This is REAL vote-buying! (Courtesy of Unix-Jedi via email.)
Barack Obama Advisers Unveil Economic Stimulus Plan
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama unveiled an economic stimulus plan sunday that he said would provide tax relief for middle income families and help jump start an economy he said was showing signs of slowing.The plan, which would immediately inject $75 billion into the economy and retain $45 billion in reserve to be used over the next three months if necessary, was presented Sunday by Obama advisers Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, former Clinton Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, and economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.
Only in Washington D.C. can a person simply wish $120 billion into existence, and (with a straight face) say that they’re holding “$45 billion in reserve” because they’re not handing it out right away. It’s the vote-buying equivalent of saying that a 5% spending increase is really a 4% budget cut because the original request was for a 9% increase.
What chutzpah! And they say Obama has no experience!
The plan, they said, is one Obama would not only enact if elected, but one he is asking Congress and the president to pass now.
So that Bush can veto it. Or not. (See update below.)
Obama’s plan would provide immediate tax relief and help offset a coming economic slowdown being signaled, he believes, by the recent .3 percent jump in unemployment rates, advisers to the campaign said Sunday.
A 0.3% increase on a current unemployment rate that is about 5% – a rate that prior to the Bush administration translated as “full employment.”
Obama supporter Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia said the plan addresses both long-term growth and immediate concerns, and shows Obama understands the importance of education, technology, and a thriving small business sector.
Wait… How does giving out $75 billion in tax refunds (with another $45 billion in reserve) equal understanding “the importance of education, technology, and a thriving small business sector”? The recipients are going to study up on which big-screen TV they’re going to buy from the local Big-Box store?
The main difference between Obama’s plan and that being offered by his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is that Clinton’s plan would not be able to kick in immediately.
What, she’s not offering more bucks per vote?
Obama’s stimulus plan has four components to prevent recession:
1. Cut $250 checks for some 150 million low and middle income workers and send them out. If needed, send out an additional $250 per worker, totaling $500 for these workers
2. Likewise, send $250 to seniors earning under $50,000 as a Social Security supplement, and and prepared to send out a second $250 payment
“Need” being determined by how well Obama is doing in the primaries?
3. Establish a $10 billion fund to help “responsible” families avoid foreclosure. The money would be given to homeowners who did not lie about their incomes and were “mindful of personal responsibility.”
As determined by some harried Federal contract employee? Who is responsible for all of this? Do we get another billion-dollar bureaucracy to administer this program?
4. Provides money to state and local governments hardest hit by housing crisis to prevent them from slashing infrastructure and other important state spending.
5. Expand unemployment insurance.
What, Obama’s not going along with Edwards’ $9.50/hr minimum wage initiative?
Asked how Obama would pay for the package, Goolsbee said the point was to get the money immediately into the economy, and that while it could increase the deficit in the immediate term, macro macro economic experts agreed it would prevent a costly recession in the long-term.
Then why not send out $1,000 checks? $10,000 checks? After all, we must avoid a costly recession!
The advisers said the $45 billion reserve could be used to offset the possible effects high oil prices could have on the proposed breaks.
Pull my other leg.
UPDATE: (*sigh*) $250? Hell, let’s go for $800! And Bush (last I checked) isn’t even on the ballot!
Now I’m with Milton Friedman when it comes to tax cuts (never oppose them, ever), but tax “rebates” is another topic. Hey, if Congress wants to give me $800 of my money back, I’m fine with that, I still need to buy a scope for my long-range rifle. But apparently tax cuts aren’t immediate enough. It’s not acknowledgment that the .gov took too much of our money last year and now needs to give some of it back, it’s just a “temporary correction” they’ll tax as income next year.
But why do I think that the legislation is going to carry a name like “The Obama-Clinton-Edwards Economic Stimulus Package”?