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I guess its the same old, same old

February 1, 2009 - John Stack

I guess our Republican 'leaders' also need to re-read that memo about this being a different world. Last week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed President Obama's stimulus package. Overwhelmingly (244-188) because the Democrats hold such a majority because EVERY SINGLE Republican voted against the plan! Now, this stimulus plan is not perfect. So, at least the Grand Ole Party did offer up a plan of themselves. And talk about a doozy. Virtually the whole plan for the Elephants would be tax cuts, tax cuts and, uh more tax cuts. Hmmm. We just had the largest macro example of tax cutting in history in W's administration. We do have a little more than another 5 or 6 trillion in debt to show for it. So, the misguided and ideologically planned tax cuts failed miserably during times of plenty, so somehow they will work in terribly harsh economic times? Does this mean , if this passed, when we pulled out of this Red state led depression they would rescind the tax cuts?

As I said, the Democratic plan is not perfect. It does allow for 275 billion in tax cuts. It also includes $32 billion for new electricity  grids. How can one vote against that? There are power plants that haven't been built (privately) and industry that hasn't been started because the lack of electrical transmission limits. $16 billion for Pell grants for higher education. I've written about the absolute need for more higher education aid, especially with states cutting aid and increasing college costs. Where were these in the GOP plan? Well, of course by cutting taxes the new electrical grid will spring from the ground magically. The tax cuts will somehow pay for all the higher education needs of our country, without having to increase any federal spending.

One point of contention is the seeming increase in our 'welfare state'. 90 billion is planned to go to helping states meet their medicaid demands, and another 20 billion to expand food stamp coverage. Well, we have millions more out of work, millions making less money , along with the millions losing their insurance and costs are going up all over. There are probably millions more now that actually now qualify for these programs. The states still have to pay for these programs, and short of just increasing taxes tremendously locally, there is little a State can do to cover this. New York can't just cut taxes and deficit spend like the US governement, so something would have to give.

The GOP also offered another alternative, as an amendment. This would have added 36 billion in highway construction (dems only were spending 30 billion) and 24 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects. But it would cut such 'useless' programs as special education funding, community health centers, broadband expansion, job retraining , job in science and green industries, and aid to states and primary-care medicine.

The same old stale arguments about tax cuts and nothing but tax cuts is not one that the American people are going for anymore. Did they notice a black Democrat just won the presidency, mostly upon the notion that the GOP policies of the last 8 years were ruinous to our country?


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