Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Look, don't give me a damn $500 tax cut. It'll stay in the bank and will provide absolutely zero economic stimulus. I think it's fair to say that most of the people I know would do the same. We're either newly unemployed or we're scared shitless that we will be tomorrow. The Republicans have it totally, absolutely, demonstrably wrong and thankfully they were unable to sway enough Dems to vote against the current package in the House. The package that passed does not go nearly far enough and still depends too much on tax breaks, but it's a damn sight better than what was being proposed by Boehner and others.

The quickest way to create jobs is to use the money to pay people to do new fucking jobs. The American Society of Civil Engineers just put out a report suggesting that we need to spend $2.2 trillion to fix existing infrastructure. Now, if I get laid off, I'll be a lot happier when my unemployment runs out to know that there's a job out there repairing bridges or something - I'm certainly capable of doing physical labor and while it might pay a heck of a lot less than what I make today, I won't starve to death. And I'm pretty confident that I'd be the boss in a few weeks anyway...

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At 8:44 AM, Blogger Lex Alexander said...

"Infrastructure" also includes wireless, and we need to do a lot more there. Our current system is a patchwork that has arisen over time. There are a lot of other countries, albeit smaller ones, with better networks because 1) they were built more recently with newer equipment and 2) the systems, being in smaller countries, could be well-planned from the start by a unified planning entity whose brief was the entire country.

It's too late for us to take that approach (not to mention the "socialist" screaming we'd be hearing if, hypothetically, we did try to start over from scratch), but there's a lot we could do to get a 21st-century network into more places in the country, including some large cities as well as rural areas. It likely would increase productivity, and it would keep you from having to tote 70-pound bags of Portland cement around a construction site.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Special K said...

I agree with what you say about tax cuts, expecially when it comes to tax cuts for people who do not pay taxes. You didn't mention that those items won't affect anything until April of 2010 if withholdings don't change. Also remember that it was our President who's ititial proposal was for the stimulus package to contain 40% tax cuts, so put him in there with the Repubs.

But be fair, there is a lot of crap spending in this bill. $366 million for STD prevention programs? $1 billion for censuses and programs? $650 million for digital-to-analog converter box program? $140 million for climate data modeling? I guess each will put some people to work, but we would get a lot more stimulus for our money if that money was running high-speed cable or patching pot-holes. Being in a hurry is not an excuse, but one we will hear the President use in the next few days.


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