From the Associated Press to the Atlantic Wire and beyond, President Barrack Obama’s new stimulus plan is gathering the expected amount of controversy and bile. As stated in the previously mentioned Wire, the plan has two main chunks: “A $100 billion tax credit for businesses and $50 billion on infrastructure spending.”
After the previous stimulus of $780 billion, $150 billion is a refreshingly reasonable amount to spend.
While politicians squabble and Democrats beg for Republican cooperation, one has to think about the possible consequences of another stimulus.
However, this stimulus idea focuses more on long-term investments. Rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure has been on the nation’s to-do list for nearly a decade, so the sooner it gets done the better off America will be. The second, larger chunk of the plan is meant for businesses.
If the plan focuses on small businesses instead of large corporations, it might be worth the $150 billion price tag. It’s better than giving the money to the banks and the current administration has worked to be pro-small business, which forms a large part of the American economy.
Of course, another complaint is this stimulus will add more money to the national deficit. Those who pose this question have a point, but when asked “What will this deficit mean for our children?” one should ask “What will all of these ruined roads and businesses mean for our country?”
There’s no easy answer here. If the bill passes we get better roads and a boom for business, but we also get a larger deficit. Between the rock of the national deficit and the hard place of our ironically crumbling infrastructure, a choice must be made.
Unfortunately, with an election looming, that is very unlikely to happen. Even as President Obama prepares this stimulus package to win over voters in preparation for 2012, there will be those who will shout against and for the bill in the name of re-election.
Re-election or not, deciding on passing this stimulus cannot turn into another year long debate like healthcare did. Here, the upcoming election can be used as a prodding force to get Congress to make up its mind and work to pass or kill this stimulus. Honestly, I’m fine either way. Just do it quickly, cleanly and in a way that doesn’t embarrass everyone when we hear about it.
President Obama has a good idea here, at least in terms of directing the funds to where they need to be. But he’d better be prepared for what happens if it passes, because I don’t recall TARP being wildly popular, either. Pass or not, at least he’s finally trying to fix some of this country’s problems. It would be nice if Congress followed suit.