Friday, January 25, 2008

Bush seems to have made sure this is a bad stimulus package

Our feckless Democrats in Congress caved to him after only mitigating the damage. There is talk the Senate might improve the bill further, actually giving money where it is needed. Krugman has the overall picture.

The words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt come to mind: “We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.”

And the worst of it is that the Democrats, who should have been in a strong position — does this administration have any credibility left on economic policy? — appear to have caved in almost completely.

Yes, they extracted some concessions, increasing rebates for people with low income while reducing giveaways to the affluent. But basically they allowed themselves to be bullied into doing things the Bush administration’s way.

Who will do better in the general election considering the economy we will have in November? I think Edwards. There is probably a point or two bump for Edwards in the primaries with Kucinich dropping out but it would take a miracle for him to be the candidate.

Texas and Ohio may decide the nominees on March 4.

I take exception to crackpot psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer. I was ignoring his Washington Post column but the Houston Chronicle reran it and put this headline on it "John Edwards farce is an affront to authentic liberals." Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are all running against their records in the Senate. Edwards is no worse than the other two and his current positions are better then theirs. If a real liberal wants your advice, Charles, he is on the way to the looney-bin.

Added - Froomkin has links to how bad is this stimulus package compared to what was needed.
A study by [Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's,] estimates that every dollar put into the food stamp program produces a $1.73 increase in the economy as the money is spent and spent again. By contrast, every dollar put into the business tax breaks that are in the stimulus package will increase the economy by 27 cents, according to the study. The business portion of the stimulus package allows companies to write off 50 percent of the cost of equipment in the year of purchase. This will help firms that sell long-lasting equipment such as machine tools, aircraft, and agricultural and construction equipment. Technology firms could also benefit. But much of that investment would have happened anyway, according to some economists.

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