Obama's $819B Stimulus package passes 54 replies

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Oblivious

I tawt I taw a puddy tat...

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30th December 2002

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#1 10 years ago

In a swift victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House approved a historically huge $819 billion stimulus bill Wednesday night with spending increases and tax cuts at the heart of the young administration's plan to revive a badly ailing economy. The vote was 244-188, with Republicans unanimous in opposition despite Obama's frequent pleas for bipartisan support.

"This recovery plan will save or create more than three million new jobs over the next few years," the president said in a written statement released moments after the House voted. Still later, he welcomed congressional leaders of both parties to the White House for drinks as he continued to lobby for the legislation.

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Earlier, Obama declared, "We don't have a moment to spare" as congressional allies hastened to do his bidding in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The vote sent the bill to the Senate, where debate could begin as early as Monday on a companion measure already taking shape. Democratic leaders have pledged to have legislation ready for Obama's signature by mid-February.

A mere eight days after Inauguration Day, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the events heralded a new era. "The ship of state is difficult to turn," said the California Democrat. "But that is what we must do. That is what President Obama called us to do in his inaugural address."

With unemployment at its highest level in a quarter-century, the banking industry wobbling despite the infusion of staggering sums of bailout money and states struggling with budget crises, Democrats said the legislation was desperately needed.

"Another week that we delay is another 100,000 or more people unemployed. I don't think we want that on our consciences," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the leading architects of the legislation.

Republicans said the bill was short on tax cuts and contained too much spending, much of it wasteful, and would fall far short of administration's predictions of job creation.

The party's leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, said the measure "won't create many jobs, but it will create plenty of programs and projects through slow-moving government spending." A GOP alternative, comprised almost entirely of tax cuts, was defeated, 266-170.

On the final vote, the legislation drew the support of all but 11 Democrats, while all Republicans opposed it.

The White House-backed legislation includes an estimated $544 billion in federal spending and $275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses. The totals remained in flux nearly until the final vote, due to official re-estimates and a last-minute addition of $3 billion for mass transit.

Included is money for traditional job-creating programs such as highway construction and mass transit projects. But the measure tickets far more for unemployment benefits, health care and food stamp increases designed to aid victims of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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Tens of billions of additional dollars would go to the states, which confront the prospect of deep budget cuts of their own. That money marks an attempt to ease the recession's impact on schools and law enforcement. With funding for housing weatherization and other provisions, the bill also makes a down payment on Obama's campaign promise of creating jobs that can reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

The centerpiece tax cut calls for a $500 break for single workers and $1,000 for couples, including those who don't earn enough to owe federal income taxes.

The House vote marked merely the first of several major milestones a for the legislation, which Democratic leaders have pledged to deliver to the White House for Obama's signature by mid-February.

Already a more bipartisan - and costlier - measure is taking shape in the Senate, and Obama personally pledged to House and Senate Republicans in closed-door meetings on Tuesday that he is ready to accept modifications as the legislation advances.

Rahm Emanuel, a former Illinois congressman who is Obama's chief of staff, invited nearly a dozen House Republicans to the White House late Tuesday for what one participant said was a soft sales job.

This lawmaker quoted Emanuel as telling the group that polling shows roughly 80 percent support for the legislation, and that Republicans oppose it at their political peril. The lawmaker spoke on condition of anonymity, saying there was no agreement to speak publicly about the session.

In fact, though, many Republicans in the House are virtually immune from Democratic challenges because of the makeup of their districts, and have more to fear from GOP primary challenges in 2010. As a result, they have relatively little political incentive to break with conservative orthodoxy and support hundreds of billions in new federal spending.

Also, some Republican lawmakers have said in recent days they know they will have a second chance to support a bill when the final House-Senate compromise emerges in a few weeks.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, sought to strip out all the spending from the legislation before final passage, arguing that the entire cost of the bill would merely add to soaring federal deficits. "Where are we going to get the money," he asked, but his attempt failed overwhelmingly, 302-134.

Obey had a ready retort. "They don't look like Herbert Hoover, I guess, but there are an awful lot of people in this chamber who think like Herbert Hoover," he said, referring to the president whose term is forever linked in history with the Great Depression.

Highlights of the economic recovery plan drafted by House Democrats and President-elect Barack Obama's economic team. Additional debt costs would add $347 billion over 10 years. Many provisions expire in two years.

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Aid to the poor and unemployed — $43 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increase them by $25 a week and provide job training; $20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 13 percent; $4 billion to provide a one-time additional Supplemental Security Income payment; $2.5 billion in temporary welfare payments; $1 billion for home heating subsidies; and $1 billion for community action agencies.

Health care — $40 billion to subsidize health care insurance for the unemployed under the COBRA program or provide health care through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4 billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for programs that combat AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.

Infrastructure — $43 billion for transportation projects, including $30 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $6 billion to buy transit equipment like buses; $31 billion to build and repair federal buildings and other public infrastructure; $19 billion in water projects; $10 billion in rail and mass transit projects.

Education — $41 billion in grants to local school districts; $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid; $21 billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.

Energy — $32 billion to fund a so-called "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste; $20 billion-plus in renewable energy tax cuts and a tax credit for research and development on energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and a multiyear extension of the renewable energy production tax credit for wind, hydropower, geothermal and bioenergy; $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes.

Science and technology — $10 billion for science facilities; $6 billion to bring high-speed Internet access to rural and underserved areas; $1 billion for the 2010 Census.

Housing — $13 billion to repair and make more energy-efficient public housing projects, allow communities to buy and repair foreclosed homes, and help the homeless.

Environment — $3.2 billion to clean up Superfund and waste sites, leaking underground storage tanks, nuclear sites and military bases, as well as $400 million for habitat restoration projects and $850 million to prevent forest fires.

Law enforcement — $4 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.

TAXES

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Individuals

— $500 per-worker, $1,000 per-couple tax cut for two years, costing about $145 billion. Workers could expect to see about $20 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting in June. Millions of Americans who don't make enough money to pay federal income taxes could file returns next year and receive checks.

— Greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for the working poor in 2009 and 2010, at a cost of $18.3 billion. Under current law, workers must make at least $8,500 to receive the credit. The change eliminates the floor, meaning more workers who pay no federal income taxes could receive checks.

— Increase the earned-income tax credit — which provides money to the working poor — for families with at least three children, at a cost of $4.7 billion.

— Provide a $2,500 tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010, at a cost of $10.3 billion. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.

— Repeal a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to July 1, unless the home is sold within three years, at a cost of $2.6 billion. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $150,000.

Businesses

— Extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up the depreciation of that equipment through 2009, at a cost of $5 billion.

— Provide an infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two, at a cost of $15 billion.

— Repeal a Treasury provision that allowed firms that buy money-losing banks to use more of the losses as tax credits to offset the profits of the merged banks for tax purposes. The change would increase taxes on the merged banks by $7 billion over 10 years.

— Subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction, teacher training, economic development and infrastructure improvements, at a cost of $35.5 billion.

— Extend tax credits for renewable energy production, at a cost of $13 billion.

— Extend and increase tax credits to homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient, at a cost of $4.3 billion. Homeowners could receive tax credits of up to $1,500 for upgrading furnaces and hot water heaters and making other improvements through 2010.

A good portion of this package will do little to stimulate anything but complacency in those already milking the system. Looks like an outlandishly expensive band-aid for the most part. I'm guardedly optimistic about some portions of it such as our energy future, but sheesh, there's lots of fat in there that could have and should have been spent more wisely, or not at all for that matter.

I wonder if the 3 million new jobs Obaba thinks this will create will be the extra Govt workers we'll need to hand out all the food stamps. :rolleyes: Still, I hope it does less harm than good.




Stryker500

I want to be like the Admins

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26th January 2009

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#2 10 years ago

Ah, I see they managed to fit in plenty of pork spending. Tasty.

Everybody gets a nice slice of govment' cheese besides for the defense sector it seems.




Demonseed VIP Member

Gettin' real tired of you ducking me, man...

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29th December 2004

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#3 10 years ago

The stimulus was a bad idea when President Bush was pushing it. Unfortunately, this is worse. It's typical Democrat garbage: You don't work, and we care so much about you that we're going to give you free money. Here.

What ever happened to working hard to make a living in this country? Why do so many people look to the government to fix everything; or to provide for them? That is NOT the job of government. The job of government is to provide the services an individual cannot, such as military, police, fire, and emergency response. Road care would be another. Government was never intended to be a big, fat sow that all the lazy bastards can cuddle up to and suckle. Unfortunately, I can see us heading further down that road under Obama.

Here's betting my taxes go up to pay for all this nonsense. Joy.




Stryker500

I want to be like the Admins

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26th January 2009

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#4 10 years ago
Demonseed;4786388 Here's betting my taxes go up to pay for all this nonsense. Joy.

I love the little tax break thrown in there in an attempt to sweeten the deal until taxes are ramped up in a few years.

No way the national deficit is going to start going down with this.




RadioactiveLobster Forum Admin

Jeff is a mean boss

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28th July 2002

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#5 10 years ago

Demonseed;4786388The stimulus was a bad idea when President Bush was pushing it. Unfortunately, this is worse. It's typical Democrat garbage: You don't work, and we care so much about you that we're going to give you free money. Here.

What ever happened to working hard to make a living in this country? Why do so many people look to the government to fix everything; or to provide for them? That is NOT the job of government. The job of government is to provide the services an individual cannot, such as military, police, fire, and emergency response. Road care would be another. Government was never intended to be a big, fat sow that all the lazy bastards can cuddle up to and suckle. Unfortunately, I can see us heading further down that road under Obama.

Here's betting my taxes go up to pay for all this nonsense. Joy.

There is a Democrat in office (one who seems to love European Policies) so it's almost a guarantee that your taxes will go up.


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

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#6 10 years ago
Demonseed;4786388What ever happened to working hard to make a living in this country?

You have more people than your economy needs workers.




AlDaja

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#7 10 years ago

Unfortunately, actual economic forecasters who are not on lobbyist payrolls have basically thrown up their hands. Essentially what will look nice in the short run will make what American’s and apparently European’s are going through right now not seem so bad. Least the Dems can’t blame the Republican’s a few years down the road when this comes back to kick us in the nuts…though like good little lefties they’ll find a way to blame the Republican party for this – IT WAS BUSH’S FAULT OBAMA’S STIMULUS PLAN PUT US IN THE POOR HOUSE!!! – whatever.

….well, eleven educated Democrats saw this as a very bad plan and voted with the Republican in the Senate with a solid boisterous NO!! At the very least Obama could have gave actual working families making less than 50K a year a little more than those who don’t even pay taxes and/or sit on their asses surfing porn while collecting a welfare check. A fine example of poor leadership in the making and an inability to research a bit of global economics 101 to see his bill is doomed to cause further strife. Maybe we should do what Nancy P. of California suggested and that is to encourage abortion and less fucking as fewer people in the world is a good thing no matter the means. She says it and she is hailed a visionary. I say it and I’m condemned as an insensitive asshole. Fuck ‘em all!!




Nittany Tiger Forum Mod

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15th September 2004

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#8 10 years ago

I wonder if reversing job outsourcing will help us? Outsourcing is a neutral topic for me, but I think we do need our jobs back.

Nemmerle;4786413You have more people than your economy needs workers.

And retracting jobs from foreign places may do that. Maybe we'll have to be outsourced by others as well. Whatever creates jobs. Unless it already happening, I doubt that our govt. will want to do that because it will be a pride buster and we would have to retract our people if our economy ever gets back on its feet, which may mess up that nation's economy and then we may have more fun down the road from there.

Extremely risky idea that may not create a lot of jobs, but it is an idea.




Stryker500

I want to be like the Admins

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26th January 2009

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#9 10 years ago
Nemmerle;4786413You have more people than your economy needs workers.

I disagree. Just look at the massive populations of China and India. Yes there are many problems in those countries but it seems very few people there have fallen into the habit of thinking "the taxpayers can pick up the slack."




Demonseed VIP Member

Gettin' real tired of you ducking me, man...

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29th December 2004

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#10 10 years ago

Reversing outsourcing would definitely help. Unfortunately, with the confiscatory business taxes, don't expect to see those jobs heading home anytime soon. After all, what incentive does a business have to open new offices here, the home of the highest business taxes on the planet?