Stimulus package backwardPosted Wednesday, February 4, 2009, at 2:29 PM
Does it seem as strange to you, as it does to us, that the "closer" we get to economic stimulus packages that affect the common man, the tougher Congress gets in deciding whether or not to approve any money?
Congress rolled over and gave $850 billion to shore up the nation's financial institutions without blinking an eye -- or setting anything resembling adequate conditions on how that money could be used. They just handed it out, no questions asked, to some of the wealthiest people in the country.
And in a display of unbelievable arrogance, the companies that got that money promptly handed out $18 billion in taxpayer's money, as bonuses to the very people who ran those banks and businesses into the ground, triggering the financial crisis. That's $115 every taxpayer in the country paid for those bonuses. Which is why we support a bill currently in Congress, even if it's a little late, to cap the salaries, benefits and perks of any corporate leader who took the bailout money at $400,000.
Then, when the auto industry in America looked like it was going to fail, something that would affect up to 400,000 jobs in this country, directly or indirectly, Congress suddenly decided to slow down its largess, getting pickier and pickier about saving those jobs by putting up a comparatively paltry $25 billion.
Now, Congress is stalling, hemming and hawing, and playing the tired old politics game with an economic stimulus package that is directly aimed at the common man, the blue-collar worker and the Main Street small business. And in a shameful act, some Republicans, but a lot more Democrats in Congress, decided this would be a good bill to tack on billions in pork-barrel projects (will they never learn?).
So while middle America is desperate for some economic relief, Congress is playing politics as usual and stalling getting help to the average American (who doesn't contribute millions to their campaigns).
This entire approach to fixing the economy has been backward from the beginning. It should have begun with rebates and tax relief -- no questions asked -- to the average American first, then job creation programs to fix the country's crumbling infrastructure, and then, in the end, some highly controlled disbursements to the greedy, wealthy goons who run the nation's banks and financial institutions (some of which should have been allowed to fail).
We propped up the wrong end of the economy first, and now we're arguing about helping the people who actually need it most -- you.
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