean millions more cars, computers and houses bought by consumers this year because if you don't buy a car, computer or house, you don't get any tax credit.

                      I do not propose a general tax cut or rebate, unlike Obama.

                      All these additional cars, computers and houses sold this year will result in millions more jobs created right now, not 10 years from now when infrastucture spending finally hits its peak.

          •  Your argument is dishonest (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Krugman's proposal to use government spending to create jobs means just that - lowering unemployment.  To frame it otherwise makes you look dishonest, uninformed or naive.

            There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:54:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How does he create jobs? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              He says infrastructure spending is the way to go, but he has said many times that there are not enough "shovel-ready" projects to do any good.

              And are all the unemployed bankers and autoworkers now going to start repaving roads?

              Just who is being dishonest and naive here?

              •  Again you misrepresent the facts (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                There are enough shovel ready projects to meet the needs of Obama's stimulus plan.  Krugman is saying we need to focus on using the funds to create more jobs.  As to whether they're "shovel ready"?  Who says you need a shovel?  There are more than enough ways to create jobs in areas other than infrastructure or construction.

                As for auto workers, Obama has already given them a bailout, which should be able to keep them employed for the near term.  

                The most dangerous prospect as unemployment grows is the ripple effect.  As you say, those unemployed workers can't buy cars, but they also can't buy car insurance or clothes or groceries or a myriad of other products.  Their loss of spending ability cascades into far more areas than auto manufacturing.   There's a lot more spending and economic support that comes from a salary than from a single tax cut.

                There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

                by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:41:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "There are enough shovel ready projects" (0+ / 0-)

                  Who has said this?  Not Krugman; he has been saying the opposite for weeks.

                  Has the Congressional Budget Office, which arbitrates these questions, ever said there are enough projects?  No, not at all. In fact, their preliminary analysis said that not even a third of the infrastructure projects were "shovel-ready."

                  YOU are the one misrepresenting the facts.

          •  Are you smoking crack???? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Betty Pinson, Fickle

            He sounds very Republican to me.

            Seriously???? WTF??? Have you EVER ACTUALLY READ ANY KRUGMAN????? Stop twisting what he says.

            "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

            by lams712 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:10:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He said it, I didn't (0+ / 0-)

              Krugman says consumers should spend less. They should not spend like they did in 2006, when unemployment was 4.6% and falling.

              He wants government spending, not consumer spending.  He made that very clear in his response to Donaldson.

              I thought it was bizarre too, but that is what he said.  Maybe he was smoking crack.

              •  YOU were the one that said that Krugman... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rweba, truong son traveler, arlene, Fickle

                ..."sounds very Republican". Again you are twisting and misrepresenting what Krugman says. You are also making this sound like a choice with ONLY TWO OPTIONS as in

                more consumer spending = Democrat; less consumer spending = Republican

                That is oversimplified nonsense.

                Consumer spending won't get us out of this. Too many consumers are overextended (high credit card debt, stagnant wages, falling home values, etc.). Overemphasis on consumer spending is what helped get us in this mess. Without any significant increase in real wages for over a generation consumers turned to increasing their debt to consume. They increased their credit card debt and dipped into their home equity. That way of doing things cannot last forever. What we are experiencing now is a day of reckoning that was delayed for years by the artifical crutch of debt.

                "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

                by lams712 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:28:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Consumer spending won't get us out of this" (0+ / 0-)

                  How in the hell do you KNOW that?

                  Even Krugman doesn't make that claim.

                  Tens of millions of Americans have jobs and could buy houses, cars and computers which is EXACTLY what would turn the economy around and get workers back on the job.

                  Why not give it a try?

                  Oh right, it is not politically correct like "green energy."

                  •  BINGO!!!!! n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

                    by lams712 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:46:12 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, what is it???? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Even Krugman doesn't make that claim.

                    Your original comment was ripping on Krugman for believing "consumer spending should be less right now". I offered an explanation as to why Krugman is correct. Now you seem to say Krugman isn't saying that at all.

                    We can't spend our way out. Consumers are already overextended. WHAT PART OF THIS DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND???? If consumers were NOT overextended (as you claim:

                    Tens of millions of Americans have jobs and could buy houses, cars and computers which is EXACTLY what would turn the economy around and get workers back on the job.

                    , then why aren't they spending right now??? Why are we even having a recession in the first place if it were so damn easy?

                    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

                    by lams712 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:53:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "why aren't they spending right now" (0+ / 0-)

                      They are hoarding their money out of fear of the economic future.  Nobody has any confidence about what will happen next and Pres. Obama's stimulus plan is obviously not ameliorating that fear.

                      I don't think it will be easy.  With each passing day, the stimulus will need to be bigger because fear is spreading to everyone.

                      When FDR said "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" he was absolutely correct.  Fear was what caused the Great Depression and will cause another one if we don't act fast.

                      Krugman doesn't deny that increasing consumer spending could turn the economy around.  He just doesn't think that is a good idea because the savings rate is so low.

                      But the savings rate has been low or negative for years.  Millions of consumers could spend right now because they do have good credit.

                      •  If you want people to spend the best way to do (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Randy, CWalter, lams712

                        it is to give them a good paying job.  That is what Krugman is saying.  Encouraging them to go into more consumer debt is not the way to alieviate economic fear.  Give them a job and they will spend.  When they spend they will boost the economy.

                        In the long term Krugman is likely right that a negative savings rate is a real problem because it doesn't give consumers a cushion when things go bad.  

                        •  "give them a good paying job" (0+ / 0-)

                          Yeah, I want someone to give me a job that pays $200K.  Do you know anyone who is giving away jobs like that?

                          Is Obama going to hire four million workers at $50K each?  I didn't see that in his stimulus plan, so please tell me about it.

                          You need to get off Fantasy Island ASAP.

                •  You said it better than me (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Randy, Brooke In Seattle, lams712, Fickle

                  Thats exactly how I understood that response, he is not against spending, but people are already spent out, so we shouldn't simply give them a credit and expect them to immediately spend it, the impact will be minimal. Give them good jobs so they can start rebuilding their savings AND spending the rest.

        •  Thinkfirst has a point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Should the govt. try to do the heavy lifting of employing everyone currently without a job? Or should the govt. focus on stimulating the economy into doing its own heavy lifting.

          Currently, I have a job that pays well enough to cover my bills and let me save some each month. I am a functioning productive worker, but right now, I am not spending at all! I need a new car, and would like to support local businesses for food and shopping, but for the time being, I am on spending freeze. Given the right incentives/stimulus, I will start pouring my money back into the economy where it can circulate and help America.

          •  What kind of incentive would you want? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brooke In Seattle, Fickle

            I think the idea is that for an unemployed person, a well paying job is a pretty good stimulus to spend more (and saving some).

            As for you, presumably you will start spending more when the economy improves and you feel secure about your job.

          •  Amen! (0+ / 0-)

            Tens of millions of consumers are hoarding their money right now, but if the government gave them a tax credit to buy a car or computer or house, we would not have to wait around for years until the infrastructure spending finally kicked in.

      •  Wrong. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CWalter, lams712, oscarsmom

        He said 'In some ways we want to see consumers spending less'. Try and get it right, will you?

        ...where will it tickle you?

        by GANJA on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:41:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As I see it we are stuck in a economic rut (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oscarsmom, Fickle

        because we, as consumers, should be saving our money but since we, as consumers, are responsible for about 70% of America's GDP, we have to continue consuming for the economy to grow. We are between the economic rock and hard place.

        In youth we learn, in age we understand.

        by Jbeaudill on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:48:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstand him (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oscarsmom, Fickle, thethinveil

        We want to see consumers spending less. This is not the problem.  We don't want a return to the spending ways of 2006.

        YES we do want consumers to spend less in the sense that most consumers are overextended with huge credit card debt and the like. Krugman is advocating increasing government spending in things that are much more long lasting (i.e., infrastructure) to get the economy moving. Once these projects get going consumer spending will eventually follow, but like the failed 2006-07 stimulus, relying on comsumer spending now (given the fact that most consumers are in precarious situations) is just folly.

        "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

        by lams712 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:07:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There was no stimulus in 2006 (0+ / 0-)

          because unemployment was 4.6% and falling.

          Not everyone is overextended on credit and tens of millions of Americans have jobs and could buy cars and computers.

          Krugman is advocating government infrastructure spending even though he knows it WON'T stimulate the economy enough to make any difference.

          Consumer spending will not eventually follow if consumers start saving like Krugman says they should.

          •  Consumer savings historically is around 9% (0+ / 0-)

            That's a healthy number.  That's good.  It allows for people to have a cushion in hard times, to save for retirement, to start a new business.  When Krugman says having consumer saving at 2006 levels is a bad thing he's speaking in general economic terms.  Currently it's around 0 to 2%.  In the short term of course it would be nice to have consumers drive the recovery but there is simply no there there.

            Current household personal debt is at ~$46,000  according to the fed reserve.  Banks are now extremly risk averse.  They're not gonna loan to people who can't pay.  And those who can pay are already spending most of what they get.

            Giving them a tax credit to buy something they still can't afford wont work.  They need jobs not tax credits.

            •  Consumer Saving is Bad (0+ / 0-)

              If consumers start saving more of their cash, the economy will collapse further and Obama's stimulus plan will fail.

              Get a clue.  Consumers hoarding cash is what is killing demand in our economy.

              •  In the short term yes. (0+ / 0-)

                But over time consumer saving is a healthy part of the overall economy.  Consumer hoarding is not the problem right now.  They're already spending nearly everything.  The problem stems from a collapse in the credit market.  And now a collapse in the job market.

                •  "Consumer hoarding is not the problem right now." (0+ / 0-)

                  Here on planet Earth, consumers have stopped spending on everything discretionary: cars, restaurants, furniture, etc.

                  Everyone is afraid of who will lose their job next.

                  Just like the Repubs, you can't comprehend the problem so your "answers" are nonsense.

      •  Misinterpret (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        His argument is that our savings rate is already incredibly low, people are spending as fast as they earn so giving them a tax credit and hoping they spend it all isn't necessarily the answer.

        Instead, give more people jobs, so that they can save some and spend some responsibly.

        That was my understanding of that response.

        •  Give People Jobs? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Who is going to "give people jobs?"

          Is the government going to give out $50K jobs to everyone who wants one?  I didn't see that in the stimulus plan.

          Jobs are created by industries selling goods and services.  Econ 101.

          •  Government spending can also create jobs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            e.g. infrastructure projects(bridges, highways), environmental projects (weatherizing federal buildings) etc. will all put a lot of people to work.

            •  Just like the Defense industry (0+ / 0-)

              creates a lot of jobs.

              The private sector can create jobs much faster than the government, although the government jobs are much more permanent, which may not be a good thing.

              •  The private sector isn't creating jobs right now (0+ / 0-)

                and wont for some time because there is no demand.  Consumers are maxed out and cannot rescue the economy.  The only tool left is Government spending.

                •  "Consumers are maxed out " (0+ / 0-)

                  How do you know this to be true?

                  Tens of millions of consumers have good jobs and good credit.

                  How do you know that if the government gave them a big tax incentive, they would not buy cars, computers and houses?

                  Why not try it and see if it works? If it does, then the depression is over.  If not, there is no cost because no money was spent.

                  You are just making assumptions that have no factual basis.

                  •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    truong son traveler

                    first household savings rates are near zero.

                    That means they cannot divert any money that they would have saved into spending.

                    Second the economy since ~1999 has been driven in large part by the housing bubble.  During that time people used their mortgages like an ATM refinancing and using it to remodel, send their kids through college etc.  At that time 4% of the mortgages were underwater (meaning they owed more than they were worth.) now as many as 1 in 6 homeowners are under water.


                    Why not try it and see if it works? If it does, then the depression is over.  If not, there is no cost because no money was spent

                    Of course there is a cost to giving people tax breaks.  It lowers government income.  There's no free lunch there.  

                    •  " giving tax breaks lowers government income" (0+ / 0-)

                      Are you paying attention at all over there?  It seems like you are just babbling now.

                      If a consumer does not buy a car, HE DOES NOT GET A TAX BREAK!! HELLO.

                      So if my plan does not stimulate consumption of cars, then the government loses NOTHING.

      •  I don't think you understand what Krugman is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler, oscarsmom

        saying.  He's saying that currently consumers spend 100% of their income and save nothing.  30 years ago people saved about 8% of their income which is a good thing overall.  In our current situation with consumers maxed on their income giving them a tax credit (according to him) wont help the economy because they will use it to pay down credit cards or save it or if they do buy something it'll be at walmart and most of the money will go to china.  (I've heard estimates that for every $1 in tax cut stimulous you get about 20 cents back into the economy.  In contrast government infrastructure speding the money gets spent here and you get a much bigger stimulous.

        •  Here is why you are wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If consumers don't buy cars made in North America, they get NOTHING.  Same deal with houses: if you don't buy one, you get NOTHING.

          Under my plan, there is NO option to save, or pay down credit cards or shop at Wal Mart.  You must buy a car made in North America or a house to get a tax break.

          •  And what's to keep business under your plan (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            from simply hiking prices 20%?  Consumers will get their 20% tax credit keeping their costs the same.  And the businesses will keep the difference as a 20% boost in profit with no need to hire more workers or sell more product then they do now.

            The CEO's get a big bonus and Uncle Sam fits the bill.  Sounds like a Republican tax plan if I ever heard one.

            •  Increasing prices on cars & houses (0+ / 0-)

              is what we need, obviously.

              All car makers are losing money, even mighty Toyota, because prices have collapsed.

              If prices of cars and houses increased, car makers would be profitable - no more bailouts needed - and houses would stop being foreclosed.

              But apparently you are in favor of more bailouts and foreclosures.

              •  no. Increased demand is what we need not (0+ / 0-)

                price controls.  Give people jobs and they will spend. When they spend prices will rise.  Manufatures increasing profits while keeping employment and wages the same (which is what will happen under your plan) will not help the overall economy.  If profits alone were the key to economic stimulous we would all be working for exxon right now and the economy would be fine.

    •  Donaldson had written the TPs, not the paper. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom, Fickle

      It's so obvious. How embarassing, how pathetic.

  •  I would like to see more infrastructure (20+ / 0-)

    spending, but have no problem with the level of tax cuts.  Right now, according to the best estimates that I have seen, only 18% of the plan is for what can loosely be called infrasturcture spending.  33% is for tax cuts.  That totals only 51%, leaving 49% for spending on what may be worthy projects, but are not necessarily stimulative.  

    From everything which I have read, the total level of the stimulus plan needs to be increased over the $825 million in the House plan.  Leave the tax cuts at $275 million, and add another $3-400 million in infrastructure spending.

    Oh, one more Republican talking point which is getting too much traditional media notice without vetting is that "There aren't enough shovel-ready projects out there".  As pointed out by Jim Oberstarr on Rachel Maddow on Friday, that is bullpuckey and needs constant refutation.

    I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all -- William O. Douglas

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:14:55 AM PST

    •  Tax cut levels are only estimates (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samwoman, thethinveil

      Go read the tax provisions of HR 1 and tell me how much money is being foregone through these tax cuts.  The clearest parts are the tax credits for alternative and sustainable energy.  But what do the other tax provisions do?

    •  Just look at school repairs (15+ / 0-)

      and you can see tons of shovel ready projects.  That puts people to work who would normally be building homes, which nobody is doing right now anyway.

    •  I'm almost certain I've not heard ANYONE propose (4+ / 0-)

      that as long as WE (the TAXPAYERS) are giving these banks billions of dollars, why shouldn't that money be funneled through the TAXPAYERS to relieve their debts?

      Righties would say: "Oh NO! It would be unfair to give debt relief to people who didn't EARN it!!"

      My response? "Oh, so we should give BILLIONS to the IDIOTS who managed to "LOSE" and mismanage their multi-billion dollar businesses? They deserve the money the LEAST!!"

      Just wondering why nobody's talking about how the taxpayers could/should benefit from the Bailout for which they and their great grandchildren will be paying.

      America, the BLUE-tiful.

      by Samwoman on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:13:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK, here you go (0+ / 0-)

        First, we need a healthy banking system.

        Second, many banks are insolvent due to bad loans that they made.

        Third, if these banks collapse, they will take the entire economy down with them, which almost happened last fall.

        Fourth, the government injected money into the banks to prevent them from failure which has worked.

        Fifth, making more bad loans is counter-productive to the banks and the government.  So the only loans the banks are making is to guaranteed repayment borrowers, like the government.

        The banks are still so vulnerable that any more bad loans will doom them.

        •  None of that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Samwoman, thethinveil

          answers this question.

          why shouldn't that money be funneled through the TAXPAYERS to relieve their debts?

          "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

          by enough already on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:50:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the Banks collapse (0+ / 0-)

            nothing else matters.

            Sending money to taxpayers won't save the banks because the big banks on Wall Street would collapse immediately if they didn't get loans from the government.

            •  I didn't say that the money should simply go TO (0+ / 0-)

              the taxpayers--I said it should be funneled THROUGH them: why not relieve their debt--it just happens that Americans owe about 800 billion dollars in credit card debt. Instead of gifting the banks that money and HOPING they will manage it to serve more than they're own selfish and greedy interests, have the money relieve the debt of all Americans.

              I know it's a radical concept that would likely NEVER be implemented, but I bring it up mainly as a vehicle to talk about how the TAXPAYERS should be benefitting from all this bailout business, since the BANKERS and other financial interests seem to be only in this for themselves.

              America, the BLUE-tiful.

              by Samwoman on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:57:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Taxpayers are not benefiting from (0+ / 0-)

                having functioning banks?

                Do you seriously want to completely destroy the banking industry?  How would taxpayers benefit from that outcome?

                •  Why do you presume that resurrecting a (0+ / 0-)

                  failed and corrupt banking system is the only way to "benefit" taxpayers?

                  America, the BLUE-tiful.

                  by Samwoman on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 12:25:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Right, Let's go back to the barter system (0+ / 0-)

                    Just do away with money altogether and then we won't need banks at all.

                    Have you ever studied economics or finance?

                    •  Excuse me...your extremism is showing! Again, why (0+ / 0-)

                      would you presume that the ONLY solution to bailing out a corrupt system is to

                      Just do away with money altogether and then we won't need banks at all.


                      That seems to me, to be either disingenuously extreme, or naively shortsighted.

                      Have you considered that perhaps the taxpayers, who are to be PAYING for all this, perhaps ought to have a benefit OTHER than the status quo--which, clearly is not really a benefit.

                      America, the BLUE-tiful.

                      by Samwoman on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 08:21:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So nationalize the Banks? (0+ / 0-)

                        That will only cost us a few trillion and what would the benefit to taxpayers be?

                        Oh right, you have no idea.

                        •  Well: having taxpayers bailing out banks to the (0+ / 0-)

                          tune of hundreds of billions, now TRILLIONS of dollars IS nationalizing--except without calling it "Nationalizing", therefore WITHOUT BENEFIT to the taxpayers.

                          So, if calling it "nationalizing" hurts too much, call it something else, but the taxpayers should be getting much more of a benefit than what they're getting now, which is simply, "stuck with the bill".

                          America, the BLUE-tiful.

                          by Samwoman on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 12:47:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If you can solve the banking crisis (0+ / 0-)

                            then you need to get on a plane to DC right now because Pres. Obama and the Congress need your advice immediately.

                            Face it, nobody has the answer to the banking mess and nobody is happy with what has happened.  The mistake was made in September when Bush let Lehman Brothers bank fail and it crashed the whole system.
                            That decision was made by ideological Repubs who ignored the practical ramifications of their arbitrary decision.

                            Luckily, Obama is a pragmatist who does things that work.  Hopefully, he will figure this out in a practical way.

                          •  I'm simply baffled that literally NO one is (0+ / 0-)

                            talking about how the taxpayers should be repaid for all the money they are being asked to shell out to incompetent, greedy bankers.



                            We're* simply supposed to just be happy that we still HAVE a (corrupt) banking system.

                            It's no wonder Americans are slaves--they've allowed themselves to be fleeced over and over again.....

                            I'm just asking the questions--it doesn't mean I have the answers. But, for crying out loud, why is no one else asking the questions???

                            *I'm Canadian, currently going to school in the United States.

                            America, the BLUE-tiful.

                            by Samwoman on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:18:55 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They are loans, so they must be repaid (0+ / 0-)

                            U.S. taxpayers have no worries - we can print as much money as we want so the taxpayers are not on the hook for this cash.

                            Unlike the loonie, the U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world and everyone accepts it, no questions asked.

                            It's good to be king.  If Canada were smart, they would drop the loonie and use the greenback.  But I know you are too proud for that.

                          •  ouch--there's so much wrong with your comment, I (0+ / 0-)

                            should just leave it there---But I'll leave you with one hint--the U.S. is no longer king.

                            ok--two: we can't just keep printing money without DIRE consequences.

                            Ok, thanks.  I'm out.

                            America, the BLUE-tiful.

                            by Samwoman on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 11:15:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  And these are the same people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who were frantic to emmediately open up new offshore drilling as a cure for high gas prices even though the oil companies were not drilling in numerous areas that they already had, and any new drilling wouldn't change prices anyway.  Aren't they cute.

      Oh, one more Republican talking point which is getting too much traditional media notice without vetting is that "There aren't enough shovel-ready projects out there".  As pointed out by Jim Oberstarr on Rachel Maddow on Friday, that is bullpuckey and needs constant refutation.

      "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

      by enough already on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:48:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shovel ready (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for the next 3-5 years, which is how long this recession is going to last, at least.  It is preferable to get projects going as soon as possible, but even the longer-term ones (out at least 18 mos) have to get STARTED now.

      Omaha must now be referred to as Omama

      by GenXWho on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:51:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Elections have consequenses (27+ / 0-)

    I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard or read that statement after 2004. Now all of a sudden it's very important to have the republican view on everything from bailouts to guantanamo?

    To all reporters:

     If it weren't for failed republican policies, there would be no need for bailouts and there would be no prison on guantanamo bay. Let them yell and stomp their feet about nobody listening to their ideas, because the reason we are in such a mess is partly due to the fact that nobody challenged those ideas for 8 years.

    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by atlliberal on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:15:55 AM PST

  •  Except of course for the fact that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, shann

    no one can produce evidence of a single successful stimulus anywhere or anytime.  Japan has been at this game since 1990 and look where it has got them.  This is nothing more than action for action's sake and with the 4 year time horizon Obama has, he could probably wait this out and ride the natural recovery to a landslide reelection.

    •  Do you ignore the (35+ / 0-)

      spending in the 1930s?  Or WWII?

      I'l take a Nobel Prize winning economist over you views.

      By the way, how's that "free trade"/globalization working out now?

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:22:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

        GDP growth was on its way up before any FDR spending could have helped (check out the GDP growth rate in 1933 or 34).  As for WWII, that was an entirely different kind and quantity of stimulus, as it was a direct creation of 13 million military jobs (that's just those directly in the military), plus federal and military spending(as a percent of GDP) went from 17% in 1940 to 89% in 1945.  We are talking apples and oranges here.

        •  Here are the numbers (7+ / 0-)

          for 1929 to 1940.  You are wrong, GDP fell in 1933.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:00:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was growing in 33 (0+ / 0-)

            Just because the year number is negative doesn't make all the quarters negative.  And again, I included 34, which was way too fast for FDR's spending to hit the economy.

            •  Nonsense (7+ / 0-)

              you don't understand the debate.

              First, the reason that the economy turned in '33 was FDR's response to the banking crisis (which included a bank holiday) and the expectation of future government spending.  The stimulus unquestionably was behind the growth in '34 through'37.  FDR's decision to back off the stimulus in '38 caused another recession (note that the budget was near balance in '38).   When he realized his mistake the economy grew again.

              I note the complete absence of numbers in your argument.  Because the numbers are very clear.  

              The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

              by fladem on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:16:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You provided the numbers (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                which are quite inconclusive.  It is quite likely (and probable) that the economic recovery was a natural one after GDP had fallen almost 50% from 1929 and more importantly, had FDR's policies been so effective at the time then unemployment would have fallen almost as fast as GDP rose (and it wasn't even close).  I have great admiration for FDR and think his policies have been an integral part of our economic growth these past 70 years, but I do not believe it was any "stimulus" (besides the war) that got us out of the great depression.

                •  So tell us Oz (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  What do YOU think should be done?  If as you say we aare in uncharted teritiry, pleaase proffer a SOLUTION.  IMO, that's what Krugman was doing.

                  •  heh. No idea what "teritiry" means, (0+ / 0-)

                    Territory, is what I meant. Sorry for the other typos, too.

                  •  I have posted my opinions before (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sparhawk, CWalter

                    I think you have 3 potential possibilities (all of these would include the increased unemployment/medicaid/cobra spending):

                    1. Do nothing (other that above) and further shoring up of the banking system as needed.  Let the economy readjust to the new norms (ie more personal savings and less consumption) and take all the credit in 2012.
                    1. Much more infrastructure and nothing else (except as above).  Roads/bridges/rails/ports/water/communications.  This builds you up for future economic development and provides a backlog of work for years to come (plus it all has to be done anyways)
                    1. A massive tax credit (not really a fan), in the neighborhood of $2000 for every American.  This amount of money ($8000 for a family of four) would really help people straighten out their finances and start spending again (even if every dime of this was saved/paid down debt it is likely that people would again feel comfortable to spend more going forward (obviously an income limit on who gets this).

                    I personally favor #1.  It helps to stabilize the economy/mitigate the losses, while also keeping the government in the game with potential targeted help later should the situation continue to worsen.  If Obama's plan goes through and doesn't work (I don't think it will), then your gun is empty and we are screwed.

                    •  do nothing? you have GOT to be (5+ / 0-)

                      kidding!  that is exactly what the idiots in control have done for the last eight years!

                      i cannot believe that you seriously post this and assume that you won't be excoriated around here!

                      put me down for one excoriation, please!  i'm done in this conversation - fortunately, I still HAVE a job and have something i need to do - try to earn a living to survive until the stimulus kicks in when people once again have jobs and can apply for and receive credit to purchase cars.

                      seeya!  i'm outta here!

                    •  I have no idea if your ideas would work or not (0+ / 0-)

                      but I love that you and others are putting your ideas out there.

                      I have no idea what the solution is.  I have a gut feeling it is a stimulus combined with a societal shift in spending behavior.

                      Unfortunately (fortunately?) I can see merit in almost every suggestion posited.  The only disagreement I have is annointing Krugman as the only economic god.  I feel the best plans take elements from multiple resources/people.

                      ~Do not allow the Perfect be the Enemy of The Good~

                      by CWalter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:38:34 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  STIMULATE CONSUMER SPENDING!!! (0+ / 0-)

                    Consumer spending is 70% of our economy.

                    It is severely depressed.

                    Without major a major increase in consumer spending, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

                    But Krugman is AGAINST increasing consumer spending.

                    •  Consumer spending not the answer (5+ / 0-)

                      Consumers don't have much spare change to spend this time around. Any tax cuts we get are much more likely to be saved, or spent on necessities.

                      One thing that I think is going to come out of this economic crisis is a major reshuffling of the flow of money. Consumer spending will no longer drive the economy the way it does today; more will come from government programs and possibly consumer investment. That is what really worries the people running the GOP: They make their money persuading consumers to buy goods they don't need or even really want, and they planned obsolescence to keep us buying more.

                      As a result, the US, which is 5% of the world population, consumers 25% of its resources. Which is another reason why the GOP doesn't like to think about global climate change, the environment, and such: Thinking about it exposes our consumer-driven economy as a major cause of these problems.

                      It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven, nor to save them from hell.

                      by DanK Is Back on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:16:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How about $4k tax credit if you buy a new car (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        CWalter, sydneyluv

                        made in North America?

                        Do you think that might get consumers buying more than necessities?

                        Millions of working class people would get their jobs back and save their homes too.  Most of them are not GOP.

                        •  How will they get their jobs back? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Maybe some in the auto industry might, but what about the rest of us?

                          What about all the other jobs that have been off-shored and outsourced?

                          Not all of the unemployed are in the auto industry, so how would this help them?

                          The only residual effects on jobs would be the local economies of the car-producing states/areas.

                          What about all the people who had tech jobs that were outsourced? When do they get their jobs back?

                          "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

                          by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:14:05 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Computers included too (0+ / 0-)

                            The housing and auto industries are the two biggest employers in the country.  So starting with them gives the most bang for the buck.

                            But IT should be included to the extent it produces jobs in North America.  Obviously, consumer spending can be stimulated in different ways.  I am just starting with the most important for job creation.

                    •  Current consumer savings is between (0+ / 0-)

                      0 and 2%.  Historical averages is somewhere between 8-9%.  Household debt is at an all time high. somewhere around 130% of disposable income.


                      There is simply not enough room in consumers spending to be able to stimulate the economy.

                      •  Of Course! Consumers should save more! (0+ / 0-)

                        Brilliant solution!

                        Consumers should STOP buying cars completely.  They should STOP  buying houses too.  They need to save all their cash for food and guns because the coming anarchy will be hell.

                        Where do you come up with this stuff?

                        •  Your not reading. (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm not saying consumers should save more right now.  I'm saying they are spending all that they are making.  There is no room in their budget for your plan to get them to spend more.  They are already at all time highs in personal debt and lows in savings.

                •  The numbers are not inconclusive. (0+ / 0-)

                  You are either stupid or lying.  Or perhaps both.

                  •  "stupid" was not necessary. (0+ / 0-)

                    If you feel someone is lying enough to call them out, then prove it, please.

                    I don't agree with his/her stimulus statement either, but your comments did not forward the debate.

                    ~Do not allow the Perfect be the Enemy of The Good~

                    by CWalter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 06:42:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's not really fair. (0+ / 0-)

                      The information was given on this thread, and the person I was replying to was making a statement that directly contradicted the numbers.  It was either blinkered or an attempt to deceive; there really was no other possibility.

                •  ask the people who lived thru it (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                       My parents would have argued with anyone who thought FDR didnt pull us out of the depression.What did they know,they only lived thru it.My father quit school and went to work on FDRs works programs and supported his mother with the earnings.Im reminded a bit here,by a few of the posts, of the scene in the Harvard bar in Good Will Hunting.I dont put much stock in people parsing numbers about that era and coming to conclusions.I was raised by people who knew damn well what FDR did for them because they lived it.

            •  Gee, who was President of the Umited States (0+ / 0-)

              in 1933? Milton Friedman?

            •  So economic recovery is a successful quarter? (3+ / 0-)

              Well, I guess the New Deal just strung together a number of successful quarters, merely gilding the lily of an economy that's already reached the criteria of success of a quarter where GDP didn't fall.  Or is it a week?

              "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

              by Inland on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:19:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The NBER has the recession ending (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in March of 33, thus they saw that growth and indicators of growth were already on their way up.  Don't condescend to me.  Go look it up at NBER

                •  Economics is a science. It has terms of art. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  enough already, TomP

                  You engage in buzzwords like "indicators of growth are on their way up", terms that could mean anything, or nothing as you see fit.

                  Nothing you say makes a lick of sense.  

                  "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

                  by Inland on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:27:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you know of leading indicators (0+ / 0-)

                    And the other measures the NBER utilizes to determine recessions?  It would appear not.  Much like how the NBER has this recession starting in December 2007/January 2008 even though we still had positive GDP growth, they called the end of the recession (1929-March 1933) based on all available data and not just quarterly GDP numbers.  The fact is, the recession that started in 1929 was over about the same time FDR took office.

                    •  Leading indicators aren't used to determine (0+ / 0-)

                      recessions.  FAIL.  

                      "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

                      by Inland on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:38:47 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Quote (0+ / 0-)

                        "The NBER does not define a recession in terms of two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. Rather, a recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales."

                        Right from NBER

                        Those are economic indicators are they not.

                        •  Fail. What's a leading indicator? (0+ / 0-)

                          You either don't know, or don't care.  You scatter buzzwords like a squid shoots ink.

                          "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

                          by Inland on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:48:37 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Those were the indicators I was referring to (0+ / 0-)

                            not the leading economic indicators as put out by the conference board (sorry if I confused you, but since the conference-board didn't start issuing the leading economic indicators until the 90s and since before that they were not even conglomerated until after WWII, I see how someone not versed in economic history could be confused).

                •  I'm sure those without jobs (25%) were happy (4+ / 0-)
                  the recession was over. They probably just went to soup kitchens for the ambiance.

                  "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

                  by Boisepoet on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:17:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Then supply the quarterly numbers and win (0+ / 0-)
              the prize!

              "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

              by Boisepoet on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:12:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  ouch! that's not nice... hurting another's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            argument with real facts....

            shame!  SHAME!!!

            heh heh heh.....

      •  Except that Obama listened to economists (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jbeaudill, oscarsmom

        to write the stimulus bill, and told people he picked the lowest number they gave him on purpose and planned to inject more over time and also wanted congress to work with it which is what they are doing. I agree with Krugman but he needs to include this in his assessment so that people don't think Obama's plan is set in stone.

        •  You mean Larry summers and his econ. team (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          wrote the bill president Obama signed off on it then demcrats complained about tax cuts, both Rs and Ds complained about lack of infrastructure  (with dems wanting to add more to the total while the opposition wants to cut the percentage of social spending.)

          Ah Larry, you do suck.

          Good Frames Won't Save Bad Paintings.

          by thethinveil on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:22:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, the ole "neglect the problem" (14+ / 0-)


      How very Republican.

      Stimulus spending WILL create jobs and demand AND leave us with actual useful assets for the future.

      Come on.

      Truth is what most contradicts itself in time.

      by Blicero on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:23:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not neglecting the problem (0+ / 0-)

        its admitting that the government is not going to get us out of the recession.  Big difference.  Look, I am all for the increased unemployment/Cobra/Medicaid stuff that's in the package as a way to stabilize the economy and lessen the impact of layoffs, etc.  But the spending/tax cut portion of this "stimulus" just is not going to work as it will not address the change in people's spending habits that we are now seeing (savings went from essentially 0 to 2.7% in a quarter).  

        •  What?! (9+ / 0-)

          You're saying the spending portion of the stimulus won't work because of individual spending rates?

          You're making about as much sense as a Congressional Republican right now.

          The spending portion will work precisely because it doesn't depend on individual spending. Infrastructure projects and related economic activity gets around the savings issue - tax cuts do not.

          Truth is what most contradicts itself in time.

          by Blicero on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:46:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's see (0+ / 0-)

            The economy is 70% consumption, which is not being addressed.  The infrastructure spending is entirely debt financed, meaning that while you may save a few construction jobs (temporarily), it is likely that those workers save their money and equally likely that interest rates rise (killing any recovery) when the world is unable/unwilling to buy our bonds for a 2% return.  You also run the risk of inflation through all this debt/spending, which could also hinder the economy right now.  We have tried various forms of stimulus before and none have ever worked, why would it be different this time.

            •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

              I see no Manhattan Project type of overhaul to a green economy here, only bandaids.

              I am not opposed to spending but it needs to be a transformational investment. I see renovations where architectures need to be replaced.

              In the meantime, it seems Americans have suddenly recalibrated their values, no longer willing to risk discretionary spending when health care and retirement are no longer "handled" as previously thought. This will not change either without a radical transformation in the way Americans retire and in the delivery of health care. People know this, Americans are ready for the pending Pension crisis, we're not going to starve ourselves or grandma to buy a new TV.

              Where's the bold ideas? We don't need the GOP to tell us that while good to do, spending on family planning, libraries, and the arts will not impact our retirement accounts.  

              HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in.

              by kck on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:15:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  A couple of problems (0+ / 0-)

              first building a highway is about more than just employing construction workers - it's also about building a highway.  Highways have enormous economic value and pay for themselves many times over in increased trade, and decreased traffic (which saves literally billions a year in oil and otherwise lost productivity.)  Republicans regularly talk about how decreasing taxes can increase receipts, so the same has to be true of spending.

              Second, in troubling economic times people are tripping over themselves for a 2% return on a t bill, because people are afraid of the downside risk on otherwise insanely safe things like money market accounts.

            •  And consumer spending (0+ / 0-)


              The infrastructure spending is entirely debt financed,

              it is likely that those workers save their money

              Likely on what Planet?

              "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy

              by enough already on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:04:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Actually I think the tax breaks for the middle (9+ / 0-)

          class are a good thing. I need mine to help pay my ever increasing property taxes on a home that ever decreases in value. But with that taxes must be raised on the wealthiest Americans. Not just letting the Bush tax cuts expire, they need to be raised significantly. We all look with horror at the golden parachutes, bonuses and salaries in industry, it didn't used to be that way and WHY? Because all those obscene perks were taxed at a rate at least two times they are currently taxed and at one time at a rate as high as 92%.

          •  I am against tax cuts. (0+ / 0-)

            I would like to see a shift in public consciousness to pay-as-you-go.  I know this stimulus can never be paid back, but cutting taxes further......I can't agree to that.

            Personally I am a Fair Tax fan, but that won't happen in my lifetime, unfortunately.

            ~Do not allow the Perfect be the Enemy of The Good~

            by CWalter on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 07:06:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  If Japan hasn't recovered naturally in15 years... (12+ / 0-)

      why would you expect that the US would in 4?

      I think that there's a real possibility that the economy is not going to recover at all, and will eventually become a static economy. Much like Japan's.

      The US economy, and by extension the world's, for the past 15 some years has essentially been driven by speculative bubbles. First the dot-com and now real estate.

      Which then begs the question: what's going to come along to push the economy back into growth?

      •  They haven't had the chance (0+ / 0-)

        the government has done everything but let them recover naturally.  

      •  Bubbles beat the alternative (0+ / 0-)

        which is stagnation and unemployment.

        The dot com and real estate bubbles created a lot of wealth which otherwise would never have happened.

        •  True, they created a lot of wealth... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but they've also now destroyed a lot of that wealth as well. If the Dow Jones is any measure.

          So I'm not certain that in terms of wealth that our economy is any further ahead than it was before the bubbles started.

          In fact, you could probably make the argument that we're behind, in that capital that could have been used in improving infrastructure has been wasted on speculative activity.

          •  Just what we need (0+ / 0-)

            "capital that could have been used in improving infrastructure"

            More Bridges to Nowhere?

            Who do you think would be in charge of spending that infrastructure money, you?  Hell no, the Rod Blagos of the government will be trading your tax dollars for campaign contributions.

            Infrastructure spending will be a cesspool of corruption, guaranteed.

            •  Well, plenty of things... (0+ / 0-)

              like transport systems, both highway and rail.

              Or improvements to the national power grid, so that it could more easily handle local power generation.

              Most of the US national infrastructure is going to have to be replaced within the next twenty years as it's reaching the end of its lifecycle.

              Money could also be spend on improving existing systems, like the national power grid, making it easier to add on small local power generation.

              As for corruption and wastage, yes, some of the capital isn't going to be used efficiently.

              However, that didn't stop the construction of the national highway system, and the commercial benefits stemming from that have been pretty clear.

              And as far as corruption goes, investing your money in the stock market isn't exactly guaranteed to avoid fraud either.

      •  The Japan "Horror Story" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yann, CWalter, liberalconservative

        belies the fact that if you've actually been there (I have not, but know Japanese and people who have) the standards of living are quite high, its personal consumption that's less.

        Sure, they don't tend to have as much space, but that's a product of its history as an island, not to mention that in 2,000 years of continuous civilization, things have already been built all over the place. Japan has public parks, public health care, temples all over the place, miles upon miles of coastline, some of the best malls and arcades and other entertainment venues for a country.

        Japanese people have chosen to value their personal health and their natural and historical heritage.

        A recession tends to have health and standard of living implications, but if Japan is the nightmare are prosperous we the paradise?

        That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

        by Nulwee on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:10:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, there's no doubt that Japan has problems... (0+ / 0-)

          but they tend to be demographic and (maybe) cultural in nature.

          Part of the reason their economy hasn't been expanding is because their population hasn't been, not because they haven't been investing in infrastructure, education, etc.

          Which, I have to admit, makes me wonder just how the US economy is going to keep expanding long term, considering that it also is starting to run into some of the same demographic issues.

        •  And I agree with you ... (0+ / 0-)

          that Japan's 'stagnation' still looks pretty good to a lot of nations around the world.

    •  do we really know? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      what would have happened had they NOT done this?

      Article 6: " religious test shall *ever* be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the U.S."

      by billlaurelMD on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:04:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh. Another New Deal denier. (6+ / 0-)

      Look, I routinely drive over four massive bridges that are a direct result of FDR's policies. Seventy+ years after the fact.

      I'm sure the "Free Market" (whatever that is) would have built those bridges and run them very efficiently had FDR not interfered, much as it has done health care, energy and everything else.

      •  I am not a New Deal denier (0+ / 0-)

        I have great admiration for the New Deal and the benefits it has provided our economy over the last 70 years, but I do not believe it had much to do with the recovery from depression and the numbers do, in fact, back me up.  There is zero proof that any New Deal spending (or their collective) played any significant role in the ending of the depression.

        •  that's because there's no such thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as a controlled economic experiment.

          All economic policies are carried out because they seem like a good idea.  We can say why we think things happened, but you can never prove anything one way or another.

          That is why when looking at the great depression and the recovery, every credible economist and historian credits, at least in part, the massive public works spending projects.  The few friedmanite revisionists can be dismissed as either misguided or driven by ulterior motives.

        •  So what about the New Deal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          DO you admire?  Is it just possible that the stimulus broke the grip of  oligarchy which allowed for the middle class insurgence and fueled our economy...if not the stimulus per se?  IMO, doing nothing, "letting the market sort itself out"-same thing- is tantamount to regressing to feudalism.

          Now I know that sounds extreme, but it does seem we're heaaded in that direction.

        •  Care to cite these numbers? The ones I've (0+ / 0-)

          seen say that New Deal policies contributed to recovery.

        •  ever heard the old adage that you can prove (3+ / 0-)

          ANYTHING with numbers? including both sides of an argument?

          ask any person who was alive during and after the great depression what effect the new deal and the wpa and cc played.

          listen to those who were there - not those who choose to pick and pull statistics to prove a point.

          i'm old enough to have seen the effects of the wpa and cc.  the bridges built on the eastern most part of n.c. - the new roads, the new theatres, the new paintings, the new highways!

          fdr was revered by those who lived in and through the great depression - ask THEM if his new deal made a difference!

          it's easy to look back on dry history and proclaim that the new deal didn't make a difference.  it's easy to read numbers and text and decide that there was no impact.

          the reality of those who lived through it is very different.  roosevelt did more than just create jobs and programs to benefit the working people.  he did as obama is doing now - he gave hope - created dreams and returned the spirit of america to the people.

          so, i guess i am saying - beware of minimizing the impact of roosevelt and the new deal - SOME of us are old enough to remember the portrait of fdr hanging in our home - of the man who singlehandedly was given credit for saving america!  (i thought he was a relative for years - until i grew old enough to ask and learn of how his impact changed so many lives.  mine, too - and i was only five years old in 1950... my parents lived it - my grandparents lived it... and they shared it with us!  too bad no one shared those experiences with you.

        •  As Krugman points out (4+ / 0-)

          The only reason FDR's New Deal policies took as long as they did is because in '32 and '33, he bowed to pressure from those screaming about budget deficits and cut spending in those years to balance the budget.  Less job creation, less economic recovery.

          Krugman advises this time around, Obama needs to ignore the deficit hawks and keep the job stimulus pump primed and going until recovery is complete.

          There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:35:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am also really suspicious of bailouts. (0+ / 0-)

      When cities and states subsidize factories and stadiums, they always cost more than planned and produce a small fraction of the promised economic activity (the Ohio DHL town for example).

      I have seen beautifully designed buildings still in use from the public spending during the Great Depression (soon to be renamed Depression I) and the government could probably put a batch, but not millions, of people in construction. What we need is permanent employment, like factories and design centers, even call centers, but the USA government is not set up or oriented to this activity.

      So, let's do what is least harmless, as the cart is hurtling down the hill with no steering or brakes as the conductor is explaining how everything is still under control.

      I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

      by shann on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 07:41:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope Kurgman and Obama are right (5+ / 0-)

    Because if Obama's stimulus plans fails, it could cursh his presidency before it even gets started.  Obama is taking the biggest risk I have ever seen a president take by spending this much tax payer money hopinh it will fix the economy.  We will know by the middle of 2010 if his plan worked or not.

    If the plan works, Obama will get most the credit and will probably be assured 8 years in the whitehouse with even larger Dem majorities.

    If the plan fails, it will go down as the biggest waste of tax payer money in American History and will probably mean the end of the Obama presidency after 4 years.

    I salute him for taking such a huge gamble and I hope he is right.

    •  I thought (29+ / 0-)

      the invasion of and war in Iraq was "the biggest waste of tax payer money in American History."

      This Plan is investment in America.  And it will only take a depression and make it into a severe recession.

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:23:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Currently you are very right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        iBlue, island in alabama

        The Iraq war is definetly the biggest waste of tax payer money by a long shot.  The stimulus package however is much larger then the expense from the Iraq war.  If the plan fails to turn the economy around, it will turn out to be the new biggest waste of tax payer money ever.

        This is why I hope Obama is right with his plan.  If this plan fails, what happened to Bush from Iraq will happen to Obama over the waste of tax payer money on the stimulus.

        There never is just an upside in these decisions and Obama knows this.  This gamble is the most important decision of Obama's presidency as it will make or break him.

        •  I disagree. (14+ / 0-)

          If the plan fails to turn the economy around, it will turn out to be the new biggest waste of tax payer money ever.

          Employing 4 million people will help their lives.  In addition, there will be bridge and roads built, green energy will be advanced.

          I disagree with your metric for determining whether it is a "waste."

          It is not a "gamble."

          The likely outcome is that it will prevent things form being much worse.  But bubbles are over and many people who became upper middle class in teh bubble economy are going to have to get used to living with less.

          "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

          by TomP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:37:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is what the Republicans want (7+ / 0-)

            many people who became upper middle class in teh bubble economy are going to have to get used to living with less.

            Their ideal for America is a small Uber-Rich class, with supporting Minions, and masses of scared, pliable Peasants.

          •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If his plan does in fact create 4 million jobs and make GDP start to grow again, it will be a huge success.  No one would consider his plan a waste if it does what is promised.

            If it fails to create many jobs, our GDP doesn't grow, and unemployment overall doesn't shrink, it will be deemed a failure and a huge waste of tax payer money.

            This is pretty simple to understand.  If you asked the American public if they are ok running a deficit of over $2 trillion just to create roads, bridges, and green energy you would learn quickly that they are against it by a HUGE margin.  The only reason they currently support the plan is because it is being sold as the fix for the economy.  No one in their right mind would think the stimulus plan is a good thing if it fails to turn our economy around quickly.

            This deficit spending is a HUGE gamble and its very painful.  Obama knows that he is basicaly punting the pain down the road.  We are quickly approaching our debt ceiling as countries like China are already signalling that they are done buying US debt.  This means that Obama will be forced to drastically reduce spending to produce a surplus once the recession is over.  This is the future pain and he is hoping that the massive cuts in military and entitlement spending will be less painful then a depression today.

            If his stimulus plan fails, America will be in a world of hurt.  We would have a horrible economy and we would be forced to drastically reduce entitlement and military spending to produce a surplus.  This is why his plan is a huge gamble.  Lets hope it succeeds to its fullest.

          •  Where is the study that shows 4 Million (0+ / 0-)

            new jobs?

            I haven't seen ANYTHING that shows millions of new jobs.

            Remember we already LOST 2.6 million jobs last year and will likely lose that many this year too.  So we start out 5 million in the hole.

        •  We've already spent more in Iraq (16+ / 0-)

          than what this bill would spend.

          "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by atlliberal on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:37:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The current economic fiasco is based on the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          destructive war in Iraq; had all that money been spent on growth and security in the USA itself, we would have been far better off.  The bedrock of our current economic crisis is the $2.4 trillions [according to Joseph Stigliz] wasted in Iraq.

          In youth we learn, in age we understand.

          by Jbeaudill on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:11:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would vote WWI as "biggest waste ever" nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
    •  risk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, TomP

      is what's needed at times. and if it doesn't work, we'll try something else.

      Let's get to work.

      by owl06 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:42:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        we will be truly out of cash.  We are very close to our debt ceiling at this point.  If the plan succeeds and turn are economy around, we will still be forced to deal with the massive amount of Government debt.

        I think most people realize that Obama will need to drastically reduce government spending to produce a surplus year after year.  Basically, Obama is hoping that the pain from cutting spending on entitlements and military will not hurt as much as a depression today.  I tend to agree with him.

        The point however is that this needs to work because we won't have any more money.  Trying something else only sounds nice in theory.  The problem is that we won't have any money to try something else.

        This is why it is a HUGE political risk for Obama.  It is basically going "All In".  I think your right that Obama should take that risk, but we can't kid ourselves about what happens if it fails.

    •  Doing nothing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, Jbeaudill

      would represent a bigger risk.

      The economy is tetering on the brink of a depression.  

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:56:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Evidence based economics (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jbeaudill, Fickle

      The Republicans have been pushing tax cuts for the last 8 years as economic stimulus.  They haven't worked.  The GoP needs to explain why their failed economic policies will be any different this time and present some evidence to back it up.

      Bottom line, in the right economic environment, tax cuts can provide short term stimulus to the economy, but eventually do long term damage in bigger federal deficits and lower wages.

      There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:50:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They haven't reduced tax for the middle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Mama, Jbeaudill

        class by any reasonable amount.  This is why Obama made his campaign about his promise to drastically reduce income taxes for everyone making $200k or less.  Income tax cuts do help people and our economy if they are focused on the middle class.  The repugs got it wrong because they focused on tax cuts for the rich only and that is why they failed.

        Obama obviously is a man of his word so he will produce the large income tax cuts he promised in his campaign.  I simply am proposing that he add them to the stimulus package to gain republican support.  He will obvioulsy implement these income tax cuts quickly anyways, why not add them in now?

        My guess is that Obama was hoping to have a seperate bill for the income tax cuts so they would be highlights and get alot of press.  This way everyone in America would see that he fullfilled his main campaign promise.  While that would be nice, I personally think he needs to scrap that plan and add the income tax cuts to the stimulus plan to gain repug support.

        The plan is already one of the largest risks a president has ever taken.  Why not get repug support so if it fails, they will share some of the blame?

        •  Which is better for the unemployed (4+ / 0-)

          or soon to be unemployed?  A $300 tax cut or a good paying job?

          The goal should be to create as many jobs as the economy loses.  Not only do we keep people working and provide them with far more money than a tax cut can provide, we also get the benefit of the fruits of their labors.

          There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:57:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Overall, providing income tax cuts (0+ / 0-)

            should be Obama's primary focus.  He ran his campaign around that promise and our middle class expects him to keep his word.  The income tax cuts he promised would provide much more then $300 for many families.  This isn't a either or thing.

            Obama needs to provide the income tax cuts because these tax payers have been overtaxed for far too long.  Today they are struggling to pay their bills, most have lost a ton of equity in their homes, and most haven't received a pay raise in a long time.  Providing them with a much need income tax cut effectively gives them a pay raise at the best possible time.

            Furthermore, Obama can attempt to increase the number of jobs.  It is funny that so many believe it is garunteed that the stimulus plan will actually work.  Obama is taking a huge gamble that he believes will work.  I hope he is right.

            What I do know however is that the promised income tax cuts will work.  Other things may stimulate the economy more (its debatable at this point), but we know that the income tax cuts will stimulate the economy to some extent.  We also know that this group is currently way overtaxed and needs a break ASAP.  Lastly, allowing people to keep more of their own hard earned money allows them to get their head back above water.

            So this isn't a debate between tax cuts and jobs.  For starters, Obama needs to do both.  The tax cuts will increase the number of jobs but we don't know yet by how many.  The main point however is that Obama made this his primary promise and it got him elected.  He needs to keep his word on this promise as America's middle class is counting on this much needed tax relief ASAP.

    •  39% of the plan is in tax cuts, which as Krugman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jbeaudill, Fickle

      points out will not help. So if the plan wasn't big enough at 800 mil it certainly isn't big enough at 480 mil.

      To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

      by Tanya on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:01:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Krugman did not say they wouldn't help (3+ / 0-)

        Krugman believes they won't help AS MUCH as other forms of spending.  Tax cuts will stimulate the economy.  The question is if they will stimulate the economy as much as something else would.  Krugman's opinion is that they won't.  No one really know however if anything in this plan will actually work.  No one has ever spent this much tax payer money before.

        Personally, I would focus the tax cuts on things Obama already promised.  Adding the large income tax cut for everyone making $200k or less would be a great idea.  It would show that Obama kept his biggest campaign promise as well.  I would also add a payroll tax holiday for everyone making $200k or less.

        No one really knows what will work.  I do know that the middle class is struggling right now with excessive income taxes and decreased equity in their homes.  Allowing them to keep more of their own money right now isn't only about stimulating the economy.  It is also about helping the middle class survive.

        •  but that isn't how hte tax cuts are being (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          formulated. It is a flat 500 for individuals and 1000 for couples/famlies. The cost is close to 300 mil. This kind of cut does next to nothing to stimulate the economy.

          To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

          by Tanya on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:27:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  False (0+ / 0-)

            Could you explain how you believe they do next to nothing?  You can certainly argue that they won't stimulate the economy  as much as something else, but saying they will do nothing is patently false.  Even Krugman would agree.  He simply believes that the other things stimulute the economy even more.

            My point is that Obama should scrap these tiny tax cuts and change them to large income tax cuts for everyone making $200k.  This was his central campaign theme and his biggest promise.  Why not get them into the stimulus bill now?

            Anyways, no one actually believes that the current tax cuts will do nothing.  Sure some will be saved and some will pay down debt.  Alot of it will be spent however.  Either way, all 3 things are very good for tax payers right now so I don't see the problem.

            It is long past time that our government focuses on middle class tax payers again.  We spent the last 8 years under Bush paying excessive income taxes and it was painful.  We need a president who puts us first for a change.

      •  Keep the tax cuts in there so we can (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Use them against the republicans who vote against it.

        It would be a pretty effective counter-point to run against the "conservatives".  Imagine Boehner preaching lower taxes when the Democrat running against him can point out that he voted against tax cuts (Or for tax increases, if you want to use the standard Republican measure).

        I'd say make it very very public that the GOP is impeding tax cuts.

  •  I've always hated (13+ / 0-)

    that argument in favor of tax cuts that conservatives use that "you can spend your own money better than the government can."

    Well that may be true in some cases, but that argument equates taxes with spending and they are not the same thing.  The government will spend what it spends, usually without regard to tax receipts (see the deficit).  

    Furthermre, there are plenty of places where people have no chance of spending their money as well as the government.  The government has access to all kinds of information and studies about the effectiveness of certain programs that the average citizen has no hope of getting his hands on, let alone understanding.  In many situations, the government is far better equipped to spend money more efficiently and effectively than the citizens.

    •  Plus, you can ensure that government spends on (8+ / 0-)

      goods & services that originate in the US. If you're employing US workers to build a building designed by an architect who works in the US and planchecked by a building department in a US city and you're building it with materials made in the US, etc, etc, you're getting much more use out of that money than you are if you give it to a taxpayer to spend on a flatscreen TV made in China.

    •  That old canard (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GTPinNJ, arlene, SpawnOfJerry

      You can spend your own money better than the government can.

      Is clearly not true.  When folks and institutions were awash with cash just what did they spend it on?  Ridiculously overpriced real estate, cheap crap from China and those fairies and unicorns known as hedge funds and high yield AAA rated mortgage backed debt instruments.

      That worked out real well.

  •  Very Good. Now he is walking the walk. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  OK, you're right, Krugman makes great points. (9+ / 0-)

    However, last I looked, DailyKos isn't the NY Times, and it looks to me like you're violating copyright.  The general rule is 3 paragraphs MAX, and youhave most of the editorial.....

    -7.88, -6.72. "Wherever law ends, tyranny begins."--John Locke IMPEACH THE BASTARDS!!!

    by caseynm on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:33:47 AM PST

  •  I hate trickle down cause trickle down always (7+ / 0-)

    leaves a bunch of people out in the cold...and this time its literally.

    Enough said.

    Move forward or fall back...your choice! Be well my animal babies.

    by JellyBearDemMom on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:34:27 AM PST

  •  One might also point out that during the past 8 (10+ / 0-)

    years, tax cuts alone have not proved to be very effective. The GOP argument seems to be "this didn't work, let's do it some more"

    It's not just "I won"; it's "I won because you Republicans couldn't make government work". So now we're trying a different thing (and one which did work in much the same situation 50 years ago)

    •  Yes, I wish more people were saying this (0+ / 0-)

      more loudly!!  Repugs have no credibility **whatsoever** on economic topics at this point--which is why they are now the minority party!!  We don't need to pay any attention to them!

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:20:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, House Dems are aiding Repubs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trillian, Words In Action

    by adding spending measures which, while I favor in general (like spending on contraceptives), don't really have a stimulus effect.

    The Republicans are actually being pretty crafty now, where they aren't really expressing an opposition to fiscal stimulus per se, just opposition to what they are portraying as a bad stimulus bill.

    The media of course is eager to parrot the "non shovel ready" talking point, but then Dems are shooting themselves in the foot by larding the bill with non-stimulus spending.

    Of course, I'm open to the possibility I'm wrong on this. And I hope I'm wrong.

  •  George Will says people are eating at McD's (8+ / 0-)

    because times are hard!!!!!!!
    With genius like this on the Republican wonder Krugman won a Nobel! How can someone like Will still be taken seriously!!!! Sheesh....I do NOT spend my last $5 eating at McDonald's! What a doofus!

    •  Why does that seem off-base to you? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      It's clear that with monocrops and decreasing numbers of small local farming operations we have a situation where processed food, therefore fast food, is cheaper to eat than it is to go to the grocery store and buy fresher, healthier food.
      Just because you wouldn't spend your last $5 on McD's doesn't mean millions of other people wouldn't.

      "I won." - President Obama

      by Ardmore Abby on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:29:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What Geo Will meant was that instead of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      taking the kids to El Torito grill, with cloth napkins, the family is now going to McDonald's for dining out;  he just meant that dining out has moved downscale.  I believe McDonalds earnings per share has reflected this as well. Of course I'd rather starve than eat at Mickey-D's.

      In youth we learn, in age we understand.

      by Jbeaudill on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:23:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  send this ot my repub dad and brother (5+ / 0-)

    dad said it was 'interesting." he's a business man and know that infrastructure matters.

    Let's get to work.

    by owl06 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:39:29 AM PST

  •  I'm sure Krugman can do his own taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So why isn't someone like him, who is definitely NOT beholden to Wall Street, tapped to be Sec Treasury?
    who knows, maybe he was offered and refused?

  •  The underlying issue here is what bothers me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Jbeaudill, Hens Teeth, mkor7

    most. That is, the Republicans are masters of getting their propaganda out and we still suck. It's still true even though the Dems are in control. The American people have woken up but it's only a matter of time before they stop thinking for themselves and start buying what the papers say (whhatever the Repubs have fed them).

    Democrats, especially Democratic congressional leaders, (I'm looking at you Reid) need to start getting their message out much clearer and much more loudly.

    Live music is better, bumper stickers should be issued! Neil Young - Union Man

    by blueyescryinintherain on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:47:12 AM PST

    •  The president is getting his message out (4+ / 0-)

      He has a 68% approval rating because of it. The media hasn't caught on yet. They still think it's very important to hear what the republicans think. The people know that they voted to change from the very policies republicans are pushing.

      "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      by atlliberal on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:49:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The media lives and breathes on (0+ / 0-)

        controversy; it is their if they don't have legitimate conflict, they'll have to manufacture it and that is where the Rethugs come onto the stage.  Somehow 'no drama Obama,' need to create enough drama to boot the Rethugs off the stage!

        In youth we learn, in age we understand.

        by Jbeaudill on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:27:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We all have to understand (6+ / 0-)

      That the MSM is largely a corporate tool, and used by the corporatists to frame public debate for those who pay attention, and to distract the rest with reality TV. The reason Rove was talking about a 'permanent majority' in 2004 is because he thought the use of that tool was perfected enough to guarantee 50% + 1 vote.

      However, RushCo has done so much damage to the country that that tool isn't enough - there are too many facts on the ground, in American's personal lives, and the MSM can't paper over them all.

      Basically, the Democrats hold Congress and the White House, and the (corporatist's party) Republicans hold the Judiciary and the Press (once called the Fourth Estate, but now effectively the Fifth Column).

      The Democrats have to work really hard to get their message out through the MSM distortion zone. If we wait for them to get the truth out through the MSM, we are going to be waiting for a long time indeed.

  •  Please delete this diary (15+ / 0-)

    Or else (now that I have your attention) edit it to where you're reproducing no more than 3 paragraphs of the Krugman article, per dK guidelines.

    As it stands, you've reproduced verbatim 13 paragraphs of a 15-paragraph article from a source that's rather famously jealous of its copyrighted material. That's waaaaay beyond "fair use."

    We're all big kids--we can go register at the Grey Lady (for free) & read it there. Or read your summary of the column & decide whether we need to read the actual words.

    IMO you have a rather limited window of time to fix this before the mods save you the trouble & wipe out your hard work because of copyright infringement.

    FWIW I will be happy to remove the HR in your tip jar once you've edited to comply with the guidelines.

    May I bow to Necessity not/ To her hirelings (W. S. Merwin)

    by Uncle Cosmo on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:48:54 AM PST

  •  Samuelson's column in WaPo (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, cotterperson, Jbeaudill, TomP

    on the three financial crises facing the world is a must read accompaniment to this Krugman column.

    it reveals how interconnected everything is on a global level.

  •  Repbulicanism is anti-intellectual (6+ / 0-)

    and anti-reason by design therefore they are always arguing in bad faith.  They know they're lying.  The lies are the means for maintaining a permanent underclass and distracting people from what cannot be justified with reason.

    •  I think they're brainwashed enough (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrchumchum, island in alabama

      with their own BS that they don't feel like they are lying.

      I don't mean to undercut anyone's religion but it's the same principle: it's the truth if you only believe in it.

      Have you called John Cornyn today? 202-224-2934. Make sure to remind him about his pledge to stop petty partisan squabbling. -6.62 -6.62

      by Open MiKe Night on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:08:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama needs a media juggernaut to overcome (5+ / 0-)

    them. The GOP is still dominating the airwaves and are winning in the media. I think that Obama needs to take a page out of the Bush playbook and have his people fan out all over the MSM to push for the Stimulus.

  •  We should all (11+ / 0-)

    take a cue from Mr. Krugman and pounce on these Republicans, who are all of a sudden finding religion.

    After eight years of running us into a ditch with their tax cuts for the rich and spending that did nothing to help the little people, why should we be listening them?

    John McCain -- the fundamentals of the economy are strong, is pushing back?

    What is this. These guys don't give a whit about whether this plan helps the American people. It is all about self-preservation. They are only thinking about how their party. At least Rush Limbaugh was truthful enough to state the obvious.

    We cannot allow them to get away with not an inch of this absurdity.

    I was laid of in December. Can somebody tell me how the Republican tax cut is going to help me? How?

    What the hell? Oh, the gall!!

  •  Not to be a dick, but... (10+ / 0-)'s "Dr. Krugman".

    A lot of people (not many around here, of course) think he's just some partisan columnist for the NYT and don't realize that he's a Professor of Economics at Princeton.

    Besides, he's more than earned that measure of respect.

    Sorry if I'm being an anal-retentive asshole.

    Great post!  Thanks!

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent on things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Kevinole on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:51:10 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure he will be on This Week much longer (18+ / 0-)

    He completely eclipsed the other goofballs panelists in knowledge and applied context.  Makes them look pretty bad.

    "Peace be the journey. Cool Runnings!"

    by Terra Mystica on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:54:13 AM PST

  •  Nobel, not Noble. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Bensch, Ellinorianne
  •  Give me the money instead (0+ / 0-)

    How about this stimulus plan, why doesn't the government just cut us a check for 7500.00 to 8500.00 to every middle class citizen and let us spend the money were we see fit. Instead of who knows were its going. Let me spend it for a change, its my money.

    •  would you spend yours on building a new (10+ / 0-)

      sewer system in my rrural impoverished area?  or would you just buy a new car?

      I'll trust Obama on this one.  The irony is that if we don't cut consumption and save more we are doomed, if we do  cut consumption and spend less we are doomed.

      I guess we are doomed!

      •  I know it wouldn't work for me (9+ / 0-)

        to receive a check because I would send 100% of it in to pay off debt. There is no stimulus in that. I would rather see the money spent by the government on domestic public projects that will employ more people and spread more money around to those that desperately need it after Bush and Co. waged war on our infrastructure.

        Have you called John Cornyn today? 202-224-2934. Make sure to remind him about his pledge to stop petty partisan squabbling. -6.62 -6.62

        by Open MiKe Night on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:10:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read the other day that we, the people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jbeaudill, Open MiKe Night

          are a trillion dollars in credit card debt!  that is pretty daunting, what would happen if everyone just topped paying down their credit cards?

          We're doomed!!!!

          •  I'm a part of that statistic... (4+ / 0-)

            It all started in college about 10 years ago when the commons would be setup with banks offering credit cards with a free shirt or something stupid. I thought to myself that I would be able to charge my books and other necessaties and I would pay it all off once I landed an "awesome job."

            Now my life is centered around changing the entire way in which I view money and credit. I am living well below my means in order to pay off stupid debt that I did to myself. This also shows me that I don't need to drive the newest car or live in a fancy home because it's all fake--it's all fake money and I don't own anything.

            Everyone should start paying down debt and living within their means. I think that in itself would help prop banks up a little bit in order to offer more business lending.

            Have you called John Cornyn today? 202-224-2934. Make sure to remind him about his pledge to stop petty partisan squabbling. -6.62 -6.62

            by Open MiKe Night on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:26:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, at least you are honest enough to accept (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jbeaudill, Open MiKe Night

              that you did it to yourself, albeit with a lot of help from the lending industry who prey on vulnerable youth and the elderly too, and everyone else in between if it comes to that.

              When my son was in school and at college, I was a single mom and often felt i needed to put 'stuff' on credit cards so he would have what other kids had.  He, himself started to bug me when he was in his 30's to never get into credit card debt, to pay my cards off as fast as possible and stay as clear of debt as i possibly could.

              I always respected his advice and have stuck to the philosophy, consequently feel a lot more secure facing these perilous times.  If i can't pay for it, I just don't buy it anymore. And luckily am healthy enough at this point anyway (touch wood) not to have had to incur those debts.

              It is a nightmare though, knowing that just one fall at my age could wipe me out.

              Good luck and stay as sensible as you sound to be.

          •  Supposedly the next shoe to drop in the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soccergrandmom, oscarsmom

            credit crisis is folk not paying on their credit cards and that involves billions if not trillions of dollars. Hasn't happened yet but will it?  As jobs are lost, the ripples go out, homes get forclosed, bills go unpaid, credit cards go unpaid, families are forced to move with kids dropping out of schools, healthcare is pushed to the background, folk stop going to doctors and dentists, pets are abandoned at pounds, domestic abuse and crime increases, families fall apart and... is this the scenario awaiting us?

            In youth we learn, in age we understand.

            by Jbeaudill on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:35:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  We need to start manufacturing & making things (6+ / 0-)

        Instead of being a bunch of paper pushers and latte sippers, and if the idiots in washington are going to mortgage everything away borrowing money we don't have or burning up the printing press making money out of thin air and WE THE PEOPLE are not getting a fair shake on where this money is going, SCREW THEM and i'll spend it  were i wan't to. I have been to other countries and actually have seen impoverished area's, its sad this spoiled country doesn't understand how lucky you really have it even in rough times.

    •  no ... it's the next generation (7+ / 0-)

      and the generation's after that's money (their taxes will be used to repay this mess).

      Article 6: " religious test shall *ever* be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the U.S."

      by billlaurelMD on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:08:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure! I can get roads repaired across states (8+ / 0-)

      and repave the pot-holed streets and upgrade the levies in New Orleans, and update the water treatment plants, and... oh, wait. I can't.

      Individuals spending that money wouldn't provide jobs OR much for results here in the US. There are times when you need a... "designated bulk buyer", let's say, to get the big stuff done. Our local, state, and federal governments are our "designated bulk buyers" for the major projects that need to be done all around us.

      Note: As part of a two-unemployment-check household right now THANKS TO THE LACK OF JOBS, believe me, we'd be thrilled if the government wanted to hand us that kind of money. I'm sure we could think of some things to do with it - but you know what? We'd SAVE most of it, because we have no idea when we'll find work again, or what kind of work (or pay) it will be and we might NEED that money later.  

      That means those dollars would mostly be OUT of the economy, not feeding back into it to create jobs getting things done that need to be done on ALL our behalf.

      So we'll take our tax refund, get by, and hope like crazy that the stimulus plan works and starts creating more jobs so we can get back to work, instead of the government giving us handouts to the detriment of the country, thank you very much.

      Those who say it cannot be done
      should not interrupt the person doing it.

      by Lashe on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:11:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But if you can't qualify for unemployment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rogneid, Jbeaudill, thethinveil

        and don't make enough to even file taxes, how does this help?

        There are jobs being created by infrastructure projects, but not permanent ones and not ones across a broad set of job classes.

        There is a huge number of jobs in that package which are allotted to retail workers. What kind of wages will those people get? Same as they get now? Where will they work now that all the stores are closing down?

        There are still huge swaths of the economy that are being completely ignored in this package, and they see nothing in the future to give them a job, save their house, or secure their future.

        And if the government sent me $7,500, I would spend it inside of a month. I've been out of work for two years. And I'm not getting any unemployment benefits right now.

        "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

        by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:15:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "It's my money" (10+ / 0-)

      Actually, no it isn't.

      That portion of your money is paying for your share of the society in which we live.

      It's all of our money, collectively, and it's the government's obligation to see that it's spent wisely.

      If you'd like to go to an uninhabited and unclaimed island somewhere, create and maintain your own monetary system, provide all your services including defending your island against anyone who wants it for themselves, then you can say "it's my money."

      But wait.  You can't.  

      That's not possible.

      And that's why it's not your money.

      We'd be happy to have you rejoin the reality-based community if you'd like; but if you'd rather not, you can always join this group.  You might fit right in.

      •  I'm sorry Actually, no it isn't. (0+ / 0-)

        I belong to no party, let me ask you this. Why should i let the government mortgage my future and my soon to be son's future away. Its not my fault those idiots (both parties) in government let things get to the place were in know. I didn't get a stimulus check to start my business or a hand out. I sometimes work 7 days a week 12 to 16 hours a day by choice to put my money in my own pocket. So screw them, greedy banks, business excutives, wall street even people in government got us this mess let those people bail themselves out. For once help me out instead of stickin to me.

        •  Many of us are working very hard (4+ / 0-)

          To keep our jobs or businesses afloat.

          The question you need to ask yourself is who has proven to be better stewards of your tax dollars and who has proven to be better at running the economy?  If you do some research rather than listen to Republican or libertarian platitudes, the answer is the Democratic party.

          As for the "it's my money" argument - do you rely on vendors to your business to provide quality products to you?  Do you expect your customers to pay?  Do you expect the infrastructure to be there to move goods and services upon which your business relies?  Do you want protection against thieves or fire?

          Your business relies on all those things and all those things have been bought and paid for with my tax money. The court system that ensures the contracts you've signed with your suppliers and customers is paid for with my tax money.

          And yours.

          And everyone's.

          It's called being a citizen.  

          Like it or not, that is the way it is.

          •  The govt. is going to be a good steward (0+ / 0-)

            of your money?

            Jett has a good point. You basically have congress (Dems and Repubs alike) screwing everything up in allowing the current crisis to happen. Their response to this screw up is to spend more of your money that they don't have as a temporary fix.

            The stimulus is rapidly shifting from "invest in infrastructure and green energy" to "spend as much money as you can think of ways to justify".

            Rather than doing due diligence and trying to figure out the most efficient, productive, biggest-bang-for-your-buck projects and investments to make, congress is happily larding up the supposed stimulus with feel-good garbage spending that will do nothing to stimulate the economy and will only leave us that much more in debt.

            •  Once again (0+ / 0-)

              As apparently painful and difficult it is for you and jett3310 to grasp - it isn't your money.  

              It may not seem logical. It may not seem fair.  But it is an inescapable fact.  Complaining about about mineminemineminemine isn't going to change that.

              Don't like the way the government spends the money paid in taxes?  Work to change it.  But you're not going to eliminate taxes.  As shocking -- shocking I say -- as it may seem, we're probably under-taxed compared to many similarly wealthy, industrialized nations.

              •  Once Again Part 2 (0+ / 0-)

                I understand what you're saying and by the way i watch C-SPAN as much as possible i try yo get 100% of my info from them, it comes straight from the horses mouth. This is probably the way i should have said this, i agree with you on infrastructure projects that are sensible and even green ideas that are cost effective, going green is not cheap. My biggest fear is how much pork and favors are in  this stimulus plan. How much is actually going to be used to BUILD THINGS not somebody taking a survey of how many birds are crapping on windshields in D.C. every hour and i don't want a repeat of the big dig cost overrun mess in boston. I'm sick of both parties taking something meant for a good cause and having cost fiqures way over budget. I worked my a-- off to make a living and pay taxes to them so there spending my money. Do it wisely, don't be wasteful or stupid !!!!

              •  Where does the money come from? (0+ / 0-)

                Nobodies arguing that there should be no taxes.

                I am saying that if the US Congress is going to spend a huge amount of money at a time when we are very deeply indebted and on the verge of severe economic depression, that they better write the best fucking bill they've ever written.

                America doesn't get a second chance on this one. America can't afford to spend billions on ineffective bullshit, or everyone's pet project; every single cent that they spend on this bill must provide the maximum economic stimulus available if it is to have any chance of success.

    •  Because the goal is to create jobs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom, SpawnOfJerry, thethinveil

      not give people money.  There's no guarantee that cutting large checks to individuals is going to create more jobs.

      There's an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they're doing. PK

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:37:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You should also check out... (11+ / 0-)

    Krugman's letter to Obama in this weeks Rolling Stone.  Excellent, EXCELLENT read.  

      •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

        Thank you for that link! That was an incredible read.

        Have you called John Cornyn today? 202-224-2934. Make sure to remind him about his pledge to stop petty partisan squabbling. -6.62 -6.62

        by Open MiKe Night on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:22:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, wasn't it? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jbeaudill, lams712, Open MiKe Night

          The first paragraph had me hooked:

          How bad is the economic outlook? Worse than almost anyone imagined.

          The economic growth of the Bush years, such as it was, was fueled by an explosion of private debt; now credit markets are in disarray, businesses and consumers are pulling back and the economy is in free-fall. What we're facing, in essence, is a yawning job gap. The U.S. economy needs to add more than a million jobs a year just to keep up with a growing population. Even before the crisis, job growth under Bush averaged only 800,000 a year — and over the past year, instead of gaining a million-plus jobs, we lost 2 million. Today we're continuing to lose jobs at the rate of a half million a month.

          I mean, it really makes my stomach churn, even though my job is pretty much secure for the next 2 years.  Unless the American Cancer Society has invested the money used to pay for my grant with Bernie Madoff or some other criminal, that is.

          •  When he quantified what a failure Bush (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            was at sustaining job growth, I was hooked into the full article. I think Obama just needs to put something massive out there while he has a mandate and the strength in the Congress/Senate to do so. Conservative windbags will cry out in agony and so will all their listeners, but they do that anyways.

            Get the snowball rolling and it will eventually smother out all of the conservative anti-government people...

            If conservatives still fail to see that tax-cuts for the wealthy are not the answer then they will never learn.

            Have you called John Cornyn today? 202-224-2934. Make sure to remind him about his pledge to stop petty partisan squabbling. -6.62 -6.62

            by Open MiKe Night on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:43:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Conservatives are scared to death of... (19+ / 0-)

    ...a government that works.  

    For the last 40 years, they've been telling us how the government can't do anything right; that the private sector and tax cuts for the wealthy are the cure for what ails 'ya.  Of course, this flies in the face of evidence we can see with our own eyes from all corners of the globe where governments do more (more healthare, more education, more abatement of poverty, more environmental protection, more workers rights) with far fewer resources...  

    To compensate for this, they prove themselves right by governeing in a manner which is inefficient and wasteful, and in a way that provides the least benefit to the most people.

    They are scared to death that Obama might turn the tables on their ideology by making governemnt leaner, meaner, more efficient, and by proving what WELL RUN GOVERNMENT can accomplish for everyone.  

    Should Obama succeed in this, it will be the death knell of the predominant conservative idealology that they have been peddling for the last 40 years.  That is why they will stop at nothing to see Obama fail.  

    •  The death knell it should be (0+ / 0-)

      Conservative ideology is what drove us into the sewer. They can squawk and scream all they want.  They certainly did enough bellyaching this weekend.  All of the hysterical shrieking won't change the reality of their twisted ideology.  

  •  I thought the whole point was... (8+ / 0-) not only create jobs, but also lower our dependence on oil, address global warming, and create "green jobs" that will last.

    Wouldn't it be better to spend a couple hundred billion or so putting solar panels on the roofs of every home and building in America? Use those millions of wasted rooftop acres...and begin building the national electrical grid of the future.

    Then invest the rest in a "moon shot" program - partnering with private companies - to quickly develop a new generation of American-made cars that can plug into this power?

    I thought that was Obama's why not?

  •  How come, (4+ / 0-)

    when those boneheads start going on (and on and on and on...) about the evils of big government and blessedness of privatization, nobody responds by talking about the economy of scale? Surely they can understand that - after all it is in their own lingo.

  •  Hiring vs. spending (7+ / 0-)

    When we talk about "spending" Republicans go nuts.  We're not going shopping here, we're proposing to hire people to carry out work the country needs done.  Job creation isn't a handout, it's hiring workers to work for us.

    •  there's a lot of spending in this bill (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that does nothing for creating new jobs.

      I think it needs to get re-focused and cleared out of all the crap spending.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:24:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  first off.. (0+ / 0-)

          bailing out failing state governments.. That money is already spent and only encourages bad fiscal policy in those states.  No or few jobs will come of that money.

          Next.. 30 billion only to highway construction?  WTF?  This should have ten times that for creating good paying jobs that will stimulate the economy.

          A good portion of the spending merely funds current programs at higher rates.. energy assistance?  Very nice idea but it doesn't create one job except the dozen or so bureaucrats that manage it.

          Very little of the bill stimulates the economy.. it stimulates government.  When that extra funding dies, any jobs created by it will be gone too.  More private sector stimulus needs to be put in there.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:27:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't get caught up in that some conservatives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie, imchange

        are saying as wasted money on "mowing the grass" in Washington DC. That money is intended to reinvest in the Mall by adding restroom facilities, rebuild public works, and maintain the great statues and buildings in the area. The number may have changed but it was a substantial dollar amount.

        I don't remember seeing a lot of "crap spending" in this bill...

        Have you called John Cornyn today? 202-224-2934. Make sure to remind him about his pledge to stop petty partisan squabbling. -6.62 -6.62

        by Open MiKe Night on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:28:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I replied above.. but here it is again (0+ / 0-)

          first off.. bailing out failing state governments.. That money is already spent and only encourages bad fiscal policy in those states.  No or few jobs will come of that money.

          Next.. 30 billion only to highway construction?  WTF?  This should have ten times that for creating good paying jobs that will stimulate the economy.

          A good portion of the spending merely funds current programs at higher rates.. energy assistance?  Very nice idea but it doesn't create one job except the dozen or so bureaucrats that manage it.

          Very little of the bill stimulates the economy.. it stimulates government.  When that extra funding dies, any jobs created by it will be gone too.  More private sector stimulus needs to be put in there to actually grow the economy.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:29:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  krugman is battling a louder talk radio monopoly (5+ / 0-)

    that blasts the GOP talking points from 1000 radio stations all day long

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:10:45 AM PST

  •  Ok, so Krugman was great slapping (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, GenXWho

    down Donaldson and 4 other Republicans yesterday, but 3 of his last 6 columns have been critical of Obama's stimulus.  

    I sense a bit of pique in his attitude.

    Is it possible the prize winning Nobel Laureate is feeling left out of the party?

    Mr. Bush, we'll be forever in your debt.

    by k8dd8d on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:12:49 AM PST

  •  Krugman's message was rather depressing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, Jbeaudill

    to me, at least.

    In his "smack down" of Sam Donaldson, as some folks call it, he rebuked Sam not for  misinterpreting the study, but for not seeing that monetary policy is worthless with interest rates effectively at zero.

    He actually agreed that monetary policy is better.  But we are in such bad shape we do not have that option.  Spending is all we can do.

    Just because spending is the only thing we've got left, does not mean it will work.

    I was not particularly thrilled hearing that from him.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:22:48 AM PST

  •  Fair use (6+ / 0-)


    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:23:18 AM PST

  •  INFRASTRUCTURE. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trillian, SpawnOfJerry

    we needs it.

    It's always darkest before the dawn.

    by ravenlore on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:29:59 AM PST

  •  This landed in my email queue today and it's been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GenXWho, Rogneid

    bugging the begeebers out of me. It was one of those FW: FW: deals. I have no knowledge of this guy other than what's written in the email.

    Finally, the truth!

    To All My Valued Employees,

    There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

    However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

    First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

    However, what you don't see is the back story.

    I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

    My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

    Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

    So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. There is no "off" button for me.
    When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend.
    There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a
    1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.

    Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't.
    The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

    Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.

    Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you

    I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes.
    Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

    The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?
    Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.

    The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

    Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

    When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it.
    Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.

    So where am I going with all this?
    It's quite simple.

    If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future.
    Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.

    Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire.
    You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.

    If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever.
    If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about....


    Your boss

    Eric Rasmussen
    Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
    The Biltmore, Suite 601
    817 W. Peachtree St. NW
    Atlanta, Georgia 30308
    PH: (404) 419-8700
    DIR: (404) 419-8710
    FAX: (404) 419-8701

    •  Right wing garbage. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, opinionated, Rogneid, Predictor, Plox

      The Republicans still want us to kiss the asses of business.  They failed.

      Their world of lies is over.

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:34:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm confused about how a collapsing economy (6+ / 0-)

        turned into a war against millions of imaginary lazy people sitting around waiting on welfare checks. The thousands of people losing their jobs were working until they were laid off!

      •  Well but, this guy has been storing up his bucks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, Rogneid, snickers the market and various saving instruments all these years and that retirement is now worth half as much as it was. He may very well be in the position of starting over wrt retirement (thus, emigration for early retirees is already a hot topic!)

        Dismissing him and the real parts of his rant is dangerous imo. I don't hear Obama dismissing the squeeze on small businesses...

        That's why the public needs to SEE a roadmap to recovery so everyone knows that it'll be bad for x years and then this is how it changes. People need to see a stake in the ground they can adjust to and plan around to withstand daily bad news. Obama needs the pkg to sell now.

        HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in.

        by kck on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:49:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If this guy's business is so marginal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, kck, Dog Chains

      that it's better to shut it down without bothering to sell it, then I'm not sure what the big deal is.

      "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

      by theran on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:44:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do NOT party with Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid, snickers

      and this is why.  What a sourpuss.

      Omaha must now be referred to as Omama

      by GenXWho on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:45:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is crap. Kimley-Horn is a real company (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, Catte Nappe, Rogneid, arlene, Jbeaudill

      but it was founded by guys named Kimley and Horn (duh!), not by Eric Rasmussen.

    •  Kimley-Horn (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, Rogneid, Jbeaudill

      Consisently among the "best places to work"

      It does not appear that Mr Rasmussen actually owns the company, and thus could not shut it down and leave the country. (In fact, this letter has been making the e-mail rounds, usually just signed "The Boss")

      The sentiments "claimed" by Mr. Rasmussen also seem to be very much at odds with his company's stated culture.

      The impending retirement of the last founder in 2001 sparked healthy introspection about what should never change. Five core values and a core purpose were identified. Our business exists, above all, to provide an environment for our people to flourish. But inextricably interwoven are the values of honesty, integrity, and ethics; exceptional client service; high expectations; sharing and caring; and sustained profitability.

      •  "Sharing and caring" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, Catte Nappe

        You could feel his contempt for his employees throughout the letter, such as:

        So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't.

      •  Ha (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, arlene, SpawnOfJerry

        I will be printing these replies out and giving them to my boss.  He just copied this letter in a letter to us...why, I don't know.  His additions were rambling and basically just a rant against the new administration and a continuation on the hate-on he has for "others" (the unwashed masses who cause him such economic woe) The points are senseless to me other than these a-holes are pissed that their gravy boat is sinking.  To know that this guy isn't the owner of the company is priceless.  The fact that this group of people would abandon America in it's great need says...what to us?  They are unAmerican, unpatriotic quiters.  Also.

        "Whoever wrote this alternative "plan" shouldn't merely be fired -- they should be fired into the sun." Hunter

        by tobendaro on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:31:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I kept waiting for this letter to include (0+ / 0-)

      Jesus and the flag, or at the very least ask me to mail a check to a Nigerian bank.  What a load of barf! It is typical Rethug regurgitation, typical Horatio Alger fable of pulling up on the bootstraps and typical Rethug greed.  Remember this: The Republicans do not believe in government; that is why they are not good at governing, period. This is the party that needs to be drowned in Norquist's bathtub!

      In youth we learn, in age we understand.

      by Jbeaudill on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:00:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This guy reminds me of my brother (0+ / 0-)

      who can't see the forest through the trees. Like the capital gains tax reduction a few years back...It's tough for these people to understand that based on empirical evidence the past 16 year (done in order of presidency), Under president A. you had to pay 25% on your capital gains, in which the Dow tripled (we'll ignore smaller index's for now) or you got to pay 15% on the non existent gain under president B (as you actually claimed an 8 year loss on the Dow of 1000 points (ie. 9%)...Geesh, which one is better for all Americans...PS to this idiot, most people work hard, probably harder then he does based on his whining, most of us don't have the option of taking our ball and going home...

  •  The poll is missing an option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My choice: Decrease (but not eliminate) the tax cuts and increase the spending on things like a smarter electricity grid, more green jobs, and mass transit

  •  He is noble. He is prize-winning. But (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Catte Nappe, freakofsociety

    he is not "noble prize" winning.

  •  Krugman is right, Obama needs to play offense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbeaudill, chloris creator

    Blast the Republican meme's out of the airwaves like he did in the election AND deliver a stimulus plan with an obvious roadmap to recovery. Obama is not doing either one.

    I have no problem with the long ignored spending items in the plan, but they are NOT stimulus and it makes Pelosi and us look stupid trying to defend. Bandaids have a function, long ignored human needs for funding are important, but call them what they are.

    He said the economy needs bold action. Agreed. So where is it? Where's the Manhattan Project that will produce a new economy? Where's the bold ideas?

    Obama should force the home mortgage interest rates to 3.5% for a solid year. Clear the still growing inventory of foreclosed homes and queue up a new generation of 1'st time homeowners ready to renovate once jobs become secure.

    And that's just short term low hanging fruit.

    Someone needs to start designing the Project for a New Economy, so schools, universities and local economies can start to prepare for product development and roll-out and Wall St and investors see a vision needed for trust.  

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in.

    by kck on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:37:47 AM PST

  •  TPM had an entry about Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    supposedly caving to some Republican demands with regard to the stimulus plan. Any truth to this?

  •  One of the great things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I once heard was Obama saying: Tell me what we need to do and I'll figure out how to sell it to the American people.

    Well, this is one of the times when we're telling him what to do.  No more tax cuts for the rich.  Tax cuts for businesses?  Maybe.

    Focus on infrastructure and energy and education and health care.  In that case we'll get something for the money. Enter the Odes to Olympians poetry contest

    by chloris creator on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 10:56:22 AM PST

  •  Jobs create taxpayers, savers, investors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Part of the sham of supplyside, anti-tax, anti-spend politics is it completely ignores the trigger effect when you take a person who is unemployed and put them in a job, no matter what the source of the job.

    That person now pays income tax, unless they're at the very bottom of the income spectrum. They pay payroll taxes no matter what. They have money to spend on housing, food, and consumer goods, which generates sales taxes for the state they live in.

    If they're lucky, they'll also have an employer-sponsored 401K so a portion of their wages and a portion of their non-wage benefit goes into the market, freeing up some capital to work on behalf of additional job creation.

    I wouldn't propose the government be regularly in the business of "job creation" per se when the marketplace generally does that better. But when the markets fail, the best way to help them is to keep people working, productively contributing to the economy, and to have that income reinvested in turn in consumer spending, savings, investment, and yes, additional tax revenue. It's not a 100% offset person by person but as long as productivity increases, it will be an offset eventually and in the meantime we have a gainfully employed worker and a stable family.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:00:12 AM PST

  •  bailing (0+ / 0-)

    out a failed idea of economics.We can not grow out of this. It's a scam.No more money for the bastards.
    No more bail out; it's a work our way out.Sustainable economy. That'll work,ya.

  •  I'm amazed at the number of Repubs who helped (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbeaudill, CKendall
    create the massive debt of the BushCo era suddenly get concerned about deficits.

    Are Republicans really that ignorant?
    Oh wait, they loved Palin. Guess so...

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

    by Boisepoet on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:08:45 AM PST

  •  Memo to GOP: Bush is GONE! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbeaudill, CKendall

    It amazes me how stoneheads like Boehner still speak as if Bush is still the president, the GOP has a majority, and they have crediblity on economic issues.

    The Rupugs still haven't even picked their asses up off of the pavement and yet they act like they are still in charge.

    After the stimulus package passes with or without their approval and with large scale public support, the Repugs will see the reality of their position.
    Even so, I don't see any change coming on their side of the aisle, just the same tired failed arguments.

    -7.88/-4.41 It has to start SOMEWHERE, it has to start SOMETIME, what better place than HERE, what better time than NOW?

    by Interceptor7 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:11:44 AM PST

  •  Where the GOP is coming from... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I get an investment newsletter from some people who seem to be libertarian, politically.  I gather that they think the stimulus package will cause a crash greater than the Great Depression and are pretty scared.

    I think the Repubs may be reading stuff like that.  I have to admit that after reading a lengthy essay by someone in that arena, it gives you pause.  I can't claim to have a sense of how investment works at the macro level and like most people, just have to trust that those who made careers in this area actually know what they are doing and are not just barking mad.  Trusting that is kind of scary.

    What this all reveal perhaps is that maybe Republican politicians have no better grounding in how the economy works than anyone else.  So all their vaunted prestige in this area is so much puffery.  Being contrarian may result from not wanting to admit this.

    •  It seems to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that the writer of the lengthy essay and his buds have got us into one giant pickle barrel of grief so I wouldn't be too concerned with their concerns.  Obviously they can't find their way out of a lighted tunnel let alone a dark one.  Following their way spells more trouble so I am perfectly sanguine with going in the direction the Obama administration is sending us.  I don't mind going with novel and daring paths at this point.

      "Whoever wrote this alternative "plan" shouldn't merely be fired -- they should be fired into the sun." Hunter

      by tobendaro on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:39:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  consider the evidence (0+ / 0-)

      I can't claim to have a sense of how investment works at the macro level and like most people, just have to trust that those who made careers in this area actually know what they are doing and are not just barking mad.

      I would suggest that the current state of the economy, the headlines of the last several months, and the performance of major financial institutions (including their ignominious demises) over the past year argue convincingly for the "barking mad" option.

  •  Repuplicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, Libby Shaw, Jbeaudill

    and the gross underestimation of Barack Obama. Do so at your own peril.

    I invite some of these Republicans to come spend some time with me down at the unemployment office. In this room, it is usually filled with the kinds of people that would be supporting them wholeheartedly, were it not for the dire straits they find themselves.

    This is red country.

    But these days, in that little room, where people go to send out resumes, attend training sessions or use the fax machine to send out a resume, everybody -- the blue collar, white collar, retailer, professional and non-professional are all in the same boat.

    If Republicans think for one second that delaying this package will help their cause? Think again!!

    Unemployment down here is 8.1 percent, higher than the national average, as of last week. And the reality is that we are desperate. Almost all of the people I try to engage every time I am down there, are waiting anxiously for some kind of announcement that the plan is being passed. And this is no joke, folks.

    The story is the same. We need help, and we need it now.

    •  One reason I have such a loathing (0+ / 0-)

      for Republicans is precisely b/c they simply do not care about those in dire straits. The people you and so many others try to help...I cannot imagine why Republicans are so contemptuous of the suffering of others.

      Almost all of the people I try to engage every time I am down there, are waiting anxiously for some kind of announcement that the plan is being passed. And this is no joke, folks.

  •  first there were hot wars, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbeaudill, Futuristic Dreamer

    then there was the cold war, then there was economic war with other countries...

    and now we go to an economic war with =ourselves.=

    thanks, conservatives!

  •  I heard $300,000 per job talking point! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Jbeaudill, Betty Pinson

    Thanks for this diary.

    Pork Barrel Spending is a bad phrase because if we do not spend all over the country it will seem unfair; everybody wants jobs and money in their state.

    The New Deal made a special point of producing a cheery map of where they had projects and included each and every state.

    One should hate pork barrel spending when it goes, for example, to repave roads that don't really need it (esp. when the contractor is well-connected to the politicians).

    One should LOVE so-called 'pork barrel' and 'earmarks' when it goes for good public spending .....useful infrastructure.

    Framing! Framing!

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:31:21 AM PST

  •  Similar topic: Economy for Life, not for Money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbeaudill, Open MiKe Night

    I heard this interview this morning and it gives a lot of ideas to think about:

    David Korten: "Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth"

    As President Barack Obama reveals more details of his $825 billion economic stimulus plan, we turn to David Korten of YES! Magazine. In his new book, Korten argues that the nation faces a monumental economic challenge that goes far beyond anything being discussed in Congress. He writes that now is an opportune moment to move forward an agenda to replace the failed money-serving institutions of our present economy with the institutions of a new economy dedicated to serving life. [includes rush transcript–partial]

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:34:13 AM PST

  •  To sum up... (5+ / 0-)

    We've been trying that Republican/Conservative economic voodoo crap for years, and it's becoming obvious (finally) to the American people that it doesn't work.

  •  At this point (5+ / 0-)

    Obama should just give the GOP the middle finger. America already has...

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning

    by Jazzenterprises on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 11:35:01 AM PST

  •  Krugman on long crisis and stimulus (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbeaudill, yoduuuh do or do not, TomP

    Krugman places this crisis as long term and made the point on Stephanopoulos, This Weak, that even if some of the stimulus package takes longer to spend, we will still be in a crisis in a few years and will still need the stimulus.

    We are clearly past some tipping point and are just onto the steepest part of the curve. Even if the stimulus does not reverse the trend it will moderate some of the effects. If the crisis is long term, then we will need continual stimulus. It will probably also shorten the bottom of the curve in magnitude and duration. As with all things economic, since there is no control group, it's difficult to know cause and effect.

    One could also draw the conclusion that we need a new economy, not a replay of the old one. The stumulus ought to be aimed at driving the transition to the new economy, and if the old economy dies, well ... that may be a good thing. An instantaneous fix would probably get us back where we were and that would be a waste of a good economic crisis.

  •  Even if it is $200K per job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libby Shaw, TomP

    The republicans owe us for LOSING so many. This is the price paid for 8 years of republican "stewardship" of the economy.

    Speaking of which, why is anyone listening to them, anyway? What credibility do they have? I'll tell you: Zero.

    They need to sit down and STFU.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 12:21:51 PM PST

  •  Check out Andrew Leonard's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, jeepster4

    view of the stimulus package on  

    Leonard debunks the Republican mythology, too.

    Who could have predicted this? Republican legislators are raising a ruckus, complaining that President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan includes too much Democratic pork, and too few tax cuts.

    It's an easy attack to launch. The initial outline of what is now the 647-page HR-1 looked a lot like a list of classic Democratic spending priorities. So no wonder Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn sneered at the passel of budget boosts for education and said, "None of this is going to stimulate anything."

    But he's wrong.

    Consider the Pell Grant, the college financial aid program that in 2008 distributed some $28 billion to 6 million Americans whose families make less than $50,000 a year. The stimulus plan includes an allocation of an additional $16 billion for the the Pell program, raising the average grant by $500 to $5,350.

    There is much more.  Check out the article.

  •  End Prohibition (0+ / 0-)

    with Harm Reduction the goal.
    The "War on[some]Drugs" opened up the avenue that is a War on the American people.Mostly the ill and/or disabled.
    The funds have been "just" included in all budgets.
    Funding w/out regulatory  oversight.
    This should be mentioned in all talks about budget. Prison industry,etc.
    Warehousing,people and exploiting cheap labor,too.

  •  How about more stimulus and tax increases on (3+ / 0-)

    the upper incomes and corporations!

    Also, Capital gains-- why is it passive income gets such better treatment than labor income???  Bring back long/short term and Capital Gains at the old rates.  To help all those who were pulled into the market for their retirements (401's_ allow a multi-tier system where the first x dollars of Cap Gains are under the current system (0-15%) and afterward, your back to where it used to work.  This will slow down speculation and bubbles.

    The 4 boxes of Democracy: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the ammo box. The 4 G's of survival: Gold, Grub, God and Guns.

    by FightTheFuture on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:01:57 PM PST

  •  thanks for the edits - looks good too! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    Appreciate your response to the fair use stuff - your diary is important, so glad you adjusted to our recommendations. Keep up the good work - cheers!

  •  Two forces are at play here... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I think the number of actual GOP true believers are few and far between in congress.

    The rest are, of course, political opportunists (The First "Force") of the highest order. The GOP seems to attract that type more than us.

    So my fascination with them is this:

    If the obvious fallout from their current direction is another devastating election coming up in the mid-terms, what possible benefit derives from obstructing the progressive legislation the American People overwhelmingly support?

    "Compensation" (the Second Force). Only the promise of a comfortable lifestyle after an upcoming election loss could explain their behavior.

    I guess sucking Corporate Ass has a better upside than doing the People's Work.

  •  Here's my condensed version of the argument: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans ruined our economy through bogus wars, corruption, deregulation and lack of vision.

    Republicans don't get their views on the economy to be heard equally or treated with respect anymore.

    End of (non-)argument.

  •  First the republicans said war is what brought (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arlene, abraxas, jeepster4

    America out of the depression, not FDRs policies.

    Reminded that they have two wars ongoing and we are still in dire straights, they then said to 'cut interest rates'.  They are as low as they can go now. (unless you are an average American and you have a credit card.)

    They want more tax cuts and entitlement cuts. That is what caused the deficit to get so big, then the bail out made it even bigger.  We do need to cut the fat cats out of the entitlement programs but nothing else.

    The banks don't want to loan because of pending and actual layoffs.  So stimulus money and putting people back to work could help.  

  •  I really doubt the stimulous will work (0+ / 0-)

    I think some infrastructure spending is an excellent idea as there are roads and bridges that are long overdo for repairs.

    I'd rather like to see national health care as well.

    That being said a bunch of pork programs aren't going to create any wealth or distribute it effectively either.

    The real key to prosperity is a broad job base and good wages.

    People need to make what they use, get a decent chunk of the economic pie for themselves, reduce debt and put away a decent amount in savings.

    Between changes in technology and "globalism" we are reaching the point where this is effectively no longer possible with a standard wage system . Not only are the markets we sell into shrinking or stagnate (low birth rates are a bummer) but computers and automation have whacked whole job categories.

    A simple example, I drove by a closed Hollywood Video yesterday. It was more or less replaced by a combo of video  on demand, downloads (legal and illegal) and Netflix.

    The thing is each closed  store means a loss of a lot of jobs, say 8 or ,more low wage jobs for college and high school kids, a manager (which can pay a lower middle class wage) and an assistant manager - sometimes more. and that doesn't even count for jobs shipping, warehousing and manufacturing DVD's or in the old days VCR tapes.

    As technology increases (say DVD's are replaced by streamed video) even potential jobs are wiped out. Yes there are new jobs created but there are less of them and they are highly specialized. There simple is less work

    This impacts almost every single job category.

    The real solutions are "work sharing aka a shorter work week" "balanced trade" aka Warren Buffet's trade certificates, insourcing jobs and screw the "moral hazard" here, direct transfer payments (aka cash) Once the debts are knocked down an dsavings are up, the economy will recover.

    The problem with the current solution is that most of the money won't be used wisely or in the right places. The nature of politics being what it is, it can't be.

    So it will fail.


  •  "I won" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that line keeps bugging me because it's become the absolute fact of this whole media cycle, when in fact it's a quote from a Republican who was giving the gist of what Obama said at that meeting - and it's not a very flattering gist at that, since it has a snobby, superior ring to it.

    According to the Democratic source at that meeting - I think it was Rahm - Obama said:

    "so we have a difference on policy on how to get it done, but I'm the President"

    Apparently there were laughs on both side of the aisle - since this was a funny thing to say. Then, in an interview with either Bohner or McConnel, the joke was reworked and the "I won" quote emerged. The media grabbed it as just audacious enough to remind everyone that OBama might be a little bit cocky, (or uppity?), and ran with it, and the rest is history.

    But does it bother anyone that it wasn't what Obama really said? Or did I get it wrong somehow? I wish diarists on this site at least would stop using that quote, since doesn't represent the joke that was reported to have been made by our President. Obama's sense of humor is more sly and subtle than the MSM can bear to repeat, so instead they interpret, wrongly.

    Yes We Can Repair This World

    by Green Bean on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:41:55 PM PST

  •  America to Obama: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    "This cat's OK."

    America to the GOP:

    "We fucking hate you."

    America wants you to beat the shit out of them, Barack.

    Omaha is Obama Country.

    by The Creator on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 01:42:20 PM PST

  •  question (0+ / 0-)

    If the Fed ends up buying Treasuries because no one else can/will, does this become monetary policy again?  I'd rather see money printed than debt increased, it shortens the pain period and allows for renewed vigor in the nearer future.  Inflation is bad, but is now necessary--and will follow today's deflation no matter what O does.

  •  In the Roosevelt years (3+ / 0-)

    the top  individual tax  bracket went as high as 91 %.    From Eisenhower  through Carter it was 70%. Most of the Reagan administration  saw it at 50%. Now it's 35%-  and folks are takling about cuts? ( even though the rate would stay the same. ) Are you  freakin'  kidding me?

    Soak the rich. I said  it. Raise the top   individual rate   back  to  70%  and back  it up with stiff fines for folks who try to move money overseas.

    Some other  fun thoughts:
    Legalize marijuana   and  prostitution.   Inspect the marijuana,  grade it  like the USDA grades meat,  sell it in drug stores  next  to  the condoms. Make prostition safe and legal-  complete with a union  and    health checkups from   a van  that goes to them.  TAX  the H-E  double hockeysticks out of these two-  and alcohol-  and cigarettes . Call  it a   sin tax.   Have the money go into  a targeted budget item - much like  a percentage  of lottery receipts go  to the Dept. of  Education.

    I'm   against the   death  penalty  and want to  see  it abolished . However , if this bloodthirsty  country   demands it-   do  it in a major stadium much like a monster truck  rally  or  the WWE.   ( It's not a new idea,  folks-- the Romans did it. )  The money  from the ticket sales goes to the government.  Put it on Pay-Per-View . The money  raised....

    Rewrite the legal code . Eliminate victimless crimes - which would mean fewer people  in jail.,  which would mean less money going to  the Bureau of Prisons, which would give more money for infrastructure.

    I'm  against  war (  not troops,  war)  as well.  However , if we are going to  move forces into Afghanistan and Pakistan,  we will  need   vehicles that can handle  the terrain while being safe .  End the contracts with the defense companies . Nationalize the big three ,  retrofit them,  and put them to  work  making the military vehicles we need . Hire the  workers   from the defense plants to  help  out.

    Either raise the incoming funds , or lower the outgoing - doesn't really matter -  but  tax  rebates? Really?

  •  The govewrnment should start it's own banks (0+ / 0-)

    Or find small and responsible ones, establish new ones and put the bailout money into them. Then finance mortgages, small businesses and green projects. Let the other who got themselves and us into this mess, drop like rotten fruit. That way, they'll know where the money's going. No more "to big to fail" banks.

    The problem started with the housing market, they should tackle it first. Lower and offer fixed interest rates and put people back into their homes.

  •  plumbobb, (0+ / 0-)

    WW1 was a game of Risk for the Europen Elites who
    were all inter-married.

    "whats so funny about Peace, love and understanding". E Costello.

    by vzfk3s on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:13:10 PM PST

  •  I sure hope our President is listening to Krugman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, thethinveil, jeepster4

    and others who are calling out the rethugs with their load of BS.  The fact that the House added so many tax cuts to make them happy in the first place really pissed me off, leaving only about 18% for infrastructure spending at least as reported by Maddow last Friday night.  

    Obama and the dems have to GET OVER this bi-partisan BS because the rethugs aren't going to play.  When will our party every learn?

    •  The house added cuts? (0+ / 0-)

      Please link me to this information because I wasn't aware.

      •  Rachel Maddow covered it in length (0+ / 0-)

        on her Friday show and tonight.  She talked about it again tonight with David Sirota on the show.  I haven't read any papers, only watched her and Olbermann, but the graphs that went up show only 18% of the stimulus package now going to infrastructure.  Lots of tax cuts were added in the House.  Part of the discussion tonight was whether there was still time to change it in the Senate and Sirota said everybody needed to contact their congress critters and tell them they oppose the tax cuts (or the majority of them that Obama hadn't already proposed) and want the money restored for infrastructure.  He said he thought there was still time.

  •  We are and always be pwans. (0+ / 0-)

    "whats so funny about Peace, love and understanding". E Costello.

    by vzfk3s on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:53:36 PM PST

  •  Krugman is a genius. (4+ / 0-)

    And his genius stands clearly in contrast to the foolish and failed Republican policies and attitudes of the last 8 years.

    "United we progress toward a more perfect union."

    by keenekarl on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 02:54:03 PM PST

  •  Obama should send a signal to the Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thethinveil, jeepster4

    that the window of opportunity closes when they begin to bullshit around. Lets remove all tax cuts and make it a pure public spending proposal. It is not a bad idea to show them that he does not need to be nice and that there are limits. Obama's first term depends on the success of the stimulus package. Kind of difficult to involve the Republicans in this.

  •  Cutting my taxes won't do the economy any good (0+ / 0-)

    Right now I'm afraid of losing my job. If they cut my taxes to zero I would either put the money into savings in case I lose my job, which is a very real possiblity right now, OR I would use it to pay bills.

    "TV is chewing gum for the eyes" - Frank Lloyd Wright

    by brett66 on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:25:35 PM PST

  •  I keep hearing about money for contraceptives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    then the requisite punchline about how this won't stimulate everyone. Courtesy of CNN. These clowns are so tired.

    "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality." - Dante

    by jazzence on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:27:31 PM PST

  •  Obama needs to take over message control (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randy, freakofsociety, fhcec

    No one speaking today for Obama's proposed plan has had any substance and they allow the GOP to stand on their ridiculous talking points - condoms and the arts. There's plenty of substance and Axelrod or somebody ought to be out there, like Krugman, giving the facts. Why are the Democrats allowing Obama's bill to be misrepresented on the news all day?

    Thanks to in the Trees for extracting this list from the bill:

    $44 million for construction, repair and improvements at US Department of Agriculture facilties

    $209 million for work on deferred maintenance at Agricultural Research Service facilities

    $245 million for maintaining and modernizing the IT system of the Farm Service Agency

    $175 million to buy and restore floodplain easements for flood prevention

    $50 million for "Watershed Rehabilitation"

    $1.1 billion for rural community facilities direct loans

    $2 billion for rural business and industry guaranteed loans

    $2.7 billion for rural water and waste dispoal direct loans

    $22.1 billion for rural housing insurance fund loans

    $2.8 billion for loans to spur rural broadband

    $150 million for emergency food assistance

    $50 million for regional economic development commissions

    $1 billion for "Periodic Censuses and Programs"

    $350 million for State Broadband Data and Development Grants

    $1.8 billion for Rural Broadband Deployment Grants

    $1 billion for Rural Wireless Deployment Grants

    $650 million for Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program

    $100 million for "Scientific and Technical Research and Services" at the National Institute of Standards And Technology

    $30 million for necessary expenses of the "Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership"

    $300 million for a competitive construction grant program for research science buildings

    $400 million for "habitat restoration and mitigation activities" at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    $600 million for "accelerating satellite development and acquisition"

    $140 million for "climate data modeling"

    $3 billion for state and local law enforcement grants

    $1 billion for "Community Oriented Policing Services"

    $250 million for "accelerating the development of the tier 1 set of Earth science climate research missions recommended by the National Academies Decadal Survey."

    $50 million for repairs to NASA facilities from storm damage

    $300 million for "Major Research Insrumentation program" (science)

    $200 million for "academic research facilities modernization"

    $100 million for "Education and Human Resources"

    $400 million for "Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction"

    $4.5 billion to make military facilities more energy efficient

    $1.5 billion for Army Operation and Maintenance fund

    $624 million for Navy Operation and Maintenance

    $128 million for Marine Corps Operation and Maintenance

    $1.23 billion for Air Force Operation and Maintenance

    $454 million to "Defense Health Program"

    $110 million for Army Reserve Operation and Maintenance

    $62 million for Navy Reserve Operation and Maintenance

    $45 million for Marine Corps Reserve Operation and Maintenance

    $14 million for Air Force Reserve Operation and Maintenance

    $302 million for National Guard Operation and Maintenance

    $29 million for Air National Guard Operation and Maintenance

    $350 million for military energy research and development programs

    $2 billion for Army Corps of Engineers "Construction"

    $250 million for "Mississippi River and Tributaries"

    $2.2 billion for Army Corps "Operation and Maintenance"

    $25 million for an Army Corps "Regulatory Program"

    $126 million for Interior Department "water reclamation and reuse projects"

    $80 million for "rural water projects"

    $18.5 billion for "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy" research in the Department of Energy. That money includes:

    $2 billion for development of advanced batteries

    $800 million of that is for biomass research and $400 million for geothermal technologies

    $1 billion in grants to "institutional entities for energy sustainability and efficiency"

    $6.2 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program

    $3.5 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants

    $3.4 billion for state energy programs

    $200 million for expenses to implement energy independence programs

    $300 million for expenses to implement Energy efficient appliance rebate programs including the Energy Star program

    $400 million for expenses to implement Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Infrastructure Grants to States and Local Governments

    $1 billion for expenses necessary for advanced battery manufacturing

    $4.5 billion to modernize the nation's electricity grid

    $1 billion for the Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee Program

    $2.4 billion to demonstrate "carbon capture and sequestration technologies"

    $400 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency (Science)

    $500 million for "Defense Environmental Cleanup"

    $1 billion for construction and repair of border facilities and land ports of entry

    $6 billion for energy efficiency projects on government buildings

    $600 million to buy and lease government plug-in and alternative fuel vehicles

    $426 million in small business loans

    $100 million for "non-intrusive detection technology to be deployed at sea ports of entry

    $150 million for repair and construction at land border ports of entry

    $500 million for explosive detection systems for aviation security

    $150 million for alteration or removal of obstructive bridges

    $200 million for FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter program

    $325 million for Interior Department road, bridge and trail repair projects

    $300 million for road and bridge work in Wildlife Refuges and Fish Hatcheries

    $1.7 billion for "critical deferred maintenance" in the National Park System

    $200 million to revitalize the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

    $100 million for National Park Service Centennial Challenge programs

    $200 million for repair of U.S. Geological Survey facilities

    $500 million for repair and replacement of schools, jails, roads, bridges, housing and more for Bureau of Indian Affairs

    $800 million for Superfund programs

    $200 million for leaking underground storage tank cleanup

    $8.4 billion in "State and Tribal Assistance Grants"

    $650 million in "Capital Improvement and Maintenance" at the Agriculture Dept.

    $850 million for "Wildland Fire Management"

    $550 million for Indian Health facilties

    $150 million for deferred maintenance at the Smithsonian museums

    $50 million in grants to fund "arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn" through the National Endowment for the Arts

    $1.2 billion in grants to states for youth summer jobs programs and other activities

    $1 billion for states in dislocated worker employment and training activities

    $500 million for the dislocated workers assistance national reserve

    $80 million for the enforcement of worker protection laws and regulations related to infrastructure and unemployment insurance investments

    $300 million for "construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of Job Corps Centers"

    $250 million for public health centers

    $1 billion for renovation and repair of health centers

    $600 million for nurse, physician and dentist training

    $462 million for renovation work at the Centers for Disease Control

    $1.5 billion for "National Center for Research Resources"

    $500 million for "Buildlings and Facilties" at the National Institutes of Health in suburban Washington, D.C.

    $700 million for "comparative effectiveness research" on prescription drugs

    $1 billion for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance

    $2 billion in Child Care and Development Block Grants for states

    $1 billion for Head Start programs

    $1.1 billion for Early Head Start programs

    $100 million for Social Security research programs

    $200 million for "Aging Services Programs"

    $2 billion for "Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology"

    $430 million for public health/social services emergency funds

    $2.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control for a variety of programs

    $5.5 billion in targeted education grants

    $5.5 billion in "education finance incentive grants"

    $2 billion in "school improvement grants"

    $13.6 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

    $250 million for statewide education data systems

    $14 billion for school modernization, renovation and repair

    $160 million for AmeriCorps grants

    $400 million for the construction and costs to establish a new "National Computer Center" for the Social Security Administration

    $500 million to improve processing of disability and retirement claims

    $920 million for Army housing and child development centers

    $350 million for Navy and Marine Corps housing and child development centers

    $280 million in Air Force housing and child development centers

    $3.75 billion in military hospital and surgery center construction

    $140 million in Army National Guard construction projects

    $70 million in Air National Guard construction projects

    $100 million in Army Reserve construction projects

    $30 million in Navy Reserve construction projects

    $60 million in Air Force Reserve construction projects

    $950 million for VA Medical Facilities

    $50 million for repairs for military cemeteries

    $120 million for a backup information management facility for the State Department

    $98 million for National Cybersecurity Initiative

    $3 billion for "Grants-in-Aid for Airports"

    $300 million for Indian Reservation roads

    $300 million for Amtrak capital needs

    $800 million for national railroad assets or infrastructure repairs, upgrades

    $5.4 billion in federal transit grants

    $2 billion in infrastructure development for subways and commuter railways

    $5 billion for public housing capital

    $1 billion in competitive housing grants

    $2.5 billion for energy efficiency upgrades in public housing

    $500 million in Native American Housing Block Grants

    $4.1 billion to help communities deal with foreclosed homes

    $1.5 billion in homeless prevention activities

    $79 billion in education funds for states

    Anybody confronted with the dishonest GOP points should just start reading from the top down and not stop until the GOP hitman concedes.

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in.

    by kck on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:28:30 PM PST

    •  I have been considered about some of the Pork (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      relentless, fhcec, kck

      No I don't mean providing stimulus to every state or any other spending that has been put off for years.

      But for Example Broadband lines - who is going to profit off of these broadband lines?

      Are they going to be run by a government utility or are they going to be given away to the telecom companies.

      It looks like we are loaning someone money - the telecom companies.

      And I guess we are giving grants as well - just straight giveaways

      $350 million for State Broadband Data and Development Grants

      $1.8 billion for Rural Broadband Deployment Grants

      $1 billion for Rural Wireless Deployment Grants

      So roughly 2.5 billion giveaway to the telecom industry.

      I want stock or I want a publicly run service to insure cheep rates for rural consumers.

      Good Frames Won't Save Bad Paintings.

      by thethinveil on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:53:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been concerned not "considered" sorry. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Good Frames Won't Save Bad Paintings.

        by thethinveil on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 03:54:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not bad points you have - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        modeled on rural electric coops?

        I don't know how well those worked - I just have heard that economists don't like them because they can never be profitable - cost benefit ratio is unfavorable. Cost too great, beneficiaries too few...

        But if people don't live in the country, who's going to produce the food? And how will ranchers/farmers modernize?

        Reminds me a little of their fantasy that overseas production is good because prices for goods will be lower than they could be with domestic production.

        Of course, they forgot that without good jobs, no one would have the money to buy the cheaper goods... Argh!

        •  They don't hae to be co-ops. (0+ / 0-)

          I just want some method of reimbursement for citizens.

          There are hundreds of publicly run utilities - water, power, garbage. I think the internet should fall under it too - especially when the public puts up the money and of course the purpose isn't profit but to provide an essential service which is why we are doing the work in the first place.

          I don't know if outsourcing plays into it at all but I agree that outsourcing isn't any way to run an economy.

          I also think that outsourcing government work to contractors costs too much by comparison to what it would cost if we just created orgs like WPA.

          I really do not like the idea of public-private partnerships.

          Good Frames Won't Save Bad Paintings.

          by thethinveil on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 09:05:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The democrats aren't in control of the MSM (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Do you really think they are?

  •  Definitely drop the tax cuts (0+ / 0-)

    Tax cuts only benefit people who are still employed. It doesn't do squat for people who are unemployed. Stimulus spending creates jobs. That's what we need right now.

  •  I pick more spending, same tax cuts....and.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    REally, I think we need the tax cuts to just be a temporary partial pay roll tax cut.  The public spending side should be expanded to round the bill out to 1Trillion.  The whole point of having a recovery bill is to inspire confidence and that the govt' is willing to go as far as it has to to restore the economy.  Keeping the package below 1Trillion hoping to have a "sale 999.99 billion, instead of 1Trillion effect- says the exact opposite of we're willing to go as far as we have to.

    Spending should split to 1/4 on roads/transit/bridges, 1/4 on schools/broadbands, and 1/2 on electric grid/renewables/conservation.

    GOP supported their standard bearer and all they got was this lousy minority status.

    by AfroPonix on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:08:21 PM PST

  •  Did anyone else (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freakofsociety, relentless

    see the crazy Republican on one of the news show tonight say that Democrats are using the stimulus package to reward their friends for winning the election?

    I caught the tail end of this guy talking. These Republicans are nuts. Can you imagine that. Is this the mentality?

    Here I am sitting without a job, because they and the Bush Administration screwed up this country so badly and all this guy can think about is standing in the way of help because he believes the Democrats are paying back people for helping with the election.

    These people continue to be heartless. After tomorrow, I hope Obama takes his case directly to the American people and forget the Republicans.

    The media are no better either.

    Krugman is so right. What a freaking trip.

  •  I'm currently listening to Krugman's (0+ / 0-)
    book, The Conscience of a Liberal on CD while driving. Excellent book. Highly recommended reading.

    former Internet Outreach Coordinator for Gillibrand '06

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 04:57:18 PM PST

  •  If tax cuts worked (0+ / 0-)

    we would be in the greatest expansion rather than contraction since the Depression. Republicans are either stupid, dishonest, or both. It bears mention that prior to the idiot king, the upper 1% held about 15% of the assets. During the reign of error and terror, that upper crust now holds over 20% of assets. Meanwhile, most of the rest of us have seen our net worth decline.

    An end to the Bush nightmare is only the first step in rebuilding America.

    by DWG on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:25:45 PM PST

  •  Time for "Nuclear Option". End filibuster rule. (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats need to go to the "nuclear option" immediately, ending the Republican ability to obstruct legislation during economic crisis.

    Republicans can offer amendments, they can vote against it but they cannot be allowed to prevent votes on legislation.

  •  I love Krugman! I'm in the middle reading his (0+ / 0-)

    book, conscience of a liberal, it's totally dead on!

  •  Basic Macro-economics (0+ / 0-)

    What Krugman's talking about here (just based on the excerpts) is basic macro-economics -- the stuff all colleges teach.  Once scary is that no one on Capital Hill seems to know this.  When you think about the people that the Rethugs have in their ranks.  The idiot down in GA, the other idiot in VA who called Obama, Osama, and then there's the great, great, ever so great, Palin; it is no wonder that they come up with idiotic antidotes to problems that we've had since the 80s.  It didn't work then and it's not going to work now.  If they had their way our whole economy would be based on the Vegas-style wallstreet antics that got us into this mess in the first place.  Their anti-regulations mentality has not only led to the collapse of our financial system but also has allowed Bush to get away with murder.  Just as they continued to de-regulate wallstreet, Powell was de-regulating the communications industry allowing the same lobbyist driven corporations to control the airwaves.  Whatever happen to that scuttlebutt about the pentagon planting reporters or controlling the Iraq coverage?

  •  Increase Taxes (0+ / 0-)

    Frankly, the real way to stimulate the economy is with targeted tax increases--targeted at the rich. Eliminate the Bush tax cuts now and provide them with an alternative set of tax cuts, ones that reward investment in wealth-creating jobs here in the U.S.

    In order to qualify, the rich would have to invest in companies that actually increase the number of U.S. jobs in the year in which they claim the deduction, and that company would have to have paid U.S. taxes on their profits (if any).

    Also, I'm for getting rid of excessive corporate pay. I think that any company that pays over $1 millions in total compensation to any executive needs to forgo deducting that compensation as an expense for the purposes of U.S. taxes.

    Increasing taxes on the rich has several important benefits:

    (1) It helps make the tax package more revenue neutral, which helps keep deficits down.

    (2) Every time we've raised the top rates we've been rewarded with an economic boom; every time we've lowered them we've had an expansion followed by a bust.

    (3) Rich people don't spend much of the money, they save it. If you want to get the economy going again, cut taxes for the spending part of the economy (the workers), and let the rich pay for it.

    (4) One of the reasons the economy crashed like it did was the result of the tax cuts in the first place. It only took a couple of years after Bush cut taxes for the wealthy for it to suck all the liquidity out of the spending part of the economy. It's like running a gasoline engine without oil.

  •  Meanwhile, the Real Economy Suffers (0+ / 0-)

    Part of the package needs to be a clear signal that the U.S. is going to get realistic about economic policy. This whole thing appears to be nothing but a stimulus package.

    Oh, yeah. That's what they're calling it.

    Well, okay, but what's the plan? I mean, what are they going to do after that?

    This economy has been running on debt for so long that no one remembers how to earn money. At some point, we need to search out the people (mostly retired) who remember how that works and squeeze the information out of them before they croak. (Or, maybe we should make them croak before they die off.)

    In any case, where is there something that will bring wealth-creating jobs back to the U.S.? I haven't heard one word about making real changes to international trade agreements. Hasn't anyone noticed that the problem was created by debt?

    You can't pay off debt unless you have earnings. You don't get earnings unless you create something of value. How do you do that? You do that with agriculture, mining, manufacturing--things that take raw materials and turn them into useful goods.

    It's really time we looked at our International Trade Agreements and started fixing them. A policy that called for steady progress on global minimum wages, workplace safety, and environmental issues is what we need to move wealth-creating jobs back to the country.

    And unless we do that, we are just building up debt toward an even greater crisis in the future.

    This situation is not the same as any before. We are not in the pre-30s. We are not in a "recession". This is a whole new beast with whole new dynamics. We have to make clear, fundamental changes or we are kidding ourselves about the rosy future.

  •  Krugman makes more sense when he speaks of (0+ / 0-)

    economics than politics. Way to go!

  •  Cool (0+ / 0-)

    Paul's back in the good graces of the dailykos.

    Republicans are just losers, that's all.

  •  McCain and the Republicans are jokes (0+ / 0-)

    McCain insists on Fox Noise on Sunday that the stimulus bill be rewritten to satisfy him.  This is the same man who said in the primaries that he doesn't know anything about economics.  This is the same man that "suspended" his campaign in September to rush back to Washington in response to the economic emergency, after pronouncing the economy fundamentally strong just a week earlier.  His campaign tanked because of those actions and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

    McCain has shown that he is incapable of being loyal to anyone.  He is a "maverick" against his own party.  Obama shows him some graciousness by hosting a dinner for him and praising him.  McCain's response is to now show President Obama how ungracious McCain really is to anyone that attempts to show him respect.

    Now McCain wants to lead the Republican opposition to the stimulus bill.  McCain lost by a landslide but he now somehow thinks he has some kind of say in all of this.  The rest of the Republican right wingnuts seem to somehow still think they are in power.

    President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate and the House should just tell the Repubs to go to hell.  Lets see how long the Repubs can sustain a fillibuster with the daily news that thousands of Americans have lost their jobs and the Repubs trying to prevent the President from providing them some help.

    In the end, as Chris Matthews said on Monday, "the Republican Senators are more interested in being Senators than in being Republicans".  Obama and the Senate Democrats should call the Repubs bluff.  To hell with attempting to reach out and be bipartisan.

    •  Everyone who has a Republican Senator (0+ / 0-)

      should contact him/her to urge support of the stimulus bill.  And for those who have a Republican Senator who's up for re-election in 2010, find a Democratic challenger to support.

      Renewable energy brings national security.

      by Calamity Jean on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:46:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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