Looking inside the $787 billion stimulus package - A Breakdown

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    I'm coming to this thread not as a Liberal, shaking my Obama pom-poms (although I fully support the guy, a president who's giving his best in a very tough situation), but as a curious, inquisitive american.

    The 1.073-paged, $787 billion stimulus bill (or "economic recovery package" as it's been renamed) that cleared the House without any republican support (246 House democrats voted for it), and cleared the Senate with 60 votes - only three votes which were republican: Spector, Collins, Snowe - means that this is a DEMOCRATIC piece of legislation, for better or for worse, and the prospects of the democratic party may rise or fall with it, depending on it's successfulness at "stimulation" during the coming year.

    I am going to give a Wall Street Journal link to the entire contents of this stimulus package here, an easy-to-read breakdown:

    What's in the Stimulus Bill - A Breakdown - The Wall Street Journal Online


    Please look over this itemized list. My question is: How are $288 billion in tax cuts, and all the stuff inside this package (a billion dollars in "extra money for Census", carbon emissions research, cleanup of former nuclear sites, Homeland Security spending, border security fencing, National Park maintenance, Wildlife refuge money, loans to Indians, purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles for a "federal fleet", NASA research, etc. etc, etc) going to stimulate?

    Most of the spending in this package are on worthy projects, I have to stress that - I champion the majority of it's contents - but, again, how exactly do they "stimulate" economic growth?

    (I hope some of this site's liberal posters can weigh in and offer some illumination on how these assorted projects get us up & running again, because I'd like to have some confidence in this legislation and this democratic Congress and what exactly we dems have been fighting for the past month and a half)
     
    #1 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Mar 14, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  2. lucky8

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    Won't do much for the short term, but I suspect the idea is to spend money on businesses to spur the creation of jobs over the long run. The more grants and funding they give to business, the more money in the economy. It's a lot of money to spend and I'm sure they had to include a bunch of pointless bullshit (earmarks) that benefits certain states to encourage voting in favor of the bill. Essentially recapitalizing the consumer base just like they are doing with the banking sector, only not as quickly and it won't be paid back like the bank loans are intended to be

    It's pretty much a bill to update our infrastructure in a number of areas...the democratic version of the "trickle down" approach, except the money is being spent on more social ideas rather than tax cuts for the wealthy
     
    #2 lucky8, Mar 15, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  3. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    One of the reasons I wanted to look at this stimulus project list and discuss the contents of the list (and give a link to it's contents) is because starinvestor posted, on another thread, what seems to me an inflammatory comment with bogus factoids:

    --------------------

    Responding to Guy-jin, starinvestor writes:

    Guy, if you just take one piece of pork - the community activist programs such as ACORN get $4 billion.

    That's over 0.4%; and thats just one piece of the garbage.

    Even more interesting, the WSJ estimates that only 12% of the entire bill can be considered growth stimulus.

    The other 88% is lard.

    --------------------

    I've looked over the entire contents. I'm ambivalent about how a lot of it translates into "stimulating" a downed economy (there's a lot of good stuff: money for roads, schools, science, forests, research into carbon emissions, etc) -- but where did starman's "88% lard" come from? A good deal of the U.S. infrastructure is deteriorating and falling into disrepair, in desperate need of a federal makeover. Over a third of this money is going towards "tax cuts" of one kind or another - which is what conservatives are always screaming for. So "88% lard" just seems like an empty starinvestor liberal slam.
     
  4. Flashy

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    I started a thread on my worry about this package a while back...

    http://www.lpsg.org/120275-stimulus-package-going-absolute-disaster.html


    incidentally willtom, while i enjoy discussing things with you and appreciate your responses even if i do not always agree with them, why do you not use the quote function? It makes things much easier. :cool:
     
  5. sargon20

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  6. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    First off, the bill isn't named properly. A more appropriate title would have simply been The Spending Bill. Here's a US News article that presents a few of the more controversial areas of the bill:

    Finding the Pork in the Obama Stimulus Bill - US News and World Report

    I especially like the $252 billion in income-transfer payments. Giving money or benefits to people for no reason.

    The 12% stimulus part of the bill:

    There are $20 billion in business tax cuts
    $30 billion for fixing bridges/highways
    $40 billion for broadband, electronic grid, airports and clean water projects.

    There's the stimulus. $90 billion out of $787 billion. 12%

    Calling this a stimulus bill is like calling the entire week Tuesday. Its just a small piece.
     
  7. joyboytoy79

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    The thing I'm noticing most, as i'm reading through this list, is that nearly everything, with the exception of the tax cuts, is going to result in the creation of jobs.

    Extra money for census means more census walkers = bigger census work force. (blue collar)

    Money for carbon emissions research means scientists need to be hired to do the research. (green collar)

    Cleanup of former nuclear sites (which get's the correct pronunciation again, YAY), means scientists need to be hired to figure out how best to clean up and dispose of the mess, and specialists need to be trained and hired to actually do the grunt work. (green collar and blue collar)

    Homeland Security spending means more research at API (applied physics institute) means more scientists to do the research. It also means more money to hire more agents. (white collar and blue collar)

    Obviously someone will have to make the security fencing. It will have to be transported from the manufacturing site to the instalation site. Once at the instalation site it will need to be installed. (blue collar x3)

    National park maitnenence will include construction of new facilities in the parks, repair of those that haven't been neglected for too long, repair of crumbling infrastructure at the parks, etc. This means jobs for Architects who design the new buildings, jobs for engineers to design the new or improved roads, and jobs for construction crews to impliment the designs. (white collar and blue collar)

    Wildlife refuge money - pretty much the same as above, but also includes scientists to study the effects of polution at the refuges, and think of ways to reverse those effects. (white collar , blue collar, and green collar)

    Loans to Indians so they can build self-sustaining economies. The Indians will use the money to build schools and roads and casinos and hotels. They will, in turn repay the US governement, plus interest. (white collar and blue collar)

    Somebody has to make fuel efficient vehicles. Once they're made, someone has to deliver them to the site where they'll be used. Then, someone has to drive them. Manufacturing jobs, shipping jobs, and drivers. (blue collar) There is also the small chance that more research by scientists will be involved - but I think this could be done based on existing technology and knowledge.

    NASA research means jobs at NASA. Someone has to be hired to do the research. These will be scientists. (white collar)

    So, as you can see - every example you've pointed to means more jobs. Well paying jobs, no less. More people working means more people who are able to spend paychecks on things like food, clothes, entertainment, homes, etc. You'll notice the large percentege of blue collar jobs being created. This is smart, since blue collar workers tend to spend nearly all of their income (as a matter of necessity, unfortunately), which means all of their money goes back into the economy. White collar workers tend to save money more often, which makes financial sense, but also takes the money they are saving out of the economy for a period of time.

    So... is this helping you to understand how the stimulus package stimulates the economy?
     
  8. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    It looks like there will be a number of openings for scientists. Again, research provides a worthwhile value to society, but it is not economic stimulus. It's research.

    The small business tax cuts will give employers instant relief; which will free up dollars for business expansion, hiring...dollars for advertising, subcontracting, etc.
     
  9. joyboytoy79

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    So, you're saying scientists don't need to spend money to feed themselves, clothe themselves, keep a roof over their heads? Damn, I wish I knew that! All this time i've been spending out the ears for food and shelter!
     
  10. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    Actually, research and development is economic stimulus. Take for example, renewable resource power. If we were to develop renewable resource power that had far less cost associated to it, companies and citizens would need to pay far less for power. If we were to develop a 100% recyclable material which has the versatility of plastic, the cost of the resource required to make plastic(oil) would go down on standard supply and demand. If we were to build massive hydroponic growing facilities in cities on the coast, with desalination plants for water, drought conditions would not occur, and the usage of pesticides and herbicides is unnecessary. If we go into developing technology to be able to manipulate molecules or atoms in far greater control, we would be able to create new alloys and materials which do not occur naturally, but are extremely hard, elastic, conductive, or any other usage. If we develop greater healthcare tools which are far less expensive, the cost of healthcare goes down and hospitals are able to service far more people on the same dime. You cannot overlook the extended potential of research; while it will create few jobs, in the future, the impact of the research will save money, which reduces costs and either makes the same profit easier, or boosts profits if prices stay the same. We denied the advancement to renewable resource-independent energy, and look where we ended up; paying $5 gallon for gas in some places. Remember, non-renewable resources are cheap but inefficient, and their price rises according to supply and demand. Renewable resources are expensive, but efficient, and their price is immune to supply and demand.
     
  11. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    I don't disagree. However, these are longer-term investments rather than a catalyst to ignite economic activity and pull us out of this deep economic depression.

    The endeavors you cite should be a part of a bill; but not a stimulus bill which was created to address the current and immediate economic landscape.
     
  12. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    joyboytoy:

    If we were to throw $100 billion dollars into the air (or dump it from airplanes), it could be reasoned that whoever catches it will spend it and "stimulate" the economy.


    Also -- here's a line item I want to see (that somehow got overlooked)...

    $15 billion for willtom and starinvestor:
    giggolo and hooker money


    One could argue that after the giggolo services me and the hooker services starinvestor, these good citizens are going to go to their local Ralph's... and buy bologna and Fruit Loops and pasta and ground beef and Pop Tarts - because hookers and giggolos have to eat, too - which will stimulate the economy. They will buy El Pollo Loco and light bulbs and new clothing at the mall....

    I think counting "Census walkers" as a "stimulus" is inaccurate, because what happens when the Census counting ends? They're back on unemployment.

    Trust me, I want a new (accurate) Census. However, I feel much more comfortable when these special interest items (and pork) are added onto defense bills (the old-fashioned way), instead of loaded up all into one place. --- ok, I'm just being snarky there...
     
  13. midlifebear

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    Although this doesn't necessarily belong on this thread, because it's bailout money rather than stimulus package money -- I find the fact the government's hands are tied, contractually to allow AIG pay what, in comparison, is chump change in bonuses to be something we should address as the French did during their famous revolution. Retain these "valuable executives"? No, I'd rather get my money's worth from watching public executions on a "real life" TV show where these talentless hacks responsible for AIG's problems be hunted down and then let the viewing public decide their fate by phoning in their votes for. And for extra drama we could have the loved ones (family) of the "talented executives" plea for mercy and on the other side of the set a gallery of AIG insider whistle-blowers who were intimidated and/or fired for daring to expose any wrong-doings.

    A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses after 170 Billion Bailout
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/business/15AIG.html?_r=1&hp

    The Stimulus Package needs to be followed up with stringent accountability showing where every sous is spent. Unfortunately, the Bailout Boyze got away without any such oversight.
     
    #13 midlifebear, Mar 15, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  14. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Now you're talking my language:biggrin1:
     
  15. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    willtom: Also -- here's a line item I want to see (that somehow got overlooked)... $15 billion for willtom and starinvestor:
    giggolo and hooker money


    starinvestor: Now you're talking my language:biggrin1:

    --------------------


    It's funny how quickly all the "family values" rhetoric goes out the window when hooker and giggolo money comes into play... (where's the "moral leadership" your party is always condemning libs for not having, star? Just what I suspected... three beers, half a joint, and some hooker money, and nobody's a social conservative anymore)
     
  16. slurper_la

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    Willtom:

    I would love to do my part to stimulate you. :tongue:
     
  17. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Ahhh, but I'm not a social conservative WT.

    Also,

    beer = don't like it. I have a particular fancy for Woodford Reserve, tho.
    joint = not against it; but does nothing for me
    hookers = staunch supporter; financially and otherwise
     
  18. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    Short-term ignition means medium-term burnout. Just like burning a piece of wood; it takes less energy to start, but does not last as long. Long-term economic stability is a greater benefit than short-term up and down. If you focus on the long term in the wrong way the short term stability suffers. If you focus on the short term in the wrong way the long term stability suffers. The difference is in if you focus on the short term in the right way, it's still short term, while focusing on the long term in the right way can correct for the short term as well.

    Haste makes waste.
     
  19. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    I'm not arguing with you. There is a difference between artificial stimulus and real stimulus. Hiring some census workers is a perfect example of artificial short-term stimulus.

    Providing tax breaks for businesses creates capital for which co's can improve, grow and implement long-term business plans and expansion. This is a stimulus that is instantly beneficial to the economy at large, and results in long-term benefits as well.

    $90 billion, or 12% of the bill, addresses both short- and long-term economic stimulus. The $250 billion tax cut (transfer payments) is a very short term stimulus. The rest is, arguably, over-paying for somewhat risky long-term stimulus. If we spend $100 to create $30 of new jobs, are we really making progress?
     
  20. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    star:

    I didn't know what Woodford Reserve was so I googled it:


    Woodford Reserve is a brand of premium small batch bourbon whiskey made in the Labrot & Graham's Old Oscar Pepper Distillery, near Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky. The name was changed to The Woodford Reserve Distillery in 2003. The distillery is located in the heart of the horse farming country, off U.S. Route 60 between Interstate 64 and Versailles, offers tours, and is part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

    Woodford Reserve is the "Official Bourbon" of two of horse racing's most important events: The Kentucky Derby and the Breeder's Cup. It is a 90.4 proof bourbon. One of the notable features is the numbering system that is used on each bottle. Every bottle is individually numbered with the batch number and bottle number.

    --------------------


    Damn! Talk about elitism! Premium small batch bourbon! Didn't you conservatives skewer John Kerry for exactly this kind of elitism? Aren't you supposed to be drinking generic bourbon from supermarket bottles like all the hard-working soccor moms in your party?


    Here's an example of how Fox News shamelessly slapped Kerry with the "elitist" label over and over during the 2004 presidential campaign:



    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]FRED BARNES (on Fox's "The Beltway Boys"): This is a man who needs to stop windsurfing, stop getting a manicure and desperately needs to go bowling.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]MICHAEL BARONE (FOX News Channel political contributor): Well,
    he does -- I mean, this is a man who lives a lifestyle that's
    very dissimilar to that of the ordinary American person with
    five palatial houses.
    [/FONT]

    HUME: You've got to wonder. This gesture, John Kerry, reporting
    for duty didn't work. I don't know that this will either.

    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono][/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]ESTRICH: What John Kerry needs to do tonight, among other
    things, is make a connection with average working people. And
    probably the way to start doing that is not with a manicure. My guess is most men don't stop on their way to an important event with a manicure. But my hope is for John Kerry's sake, is that tonight people will forget
    about the manicure.
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]NEWT GINGRICH (FOX News Channel political contributor): Well,
    the first thing I would tell him to do is don't get a
    manicure. It guarantees that everybody in the country's going to look
    at his fingers early in the debate.
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Courier New, Courier, mono]BILL O'REILLY: Well, he did the tan thing, too. He did the
    spray-on tan thing, which I thought wasn't very smart. I mean,
    my line was, gee, you know, what do you think Osama bin Laden's
    going to think about this spray-on tan? Is that going to
    frighten him? I don't know if it will.
    [/FONT]


     
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