Or do you just feel like you’ve been raped… again?
Our U.S. House of Representatives and Senate reached a “closed door” agreement last night on a tentative $789 billion “stimulus” bill meant to send signals to the American consumer that our economic woes will soon improve and instill confidence in a brighter future. So, what’s so stimulating in the agreement?
- $90 billion in increased federal matching funds to states to help pay for Medicaid, along with an additional $54 billion that could be used to build and repair schools and colleges.
- $11.5 billion supporting the IDEA program for special education, along with an additional $10 billion to help low-income students.
- Funds to modernize the electrical grid, make federal buildings more energy efficient and to help low-income families weatherize their homes.
- Health insurance subsidies for people laid off from their jobs, and money to support hospitals in modernizing health information technology
- Infrastructure funds for building and repairing highways and bridges, expanding transit systems, upgrading railroads and airports, repair federal buildings, and bring broadband Internet service to under-served areas.
- $70 billion as a one-year fix for the alternative minimum tax, saving some 20 million middle and upper-income taxpayers about $2,000 in taxes in 2009.
- And, finally, an exciting, stimulating, tax credit for 95% of American workers which will add a whopping $13.00 to take-home pay beginning in June. But wait… that $13 buck will drop to about $8.00 next January!
But where's the stimulus for the economy?
The singular item which could have put the economy on the road to recovery – fixing the housing market crisis via a $15,000 tax credit for all homebuyers – was totally deleted from the package.
The world-wide economic crisis – banks going under, credit unavailability, home foreclosures and insolvent builders resulting in higher unemployment rates - began with the implosion of sub-prime lenders and the mortgage market. So there’s no reason to believe that if housing led us into this situation, it can’t lead us out.
In fact, that’s exactly what it did in 1974. In that year, our housing market was in much worse shape than today. But President Gerald Ford and Congress passed a one-year tax credit for anyone buying and occupying a standing home, and within one year two-thirds of existing inventory was sold, housing prices stopped declining, and the economy was stabilized. Is that so hard to understand, Congressmen and Senators? Do you not learn from the past?
Are you stimulated yet, or do you feel more like a Sabine woman than an American citizen?
Maybe this will “stimulate” you. Take a look at some of things inside the compromise stimulus package:
- $650 million for digital TV coupons
- $600 million to buy new cars for the Feds
- $650 million for wildlife management
- $570 million for climate initiatives
- $150 million to improve Smithsonian buildings
- $75 million for “stop smoking” programs
- $30 million to restore the wetlands habitat for the salt marsh harvest mouse (a Nancy Pelosi pet project)
- $30 billion to improve Federal buildings
- $1.5 billion to prevent homelessness, and, Oh Yeah…
- $2 billion as a “gift” to someone’s friends at ACORN.
Are you “stimulated” yet? If not, I suggest you use your $13.00 windfall to buy Viagra. Then, maybe next election, we can stick it to the 535 politicos running this country rather than allowing them to continue screwing us.
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