arcadiabritt

Economic Stimulus Debates Swell

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 at 2:40 am

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As all of you probably know, there has been bad news on the state of the economy. Millions of people are unemployed, thousands upon thousands of jobs have been cut, foreclosures are listed across the nation,  and banks are asking for bailouts like they’re candy. President Obama, along with his staff and the House of Representatives, put together an economic stimulus bill that is being hotly debated by the Senate as far as what to include, what to cut away, and if the bill should pass at all. The price tag has gone up to $900 billion. I am here to defend the bill and I will tell you why.

Since last summer, the state of the economy has gone from bad to worse. Julianne Pepitone on cnnmoney.com reported that in the final week of January, on what was known as Bloody Monday, 65,400 jobs were cut. In 2008, nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost. That was the highest yearly job-loss since 1945. Companies such as Caterpillar and Pfizer cut 20,000 jobs. The unemployment rate for January hit 7.6 percent, the highest since 1992. The U.S. economy lost another 598,000 jobs since January, the largest one-month job loss since 1974. Many companies have filed for bankruptcy, stores across the country have closed, and on top of that, we still have to deal with global warming. Everyone, especially Obama, has been saying that this is the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Americans are hurting. Families struggle to put food on the table, pay their bills, afford college education for their kids, and save up for retirement. College students are up to their eyeballs in student debt and the job market looks bleak. The bill has a huge price tag and other people have been getting bailed out, such as the banking and auto industries. However, this is about putting the nation back to work and getting the economy moving again.

The economic stimulus package aims to inject money into several different venues.  Obama wants to give $26 billion to subsidize health care insurance, $46 billion to transportation projects, $14.4 billion for the Energy Department, and $54 billion in state fiscal relief for education. The plan also includes tax cuts and credits, such as a $2,500 tax credit for college tuition, giving tax cuts to families.
There are opponents to the bill. Bill Dalton of kansascity.com views the bill as full of earmarks and pork-barrel spending. For example, the stimulus has $50 million for water and habitat needs in San Francisco and $198 million to compensate Filipino World War II veterans.
Opponents such as talk radio hosts and Republican Congressmen see a lot of unnecessary spending and are either trying to trim costs or reject it altogether. Many feel that instead of spending, the government should be granting tax cuts.

However, action is needed, and it is needed quickly.

Joan Thompson of the political science department at Arcadia had this to say about the stimulus, “From a political science perspective, President Obama needs to act quickly to reduce the impact of the recession we are now in on middle class households. Otherwise he could be blamed for hard times by his own party as well as by the Republicans.”

The bill has already passed in the House and it currently being debated in the Senate. The package might be modified with more or less spending or have different approaches to certain areas. It is an ongoing news story and its outcome will have a huge impact on the country.

I support President Obama and the decisions he makes. He has quite a lot on his plate to fix. Americans are struggling financially. We need to do something. If this bill gets things moving again, then let’s pass it. Obama plans for the bill to create 3-4 million jobs. That is what we need. We are running out of time and options. If we don’t get something passed, things are going to get even worse. The economic stimulus package won’t solve everything. Obama is not aiming for it to do that. He wants to create new jobs for Americans and get them to work.

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