Friday, February 13, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Stimulus

First off, this post will not be a political rant, just an appeal to common sense.

The U.S. House has passed the economic stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (that's a link to the full 647-page PDF document, which isn't as easy to find as you might think).

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the total cost of the bill at $3.27 trillion over the next ten years, making this by orders of magnitude the largest spending bill in history. The Senate is poised to vote on the bill as well.

Given the magnitude and complexity of the bill, the only responsible course of action at this point is to give both congress and the American public some time (the bill was not publicly posted until 11:00 p.m. last evening) to examine the legislation, comment, and then act in a thoughtful and informed manner.

Regardless of your political persuasion, you can't possibly state categorically that you are in favor of or opposed to this bill unless you have managed to read and absorb its 647 pages in the last 16 hours.

Given that much of the spending won't happen this year or even next year—and that even Barack Obama's "economics adviser Larry Summers cautioned against raising expectations too high, (saying) 'I think this is a key part of what's going to be a multipart strategy to contain this decline...the problems weren't made in a week, a month, a year. It's going to take time to fix.'"—there is no compelling argument to rush through passage of this sweeping legislation.

Please, call your senators and let them know that this is an occasion for careful consideration, not a rush to judgment.

John Boehner expresses the same thoughts a bit more emphatically here:


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