Politics and the Air

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

I watched a lot of news on Friday, following votes and commentary on the “stimulus,” tweeting reactions Over the past couple of weeks the waves have been filled with statements against, with two primary arguments: too much spending and not enough jobs and tax cuts. And in the shakier regions: socialism and big government. But mood and reality are not congruent here, whatever the CEO of Caterpillar claims.

Today, the papers herald the passing, forgetting the last two weeks. We had dire predictions: such a bill will “nail” big government into place, forgetting the last year of billions flowing out, and will turn us all into socialists. How the idea of yesterday has changed. Not a “jobs bill.” Good grief.

Not much went about about the “context” of the bill and the situations of others in the world, such as the UK. Our situation is pretty dire. But the meaning context of government involvement in decisions is, today, beyond authoritarianism. As Krugman writes:

Why do we need international cooperation? Because we have a globalized financial system in which a crisis that began with a bubble in Florida condos and California McMansions has caused monetary catastrophe in Iceland. We’re all in this together, and need a shared solution.

“The honorable gentleman cannot guarantee that this bill will work,” claimed a detractor yesterday. Right.


2 responses to “Politics and the Air”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Your statements certainly ring true, but I still can’t get past why the President has failed to outline the details of the bill. I realize that would be a daunting explanation, but it could certainly be summarized in such a way that it could be relayed in a reasonable amount of time.

    Of course, I don’t believe he is failing to do so in an attempt to cover up the information, but rather that it has simply not occurred to him and his staff to tell the people what he and his party are attempting to pass.

    If the details will definitely generate jobs in the short term and truly stimulate the economy, people would quickly come around to his side: even those who might be naturally inclined not to.

    One piece of the information released about the bill last week shocks me, however. There is a substantial portion of the current bill that allows for another round of stimulus checks to all taxpayers. My understanding is that the figures are $400 for a single person, and $800 for a family, for a total cost of several billion dollars. While no one would refuse a check for $800, it is difficult to see how granting these checks will stimulate the economy. These days, people are most inclined to either save the money for a rainy day, or pay home bills with them, rather than shopping, which has been the intent of each round for the past couple of years. That money could possibly be better spent elsewhere.

  2. Steve says:

    Why not just read the bill yourself. It’s available in pdf.

    Apparently, the hows will be available on whitehouse.gov. We should track this.

    Some info here: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s1/show