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Stimulus, part deux? Try stimulus redux

July 8, 2009

Update: July 15.  John Kyl seems to be picking up my vibe.  On George Stephanopoulos, Kyl suggested we stop the spending on stimulus I, since it’s not working. In response, the White House sent out letters to Arizona’s Gov. from several Department heads, suggesting Arizona might lose its stimulus money if Kyl continues to make these comments.


So, talk has already started about the need for a 2nd stimulus. Reid says no, but one of Obama’s advisers is already calling for a second stimulus. Americans, on the whole, agree with Reid on this one. But David Axelrod won’t rule out another stimulus. Conservatives are already taking to the streets over the first pork-fest, and only around 10% of Stimulus I has been spent. And the stimulus doesn’t seem to be doing much stimulating. In fact, much of the money spent so far has gone to keep teachers employed, or provide benefits to the unemployed. Good causes, but not stimulus. Social Security managed to already spend the $13 billion (or $13,000,000,000 )they got for this year. So, just to recap, with 90% of the money unspent, and no evidence of a stimulative effect by that spending, some liberals are suggesting doing another round of stimulus.

Since I’m tired of watching the GOP leaders shoot themselves, and each other, in the foot, I’m here with a suggestion. Instead of fighting on liberal turf (do we or don’t we need a second stimulus?) let’s take the fight to them. Why not re-open debate on the first stimulus package? Or at least CALL for it? Given a few weeks, we’ll still have over 80% of the stimulus money in the bank (or, more accurately, not covered by new issuance of debt). That’s HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars.

It’s time to call on Congress to go back to the stimulus bill, strip out the pork, and provide some smart, simple, targeted tax cuts whose purpose is to kick start the economy. While we’re at it, we could take a big fat helping of lard out of the bill altogether, allaying some of the public fears about the U.S. deficits. And that would make China feel a little better about buying our debt, too.

Just as good, it keeps the focus on the WASTE of the last bill, and off of the temptation to pass another crap sandwich. The GOP can’t seem to find a good message – here’s one:”Liberal spending plan failed, as GOP predicted. Let’s try putting American business to work.” Announce a 5-year cut to capital gains, and many businesses will push ahead work they had planned for the future in order to realize the tax advantages.

What? It’s unheard of for Congress to reconsider past legislation? First, they do it all the time. The stimulus itself was full of revisions to prior legislation. 2nd, it would be no worse than giving the shaft to bondholders in favor of unions — that was unprecedented. Or having the government set salaries for bank employees. Or having the EPA regulate the stuff that comes out of my lungs, or a cow’s ass. Or agreeing to an arms control treaty without Senate approval.

If you like this idea,  share it with your Congressman. While you’re at it, you might ask them if they ever read the bill. You know, the one they didn’t read BEFORE they passed it…

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