Welcome to Mike’s Musings! What’s on my mind today is the “Economic Recovery Bill” currently in the US Senate. I’m a staunch, long-standing, left-leaning Democrat. In spite of that, I’m a tad worried about this bill and find myself agreeing with some of the Republican criticism.
While I feel that all of the proposed spending in the bill is necessary and important, including the two items which were removed from the first announced version of the bill to appease its critics; namely, the funding for Medicaid recipients to receive contraceptives and the work on the National Mall, I’m glad that those items were removed and I think some of the remaining proposed spending needs to be redirected. I say this not because I don’t believe that these are necessary and worthwhile expenditures, but because they are not in keeping with the stated purpose of the bill. This bill is purported to be about stimulating the economy and creating jobs. It’s a stretch to maintain that the massive amount of money, for example, that will go the National Endowment for the Arts will provide any economic stimulus.
While I am opposed to any additional tax cuts (as an economic stimulus), I do agree with the Repugnicans that the massive spending is misguided and not likely to result in the desired stimulative effect. Better, I think to redirect those questionable expenditures to “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects. If the stimulus package succeeds, there will be ample opportunity to fund these other very worthwhile programs in separate bills where they make sense. If the bill, as it is, passes and does not have the desired effect, we might be in big trouble come 2010 and there goes any opportunity to fix the rest of what’s broken.
Anyone want to talk me down?