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America narrowly avoided disaster yesterday, but three patriotic Republicans in the Senate broke with the failed ideas of the past to join Democrats in saving our country. The $787 billion American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill) made it through Congress and will be signed into law by President Obama soon.
Whew. That was a close one.
In order to avoid catastrophe, it was imperative that the stimulus bill be passed quickly. That was the message from President Obama. Congress heeded the dire, urgent tone set by the President, and voted on the 1,071 page stimulus bill the day after it emerged from committee in it's final form. Displaying a great sense of unity, and showing how seriously it's members take their oaths of office, Congress passed the stimulus bill without even reading it. There just wasn't time, not with America hanging in the balance. Congratulations to Congress on a job well done. The fine points of the stimulus bill can be discussed later, after it's been implemented. That's how you get things done on Capitol Hill.
By the way, the stimulus bill contains a provision to nationalize all American real estate. You don't own your houses anymore, Americans (not that you ever really did). The government owns your homes now. The eminent domain clause in the Constitution probably gives government that authority, plus, it's for your own good. We have an economic crisis to deal with, the worst since the Great Depression. It's worse than Hitler too.
I'm just kidding. There's no provision like that in the stimulus bill.
Or is there ? We'll find out later, after somebody reads it.
Some (non-patriots) were concerned about spending $787 billion that we don't have, adding much more to our already astronomical debt. Not to worry, we're going to borrow the money from the Arab oil states, China, Russia, and people like that. Nothing could possibly go wrong there. At worst, we'll have to change the name of our country to The United States Of America, A Division Of Saudi Arabia. As they say, what's in a name ? Beside, I hear the Saudis have a wahabbist school system that really kicks ass. Their students learn, unlike the students in our failing public schools.
But I digress. We do know some of the big picture elements in the stimulus bill. 1/3rd of the bill goes to tax cuts, and 2/3rds goes to
The tax cuts will provide $400 to single people, and $800 to couples. This should turn the economy around every bit as well as George W. Bush's stimulus package did last fall. You remember how that staved off the crisis, don't you ?
On the spending side, President Obama says the stimulus bill will create (or save) 3 million jobs. I don't know how you measure a "saved" job, but for America's sake, I sure hope 3 million new jobs are created. With over $500 billion allocated for spending in the stimulus bill, that comes out to approximately $167,000 spent for every job created, and the lion's share of those jobs will be temporary jobs. Our government is very efficient.
If I was one of those divisive types, like the failed twerps in the GOP, I might say "Hey Mr. President. If you give ME $167,000, I'll create THREE jobs, not one."
But I don't want to interfere with the heady stimulus celebration. Instead, here's Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) on MSNBC:
[The stimulus bill is] "the most vetted bill in history," and "the most transparent piece of legislation in history."
And it will be even more "vetted" and "transparent" after somebody reads it.
President Obama signaled that the best was yet to come:
"This historic step won't be the end of what we do to turn our economy around, but rather the beginning. The problems that led us into this crisis are deep and widespread, and our response must be equal to the task."
That response will consist of an estimated $1.5 trillion more in borrowed debt to implement future TARP programs. Treasury secretary Tim Geithner has been explaining how that will work, except for the actual details of the programs. He's very transparent also. Apparently, Geithner plans to buy up all the "toxic assets" from the banks and make the American taxpayers responsible for them. I'll use a car metaphor to illustrate how this will work - The banks get to keep all their shiny new Mercedes Benz automobiles, and the American taxpayers will get all the rusted out 1972 Pintos up on blocks in the front yard.
We'll call this the Ownership Society II. What a deal.