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The AP Questions Obama’s Stimulus Plan

From a suddenly anxious Associated Press:

Analysis: Can Uncle Sam spend cash fast enough?

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jan 5

WASHINGTON – Washington bureaucrats have a reputation for being able to spend taxpayer money real fast. But, believe it or not, spending it fast enough is one of the biggest tasks President-elect Barack Obama’s economic team faces in putting together an economic recovery measure.

Obama’s economic recovery plan depends on swiftly pumping hundreds of billions of federal dollars into the economy to create jobs. The focus is on tax cuts and government spending that can provide an immediate lift to the economy.

However, the $675 billion-$775 billion plan emerging in talks between Obama’s team and Democratic allies in Congress also appears to contain lots of money that won’t be spent for years — like for water projects, rebuilding the electric grid and buying billions of dollars of computers and software for the health care sector. Much of that money won’t get spent until the economy starts growing again.

Some GOP critics say Democrats are simply using the current economic crisis to put money into long-term projects now, rather than in a few years when concerns about record budget deficits might threaten the spending.

"We must … make distinctions between what is ‘stimulus’ … and what is merely more government spending on favored projects we don’t need with money we don’t have," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

One example is a plan to spend billions of dollars on a new health care information technology system that would make the delivery of health care safer, more effective and more efficient.

During the campaign, Obama promised $50 billion over five years for the initiative. The upcoming economic recovery bill will provide less.

Even so, little of the program can get underway quickly and building the system is years away…

Obama officials promise a "use it or lose it" rule to force states and localities to spend new federal money quickly to stimulate jobs. Such an approach could prompt officials to choose more wasteful projects that can be built soon over better ideas that might take a while…

Many parts of Obama’s plan would infuse money quickly into the economy, according to budget experts. These include $200 billion for recession-hit state governments to avoid layoffs, cutbacks in services and raising their own taxes. Federal tax cuts delivered by withholding less from paychecks can take effect almost immediately. Expanded food stamp and unemployment benefits would arrive mostly in 2009.

All of those ideas are poised to get funding — lots of it. But many economists say even more must be pumped into the economy to jolt it out of its doldrums.

That means massive spending on infrastructure projects such as road and bridge repairs, flood control and sewer systems, upgrading schools and public housing, and new runways and other airport improvements. Those projects typically take years. Depending on the length of the recession, much of the spending may not occur until after the economy is expanding. That could result in inflation, economists warn.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of a $61 billion economic stimulus measure that passed the House in September — only to fail in the Senate — shows that just 27 percent of the plan’s $37 billion in infrastructure spending would have occurred as the economy struggles through 2009. Another third would have been spent in 2010 and the final third wouldn’t have been spent until 2011 and after.

And those were projects that lawmakers say are ready to go right now…

Obama and allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stress that much of the economic recovery plan will have a longer-term focus. Such elements include delivering broadband communications to underserved areas, developing and improving energy efficiency technologies, updating the nation’s electrical grid and modernizing schools.

"This is not a 1930s public works project," Pelosi says

Is it possible even the Associated Press is noticing that the Democrats are using the current economic downturn as an excuse to enact their long sought socialist agenda?

Or is the AP just worried the Democrats will be too slow in ramming this through before the great unwashed wake from their slumbers?

We are leaning towards the latter explanation.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 5th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “The AP Questions Obama’s Stimulus Plan”

  1. proreason says:

    “Obama and allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stress that much of the economic recovery plan will have a longer-term focus. Such elements include delivering broadband communications to underserved areas, developing and improving energy efficiency technologies, updating the nation’s electrical grid and modernizing schools.

    “This is not a 1930s public works project,” Pelosi says…”

    I’m confused. Isn’t the trillion dollar stimulus plan supposed to stimulate the economy. Stretch herself says it isn’t that. Sounds like it is just more massive government spending on pet Liberal boon-doggles.

    Gee, is that what the country is expecting.

    And for those who get lost with the big numbers, what 775 billion dollars means is that the government is committing you to 77% of entire year’s worth of taxes, over and above what you would have paid anyway

  2. mobile567 says:

    This article is just ridiculous!!
    Btw, if America spends this sort of cash, it’ll go down pretty quickly;
    not to mention the value of the dollar.
    P.S. Now that the price of crude is so low, Pelosi & company want to increase the excise tax!
    I hope the Senate will block such attempts.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Uncle Sam? How about Unka Obama spending like a kid in a candy store without adult supervision? Because that’s what it boils down to…..NO ADULTS.
    This may be off track but I’ve got to vent. Last year (07) the Veterans of this nation were told that there was NO MONEY to give the Veterans Administration for their care and well being. Yet…. the Bone Shakers in Washington DC found money to prop up industry, banks and other porkbelly Bastards with their hands out. Look around…..now there are new hands that want filled. All the while; the Veterans of this nation are told there is nothing for them. Who will fill the All Volenteer Ranks if this is to continue? If we as a nation can not fill the void for the people who stand watch while you sleep and throw their bodies at those dare threaten this nation……..then sadly this nation is NOMORE!
    Our Veterans should be first and foremost because to them………America is FIRST and FOREMOST. Thanks for letting me vent my spleen……..

    • proreason says:

      LD, have you checked the approval ratings for Obamy from the military?

      You are 100% correct that the people who put their lives on the line to protect us should come first………….but friend, they didn’t vote for the One. If I were you, I wouldn’t be counting on anything from a guy who has shown nothing but contempt for the military.

      Now, the losers in the hood who make their living by selling drugs and bodies and other crimes, they are high on the list for a hand from you and me. After all, they pay no taxes, so they must be “poor”.

    • 1sttofight says:

      My Young Marine was talking the other night about reupping.
      I tried my best to talk him out of it.
      I hope it worked.

  4. BillK says:

    “Delivering broadband communications to underserved areas.”

    Of course people in those areas won’t be able to afford broadband, so there will need to be government programs to subsidize it.

    (Schools will get it no matter what the cost, of course.)

  5. crosspatch says:

    Today’s economic news isn’t so bad. Construction spending was down but by only half the amount the “experts” thought it would be.

    “LD, have you checked the approval ratings for Obamy from the military?”

    Politicians don’t care about military approval ratings because by and large, military people don’t vote. I am not sure what the numbers will turn out to be for 2008 but for 2004 it was something like 5% of active duty military actually casting a ballot.

    • proreason says:

      more reason why the fool will ignore their needs. Expect an exodus from those reaching retirment age and those too far away to imagine it.

    • GuppyNblue says:

      I wonder if that 5% would be higher if all our soldiers absentee were actually counted.

    • GuppyNblue says:

      Absentee ballots that is :)

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Guppy is RIGHT ON….if our troops WERE COUNTED and not tossed to the side as the LEFT has so many times done in the past. This will come back to haunt us all, for without those who watch our backs, stand over us as we sleep and rush in the fires of hell; face forward…….we have NO……NO RIGHTS AT ALL(period). You all here know this ….how in Gods’ Blue Orb do WE get it translated for the ones who will lay us at our enemies feet?
      (Without violence) for now…..

  6. BigOil says:

    What can we expect in terms of immediate stimulus from Obama’s shovel ready make-work government infrastructure projects. Maybe we can expect an efficiently run project like the Big Dig. An initial estimate of 2.8 billion dollars ballooned to 22 billion upon completion in a mere 21 years.

    Or how about the Congressional Welcome Center? A 100 Million dollar, 3 year project, coming in at a bargain basement price of 600 million dollars over 8 years.

    Simple math indicates we can expect to add a factor of 6 to 8 times to the pricetag for this 700 billion dollar boondoggle stimulus plan. Once the government opens the spigot to our tax dollars, we can not stop the flow.

  7. proreason says:

    From the Heritage foundation:

    “The Big Lie at the Center of Big Spending Stimulus Posted January 7th, 2009 at 12.53pm in Entrepreneurship
    …Got that? All the economists that Obama is listening to so that he makes sure “that the investments are made wisely and managed well” are just making stuff up. There is simply no research that exists to provide “the expertise to help guide the process.”

    So we’re left with Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) truth: “Those aren’t stimulus. Those are ideological accomplishments in the guise of economic stimulus.“


    But if they are making stuff up to help the country, it’s ok, isn’t it?

    Barney Fife was just trying to help the country when he tanked the economy. If the intentions are good, and it does the opposite of what is intended, like during the Great Depression, we should still be happy that the geniuses at Harvard are working so hard for us.

  8. proreason says:

    The porn industry is in line for their bailout now.


    How much will the pimps and pushers get?

    Those 3 industries voted 97% for Obamy, and contributed heavily to his campaign.

    • sheehanjihad says:

      Yeah, but in the porn industry, at least you can actually see somebody getting screwed, unlike the invisible one we are taking from the new administration and their money masters.

    • JohnMG says:

      Nice, sj, I hadn’t thought of it quite like that. (My monitor screen needed cleaning anyway. Thanks.) ;-}

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