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September 26, 2008

Senate Republicans Block Democrat Supported Stimulus Bill (Aurvant)

Holy crap! Something actually happened today.

Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a plan by Democrats to pump $56 billion in government spending into the economy through public works projects, help for the jobless and money for states struggling with their Medicaid bills.

The 52-42 tally fell well short of the 60
votes needed to defeat a GOP filibuster. The White House promised a
veto anyway, saying the measure would not work and would cost too much.

The dems are going to back up and try it again later in the day, but I don't see that getting anywhere either. With the Economy crisis and a $700 billion dollar bailout amount looming in the background of every bit of news that hits our ears these past few days you would think that Congress might want to stave off other needless spending in the meantime. Still, there are some interesting comments coming from either side of this bill. The White House opposes and claims that it is "needless spending" while the Democrats claim that it is, basically, the BEST STIMULUS PACKAGE EVAH.

"Record spending that could lead to record tax increases or higher deficits will not advance our economic recovery," the White House said
in a statement.

I completely understand that statement, but I don't see how that "other plan" wouldn't have the same type of adverse effect on the taxpayer. However, that's another argument for another time I suppose.

Democrats contend that with the administration insisting on a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street holders of toxic mortgage securities, President Bush should join them in providing federal help to the middle class and the poor. They cited studies by economists that say providing money - through food stamps and unemployment insurance - to people likely to spend it immediately has a proven record of boosting the
economy.

"It injects money into infrastructure projects to create
jobs directly and generate new economic activities," said Sen. Tom
Harkin, D-Iowa. "We get the biggest buck stimulus-wise ... by expanding
food stamp benefits. That's the best. The second best, extending
unemployment benefits."

Emphasis mine.

Yes, providing money to people who will spend it immediately will stimulate and boost the economy. However, since this package was designed to only benefit people who have little or NO income at all I fail to see how it will stimulate anything. The difference in this program and the Bush Stimulus package is that the first package actually put usable dollars in to the hands of citizens who could actually use it. This package, however, only increases medicaid, unemployment, and social program benefits that, at last I checked, weren't really classified as usable or viable income other than what could be classified as "basic". This new stimulus package only seems to serve as a means of KEEPING the people dependant on these social programs more bound to the social system. How does this help our economy again? You don't ever hear of the great food-stamp and jobless sector of our economy that kept this ship afloat now do you?

No, you don't.

Not to mention it would have funneled more money in to Medicaid which, I should point out, is just about bankrupting itself due to it's flawed design. I know this because my own very state is having it's own financial crisis due to the overwhelming debts being gained by the atrocious program.

Hopefully the House version wont get passed either, but we'll just have to wait on that one.

*I apologise if this post is out of place or unwanted. The Open Blog thing is a bit vague to me now considering I see it happening more and more frequently instead of just in the early hours or in the event that Ace isn't here.

Plus, it's about actual congressional news that took place today other than the bailout. So, if one plans to flog....please be forgiving.


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posted by xgenghisx at 04:24 PM

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