Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Okay, that's not an actual word but you gotta admit, it's a catchy enough title to make you actually read this, right? One of my readers responded to my last post by saying that, although she applauded President Obama's action of international goodwill by closing Gitmo and places like it around the world, what concerned her most right now was the economic situation in this country. The Stimulus Bill... Let's talk about it.

From what I hear, this bill has ballooned to a whopping $850 billion dollars. This was done after negotiations with his Democratic allies in Congress, who I understand wanted more provisions and re-wrote some of his tax proposals. This is what has driven the price of this stimulus bill even higher than it was when first proposed... something I can already see that might not go over so well with the Republicans and some moderates in the President's own party.

The Democrats are trying to use the economic recovery bill to extend a tax cut for middle to upper income taxpayers. A lot of members of President Obama's transition team don't feel as though that will boost the economy and after all, isn't that the order of business for the day?

Both Democrats and Republicans feel very strongly about using the stimulus package to fix the alternative minimum tax which would prevent more than 20 million additional tax filers from having to pay it. For one year alone, that would take about $70 billion out of the $300 billion President Obama has set aside for tax cuts alone in his $850 billion stimulus plan.

If we look past the tax cuts, there is the $3,000.00 job creation tax credit, which a lot of Democrats and Republicans say is "unworkable" and will probably be knocked down or at least cut off and saved for another day. Both parties are in surprising agreement that Obama's pro-business provision (which would allow companies who have posted losses last year to get refunds for taxes paid as far back as five years ago) is also "unworkable". You'd think that Republicans (anyway) would love this since they are supposed to be so pro-business. It seems like that bi-partisanism has worked in uniting, at least for now, some people in both parties against him.

Well, it seems as though the honeymoon is over. President Obama has the unfortunate position of not only having to fight Republicans (he and we expected that) but, people in his own party (he and we didn't expect that). He wants to make sure that the wealthy pay some taxes and I can see that becoming a bone of contention too. He may not be beholden to any lobbyists or big business interests but the folks that he works with most certainly are and it's going to be a long time before that is changed, if ever. I know he means well but, that beast is what it is.

The Obama stimulus plan will continue to morph until it becomes acceptable to both the House and Senate and I believe he will get it passed, despite the fact that it originally started at $725 billion and has jumped to $850 billion. He has said that we can't just sit around and do nothing. We've got to do something. I'm not an economist and I won't pretend to know if his plan will help the economy or not but, what is the alternative? If someone else has a better plan, I'm sure we are all ears.


James Perkins said...

Another on point commentary...Frankly the stimulus bill confuses me..but I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Angie B. said...

I am confused by the terminology of this bill, but if it will ease my taxes and put a little extra cash in my pocket, I'm not mad at em.

Toni said...

I wish everyone would give our new President a chance..He can't possibly do any more damage than the previous one.

Simon Bastion said...

I think what the President is trying to do is stimulate business,while at the same time put
a little extra money in the consumer's pocket..thus hopefully raising their confidence and getting them to spend money and jumpstart the economy.

Tate 2 said...

I liken what Obama is doing to what you do when your car battery is dead. You give it a jump..The jump gives you enough energy to get
you to a Auto Zone...Then you buy a new battery...He wants to jumpstart the economy and hopefully
the Economy will eventually improve itself or right itself.

Halo said...

Hey Keith, Very informative post, but not being an economist..I'm still a bit confused about the tax issues.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

@Tate2- What in the hell were you
talking about?lololol.

Keith- Two days in a row ,you've dropped dat science brother.

Jazzy said...

Obama will get his Stimulus Bill passed,but it's not going to look anything like what he drafted..The compromises are already in the works.

Lisa said...

Hey Keith..keep informing and I'll keep reading.Your post helped me to understand the basics of the stimulus bill a little better.

Vanessa said...

Let's Give our new President a chance..He said that it would take time...Nobody has even given him the time to see if this plan can work.

Sunflower said...

That is alot of money to be spending Keith. I wonder if the U.S. can spend it's way out of this current situation. I'm willing to give the President The benefit of the doubt..but we are just piling up more debt.

Swaggie said...

Hey Keith, just read your post.
Interesting way to look at things.
Everything is all up in the air right now. It will probably get worse before it gets better.

Captain Jack said...

I'm with Angie B. If this eases my taxes (which are higher because I own a small business) and puts a little more cash in my pocket, I'm all for it. I'm on a wait and see basis.

Political Sean said...

Hey Keith...You touched on the surface of this whole thing...This forum is obviously not large enough to go into detail..but when you get a chance..go on Obama's website..He maps out the whole plan there and you can see for yourself. It's good that you're using your blog to explain it in plain language for the average person.

Hey Shae! said...

All I can say is at least he's focused on helping and on actually "doing something" here rather than trying to force rules & regulations on outside nations.

Maybe if we keep concentrating on how to handle some of our own problems, the public image of the USA will be restored.

As for the stimulus, I don't have an answer because the damage runs so deep. I'll be interested in how this gets resolved.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been reading up on the stimulus bill and I'm still confused.

The F$%K it List said...

I think he will get the bill passed with minimal changes. right now the upper class is fighting as if they need the tax breaks.

Did you hear about the people getting the tax break if they were involved in that Madoff mess, I mean really? People are losing their homes and millionaires are getting breaks, this country has a long way to go.

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Goodness, this stuff is so convoluted and outta hand. I'm looking forward to some solutions/decisions that will enhance my pockets...hee hee :)

Rich Fitzgerald said...

As far as the stimulus plan goes, I don't know. I don't think it will work. The reason being, there is too much greed at the door. Even the politicians want to slide some pork projects in. Once you move them aside you have to deal with the greed of major corporate stakeholders. They have already shown, at least those that got money a couple months back that they are only interested in saving themselves.

Heads of Companies are bleeding jobs in order to salvage their stock prices. Those that aren't publicly traded are making sure they have money to keep their salaries intact. They are concerned about the bottom line, not people.

I would think that if people were the real concern then companies could justify across the board cuts on salaries or just freezes for that matter. Sure it might be hard for families to make it, but it would be better than being unemployed. Unemployment benefits suck. I don't know how it works in other states, but in Missouri, the most you get is $1000 a month, regardless of what your salary used to be and then they want to tax that.

Next is banking. While top government officials are pushing for banks to give up some loan money, that really is the last thing you want to do. I'm all for cleaning up the mortgage loan fiasco, but most people don't need any additional debt. That's how we got into this mess.

The real deal is that you really can't put genuine help into the economy without screwing someone else over.

The stimulus plan in and of itself is tanking our countries currency, which spells disaster for us down the road if we don't face some hard choices.

That's my two cent for now, maybe I will do a series of posts on the subject.

Probably not. -- LOL

Keith said...

@Rich-You should do a series of posts..You just shed more light on the subject than I did.


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