Doin’ a job on US again!
A story in today’s Bloomberg.com reads like this:
“Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) – The U.S. House passed President Barack Obama’s $ 787 billion economic stimulus plan designed to help repair the economy through tax cuts for businesses and families and a half-trillion dollars in federal spending.
“The chamber voted 246 to 183 for the measure with no Republicans in favor. The Senate plans to approve the package later today, which will send it to Obama for signing and give him the first major legislative victory of his administration.
“‘After all the debate, this legislation can be summed up in one word: Jobs,’ said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat. ‘The American people need action and they need action now.’ The package is designed to create or save 3.5 million jobs, Obama and the Democrats in Congress have said.
“The stimulus plan’s centerpiece is a $ 400 payroll tax cut for individuals and $ 800 for couples. Retirees, disabled veterans and others who don’t pay payroll taxes would get a $ 250 payment …
“The 1,400 page stimulus plan would provide a half-trillion dollars for jobless benefits, renewable energy projects, highway construction, food stamps, broadband, Pell college tuition grants, high-speed rail projects and scores of other programs.”
Jobs, Mrs. Pelosi? What jobs? To “save 3.5 million jobs” isn’t the same as creating jobs.
And although a $ 250 check to the poorest of the poor won’t do much more than pay for one or two food shopping trips, Congressional leaders were quick to kill a plan that would have forced financial institutions to pay back the bonuses the executives took from federal (taxpayer’s) bailout funds.
On the front burner, to be sure, were renewable energy projects, highway construction, high-speed rail projects and scores of other political payback programs — all “bridges to nowhere”. The Japanese clutched at that straw in the 90s, remember, and ended up right back where they started.
But the real rub, according to the Congressional Budget Office, is that the long, drawn out stimulus plan would pump only $ 185 billion into the economy this year. The other $ 399 billion won’t be dealt out until next year. And that’s what the pols consider to be a “jump start”?
No wonder a Citigroup spokesman said, “I don’t think consumption-led demand from the developed world will come back for a quite a number of years”, and Standard Chartered economist Stephen Green hammered home the point by stating that, “There is no bottom in sight.”
[This $ 787 billion stimulus plan will accomplish exactly what the first two accomplished. Nothing.]