Things for Us to Consider

President Obama’s newest (September 8, 2011) stimulus plan is getting mixed reviews.  It calls for a $400 billion plus investment, which sounds cheaper than his last stimulus, but it kind of isn’t when you consider that it is all for one year, and the last stimulus was rolled out over two years.  The President wants bold action by Congress, and he wants our officials to avoid the intense partisanship that has plagued Washington.  Here are some things for the President (and all of us) to keep in mind…

We do need a dramatic change in the economy.

Partisanship can be a big headache at times.

It is hard for the President to make a case for the political parties to stop pointing fingers when he has engaged in that same behavior.  Of course, if he is too agreeable towards Republicans, it’s demoralizing to his base.  It’s a tough line to walk.

Partisan politics have been a fixture in America for 222 years.  I’m not kidding.  We have a two party system, and there is an advantage to that–more people get their voices heard.  Not every disagreement is about political maneuvering.

The last stimulus didn’t work.  It lasted two years and it didn’t turn the economy around.  Before it kicked in, proponents said it was needed to keep unemployment below 8%.  All through the first year, proponents kept saying that most of the benefits of it would be felt in the second year.  Unemployment is over 9%, and it has been for awhile.  And at some point all of this will have to be paid for.

A big part of the new stimulus  plan calls for a payroll tax cut, so it might be attractive to Republicans.  But I wonder what will happen in a year?  Will politicians feel pressured to extend the deduction to avoid being accused of raising taxes?  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see my taxes go down, but we have passed the point where we need to cut the government’s expenses if we are going to cut the government’s intake.

At least the opening game of the NFL season was good.