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Archive for February 11th, 2009

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big-tax-break

Doesn’t sound like too much of an immediate stimulus to Flap. Alot of deficit government spending that will raise the spectre of inflation and stifle growth, yes.

Anyway, here it is:

Q: What are the main objectives of the package?

A: A combination of tax cuts and spending incentives totaling nearly $790 billion is aimed at putting money back in the pockets of consumers and businesses and creating millions of jobs. It also looks to accomplish some long-term goals, such as making the country more energy efficient and improving the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Overall, the package breaks down to nearly two-thirds spending initiatives and just over one-third tax cuts.

Q: Does the bill include federal aid to the states?

A: Yes. It includes major contributions to states to help with their budget shortfalls and assure the viability of Medicaid and education programs.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the moderate Republican who helped broker the deal, said the spending includes about $90 billion in increased federal matches to states to help pay for Medicaid, along with a $54 billion “fiscal stabilization” fund that states could use to build and repair schools and improve facilities at institutions of higher learning.

Q: What are some of the other main focuses of the bill?

A: Here are some highlights:

  • Education: The package has some $11.5 billion to support the IDEA program for special education. There’s another $10 billion for a federal program to help low-income students.
  • Energy: The package includes funds to modernize the electrical grid — in part by incorporating renewable energy resources — and to make federal buildings more energy efficient and help low-income households weatherize their homes.
  • Health: The plan includes subsidies to allow people who are laid off to purchase health insurance through the federal COBRA plan. There is also money to support hospitals seeking to modernize health information technology.
  • Infrastructure: The infrastructure section of the package includes funds for building and repairing highways and bridges, expanding transit systems, upgrading airports and rail systems and building and repairing federal buildings — with the focus on making them more energy efficient. Funds are available for clean water projects, cleanup of environmental waste areas and nuclear waste cleanups.

Money devoted solely to transportation infrastructure reaches almost $50 billion. Collins said that when all the infrastructure projects for roads, sewers, energy and electricity transmission are added up, it will reach about $150 billion.

The package includes money to bring broadband Internet service to underserved areas.

Other highlights: The plan also supports National Institutes of Health research and contributes to programs in the departments of defense, homeland security, veterans affairs and state.

Q: What are some of the tax breaks in the bill?

A: It includes Obama’s signature “Making Work Pay” tax credit for 95 percent of workers, though negotiators agreed to trim the credit to $400 a year instead of $500 — or $800 for married couples, cut from Obama’s original proposal of $1,000. It would begin showing up in most workers’ paychecks in June as an extra $13 a week in take-home pay, falling to about $8 a week next January.

There is also a $70 billion, one-year fix for the alternative minimum tax. The fix would save some 20 million mainly upper-middle-income taxpayers about $2,000 in taxes for 2009.

Q: How will infrastructure spending affect jobs?

A: The Federal Highway Administration has estimated that every $1 billion the federal government spends on infrastructure projects translates to 35,000 jobs. Collins put the total infrastructure spending — including highways, mass transit, environmental cleanups and broadband facilities — at $150 billion. Do the math and that translates into more than 5 million jobs, based on the highway administration’s assumptions.

Senate leaders have offered their own estimate — they said Wednesday that the total stimulus package will sustain some 3.5 million jobs.

Q: How long would it take for highway projects to begin?

A: Lawmakers say most of the projects could be up and running within 90 days, although it could take somewhat more time in northern states with longer winters. Highway construction groups have estimated that there are thousands of projects that could be started within that 90 days.

Q: Do economists feel the stimulus package is big enough to actually stimulate the economy?

A: Many leading economists have concluded that the stimulus alone may be insufficient to bring a quick turnaround for the economy.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, called for a larger package of spending and tax breaks and predicted that unemployment could top 9 percent next year, up from the current 7.6 percent, even if an $800 billion package is enacted. Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman also contends that $800 billion will fall short of filling the gap left by projected reductions in consumer and business spending.

Obama has also acknowledged that the stimulus measures are only “one leg of the stool” needed to stabilize the economy. Spending initiatives and tax cuts, he has said, must be combined with the ongoing massive effort to restore confidence and integrity to financial markets, get credit flowing again and right the collapsed housing market.

Flap bets that this bill will NOT spur much immediate economic recovery and that Congressional Democrats and President Obama will turn to MORE government spending to bailout the automotive and financial sectors.

When may America feel the effects of the government spending? Immediately?

Probably not.

The Democrats and President hope before the 2010 campaign season.


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gallup feb 11 2009

Well, at least Democrat support is higher as President Obama makes his case with his homeys.
Obama’s salesmanship appears to have been effective in recent days, helping to build public support for the economic stimulus package, and thus push Congress to pass a final version by his desired Presidents Day deadline. At the least, he has stemmed any erosion of support in the face of some spirited conservative opposition. While most of the increase in support is among Democrats, the plan retains solid support from independents and has not lost any ground recently among Republicans.

Although the stimulus plan is purportedly being passed to address the nation’s economic problems, Americans’ perceptions of the economy — and of their own personal financial situations — have little bearing on their support for it. Political orientation is the overriding factor.

Here is the graphic showing the increase in Democrat support:

gallup independents feb 11

Since an apparent deal is in the works to move this bill out of the House-Senate Conference Committee and for final approval in the Congress, American voters will see this partisan law become a reality -probably by Friday.

The Democrats in Congress and President Obama OWN the law. To the victors go the SPOILS and the REPERCUSSIONS.

Remember, American voter public opinion is fickle and performance related.


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Julio Osegueda interviewed by Keith Olbermann after his enthusiastic questioning of the President. The MSM and MSNBC cannot get enough of Obama worship.

And, he has apparently received that new job.

Wow.


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ramirez toon020909

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

There has been a “Deal” in the Democrat/Obama Economic Stimulus bill in the House Senate-Conference Committee and the bill with ONLY three Republican Senators supporting it is scheduled to clear the Senate Thursday with the President signing it into law on Friday.

But, that is contrary to the latest polling that says Americans are more confident in their own ability to affect the economy.

When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress.

Nineteen percent (19%) trust members of Congress more, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fourteen percent (14%) aren’t sure.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters by double digits have more confidence in themselves than Democrats do, but even a majority of the party that controls Congress trust themselves more than the average legislator.

Forty-four percent (44%) voters also think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress, but 37% disagree. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

The new Congress fares worse on this question that the previous Congress. Last October, just 33% said a randomly selected group of Americans would do a better job than the Congress then in session.

Although an $800-billion-plus economic rescue plan has now passed both the House and Senate, the overwhelming majority of voters are not confident that Congress knows what it’s doing with regards to the economy. Fifty-eight percent (58%) agree, too, that “no matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.”

Well, the American voting public has what Congress wanted for them – all $789 Billion worth. And, will have the pleasure of paying it back.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, predicted the bill “will be the beginning of the turnaround for the American economy.”

Reid said the legislation would create 3.5 million jobs.

The Democrats and President Obama OWN this STIMULUS law because it is their creation. When the economy does not rapidly improve and 1970’s style inflation/stagflation reappears.

Don’t say the GOP didn’t tell you so.


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Comments Comments Off on Poll Watch: 67 Per Cent Say They Could Do a Better Job on the Economy Than Congress

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