The promise and uncertainty of the $787 billion stimulus package for the US economy


The economic stimulus package of the Obama administration has finally passed the scrutiny of the US senate. It only needs the signature of the president on Tuesday, February 17, 2008, to make it into law. Lacking bipartisan support, the Democrats in the senate and congress overwhelmingly voted for the $787 billion package touted to bring back the US economy on track. The Republicans and their conservative supporters disagree.

The astronomical dollar tag on US recovery doesn’t assure that it will succeed. Amidst a crisis of confidence, there are Americans who are alarmed. Critics of the legislation doubt whether the plan will deliver on its promises. Without much basis to back their trust, majority of Americans rest their hope on Pres. Barack Obama to fix the economy. Supporters are optimistic, in fact, overly optimistic.

“The legislation, among the costliest ever considered in Congress, provides billions of dollars to aid victims of the recession through unemployment benefits, food stamps, medical care, job retraining and more. Tens of billions are ticketed for the states to offset cuts they might otherwise have to make in aid to schools and local governments, and there is more than $48 billion for transportation projects such as road and bridge construction, mass transit and high-speed rail.”— Yahoo.News/AP (02/14/09, Espo, D)

There is a growing belief that no one buys its way from a recession. It is scary to pump in such huge money which puts taxpayers’ money on line. More borrowing and spending won’t easily bring back the trust on Wall Street which reneged on its fiduciary duty. There is doubt on those who warn of worse consequences if the public doesn’t rally behind the stimulus plan that nobody fully understands. Many don’t know why the American people are asked to spend for social services of illegal aliens, bail out banks, auto industry, and every ailing business in the country.

Obviously rushed to approve the bill, almost all congressmen (246 vs. 183) and senators (60 vs. 38) didn’t have time to read the legislation which is about a thousand pages long. It is expected the more the public comes to understand the details of the bill, the more people will disapprove. Many are dissatisfied with government officials (the spoiled and extravagant leaders,) from both the Republican and Democratic parties, who negligently brought the people into this economic mess. Those who are hurting wait for the day that the guilty must be held accountable.

There is a cautionary voice out there saying the economic downturn is unlikely to be reversed by this ambitious government rescue plan. Neither will prosperity come by giving away dole-outs to the poor, jacking-up government spending, giving perks to illegal aliens, distributing wealth, and raising the tax burden of workers and entrepreneurs. This seems to be affirmed by Pres. Obama who welcomes the bill’s passage but cautions the whole world that it’s just the start of an economic remedy whose success isn’t assured. There is a big chance that if this money splurge doesn’t work, additional funding will be asked for more massive spending.

Instead of the bloated stimulus spending with a budgeted cost of $787 billion to revitalize the US economy, conservatives have proposed a leaner spending. Unlike the democrats who dominate the Capitol Hill, Republicans assert that the recovery rests on tax cuts, smaller government, less interference with private money, and a return to traditional entrepreneurship and business ethics.

Though it’s early to tell what will be the outcome of the changes promised by Obama, there those who are silently angry and fearful. There are tell-tale signs that one can see with trepidation. Americans are used to live in gilded cocoons on productive fields that they can control. Now they are forced to face uncertainty. The big depression that they haven’t experienced with the rest of the world looms real in the horizon. (Photo Credit: Londa Elle; almostnomad; worsebrain)=0=


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