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[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

Dr. Atrios at Eschaton has recently taken up the admirable cause of raising Social Security benefits, and to riff on his point about politicians delivering nice things I’m positive 30 Republican votes could be had in the House for a 2013 economy stimulus.

Dianne Feinstein is attempting a good thing in banning assault rifles, but one of the problems she’ll have is that she has no goodies to hand out to politicians, surely one of the most gullible and groveling-to-money groups of citizens we have.  All or nothing, win or lose, is she going to compromise on the number rounds in a multiple clip from 10 to 7?

It may seem to be truly in the realm of fantasy to propose stimulus now when the current rage is to cut more (Jesus help us in what that horrible sequester may slash) but despite the bubble idiocy of DC and the Very Serious People in fact the economy desperately needs stimulus to alleviate the employment crisis. Borrowing costs are absurdly cheap and instead of being stupid scolds doing precisely the wrong thing politicians could be happy, benevolent social angels ensuring their popularity for generations.  Why don’t they do it?

Suppose $100 billion in cash (a very modest number) is on the table for a 2013 stimulus, why isn’t it possible to precisely target the 30 weakest House Republican seats with bazillions of dollars for their districts?  Vote for the stimulus and your district gar-ahn-teed get 3 billion for roads, how could that not work?  There’s nothing illegal or unethical in the least about it, those districts need stimulus just like everyone else.

If the votes balk then play hardball, let that Representative know that oh yes you will be back in 2014 for the Democratic challenger with a very exact, very loud list of the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs you denied your very own people just the year before.

I really hardly see that as being necessary, surely just a few billion in stimulus will sway any politician.  What are they going to accomplish in blocking Obama this time, another term?

Of course, who listens to me?  No one.  Still, good ideas, common sense and advocacy for the right thing to do have their value.

Costs?  Spare me.  We’re due to stay in Afghanistan another 23 months (that’s right) at $120 billion a year, just switch the spending by getting the hell out of there now if you’re so petrified of cheap borrowing.  Or chop $200 billion off that disastrous Defense budget, polling consistently says the little people overwhelming want the Defense budget cut and for DC to finally produce a job.

Can we have a 2013 stimulus, please?  It’s easy and popular to do if you think of the little people first.  I suppose in DC with all those Very Serious People war, sequester, tax cuts and the defense budget are more important than jobs, keeping their citizens miserable in a crumbling country surely is what they were meant to do.  Right?

Poll

An imperative priority for the Obama Adminsitration is a 2013 stimulus to produce jobs.

83%25 votes
13%4 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 30 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would love to see (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boppy, rolet, TracieLynn

    a second stimulus.  Pundits seem to often worried about the deficit but I stand with keynesians.  Build some roads, schools, libraries.  Put people back to work.  No one is focusing on jobs.

    Say "No" to Chained CPI.

    by Arlys on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:49:22 AM PST

    •  And by all means (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rolet, hooper

      spend some government money on infrastructure!  Please!  Cut down defense spending on wars we don't need and on bases we don't need.  Spending the money on education would be amazing.  How about pre-school for all children?  We know the first few years of life a prime opportunity for brain development.

      He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

      by Boppy on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:55:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love the idea of raising Social Security (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psyched, rolet, hooper

    benefits.  I really hope to receive Social Security someday.  My husband and I are at his work right now.  We talked about us both working until age 67.  He's 48, I'm 44.  We could do it.  I work in early childhood education and would love to to keep working as long as possible at least part-time.  I just get scared about not having enough money for the future.  I want to help keep Social Security strong.

    He that chooses his own path needs no map. Queen Kristina of Sweden.

    by Boppy on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:53:19 AM PST

  •  How are we going to turn this around? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boppy, rolet

    All the Repukes keep saying, every time they get near a microphone, "We have a spending problem." Are you suggesting that the administration make secret individual offers to targeted Repukes? Might work. Certainly worth a try.

    •  Seriously! All they talk about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HappyinNM

      is the spending problem.  Now we see the economy shrinking and it is due to a decrease in government spending.

    •  Why do you think they're saying it? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate

      Because they don't want a second stimulus or any other kind of change that would fix the economy and get us back to full employment.

      Why?  Maybe it's because they don't want Obama to get the credit for bringing peace and prosperity - for fixing the economy and proving Republicans and Wall Streeters wrong.

      Obama and his supporters should be highly motivated to prove the GOP wrong.  They should be out banging the drum and calling attention to whatever great plan Obama comes up with to fix the economy and put people back to work.

      This is a natural opportunity for Obama and his supporters who want for him to look heroic and engage in high profile campaigns to please the public.  What better than to get behind an aggressive plan to create jobs and reduce unemployment?

      The GOP doesn't want Obama to win the battle for a healthy economy and zero unemployment.  Prove them wrong!

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:59:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  paradox - they don't do earmarks in the House (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    anymore so it's hard to use targeted spending to create leverage with House members for a vote on a stimulus plan. In addition, it would be John Boehner who would be passing our the goodies, not Nance Pelosi or the President.  The problem is that you need the Speaker's permission to bring a bill to the House floor, unless a majority of all members sign a petition, which isn't going to happen in the 113th Congress. There are not 30 GOP House members who will sign a discharge petition or vote for a stimulus bill. The House GOP is trying to cut the budget, not expand it. In fact, the House leadership is giving hints that they can live with the Defense Dept budget cuts to see the non-defense cuts that will be made when the sequester kicks in.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 12:50:19 PM PST

  •  If you've noticed the recent unemployment... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate

    ...numbers keep getting impacted by the continuing lay-offs and freezes in the government sector. Even though private employment is increasing, we are still shedding public sector jobs, which makes the total employment numbers worse than they need to be.

    In the first Obama stimulus and under Clinton, federal money went to help the states maintain their teachers, police, fire, and healthcare workers.  The recent cuts in police have been deadly in cities like Oakland and Chicago.  All the recent crazy weather provides plenty of rationale for increasing first responder preparedness.  A national commitment to returning our educational system to greatness by limiting class size, restoring athletic and arts programs, adding more vocational training and internships to prepare the young for jobs would be amazing.

    The original Obama stimulus's money for energy efficiency and weatherproofing homes, to give employment in the construction industry, was so poorly managed that most of the funds were never spent.  A new better-mamanged effort in this area would be welcome, as would a commitment to affordable housing.  Something like 10% of US housing stock sits idle when we have millions of homeless and people living in third-world conditions.  Federal projects to revitalize housing is something everyone, with the possible exception of the banks and real estate speculators, would benefit from.  This should go hand-in-hand with a program that refinances underwater mortgages and unfreezes those assets, and gets that property and capital moving in the market again.  For that matter the often-discussed federal infrastructure bank would jumpstart projects large and small, from replacing aging city sewer systems to building high-speed rail.

    There is a shortage of doctors and healthcare providers in this country that will only get worse when Obamacare expands coverage to nearly everyone.  Thousands of people could be employed in new public health outreach efforts bringing front-line care to communities that are grossly underserved, and include brick and mortar investment, as well as using technology and mobile health centers on wheels to reach the sick earlier, when the costs of treating them are lower.  An aging population needs a new generation of relatively low-skill home and community health aids to tend to the rapid rise of aging population and keep them in their homes at a fraction of the cost of nursing home care, with immeasurably better quality of life.

    And lastly, we need to reserve the decline in R&D spending and pump up research and exploratory science in all areas from:
    -biotech solutions that will make us healthier for less money,
    -to a national broadband initiative that makes high-speed Internet access a right like public education,
    -to the next generations of clean energy technologies and the national smart grid to better manage our energy distribution,
    -to major investment in robotics and 3D prototyping to revitalize our manufacturing and make it competitive against low-wage/high carbon output economies,
    -and, finally some "reach for the stars" Big Science projects that inspire the world with a lunar base, industrial and commercial platforms in low Earth orbit, asteroid mining, a manned Mars mission, and robot exploration of all the planets in the solar system.

    This would create millions of jobs, spur the creation of entirely new industries, and invest in the future for the rest of the 21st century.  Think of it as a peaceful government initiative on the scale of World War II and the Cold War and the foundation that created for 20th century prosperity. And politically, the optimism and hope of such an aggressive program would be hugely popular, especially as the jobs and rising standard of living take hold.  The deficit scolds will scream bloody murder, but even their selfish, narrow interests will be served by a robust general prosperity.

    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~ Mark Twain

    by wonkydonkey on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:19:45 PM PST

  •  No, votes are not there. There is no way to get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    them. John Boehner won't even let it come up for the vote. This is all pure fantasy.

  •  Whose dice to roll? (0+ / 0-)

    I turned 62 today! WOW!
    I've been replying a lot & am crazy as a tinfoil hat.
    Gonna take a break.
    I've just always been observant in my surrounding whatever.
    For some reason I've been ever few weeks or so glancing at the front pages of the news racks. Haven't done that in internet years.
    A couple days ago one of them had an article on the midwest & parts of the South are still in a major drought and if there isn't a GOOD springtime rain. It's gonna be a long hot summer.
    That's very interesting. Will the repukes come to the table or shoot themselves in both feet?
    Believe me I'm FOR rain and stimulus, regardless, too many have been hurting for these last 4 or so years but if no rain
    we are in for some interesting years ahead.
    I wish weatherdude or someone would do a good rundown on what's happened so far in the drought and the possibilities.
    It's been absent from a lot of internet and other news.
    P.S. tinfoil :) Off this topic but thinking about a recent reply. Don't mind food trucks, steamed hot dogs, but fried on a plate with onions dangerous to people crowded by is WAY too much cologne.

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