President Obama has signed the stimulus package. “Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles,” Obama said before signing the bill at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. “But it does mark the beginning of the end — the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs; to provide relief for families worried they won’t be able to pay next month’s bills; and to set our economy on a firmer foundation.” [CNN]

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  1. downwithmonstercable says:

    Wall Street doesn’t think so. Down 288 as I’m writing this. Ouch.

    • 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Uhhh…buy on the rumor sell on the news?

    • johnva says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Those two events aren’t necessarilly connected. Likely, much of the immediate effect of the stimulus passing was already priced into the market, since it had been obvious for some time that it would pass.

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @johnva: I’ve been reading that a lot of investors are pulling out because they don’t believe the package is going to help… I dunno. I wonder if letting the invisible hand work things out is the best, or if we should keep doing stuff like this.

        • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

          @downwithmonstercable: You said the keyword, “I dunno”. Neither do they.

          • downwithmonstercable says:

            @Fresh-Fest-1986: Yeah, I’ve decided big league investors are idiots. The DOW fluctuates 200 points either way every day it seems. They don’t know WTF is going on. Meanwhile, all my savings/retirement/etc is in either a 5% return savings account, or a stable investment fund that is the lowest possible risk, earning 5-6%. Yay for consistency and safety.

      • Tedicles says:

        @johnva:
        How could they have ‘already priced into the market’ when no one has even read the damn thing yet?!?!? Not even the people voting on it read it, how can they price it in if don’t know what to price?!?!

    • cf27 says:

      @downwithmonstercable: World markets went down yesterday when the US markets were closed. Most of what you saw today was just the US market catching up.

    • Ssscorpion says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Who do you supposed knows more about economics: the Community-Organizer-in-Chief of all of Wall Street combined? We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

      • Mesothelioma says:

        @Trai_Dep: No, that would be a common mistake, as t-r0y pointed out. Letting things go their course could be the fix that no one wants to do but works the best. Basically, a capitalist economy will fix itself over time by ridding the deadwood and the strong will survive. Or as Adam Smith would say, it would be like an invisible hand taking care of it. This would mean that the government would have to step back and let things run their course and that just won’t happen. Keynesian economics may work but I’m thinking it won’t. If anything, with the debt that we have right now, it will do nothing but cause super inflation. But that’s my opinion and it will differ from many.

        • papahoth says:

          @Mesothelioma: Adam Smith, and I am sure you have not read “The Wealth of Nations,” also was well aware of failures that occur in markets and the need for adequate regulation and government intervention.

          • Mesothelioma says:

            @papahoth: And I’m sure you can think that all you want but reading it was part of the few economic classes that I’ve taken. A quote that I wrote on my notebook was:

            “…though the profusion of government must, undoubtedly, have retarded the natural progress of England towards wealth and improvement, it has not be able to stop it.”

            You are correct that you have to have “some” government involvement. Not to the extent that we are seeing right now. Once government reaches high and above industry and consumer, capitalism is changed. I tell you what, you go read Das Kapital, Keynes’ “The General Theory…”, and go ahead and through in some Communist Manifesto. All are must-reads for anyone who begins to study economics.

  2. SexCpotatoes says:

    When does that $250 social security payment come through, both my mom and my dad really could use it and I haven’t seen any information on a target date for the payment. Thanks!

    • usa_gatekeeper says:

      @SexCpotatoes: From the gov’t SS site:
      [www.ssa.gov]

      “President Obama recently signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This act provides for the one-time payment of $250 to individuals who get Supplemental Security Income or Social Security benefits.”

      “We will issue the $250 payment in May 2009. No action is required on your part.”

      “We are currently working on the details regarding how we will issue over 60 million one-time payments to our beneficiaries.”
      ——————————–

  3. bohemian says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens as this all rolls out. I really do hope it works.

    • Plates says:

      @bohemian: But it won’t. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @Plates: Please explain where in history this happened before and was proven not to work.

        • sebadoh128 says:

          @Corporate_guy:

          It is very hard to prove a negative, can you prove the positive?

          How about, when it did work?

          If you want to talk about FDR and the New Deal, please remember he had a full blown war time economy to help out his policies. So, unless Obama’s secret weapon is World War III, I am skeptical.

          Doesn’t mean I want him to fail, or I don’t want this to work. It just means I am skeptical.

          • humphrmi says:

            @sebadoh128: In some cases, we know what *not* to do. For instance (and not related to the stimulus package) implementing a policy now of protecting US products against competition from overseas imports would prove to be suicide, just like it doomed us to depression in the ’40’s.

            In fact, the Fed is trying to NOT repeat mistakes they made during the great depression. Back then, they tightened the money supply, which drove us further into recession / depression. Now they are clearly being very loose with the money supply, much to the chagrin of many budget conservatives.

            It’s not all happy happy joy joy now, but it’s also not entirely the doom and gloom people think it is.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @sebadoh128: Just a minor tweak: military spending is much less efficient at pump-priming than infrastructure investment, but it’s still pump-priming. It’s all stimulative, it’s just more wasteful than other forms of it. :)

            • t-r0y says:

              @Trai_Dep: Then with all the spending (preemptive stimulus?) that Bush did, we shouldn’t even be in this mess. No government spending is stimulative, period!

          • Corporate_guy says:

            @sebadoh128: I was responding to Plates assertion that similar tactics have failed in the past. Knowing that there is no example that shows this will fail, I was rather interested in what he was considering as proof that it will fail. He specifically said there were lessons in history. I just wanted to know what those were. If he can’t as you say “prove the negative” then he was lying when he said “lessons in history”.

          • Skunky says:

            @sebadoh128: Well Obama DID say it was “the beginning of the end…”

          • papahoth says:

            @sebadoh128: Exactly, the amount of the stimulus needs to be of the size of government spending in World War 2. This amount is way to low.

        • acklenheights says:

          @Corporate_guy: Thomas Sowell has gone over the fallacy of government spending as an economic and unemployment salve several times. A good overview is here:

          [www.redding.com]

          Thomas Sowell has also written extensive literature with plenty of historical examples. His books and many of his references should be available at your local library. If you want I can provide more authors and references.

          If the government cut taxes AND spending, there would be more money in every worker’s next paycheck, and businesses would have more money to pursue productive interests rather than having the money go to the furnace of government spending.

          • god_forbids says:

            @acklenheights: Cue snarky Trai-Dep commment: Hardy har like we’d believe a reTHUGlican hardy har *smug grin like it said something smart*

          • papahoth says:

            @acklenheights: Yea, the Bush tax cuts did a hell of a job. Less revenue and an economy the worse since the depression.

            • acklenheights says:

              @papahoth: Well, you’re wrong about the last part, but Bush didn’t cut government spending. Furthermore, more regulation was written under his administration than in any other Republican admin. in history. Bush & co. did it completely wrong. Deregulate, cut taxes, cut spending, and cut gov’t size. Recipe for success.

        • narq says:

          @Corporate_guy: Oh this definitely happened before, in several countries throughout history. You can’t give away money to solve economic downturn. That just makes money less valuable. This happened during the great depression, we all know how that went. The solution to the great depression was regulation and a war. There is nothing in this bill that will actually help, especially in the long term. This bill ends up costing several trillions over the next decade but will only create a few hundred thousand jobs for the next two years. This package is a failure to our country. The problem is, the people this package helps are not the same people who have suffered because of the economic problems. Your typical family with 2 kids, a foreclosing home, a lost job, and a bunch of loans will not get much from the bill.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @Plates: You might want to gather your friends and hold a seance tonight, after Frontline. That way, Hubert Hoover can advise you in this regard.

  4. Vanilla5 says:

    Since we haven’t been in exactly a situation like this before (the 30s/40s are drastically different than 2009), I think the only thing we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best.

    And also – keep our political representatives on their toes. Be vocal and outspoken about what you disagree with.

    • MagnusPI says:

      @Vanilla5:

      “Buy American” = protectionism = nothing new.

      [en.wikipedia.org]

      • Vanilla5 says:

        @MagnusPI: I’m not speaking about the protectionism language – which I disagree with anyway.

        I was talking about having more of a global economy now than what existed in the 30s/40s and how that reaches far beyond our shores. What happens in the U.S. does affect the rest of the world.

        And when I say “keep political representatives on their toes”, I mean making sure that they’re looking out for your individual best interest while they’re looking out for the best interest of companies as well.

  5. mac-phisto says:

    “But it does mark the beginning of the end…”

    note to obama speechwriters: you might want to leave phrases like this out of future speeches.

    that is all.

  6. sebadoh128 says:

    Hmmm, what to spend my $13/week on…Into the
    non-interest bearing checking account with you!

    That stimulates the economy right? Right?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @sebadoh128: I would normally say hookers and blow, but with that number I’m going to recommend a girlie mag and a 40.

    • t-r0y says:

      @sebadoh128: Yes! It will provide capital for investment in the production of real goods.

      Of course this $13 is part of the newly printed money — therefore, it, and all the other money you have has less purchasing/capital improvement power.

    • Canino says:

      @sebadoh128: I’m using my $13/week to buy ammo for the upcoming tax revolts.

    • bohemian says:

      @sebadoh128: My whopping $13 a week will either go into the vacation fund, savings account or shopping fund. Said shopping fund then gets used to buy up extra of things we always use when they are on sale rather than buying at full price because we ran out.

      Right now I am leaning towards the vacation fund because I really need a stinking vacation.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @sebadoh128: Compare the tax cuts the GOP gave you the past 8 years with the amount of money you’ve lost thru investment funds, your IRA and your 401K. Assuming you and your family still have a job. Add the costs of the raise you’ve have gotten had the economy not been driven off a cliff. Apply PV to it, taking into account how much longer you’ll be in the work force.

      …Those tax cuts sure paid for themselves, didn’t they?

      I guess that’s why this bill didn’t go that route: we’re looking for solutions that actually work, this time.

      • Illusio26 says:

        @Trai_Dep: I’m not very concerned about my IRA/401k as I won’t be retiring for another 30 years or so. I have a job and just got a very large raise. So yes, I’d MUCH rather have a bigger tax cut than $13 and a bunch of shitty programs that won’t affect me at all.

      • t-r0y says:

        @Trai_Dep: None of that makes this spending bill right, fair or just.

      • Scott Lepsch says:

        @Trai_Dep: What do the tax cuts have to do with the current financial situation that mushroom clouded because of bad mortgages and even worse securities based on those bad mortgages?

        The economy was going quite well before the mortgage fiasco.

        • ARP says:

          @Scott Lepsch: Really? Then why did we rack up $5 Trillion in debt during the Bush years? If Obama dropped the tax rate to 1%, the economy would take off like a rocket. Too bad we’d hit $20 Trillion in debt in about two years and eventually cause us to go bankrupt.

          • Canino says:

            @ARP: If Obama dropped the tax rate to 1%, the economy would take off like a rocket.

            Congress sets tax rates.

          • Mesothelioma says:

            @ARP: Why did we rack up such a debt? Obvious. Those wars people bitched and moaned about (which I see that we are still doing and just added more troops) cost money. That money was money we didn’t have. Since nothing has changed, where do you think the money they used for this bill came from? Don’t look to China. They are having their own damn problems to worry about. Let’s just say that you won’t see that national debt number go down anytime soon since the administration is completely open to another bill already after signing this recent one. And we still have $350B sitting in wait for the banking crisis. I can hear those printers printing that money right now. Too bad that money is making the money in your accounts less valuable.

  7. t-r0y says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Socialist Overlords.

    • lpranal says:

      @t-r0y: you guys lost the election. get over it, already.

      • timx says:

        @lpranal: this is your defense?

        • lpranal says:

          @timx: no, your face is my defense.

          • timx says:

            @lpranal:
            This isn’t high school

            • lpranal says:

              @timx: Apparently so. Once people reach high school, they usually have at least a vague understanding of concepts like socialism before labeling whatever they disagree with as such.

              • timx says:

                @lpranal:
                Then might I suggest you try graduating before making baseless assumptions. You obviously have got your ‘disagreements’ mixed up.

              • t-r0y says:

                @lpranal: From dictionary.com

                soâ‹…cialâ‹…ism – a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

                Well, the government now has control of the banks, freddie mac, fannie mae, health care, the auto industry (soon) … am I missing any?

                • Trai_Dep says:

                  @t-r0y: Here’s the thing. You don’t get to complain that the firemen ruined your carpet after you set fire to your apartment and, in their rush to save the rest of the building from your rash, disastrous actions. At least, not without getting snark piled on.
                  Simply let the heroic guys do the best they can to fix your screw-up, and tip them on the way out. Thanks!

                • lpranal says:

                  @t-r0y: In this case, the proposition for nationalizing banks is intended to try and REPAIR our capitalist financial system, whereas socialism’s goal is trying to get RID of it. The socialist thing would be to let all the banks fail and build a new system from the ground up (who does that sound like?)

                  If you’ve ventured out from underneath that big ole rock lately, you’d also realize that the idea of nationalizing the banks is gaining support from republicans, as we’re quickly running out of other options. Not to mention that our financial system hasn’t been purely free market in a LONG time…

                  • t-r0y says:

                    @lpranal:
                    The socialist thing would be to let all the banks fail and build a new system from the ground up (who does that sound like?)

                    Why rebuild when they can just take them over?

                    …the idea of nationalizing the banks is gaining support from republicans…

                    Oh, well that makes it okay — NOT!

                    Not to mention that our financial system hasn’t been purely free market in a LONG time…

                    Exactly! Therefore the purely free market can’t be to blame! Thank you very much for pointing that out.

                • quizmasterchris says:

                  @t-r0y: Of course the ownership and control remains in private hands. We just get the bill. This is pork barrel.

                  Every industry in America is on the take from the taxpayer and has been for decades; people only start griping about “socialism” (which I would welcome!) when the little guy gets tossed a nickel.

                  • t-r0y says:

                    @quizmasterchris:

                    Of course the ownership and control remains in private hands.

                    On the contrary, the government has been issued prefered stock (ownership) and is demanding change (ownership). And don’t get me started on, “well it’s taxpayer’s money, we’re the stockholders, we should get a say in running the business” — that’s a Straw Man argument. As well meaning as socialism may sound, it’s immoral and DOES NOT WORK!

                    people only start griping about “socialism” … when the little guy gets tossed a nickel.

                    Oh, so we’re too late to gripe about socialism you say. We should have filed that objection before now?

                    people only start griping about “socialism” (which I would welcome!)

                    You are NOT entitled to my work effort!

          • Traveshamockery says:

            @lpranal: You’re about as immature as our President about this. “We won, get over it” anyone?

      • K J says:

        @lpranal: Did you miss the Newsweek “WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW” issue a few weeks ago?

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @lpranal: Gosh, statements like that really make me feel like it’s like February 17, 2001 all over again.

      • sebadoh128 says:

        @lpranal:

        Gonna have to sticky this one for 2012 or 2016.

    • OwenKlient says:

      @t-r0y: I hope that Republicans continue to stand on principle and refuse any stimulus and infrastructure money coming to their states and localities, don’t sign up for unemployment or food stamps, and return any social security checks. It’s the only responsible thing to do.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @OwenKlient: And for the love of gods will they stop taking more in Federal $$$ than they pay in? Us overpaying Blue states are getting tired of our Red brethren living high on the welfare hog.
        Self reliance. SELF R-E-L-I-A-N-C-E!

      • Illusio26 says:

        @OwenKlient: I would happily give up any future right to collect Social Security checks if I can stop paying right now.

        I think I can do much better with that money for myself then the government can.

    • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

      @t-r0y: I believe Socialist and Socialism were the conservative power words for Mid-January? If you did not recieve the fax with the new power words this week they are any negative adjective ending with “Barney Frank”. Please leave your best fax or phone number so that we can keep you informed via text.

      Thank You.

  8. lalaland13 says:

    I really hope it does something to help. We can’t keep sliding like this much longer.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Can I get my stimulus monies in rare, full color, Obama coins?

  10. Plates says:

    With an oink-oink here and an oink-oink there.
    Here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink-oink!

    • Tzepish says:

      @Plates: Why is it that giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans is “investing in the economy”, but giving tax breaks to the lower income Americans who are struggling is “pork”?

      • t-r0y says:

        @Tzepish: I think Plates was referring to the 64% that is pure pork. But that aside, the other 36% is not a tax-cut, it’s welfare.

        • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

          @t-r0y: How in your wisdom could we better the economy right now? Is there anything we could spend money on that’s not pork?

          Sometimes I feel like you guys aren’t even trying anymore.

          • t-r0y says:

            @Fresh-Fest-1986:

            Is there anything we could spend money on that’s not pork?

            NO! We need to save and produce, not spend!

            We’re like a heroine junkie, high on debt/spending, we need to stop! Yes, it will be painful, but there is NO quick fix (just like kicking a heroine addiction).

          • Scott Lepsch says:

            @Fresh-Fest-1986: Only $29 Billion will be spent in 2009 – how is that a stimulus? The vast majority of the projects are pork by the standard definition. Targeted projects in Democrat areas to reward them for supporting Obama / Deomcratic Congress. I give you the $8 Billion dollar maglev project in Nevada for Harry Reid as the most talked about example to start. Did you know that there was already a privately-funded version being built? And that environmental studies may push off this version by up to 5 years? How is that stimulative and not pork?

            What example could you spend the money on that would be stimulative: a two-month tax holiday (estimated cost: $350B) that would give everyone 15-30% more income on their checks to stimulate the economy. Hate the rich? Then restrict it to those making “obscene CEO pay” ($500k+)

      • bohemian says:

        @Tzepish: It only is in the world of a total douchebag.

      • Jason Foster says:

        @youbastid: @rockstarjoe: don’t like what someone has to say, don’t respond – IGNORE. he has a right to say what he wants, damn your sensitivities.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Plates: Why did you not oink over massive war spending?

  11. 1stMarDiv says:

    I’m no Obama hater, but I have absolutely no faith in this bill whatsoever. It’s filled with the usual pork spending on items like NASA space research while the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is once again shafted. I mean honestly, who gives a fuck about the moon? I could see us spending this kind of money on exploration when, say, the economy wasn’t tanking and people were losing their jobs left and right, but given the times I find it absolutely absurd.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @1stMarDiv: Who gives a fuck about the moon? Well, maybe I can change your mind.

    • HoooooooT says:

      @1stMarDiv: I have no faith in the bill either.

      However, NASA space research means jobs. Jobs like mine.

      • 1stMarDiv says:

        @hooooooot:

        I see where you’re coming from…I guess this is just me being frustrated as a veteran. It’s no secret that every year when Congress is looking to make cuts one of the first places they look at is the VA. Hell, I was even told my disability rating would have been higher had it not been for the current economic climate. I was just discharged during a really crappy time, and now I only get 10% for an incredibly jacked up arm and shrapnel scars…awesome. To add on to this, some of the VA medical centers I’ve been to are in horrible condition, due to the same people in Congress who vow to “support the troops.” I’m guessing their support consists of a yellow ribbon on their Escalades.

        • bohemian says:

          @1stMarDiv: Get in touch with someone at the DAV. Some of their reps are extremely adept and getting things done for veterans, like fixing your disability rating. If your local VA hospitals are falling apart shame the hell out of your Congresspeople. While your at it do the same to your state government because some of that VA money comes through the state.

          • 1stMarDiv says:

            @bohemian:

            Thanks for the advice. I started the process a few months ago with the DAV but it takes a long time, on average 2 years. The gentleman I spoke with told me the reason why it takes so long and is such a laborious process is because, in reality, the VA doesn’t want you to appeal their final decision because then they have to pay more. So they draw it out as long as possible in the hopes that the veteran will simply give up.

            I’m not looking for a handout, but I know when I’ve been taken advantage of.

            • mac-phisto says:

              @1stMarDiv: you might consider getting in touch with a few politicians – congresspeople are incredibly helpful with this stuff. i have two friends that dealt with probably the same run-around as you – they took their case to their representative & suddenly things worked out. never underestimate the power of your representative (& consider going public – people need to know about this stuff).

              @FightOnTrojans: ok, he’s obviously wrong about that, but he has a point. the FIRST part of the defense budget should be paying for/taking care of our troops & veterans. defense contracts should be the whipped cream. i understand that we need to stay on the cutting edge, but why do we have to do it at the expense of those who fight proudly in our name?

              if it means buying a bushmaster instead of a tomahawk so our fighting men & women can have the care they deserve, so be it. they deserve our love, respect & help, not a mountain of paperwork & a building full of pencil-pushing bureaucrats giving them the runaround.

              • FightOnTrojans says:

                @mac-phisto: Yes, I agree with you that those brave soldiers that have sacrificed for this country should be well taken care of. I, however, don’t think that the separate military institutions themselves should be responsible for this. The military should specialize in being the military. Veterans Affairs should specialize in dealing with the affairs and well-being of our veterans. Two separate missions.

                Now, should FUNDING be derived directly from the budgets of the military is a valid point to consider. Mandate that a certain percentage of each military branch go towards the VA. In other words, I’d have no problem codifying it so that the amount of money the VA gets can’t be tampered with. Increase defense spending and you increase the VA budget.

        • HoooooooT says:

          @1stMarDiv: Oh I know what you mean about vet affairs. The love of my life got blown up in Iraq and shattered his knee…now it won’t bend at all. He won’t have the VA hospital look at it cause he says they have no idea what they’re doing. All I hear about is how broken the system is.

      • Ubik2501 says:

        @hooooooot: I think the problem is that so much of this bill is dedicated to pet projects and cruft that will only incidentally create jobs, rather than to programs that directly create and stimulate them. For instance, education spending is proven to have huge direct benefits to the job market, yet they cut a huge chunk of that out of the bill for… what exactly?

        It’s a failure of all parts of our government that the bill passed in the form that it did. I may have voted for Obama but this whole thing is a huge blow to my expectations of him.

    • techstar25 says:

      @1stMarDiv: The space industry is to Florida what the auto industry is to Michigan. That is, lots and lots of high tech, high paying jobs, with more jobs relying on those jobs, and then even more jobs relying on those jobs.
      There are a lot of people down here who care about “the moon”.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @1stMarDiv: Veterans affairs? That is ridiculous waste. If you want veterans affairs funded, ask the military to pay for it out of it’s massive budget.

      Science has resulted in the creation of everything around you and most of the jobs we currently have in this country today.

      Even if the bill doesn’t work, we will still benefit from any science funding in the bill.

      • 1stMarDiv says:

        @Corporate_guy:

        Veterans Affairs a waste? Wow, something tells me you’ve never served and have no concept of the sacrifices made for our country. I have a friend with a missing arm and leg with burns over 90% of his body who I would love you to meet. I’m sure he’d appreciate your comments.

        I have no problem with science funding, and I realize the space industry is important to Florida. I just wish they didn’t constantly target the VA EVERY time there’s a need for budget cuts. I know not everyone can win in this, I just wish they would get some slack every now and then.

      • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

        @Corporate_guy: That was pretty dick to say.

        @1stMarDiv: I’m not an Obama cheerleader but he did say that he would try his hardest to break partison walls in DC. He reached out to the conservatives and they asked for more and more and more until the bill was filled with tax cuts. He admitted his mistake in not putting any tax cuts in the first copy then bargaining up for a smaller percentage.

    • Illusio26 says:

      @1stMarDiv: THE MOON RULES, #1

    • DTVTransitioned_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @1stMarDiv: Wow, I just heard something on NPR about how much of a godssent Obama was to them b/c his people listened to what they had to say, and would do better than Bush. So I guess they just listened, and didn’t? That is sad.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @1stMarDiv:

      That’s no moon…

      But seriously, why can’t the military pay for Veterans Affairs out of their budget? Why would it have to come out of NASA’s wholly unrelated budget, or the school system budget, or the roadway budget, or whatever other budget? The military takes the biggest slice of the pie and then demands whipped cream on top for Veterans?

      Plus I’d imagine that if the military was tasked with taking care of the veterans we’d be in a lot fewer wars.

  12. dorianh49 says:

    So, what’s the final word on the housing tax credit?

  13. cmdrsass says:

    Can anyone name two respected economists who think this bill will improve the economy in any meaningful way?

  14. rockstarjoe says:

    You can track the progress of the money as it is spent here: [www.recovery.gov]

  15. timx says:

    Ironic how some 200 years ago, Lincoln did away with slavery only to have Obama sign it back into law under new management.

    • sebadoh128 says:

      @timx:

      Explain. Because that is quite the loaded statement.

      • timx says:

        @sebadoh128:
        Easy. This generation and a few more to come have been enslaved to shoulder this debt, all without any new spending which is inevitable. At what point is it enough? Where is the stopgap?

        • ARP says:

          @timx: I appreciate your concern with debt. What bothers me is that nobody seemed to mind that debt when R’s were in power. We went from 5T in debt to 8T in debt when R’s had complete control and 8T to 10T in debt when they held a small (not veto-proof) majority. Where was your outrage then.

          • Scott Lepsch says:

            @ARP: That is such a cop-out answer. “Bush spent money so we get to, too!”

            Most conservatives who are outraged at the stimulus bill were also outraged at Bush’s big spending (NCLB, farm bill, steel bill, etc.)

            Unfortunately for the R’s, you are almost required to follow your President when he’s in your party. Kind of how almost every Democrat ended up supporting the Stimulus bill, even though some didn’t want it. Elections have consequences.

            • dragonprism says:

              @Scott Lepsch: To be precise, only 7 democrats voted against it.

              From the moment the bill was released to the time it was voted on, you would have had to read some 2.5pages a minute to get through the monstrous amount of 1000 pages. I doubt half the people who voted even read the god damn thing.

              And now, because of the sneakiness of this bill, there are certain things in it that we’re now just finding out about–because it takes a while to get through that monster and sift through the political mumbo-jumbo for any sort of level of comprehension.

          • Aaron Meck says:

            @ARP: Are you crazy? Bush and Congress had an approval rating in the teens and you think that nobody had a problem with the swelling debt? I live in the South, and let me tell you – most conservatives here were more than happy to see Bush go.

            • t-r0y says:

              @Aaron Meck: A little fact checking please….

              According to cbsnews.com (Gallup) ([www.cbsnews.com]), Bush’s lowest approval rating was 20%. This was “… the lowest of any president since Gallup began asking the question in 1938″.

              It is true (Again, according to Gallup ([www.gallup.com]), that the 110th Congress had an approval rating of 14% in July of 2008. But remember, this was a democratic controlled congress [en.wikipedia.org]

              I live in the South, and let me tell you – most conservatives here were more than happy to see Bush go.

              Like they say: “Be careful what you wish for”.

        • howie_in_az says:

          @timx: The government is breaking up families while beating, starving, and selling people? People must work for no money or they’re killed?

      • t-r0y says:

        @sebadoh128: He rightly points out that we are becoming enslaved by our own government.

  16. Eldritch says:

    I dunno guys, what ELSE can we do to fix this shit? If you have any better ideas, I’d love to hear them. Nothing is working, we have to try something

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @Eldritch: Do nothing. Let it fix yourself. Things like this don’t get “fixed” over night. This bill will do nothing put falsely prop up hopes and prolong this problem.

    • White Speed Receiver says:

      @Eldritch: Spend money, but make sure it’s within your means, don’t be a worthless piece in the machine that is your place of employment, and for the love of God or whatever you believe in, just don’t panic. This will work itself out in time. It’s just a question of how much more painful it will get.

      • ARP says:

        @White Speed Receiver: That’s the problem, we’re not spending. People who have jobs are holding on to money, reducing consumer spending, causing more people to loose their jobs, which scares people into spending less, etc. The problem is that tax cuts won’t do much because people still won’t spend. So the government had give money to government agencies to spend.

        • SacraBos says:

          @ARP: But that only works well if the government is buying things that most people would buy ordinarily, but aren’t buying currently. Otherwise, the government looks like it’s spending money on “infrastructure”, or basically, building government, building bureaucratic headcounts, etc that only make government larger.

          The question should be does this package really do anything to increase GDP, which is where taxpaying jobs come from. And doing it today, not in 2010 like some of the bill provisions kick in.

          Building a road that isn’t needed doesn’t increase GDP, and the taxes from the construction workers is totally offset the fact the government is paying their wage (and getting some fraction back).

          • ARP says:

            @SacraBos: Not necessarily. Many jobs will be in the private sector as governments contract with construction companies for those bridges, buildings, etc.

            I also find GDP to be a very poor single measure of economic health/ performance. I think we should take a broader view of economic health: employment, GDP, wages, deficit, consumer confidence, etc. Remember, most of you said that the economy was fine as late as October of last year because officially, the GDP said we were not in a recession.

          • papahoth says:

            @SacraBos: And spending their money at stores, restaurants and with that attitude, guess we should not have built the interstate system? After all, the efficiency of the new highways has done nothing for the GDP, right? Just government pork. There was once a time when Republicans were like Eisenhower, but now they are just a dying party.

    • t-r0y says:

      @Eldritch: Work and save. Simple, but not without pain.

    • quizmasterchris says:

      @Eldritch: Withdraw from most of our global bases and pull out of both wars.

      Raise the minimum wage and rescind the Taft-Hartley Act.

      Pay down debt.

      Start manufacturing exports here.

      Cancel student debt.

      Let some banks fail and nationalize some worth saving.

      Return the tax structure to what we had under Eisenhower.

      Massive investment in education. Single payer healthcare.

      Renegotiate the WTO and NAFTA to the worker’s advantage.

      Have federal and state attorneys general enforce white collar laws.

      Done, done and done.

  17. DTVTransitioned_GitEmSteveDave says:

    I must remember to light a novena tonight. B/c that will help support the economy and help us all by giving business to the candle makers, the match makers, the lighter makers, the butane producers, and anyone who sells Carbon Credits, Right?!?!

  18. Davan says:

    Whn h sys “r trbls” ds h mn vryn r jst frcn mrcns…

    • emona says:

      @Davan: He’s half white, remember. So at the VERY least he means Caucasians and African Americans. Rest easy!

    • everfade says:

      @Davan: You’re classy.

      • Davan says:

        @everfade: Oh come on. In any other context this would be a perfectly valid assumption of meaning. Why is pointing it out here suddenly a racist thing to do

        • jscott73 says:

          @Davan: When is that ever a perfectly valid assumption of meaning? The comment only points to the fact that you see him as black first and american second. I read “our” as to refer to americans, not just a color.

        • everfade says:

          @Davan: I didn’t say anything about it being racist. You’re the one who went there with it. I’ve had one too many xanax to care about it really. :p

        • windycity says:

          @Davan: I read your original post as a joke. Maybe I was wrong? In any event, he’s the President. I read his meaning of “our” the same way I read former Pres Clinton’s meaning of “our” – referring to the American people, not a race.

          I think it’s strange that you read “our” as race based.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Davan: I’m pretty sure all the African-Americans are too busy buying overpriced homes they can’t afford from pitiable bankers powerless to run a credit check because of nefarious shenanigans by Maxine Waters and Barney Frank.
      Jeez, keep UP, will you?!

    • Eldritch says:

      @Davan:

      Man, I hope they de-vowel you.

    • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

      @Davan: Are we going to have to put up with these stupid race jokes these entire 4 years?

      Also putting up your hands and saying something like, “In other times it would mean black people” makes you not just a pussy, but also an idiot.

      • Jason Foster says:

        @Fresh-Fest-1986: yes, ‘we’ are going to have to put up with these stupid race jokes for 4 whole years, no chance he gets 8.

        get over yourself.

      • god_forbids says:

        Wrong. Hussein Obama is omnipotent. Except instead of crying under the crushing yoke of Bush’s Big Brother, we now think of him warmly, as our kindly mulatto savior. Doesn’t it just give you the warm fuzzies?

  19. jojo319 says:

    What would the downside to a tax holiday be? I mean, I’d rather have a few months with a 30% increase in my paycheck. Now THAT’S money I’d spend. Imagine what NO taxes for only three months could do. But then again, that wouldn’t be “fair”.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @jojo319: The bank bailout could’ve been a taxpayer bailout: simply send every taxpayer $50,000. Not only would that stimulate the economy (who wouldn’t spend at least $10,000?) but it would have shored up the banks as well (stick the remaining $40,000 in savings).

    • Tzepish says:

      @jojo319: The downside is it’d be massive government spending for little gain. For the poorest of us, it’ll help them out, but it won’t help our enconomy much. For the middle class, there’s no guarantee they’d spend the money (I certainly wouldn’t). For the richest of us, it’d change almost nothing, and that’d be the most expensive part of the plan.

  20. SacraBos says:

    I like how the “stimulus” package gives a big break to first time home buyers. Like, isn’t that one of the demographics that bought homes they couldn’t afford under terms they shouldn’t have taken, at prices higher than they are now worth that started us into the problem we have how?

    So, we’re going to legislate everyone to do it again?

  21. Chris Quilley says:

    the market is going negative because this is bad news. The bail out bill is almost completely garbage. There is a ton of soft spending (i.e subsidizing jobs that wouldn’t stay in America anyway due to them not being profitable to do in America) in there and what Keynesian theory calls for is hard spending (roads, bridges, nationwide gigabit ethernet, etc.). The theory is that in times of trouble we can invest in efficiency enhancing projects so that we take the bite out of the downturn and when the upturn comes again we will be more efficient and reap greater rewards. So, that’s why this bill won’t work according to the theories being cited to support its passage. Here’s why even properly executed Keynesian economics won’t work: The counter to the deficit spending in times of hardship is collecting a surplus in times of plenty to pay for the deficit, which hasn’t happened. America has spent it’s ass off over the past 6 years of good times and because of this it has WAY too much debt. What will make the economy better is people and the government de-leveraging over the next five years. Only when our debt levels come down to something manageable will we be able to afford to spend again, which will lead to economic recovery. This deficit spending is just exacerbating the problem.

  22. IamNotToddDavis says:

    Did anyone else read the recovery.gov site and see the bubble graph?

    $8 billion for OTHER?????

    OTHER????? $8 billion??????

    The problem with this bill beyond the fact that- none of the politicians who voted for it have read it, it won’t stimulate small businesses to grow and create new jobs, it wastes money on programs that will have no immediate effect on the economy, and as was pointed out earlier the majority of the spending won’t even kick in until several year later- is that this will set a new baseline for Congressional budgeting.

    All these liberal programs that the Democrats stuffed in to this, does anyone believe that the Dems will just defund these programs once the recession ends?

    Seriously?

    We are so screwed.

    • t-r0y says:

      @IamNotToddDavis: Agreed. Did you see the foot note for ‘Tax Relief’?

      * Tax Relief – includes $15 B for Infrastructure and Science, $61 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $25 B for Education and Training and $22 B for Energy, so total funds are $126 B for Infrastructure and Science, $142 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $78 B for Education and Training, and $65 B for Energy.

      So that means the tax relief number is really $123B.

      • quizmasterchris says:

        @t-r0y: During the Korean War Eisenhower had a 91% tax rate on the upper end of the spectrum to pay for the war. That was a conservative.

        I’m not sure what to call you Reaganbabies. You’re kinda just corporate toadies…

        • t-r0y says:

          @quizmasterchris: Reaganbabies? First you bring up Eisenhower’s taxes (grossly immoral but at 91%, but in line with what he was handed), then bash Reagen who cut taxes and grew the economy — please don’t link the two.

          And you’ve assumed I’m some Republican fanboy, and believe all Republicans and all Republican actions are good. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

          Should I label you a Liberal? An Obama fanboy? How about a communist? Avoid the name calling and you MIGHT be taken seriously.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @t-r0y: …And substantially grew the size of the government, grew the deficit more than all other Presidents combined, and illegally traded arms to terrorist/kidnappers for hostages. Let’s say that again: traded high-end, restricted munitions to the same thugs who kidnapped a hundred Americans for almost two years. What. A. Hero.
            And whose budgets were based on figures that their OMB chair later admitted, were made up from whole cloth.
            Love how you guys spend wildly more that you can pay for, then wait around like snot-nosed children for the grown-ups to come and fix your mess. Looking at where we are today, I’m beginning to see a pattern…

            • t-r0y says:

              @Trai_Dep: I sure wish you could read. Don’t waste your childish conservative vs. liberal and republican vs. democrat vitriol on me. I HAVE NOT and DO NOT defended Bush (I personally think he was more the fool, than the malfeasant).

              And since you’re quick to bash Bush and the Republicans, don’t forget that the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate of the 110th Congress.

              • Trai_Dep says:

                @t-r0y: But you guys always compare real-world events with some kind of Platonic Conservative, Free Market ideal that never did, or will exist. Worst than how the Communists did this.
                However, in the real world, we need to judge based on results that unfold on the ground and re-calibrate our ideas accordingly. Bush was your guy, times twelve. Reagan was your guy, times twenty.
                You can’t then turn around and say they betrayed Conservatism, since, in the real world, they are Conservatism.

                We Progressives are pragmatic like that. Sorry if reality-based thinking offends you so. (shrug)

                • t-r0y says:

                  @Trai_Dep:

                  We Socialists are feebleminded like that.

                  There, fixed that for ya!

                • Mesothelioma says:

                  @Trai_Dep: You judging based on real world events are events modified by government. Having government fix the problems government made? I think the true fix is have government butt out of capitalism. The more it is involved in it, the worse it gets.

                  The liberal view, that you seem to support, is throw money at the problem. Money fixes everything. Oh, we are out of money! We can just print more, right? Sure…We’ll just tax our way out later and the people who got money for the ‘awesome’ plan we did won’t have to pay since they won’t get their taxes raised. Nice.

                  “If you aren’t liberal at 18, you have no heart. If you aren’t conservative by 35, you have no intelligence.” -Unknown (supposedly Churchill)

  23. h0mi says:

    None of the people who voted for (or against it) read the entire thing. If you really want any kind of change in Washington, this practice must stop.

    • IamNotToddDavis says:

      @h0mi: 100% agreed. Every time I hear people argue back that “well hey, you can’t expect these guys to read all the stuff in the laws they vote on, nothing would get done!” I get infuriated.

      Perhaps they are passing too many damn laws if they don’t have the time to read what is in the thing. I thought they were “representatives”, as in “represent your citizens by reading and debating what they don’t have time to and voting accordingly.”

  24. Major-General says:

    Among the things one should remember, add to the list that you can’t fix what is bigger than you. Glad I’m young enough to look forward to never being able to retire.

  25. Rusted says:

    Great, printed money. Don’t even think the Chinese will be loaning us the funds. Suggest a big wheelbarrow if one pays cash for bread, kinda like 1920s Germany.

  26. evilhapposai says:

    How to fix the economy and the budget….

    1. End tax exemptions and loopholes. Charge one flat rate. Have a tax holiday.

    2. Cut pork spending. This bill is FULL of it. Washington is full of it.

    3. Take Social Security OUT of the general spending fund. Stop borrowing on SS and make it self sufficient again.

    4. After cutting the pointless funds out of the bill use the money (less money in the long run) to give each American $10,000 or at least give a larger chuck directly to the hands of the people. Will stimulate spending, encourage saving, etc. Let the American people decide who to bail out.

    5. Obama and the gov’t do not need to live like kings on the tax payers wallet. Seriously $400,000 a year plus perks/expenses? WTF?! If he is really as concerned with the economy/budget as claimed he could very easily take a MAJOR pay cut and still live VERY comfortably.

    6. Let companies fail. Like putting a solid gold bandaid on a sinking ship. They are still going to fail but will now take millions of our tax dollars with them when they go.

    • IamNotToddDavis says:

      @evilhapposai: Your views are interesting and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      Seriously, if this was the platform the next president ran on, I would campaign till dawn them.

      • god_forbids says:

        @IamNotToddDavis: Yeah, his name was John McCain, and he would never have signed the porkulus bill into law.

        McCain: “Pork barrel projects are disgusting and defraud the taxpayers.”
        Obama: “OMFGz old man, they’re only like $18 B/year get over it.”

    • Mesothelioma says:

      @evilhapposai: I could shed a tear. You put into words everything that I want with our government. If only we had someone who followed those same principles. Ron Paul was the closest to that, if I remember correctly.

  27. Fitwit says:

    Giving our children’s inheritance away and creating the new dependent class majority. Idiot.

  28. Blueskylaw says:

    Protecting the Vulnerable? $81 billion to help protect the spotted owl and polar bear?

  29. jimmy37 says:

    Obama lied through his teeth when announced there would be no more pork bills. Instead he calls it a stimulus bill. He lied about how “crucial” it is for this bill to be passed as soon as possible, and then takes a vacation for a few days before signing it. He’s going to ask for another trillion dollars within the year.

  30. hi says:

    it worked so good the first time, it’s gotta work the second time!

    It’s funny they give the poor Americans $600 and then give the rich banks trillions of dollars and the poor guys are like “Sweet now I can buy that ____!”. Idiots.