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Is the New Bill Stimulating or Pork?

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threadbear
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0 posted 01-31-2009 04:03 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Have any thoughts on the matter?

WILL it matter?

How soon will we see results?

Dig in! There's alot to talk about!
Jeff
(I'm still data grazing)
Balladeer
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1 posted 01-31-2009 10:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

(CNN)  -- President-elect Barack Obama issued a warning Sunday to officials around the country who want to fund projects with federal dollars: no more business as usual.
Decisions on projects won't be made "simply based on politics," President-elect Obama said on "Meet the Press."
In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Obama said: "What we need to do is examine: What are the projects where we're going to get the most bang for the buck? How are we going to make sure taxpayers are protected?
"You know, the days of just pork coming out of Congress as a strategy, those days are over."
"We are not going to simply write a bunch of checks and let them be spent without some very clear criteria as to how this money is going to benefit the overall economy and put people back to work. We're not going to be making decisions on projects simply based on politics and -- and lobbying."
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/07/obama.economy/index.html

President-elect Barack Obama warned Capitol Hill lawmakers yesterday that he will bar all pork-barrel projects from the massive economic-stimulus package he is asking them to pass. http://www.nypost.com/seven/01072009/news/politics/obama_bans_stimulus_package_pork_149013.htm


So is there pork in the stimulus package? Is Obama comlying with his statements about DEFINITELY eliminating pork? Let's ask the Wall Street Journal...


There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years;
$2 billion for child-care subsidies;
$50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts;
$400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects.
There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.
Congress wants to spend $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles.
Congress also wants to spend $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities. The Smithsonian is targeted to receive $150 million; we love the Smithsonian, too, but this is a job creator?

Another "stimulus" secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There's $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.

As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.

Oh, and don't forget education, which would get $66 billion more. That's more than the entire Education Department spent a mere 10 years ago and is on top of the doubling under President Bush. Some $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects. If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools."

Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?

As Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did. Republicans should let them take all of the credit.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123310466514522309.html

According to a recent CNN article, other abuses of taxpayer dollars found within the report include:  “a proposed $20 million minor league baseball museum in Durham, North Carolina; $6.1 million for corporate jet hangars at the Fayetteville, Arkansas, airport; $20 million for renovations at the Philadelphia Zoo; and a $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio.” http://blog.thehill.com/2008/12/20/a-pork-barrel-stimulus-package-rep-michele-bachmann/

Electronic Medical Data Base Patriot II?
A provision that provides for an electronic data base of citizen's medical records including mental health treatments, abortions, lawsuits and sexual details for service providers which can be accesse
d on a "need to know" basis and shared between those "needing to know." This provision cannot be "opted out" of by the citizenry, and has all the markings of a Patriot Act II (or III, I've lost count). It appears some in the medical community are behind this provision, and using of course their legislative lackey for this controversial measure which would be fought tooth and nail with little chance of passage if submitted as an independent bill in light of many Americans fury still over some of the provisions in the Patriot Act itself which unconstitutionally remain, so instead have taken no chances in pushing for it to be included within the Stimulus Package as pork.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1428340/obamas_stimulus_package_pork_pg2.html?cat=9

So what say you? Almost everything listed is worthwhile but the question is.....does ir stimulate the economy? As Obama stated, "We are not going to simply write a bunch of checks and let them be spent without some very clear criteria as to how this money is going to benefit the overall economy and put people back to work. We're not going to be making decisions on projects simply based on politics and -- and lobbying."

Do these items put people back to work or was Obama's condemnation of pork simply a campaign promise never intended to be upheld? Based on Obama's record of pork legislation for his home state and wife's hospital during his term as Senator, it would appear the latter is more likely.


threadbear
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2 posted 01-31-2009 10:36 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Those were some of the quotes I was looking for:  Obama saying he wouldn't endorse bills with pork in them anymore.

On a different tact, what parts of the stimulus bill WILL immediately stimulate the economy?

This happens to be the largest bill ever submitted in the history of world economy!  We should get it right.

Is it just coincidence that this bill is made up of social engineering proposals that the Dem's couldn't thru Congress while the Repubs had majority?  At first blush, it SURE looks like an opportunistic money grab for political payoffs.

Just throwing this out there:  
Imagine if you had a major plumbing problem, one that required a person yanking out most of their pipes and redoing their house.  Contractor says they have to do a little at a time, but need to start now or else the whole plumbing will collapse upon itself.

After a year, you ask the contractor how much has he done.  He says:  7% after 1 year, and the rest of project will take 10 or more years total.
Would you be happy with this results in an EMERGENCY REPAIR?

Or, looking at it another way:  you are doing a major project at work, your boss ask you at the end of the year how much you've done and you reply: 7%.  And you've had everybody in the office working on it, too.  I'm thinking you'd be fired...

If Obama is the Doctor, isn't he treating symptoms which have nothing to do with the illness?
Ron
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3 posted 01-31-2009 11:25 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Or, looking at it another way:  you are doing a major project at work, your boss ask you at the end of the year how much you've done and you reply: 7%.  And you've had everybody in the office working on it, too.  I'm thinking you'd be fired...

You mean like so many of the Republicans were?


threadbear
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4 posted 01-31-2009 11:36 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

you mean, fired,
or just inadequate?

You know me:  I say to fire and replace all of them, inept as they are.  The Republicans, not just Bush, were an embarassment during their last 8 years with spending.   The darn thing about it is, these were programs trying to reach bi-partisan Dem programs as well, and of course,
the Dem's green-lighted all of those.  

I think both 'parties' as such, suck right now.  They're mostly old, clueless, totally loyal to their party only (not their constituents) and that's why its up to us to expose them for the political frauds they are.

I truly expected Obama to be more of a rogue 'do the right thing' kind of guy, but he just buttered all the slices in the bread loaf for Dem's.
Sunshine
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5 posted 01-31-2009 12:08 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Oink.



Grinch
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6 posted 01-31-2009 12:30 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
So is there pork in the stimulus package?


Who cares?

I think you’re missing the point.

It doesn’t matter what the money is spent on as long as the recipients are American, the package is, and always has been, designed to put money into the economy to kick-start consumer spending.

The clue is in the name - A stimulus package.

threadbear
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7 posted 01-31-2009 12:41 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Who Cares?

Uh, is 60% of the public who don't like the bill or or unsure of it's impact
TOO SMALL of a percentage of the population for you to care about?

Since when does 'content' NOT matter??
Especially on a bill of this size?
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8 posted 01-31-2009 12:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Who cares? We do, grinch...the people that live here.

No, the stimulus package was not only designed to put money into the economy. It was also supposed to be for job creation, which was actually supposed to be it's primary mission, according to Obama. The old give a man a fish - teach a man to fish theory. Millions to study STD's don't really do that, neither does giving money to the Endowment of the Arts, or raising the allowance of governmental car pucrchases....etc etc etc. There are dozens of things in there accounting for many millions of dollars which may be good programs but have nothing to do with stimulating the economy. It's more like a shopping list of items Democrats want to buy and they see an excellent opportunity by attaching them to a "stimulus" package, much in the same way politicians attach their pay raises to bills the public needs.

Who cares? We should all care whether or not Obama is the real thing and is serious about all of the "change" he promised or if it's just politics as usual with another face in charge. Since we, the taxpayers here, are footing the bill we have a small right to know.
Grinch
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9 posted 01-31-2009 01:04 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch



quote:
Uh, is 60% of the public who don't like the bill or or unsure of it's impact
TOO SMALL of a percentage of the population for you to care about?


Uh, if the 60% don’t understand the simple economic principle behind the package why the heck should I care what they think?

quote:
Since when does 'content' NOT matter??


Since 1776 and the birth of modern economic principles.

Ron
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10 posted 01-31-2009 01:14 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
No, the stimulus package was not only designed to put money into the economy. It was also supposed to be for job creation, which was actually supposed to be it's primary mission, according to Obama.

Really, Mike? Why, then, do you suppose so much of the bill is devoted to tax cuts? Isn't it something like a third of the money? How many jobs do you really expect tax relief to directly create?

Grinch is right. It's a broad brush, but essentially you should expect anything that has to be funded in the next few years to, instead, be funded immediately. Saving money for future use, after all, is exactly what the government is trying to discourage. Get the money flowing now and hope it encourages both businesses and consumers to do the same. The jobs will follow.


Grinch
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11 posted 01-31-2009 01:18 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Since we, the taxpayers here, are footing the bill we have a small right to know.


I’d go even further than that Mike, I’d say that if you want to criticise WHAT your Government is spending your money on you have an obligation to understand WHY they’re spending it in the first place.

Once you work that out the ‘why’ you’ll realise that the ‘what’ doesn’t really matter as long as the money stays within the American economy.

threadbear
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12 posted 01-31-2009 03:30 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Just food for thought:

Have you heard of ANY Federal (not state) employees being laid off?

Since these social programs will largely grow the Government and NOT the private sector, how exactly does this 'grow jobs?'

Everybody else is on the bubble, afraid of losing their jobs, so Obama pushes for federal bureaucracy as a solution.  Why shouldn't govt' workers be laid off, as well, instead of hiring more bureaucrats?

Brilliant.
threadbear
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13 posted 01-31-2009 03:33 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

'what is in it' doesn't really matter?

Oh please.  Tell me that IF the Republicans did a broadbased stimulus package aimed at growing their agenda, you wouldn't be stomping your feet.

I seem to recall the bank bailout, which WAS critical at the time, to fall under Liberal criticism because it wasn't analyzed sufficiently.  Obama is saying the same thing:  ram this project through!  We can't wait!  Analysis is Paralysis!! Do it now!  

Someone please explain the logic in only 7% of the projects being shovel ready by 2010, and yet Obama doesn't have time for some degree of Congressional hearings on the topics inside of it.  How can it be THAT pressing, if 93% of the bill isn't even going to be injected until AFTER 2010?  That's Obama spin on the term: 'immediate.'

Oversight,.....anyone.....anyone?  Have we not learned ANYTHING from the bank bailout and the way the banks gave hunks of the bailout for bonuses for CEO's?  Summer houses, porches, cruises.  

Ron
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14 posted 01-31-2009 04:03 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Since these social programs will largely grow the Government and now the private sector, how exactly does this 'grow jobs?' (emphasis added)

Huh?

Everyone knows I don't much care for socialism. I'm the guy who would do away with Social Security and Unemployment Insurance, remember? But I fail to see how the bulk of the Stimulus Bill can be classified as social programs? Buying new cars? Rebuilding our public roads and schools? Increasing scientific research? More funding for the arts? I personally know people in every one of those fields, from auto manufacturing to bricklayers to bio-scientists to classical pianist. With an unemployment rate that just crossed into double digits, I assure the people of Michigan can use an infusion of cash into those industries.

Personally, I don't think we can buy our way out of a recession. When bills come due, someone has to pay them. I think the government can make it worse, but I have serious doubts they can make it any better. On the other hand, as long as the money is going to be spent any way, spending it now instead of two or five years down the road is the lesser of evils. Doing something, even if it's not entirely right, is better than doing nothing.

quote:
Oh please. Tell me that IF the Republicans did a broadbased stimulus package aimed at growing their agenda, you wouldn't be stomping your feet.

Ahh. So your real complaint is just more partisan politics?

Did you really expect the Democrats to grow the Republican agenda? They're going to spend the money where they feel it needs to be spent, and that's obviously going to be a reflection of their agenda. Had the Republicans held the majority, they would have done the same. They lost that opportunity, though, largely due to a very unpopular President. Que sera sera.
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15 posted 01-31-2009 04:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Let me repeat Obama's words for you, Ron..

President-elect Barack Obama issued a warning Sunday to officials around the country who want to fund projects with federal dollars: no more business as usual.
let them be spent without some very clear criteria as to how this money is going to benefit the overall economy and put people back to work

So you think none of this money is for funding projects? You think this money going to put people back to work? Oh, really? The government buying more vehicles will put people back to work? Studying STD's and global warming is going to put people back to work? Increasing food stamps and unemployment benefits will put them back to work? Funding the National Endowment of the Arts will create more jobs? Which jobs are going to follow from this money flowing? What happens when the people  getting prolonged unemployment checks reach the new end of it. Do they then automatically have a job? How about the money to reduce prostitution in Ohio? Talk about no stimulus! No job creation there...just the opposite, I'd say. How many jobs are going to be created by those new corporate jet hangars? There are certainly points in the package that WILL create jobs and be beneficial to the economy. No one is complaining about them....it's the rest of this Democratic get it while you can shopping spree that is the concern. How you can justify it is beyond me.

How about that electronic medical data base? Many of you have been very vocal about the evilness of the  patriot act and I don't hear anyone complaining here. What a surprise....

Threadbare is right. If this were a Republican bill, many trying to justify it now would be screaming their collective heads off at the pork attached to it. Unfortunately for you, Pelosi summed it up clearly with her "we won the election. We wrote the bill" piece of intelligent drivel. Can't really blame the republicans for the contents after that, which must be very disheartening to some.

Just throwing money into the economy is not enough on it's own to solve anything. The money will settle eventually and the unemployed will still be unemployed and the poor will still be poor.

Uh, if the 60% don’t understand the simple economic principle behind the package why the heck should I care what they think?

That's right, grinch. You shouldn't care. The flip side of that is why should they care what YOU think?

I’d say that if you want to criticise WHAT your Government is spending your money on you have an obligation to understand WHY they’re spending it in the first place.

That's exactly what this thread is about, grinch. Why are they spending much of what they are spending, while will not create jobs or be little more than a bandaid to stop the bleeding for a short time. maybe they just don't like Ohio prostitutes...that must be it!
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16 posted 01-31-2009 04:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Doing something, even if it's not entirely right, is better than doing nothing. Don't carry that philosophy to the poker tables, Ron. I have an idea. How about doing something that IS right?

and that's obviously going to be a reflection of their agenda. Truer words were never spoken and that's what should scare you.

Of COURSE this is a partisan issue here. The same people lambasting Bush and the Democrats for 8 years are the same people praising the stimulus package and ignoring the deliberate pork distribution in it. Coincidence? I doubt it....WE WON THE ELECTION. WE WROTE THE BILL...certainly nothing partisan in that statement, is there, Ron?  

btw, let me know how much the hiring of bio-scientists and classical pianists reduces the Michigan unemployment rate.
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17 posted 01-31-2009 04:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, if you feel that tax breaks are so beneficial for this package, why is only 1/3 of it allocated to them?

“We presented President Obama with our ideas to jump-start the economy through fast-acting tax relief, not slow-moving government spending programs,” said House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio.

The government wouldn't be able to spend at least one-fourth of a proposed $825 billion economic stimulus plan until after 2010, according to a preliminary report by the Congressional Business Office that suggests it may take longer than expected to boost the economy. The government would spend about $26 billion of the money this year and $110 billion more next year, the report said. About $103 billion would be spent in 2011, while $53 billion would be spent in 2012 and $63 billion between 2013 and 2019.

• Less than $5 billion of the $30 billion set aside for highway spending would be spent within the next two years, the CBO said.

• Only $26 billion out of $274 billion in infrastructure spending would be delivered into the economy by the Sept. 30 end of the budget year, just 7 percent.

• Just one in seven dollars of a huge $18.5 billion investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would be spent within a year and a half.

• About $907 million of a $6 billion plan to expand broadband access in rural and other underserved areas would be spent by 2011, CBO said.

• Just one-fourth of clean drinking water projects can be completed by October of next year.

• $275 billion worth of tax cuts to 95 percent of filers and a huge infusion of help for state governments is to be distributed into the economy more quickly.

[Note: The CBO's analysis applied only to 40 percent of the overall stimulus bill, and doesn't cover tax cuts or efforts; a CBO report outlining all of its costs is expected in the next week or so.]

On a side-note, itseems like Robert Reich has the answers concerning where the money should go..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opxuUj6vFa4

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (01-31-2009 06:09 PM).]

Ron
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18 posted 01-31-2009 07:55 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Doing something, even if it's not entirely right, is better than doing nothing. Don't carry that philosophy to the poker tables, Ron. I have an idea. How about doing something that IS right?

This ain't poker, Mike. But let's pretend for a minute that it is?

Imagine you're in a game with a couple of guys and there's no ante or blind. You go through five or six decks and every single hand both of these turkeys just throw in their cards any time you try to toss some money into the non-existent pot. You really going to sit there and play another five or six decks with them?

This is an example of when it's better to do something (ante up, boys!), even if it's wrong (lost that ante again?), than to sit there and do absolutely nothing. 'Cause the latter eventually means there won't be a game for anyone to play.

When push comes to shove, I don't think it's going to matter a twit how many jobs the stimulus bill creates. Not really. A job, after all, is only defined by the next paycheck. When the money stops flowing, the jobs will just go away again. What's going to really matter the most is that the government did something BIG and enough people (a key phrase, that) believed it would help. It's become a cliché since it was first said, but fear is indeed the thing we most have to fear.

You want to really help our country right now? Pretend the stimulus package will work. And spend accordingly. If enough people (there's that phrase again) pretend it will work, it will work.


The government buying more vehicles will put people back to work? Mike, ANYONE buying more vehicles will help people in Michigan.

Studying STD's and global warming is going to put people back to work? How do you want to define work, Mike? Paying someone to do something? Scientists have to eat, too.

Increasing food stamps and unemployment benefits will put them back to work? No. What it might do, however, is keep the people down at the local grocery store working. Along with a few more people in the chain of support.

Funding the National Endowment of the Arts will create more jobs? Which jobs are going to follow from this money flowing? My friend, the classical pianist, might get more work. So will the agency that helps book her gigs. And the guy who owns the building where they play. The ticket takers, the ushers, the guy behind the concession stand, the garage mechanic who fixed my friend's car so she could get to the auditorium. And, by all means, let's not forget the guy who sprayed the auditorium for bugs?

quote:
How about the money to reduce prostitution in Ohio?
Okay, I'll give you that one, Mike. But, then, I'm also the guy who thinks victimless crime is an oxymoron. We could probably pay for about half the stimulus package is we just started taxing prostitution and marijuana.


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19 posted 01-31-2009 10:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ah, Ron...where do I start? On the poker, if there is no ante or blinds, then it;s a fact that you can't win if your opponents throw away your cards...but you won't lose, either. In this case, the money is already in the pot. Are you going to call with a mediocre hand or wait for a good one?

Your examples are a little weak for me. I doubt seriously that any one person, or several people, or even the government will put people back to work in Michigan by buying a car. They going to reopen a plant and put on a crew to make my car? A salesman might get a benefit from it but that's about it. The scientists and pianists that might be hired certainly won't bring down the unemployment rate, either.

Pretend the stimulus package will work. And spend accordingly. If enough people (there's that phrase again) pretend it will work, it will work.

Oh, man, don't even get me started. You want to talk to me about positive results through positive thinking? Sell that one to the left and media for what they have spewed for the past eight years. They have used negativity as their major weapon in their fight against Bush, with complete disregard about what it might have done to the country or our troops in the field. Now that they are in charge, you want to say be positive and it will work? They have been painting the bleakest picture of life in the United States for the past year in preparation for the election. They have tried to drill in everyone's head how big of a mess the country is in and how miserable we are and how the country is headed for hell if THEY don't save us. Now, all of a sudden, it's "think positive thoughts"? That could be a skit on Letterman.

When push comes to shove, I don't think it's going to matter a twit how many jobs the stimulus bill creates. I have no answer for that one except to say I can't believe you said it. You must have soem reason but it escapes me completely.

So when Obama claims his package is designed to create jobs, I must assume you are saying that really doesn't matter? True, when the money dries up, jobs go away but shouldn't the money have a better chance of not drying up if more people have jobs? You have lost me with that declaration....but, then, I get lost easily.
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20 posted 01-31-2009 10:37 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

But, Mike, Ron is talking about economics, not positive-thinking-guru's talk.

You're right, positive thinking does nothing. Positive actions, however, do. The only way people will invest is if they think they will get a return.

That's the whole point of the stimulus.

As far as I can tell, the stimulus is designed to motivate people to trust, not the government, but the future of their investments.

I don't get the Dayton prostitution crackdown either.

Will it work? I don't know. I do know that it only has to work slightly for the Dems to reap the benefits.

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21 posted 01-31-2009 10:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As far as I can tell, the stimulus is designed to motivate people to trust, not the government, but the future of their investments.

I have to respectfully disagree with that statement, Brad. I'm not sure what you mean by "their investments". What investments do people out of work have? If you are referring to their houses or property, they certainly are putting their trust in the government to save them...and that's exactly what the government wants. Obama, Pelosi, Reed and the gang want to be the saviors of the country. They want the people to put their trust in the government - theirs. In a land where government is now going to be the major owners of so many companies of industry, banking and real estate, how could the populace NOT be forced to put their trust in the government?

Yes, it is a no-lose situation for the Democrats. If any part of it succeeds, they get the credit. If it doesn't, it's because Bush left the country in such bad shape they had no chance. Such a deal.....

Grinch
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since 12-31-2005
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Whoville


22 posted 01-31-2009 11:15 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
That's right, grinch. You shouldn't care. The flip side of that is why should they care what YOU think?


Is it because I understand the basic economic principle behind the stimulus package and they obviously don’t?

quote:
Why are they spending much of what they are spending


They’re spending all of it to stimulate confidence in the economy and kick-start consumer spending.

Balladeer
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23 posted 01-31-2009 11:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, grinch, that must be it. You are smarter than 60% of the American people....congratulations.
Ron
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24 posted 02-01-2009 12:27 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I doubt seriously that any one person, or several people, or even the government will put people back to work in Michigan by buying a car.

You're probably right, Mike. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure we're not going to put people back to work by NOT buying cars. The government is simply setting a good example. So long as the Feds are going to buy cars, it makes sense to do it now instead of down the road. Besides, if they don't buy today, a few years from now their only choice might be Toyota or Honda.

quote:
You want to talk to me about positive results through positive thinking?

It's not about positive thinking, Mike. It's about having confidence in our country's economy.

There are systemic problems right now, to be sure. And they need to be addressed and corrected. But the actual problems with our economy are small compared to the fear they've engendered in the general population. People are afraid to spend money. The role of government -- and the reason the stimulus package has to be BIG and immediate -- is to calm those fears.

quote:
Sell that one to the left and media for what they have spewed for the past eight years. They have used negativity as their major weapon in their fight against Bush, with complete disregard about what it might have done to the country or our troops in the field.

That's one perspective, I guess. It sort of ignores the fact that Bush once enjoyed the highest approval rating of any President since the polls started nearly a hundred years ago. His rating was something over 80 percent, I think? So, in the course of six or seven years, those two people out of ten convinced six of the remaining eight to change their minds? The result was that George Bush also took the record, at just over 20 percent I think, for the lowest approval rating in history?

I don't know, Mike. From where I sit, it seems Bush was the architect of his own fate. If people were spewing a lot of negativity, as you say, isn't it at least possible they were right? Isn't it possible that George W. Bush was just a really, really bad leader?

Not that it matters any more. We endured Bush. Now we have to survive him. And even if you believe that two people out of ten somehow destroyed the Republican regime, and even if you convinced me you are right, I'm not sure that would justify using the same tactics to destroy the next administration. At some point, I think we have to start caring about the country, not politics.

quote:
So when Obama claims his package is designed to create jobs, I must assume you are saying that really doesn't matter? True, when the money dries up, jobs go away but shouldn't the money have a better chance of not drying up if more people have jobs?

What's the average tax rate these days? Fifteen percent? You really think you can pay a guy $1,000 a week by taking $150 from him? That's just a Ponzi scheme. It works for a while, but it can't last.

Any jobs the government creates are necessarily dependent on all the other jobs. The government can't buy us out of a recession. Ultimately, the economy has to support jobs, not the government.

Which matters pretty much not at all to Joe Smith, who just got laid off. Giving him a job helping to repave I-94 will help Joe feed his kids, and that's the only thing he cares about. I'm cool with that, too, because I-94 really needs a facelift badly (Michigan winters are not kind to our roads).  And if Joe has to buy a new car to get to work every day? That's good, too.

The current unemployment rate in Michigan just topped ten percent. One person out of ten is out of work. That's a problem, especially if you're that one in ten. But here's the thing: nine out of ten people are scared to death they'll be next, and that's a problem of an entirely different order. In an economic system resting on the shoulders of consumer spending (and I would argue whether it should be in a different thread), a population afraid to spend money is a death knell. Giving Joe a job is important to Joe, but it's important to you and I only if it gives us the confidence to believe our jobs are safe.

That's the true purpose behind the stimulus package.

quote:
Yes, grinch, that must be it. You are smarter than 60% of the American people....congratulations.

LOL. That hardly qualifies as a place of honor. Forty percent of our population is smarter than sixty percent of the American people, Mike.

And there are times I'm convinced my neighbor's dog is smarter than sixty percent of America. I know he's smarter than my neighbor.
 
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