Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill. We Need Big Ideas.

Scrap the so called stimulus bill and start over.

Go back to the big ideas.  Instead of a million little items, many of which do ZERO to stimulate anything or anybody, go back to a core group of big ideas that will not only create jobs and stimulate the economy but pay dividends in the future.  

Think of all the great ideas proposed not only by Obama, but in the last race by John Kerry, and some of the other challengers.   There were a lot of big ideas floated.  Ideas that were great, although at the time you had to know the willingness to fund them would probably never come.

Remember when John Edwards talked about making port and airport security the best in the world and all the high tech jobs it would create?  Where is that in the stimulus bill?

Remember all the talk about a dire need to for a new power grid in this nation and the billions it would cost, but the jobs it would create.   Where is the money for that in the stimulus bill?

Remember the talk about a need to look at all the bridges in this country and come up with a plan to replace or repair all the old bridges.   Where is that plan in this stimulus bill?

What about all the talk of expanding programs like Head Start?  Where is the money in the stimulus bill to build the buildings and hire the teachers / care providers?

Where is the money for all the solar panels and windmills and bio diesel facilities?

Heck what about rebuilding our military?   How many National Guard humvees and 3/4 ton trucks do we need to replace?  How about some money for these things that are made in the USA and are needed to respond to natural disasters.

Sure there is willy nilly money in there for a bridge here and a windmill there, but there is no big thinking, there is no plan.   It's just another spending bill.  

This bill was supposed to be about creating jobs and shoring up the economy.  It would seem that it would be a perfect opportunity to marry a lot of the big ideas we've talked about in the past to a sudden willingness to go another trillion in debt.  

Instead we get coupons for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of TV decoder boxes.   Are these even made in the USA?

It's not too late.   Kill the current bill.  Start over.  Focus on a few major plans that could have real impact now as well as benefits well into the future.

Tags: bid ideas, Job Creation, John Kerry, President Barack Obama, stimulus (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Yes, it's all about TV decoders

Have you read what's actually in the bill aside from a couple cherry-picked quibble points?  It's chalk full of big ideas.

by Dracomicron 2009-02-03 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, it's all about TV decoders

I disagree.

Shumer brags about 3.4 billion for NYC.  There is no big idea in that 3.4 billion and no job creation.  He has already said it is to take care of medicaid payments and fund the NYC school system.   That isn't stimulus, that is just paying bills that are already due.  

There are literally thousands of examples of nonsense in this bill.

We as Democrats better wake up to a political reality a well.   Republicans back in 2004 thought they would never lose another election.  They were crowing about a decades long majority.  They fell pretty fast and pretty hard.  So can we.

This bill is full of so much nonsense that it alone will be fodder for hit ad after hit ad in 2010.   "Congressman so and so voted for 150 million dollars to ....... fill in the blank with some of the dumber items in this bill that have no place in a STIMULUS BIll.

Mark my words, this bill will do nothing for stimulus and there is not the will to spend another trillion so we have to get it right.  If in 2 years economically we are still in bad shape we'd be better off with a bill that we could at least point to and say but look at all the great things we are building that will pay dividends for decades to come.

Instead of saying, hey we funded this community org for 2 years, or paid some of NYC's school budget, or whatever ... yes even tv decoders.

by RichardFlatts 2009-02-03 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, it's all about TV decoders

Shumer brags about 3.4 billion for NYC.  There is no big idea in that 3.4 billion and no job creation.  He has already said it is to take care of medicaid payments and fund the NYC school system.   That isn't stimulus, that is just paying bills that are already due.

Job protection is just as important as job creation.  A teacher whose employers don't have the money to issue a paycheck is unemployed as far as the economy is concerned, even if he/she is going to work every day.  A Medicaid recipient getting their benefits paid is one less unpaid bill dragging on our economy.  I'm all in favor of using federal money to cover the shortfalls in state budgets - shortfalls that exist largely because states can't go into a lot of debt and spend their way out like the federal government can during a recession/depression.

by mistersite 2009-02-03 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Big Ideas.

Has anyone thought about what Stimulus Package  we'd be talking about today had McCain/Palin been inaugurated 2 weeks ago today?

Oh, Snap!

by QTG 2009-02-03 06:06AM | 0 recs
Probably something not too different

than what will pass Congress.

by Geekesque 2009-02-03 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

I don't agree that all or even most of the stimulus package is useless, but I do agree that a Big Idea is definitely needed.  The definition of a Big Idea is that it should be capable of capturing the imagination of the general public, not just a handful of wonky Internet types who follow the details obsessively.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

"The definition of a Big Idea is that it should be capable of capturing the imagination of the general public"

Like "Stay the Course" or "Bring it on"? Really?

by QTG 2009-02-03 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

No, not a slogan, an idea.  Look to FDR's New Deal programs for precedent.  Some of them worked, some of them didn't, but the average person could look at those programs and say "hey, that sounds like something that could get the economy going again."  A grab bag of small-bore initiatives doesn't have the same effect.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

Oh, I get it. A big idea is like giving a big tax cut and deregulate commerce so that small business in America can get Government and tree-hugging drill-no-mores off its back so it can do what it does best, create jobs.

Big ideas like Danny Deustch talks about.

by QTG 2009-02-03 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

No, I don't agree that Republican ideas will be effective in fixing the economy.  I would have voted Republican if I believed that.

This will be my last response to you unless you decide to contribute intelligent discussion rather than pointless snark.

by Steve M 2009-02-03 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

Not 'pointless' at all. But you might give more specific examples of what "BIG IDEA' Obama should conjure up where you think his big pragmatic and simple plan fails to clear that hurdle for ya.

by QTG 2009-02-03 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

How about some national works projects that we can actually be proud of we are done.   I am not asking for another Hoover Dam, Panama Canel, or Insterstate System.

I forget one earlier ... our National Parks are rotting.   Buildings and roads need repair.   All sorts of things are needed.   I heard an estimate in the billions a few back and the excuse that the money wasn't there.   Well now there is a trillion bucks.   Lets make our grandkids proud.

How about we build some great windfarms and bridges and schools so that 30 years our grandkids who are paying for this can at least have use of this stuff.

Plus roads and bridges spur development.   Build a new 4 lane road and guess what, within years homes and businesses will have sprouted up along it.    

by RichardFlatts 2009-02-03 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

 We might get Republican support to carve Reagan's fat head into Mount Rushmore. Now that's think outside the box. Or we could drill baby drill, or find a cure for gay.

by QTG 2009-02-03 08:59AM | 0 recs
The cure the gay thing will fly...

But, it has to have a really catchy name, like

The Ronald Reagan biblical propagation act, or something like that...

Or the Jim Demint "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" act of 2009.

All the scientific research will be done at the Liberty University Lab for the Curing of the Gay....

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-03 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Kill The So Called Stimulus Bill

A lot of that stuff is/was in the bill, and is currently being mocked by the GOP, whose general attitude you seem to have internalized.

"10 million dollars for the Clara Barton National Park???" etc.

by Jess81 2009-02-03 02:10PM | 0 recs
Not busting your chops

but isn't much of what you asked for already in the bill? I don't have it in front of me, but I remember Head Start is in there (along with Pell grants), also some stuff about upgrading the power grid, etc. The airport security thing is a nice idea though.

The tough thing about having one organizing principle, one "big idea", is that it's probably impossible to spend a trillion dollars on a few things in two years. You almost have to spread it around.

For example, Bureau of Labor Statistics is calling it 10% yearly unemployment for the construction industry, representing a million people out of work:

http://www.bls.gov/cps/lfcharacteristics .htm#occind

Let's call that 2 million, to account for chronic underreporting of unemployment stats. The currently-used conversion figure for spending to jobs is 100k per job. Therefore, 200 billion in projects would pretty much max out the capacity of our construction industry. More like 150-175 billion, because you don't want a temporary measure like this to expand the industry. That simply causes more unemployment later.

200 billion still leaves well over half the spending portion unused. Other industries are going to have even worse problems with limited capacity, as most of the skilled professions have a far lower unemployment rate than average (Transportation and Utilities Industry is 5.1%, Education and Health Services is 3.5%!).

Basically, if you try to spend too much money on projects that need skilled labor, you're SOL. That pretty much covers all the "cool" projects. What that leaves is the "shotgun" option, spreading it all around - which is what I suspect we see in the current bill.

by Neef 2009-02-03 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Not busting your chops

I think spreading it around is the problem.  If you  spread it too thin trying to hit too many targets none of it may gain traction.

Yes, you are right, and I think I pointed it out, that there is some money in there for almost everything I mentioned.  But I think we should pick 4 or 5 things and it them hard with 100 to 200 billion dollar investments.

We always hear these great ideas during campaigns and we are always told they can't be done because they would cost 150 or 200 billion dollars and we can't spend that kind of money.  Well now the will to spend that money is here so lets go big ticket items here and do them right.

I really oppose anything in this bill that isn't stimulus.  If it won't create a job it should be in THIS bill.  Paying bills that are already due isn't stimulus.   Put those things in another bill.

by RichardFlatts 2009-02-05 05:31AM | 0 recs

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