February 9, 2009
Posted: 06:04 AM ET
News Correspondent Richard Lui
It aims to stimulate a recessionary economy. House and Senate versions hover in the 800 billion dollar ranges. The plan’s spending over one or two years would almost equal ten percent of the total national debt built up since the founding of the U.S.
As the effects of the economic downturn spread, President Obama wants to act fast to stop the bleeding, What would you like to see him do?
You may know somebody who lost their job or has had their hours scaled back. Many are living a life of frugality we haven’t seen in recent years. The largest asset most own is their home, but the value has plummeted in the last year. Part of the debate is whether these types of problems will be solved by the stimulus plan now being cobbled together on Capitol Hill.
There’s some good. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said last week the stimulus bill will increase jobs by 1.3 to 3.9 million by the end of 2010, lowering the projected unemployment rate by 2.1 percentage points.
But there’s some bad too. The CBO also warns the stimulus plan would hurt long-term economic growth; reducing it by 0.1 to 0.3 percent by 2019. The concern is that large government spending would reduce availability of money to be invested privately.
There is also concern the bill is packed with pork, special interest earmarks that help one group from a certain congressional district for instance. This is fueling debate over tax cuts versus spending projects.
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, wants a trigger in the bill, one that switches off the spending as soon as the economy recovers. He points to a lack of real bipartisan work in the Senate, and says anybody who says they are working in a bipartisan fashion doesn’t know what the word means.
While Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California, told opponents of the bill to "get over it. Come and talk to us. Come and work with us.”
What do you think of the stimulus plan? How could the money best be spent to create jobs in your community?
We want to know! Weigh in and your comments could be featured on the show.
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