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January 28, 2009 06:53 PM UTC

Lamborn: "Let Colorado Eat Cake"

  • 116 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: Reps. Diana DeGette’s and Jared Polis’ statements on House passage of the stimulus bill, with a breakdown estimate of Colorado’s take, below the fold.

UPDATE: House passes stimulus with no Republican crossovers:

A GOP alternative, comprised almost entirely of tax cuts, was defeated, 266-170, moments before the final vote.

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.

Following yesterday’s announcement of over $800 million in devastating expected cuts to the state budget, all eyes turn today to the one remaining hope for avoiding disaster: President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package, which is focused on the emergency stabilization of state budgets.

Rep. Doug Lamborn however, possibly alone in the Colorado delegation, sees no problem with allowing the state he putatively represents to twist in the wind. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Colorado’s state budget woes will be fresh on lawmakers’ minds today as the U.S. House of Representatives considers a massive economic recovery package that could mean $2.9 billion to the state over the next two fiscal years.

Still, with President Barack Obama pushing to win bipartisan support for the $825 billion stimulus package, Republicans are questioning the $990 million set aside for Colorado’s government and other pieces of the package.

“Even though there are some worthwhile projects in the total package, there is a lot of it that will not stimulate jobs in the short term and will absolutely drive up the deficit in the long run,” Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, said Tuesday, after he joined GOP colleagues in a private meeting with Obama.

Today’s House vote is the first test of the new president’s lobbying skills, though the overall stimulus package is expected to undergo changes as it winds its way through the Senate, likely requiring negotiations well into February.

But the first action comes with a backdrop of grim economic news nationwide, and a day after Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter unveiled a state spending plan that will require $823 million in cuts.

If the federal government closes some of that gap, “You’re in effect allowing the states to do deficit spending,” Lamborn argued, calling for a stimulus package more narrowly focused on targeted tax cuts and a more modest set of infrastructure spending to create new jobs.

But Democrats like Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, say voting against the recovery package would amount to “destruction of state government services.”

“I’d be scared to think what the state would have to do absent this package in Congress,” Polis said.

Doug Lamborn’s not scared. Representing an area of Colorado that has willingly subjected itself to nutty Grover Norquist-inspired “starve the beast” curtailment of the public sector for decades leading to a massive crisis, in our judgment one of the most intellectually feeble members of Congress from either party–Lamborn is bound by his simpleton ideology to see your pain as his opportunity.

What a relief that his squeaky little voice got even squeakier last November.

DeGETTE SUPPORTS AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT

Wednesday January 28, 2009

WASHINGTON  – U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee, today joined a majority in the House of Representatives in support of critical legislation to create and save 3 to 4 million American jobs.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was approved by a vote of 244 to 188.  Developed with the Obama Administration, this job creation package will rebuild America, making us more globally competitive and energy independent, and transforming our economy for long-term growth; give 95 percent of American workers an immediate tax cut; and invest quickly in the economy.

“The House has taken the first step in delivering a plan to implement President Obama’s vision to get the economy back on track.  Action on this economic recovery package will create American jobs now, lay a foundation for long-term growth through clean energy, innovation and education, with strict accountability measures to ensure that taxpayers dollar are spent wisely and effectively,” said DeGette. “Passage of this economic package will mean real change by rebuilding America’s roads and bridges and providing a tax cut to 95 percent of American workers.  Now Congress must come together to act and finish the job of sending this job creation and economic recovery package to President Obama.”

This jobs and economic recovery plan contains targeted efforts in:

·    Transforming Our Economy With Clean, Efficient, American Energy and Innovation and Technology that will create more than 1 million  jobs;

·    Lowering Health Care Costs by funding aggressive adoption of health information technology, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and Broadening Coverage by helping those who cannot afford health care in these tough times.;

·    Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways to create 1.5 million American jobs;

·    Education for the 21st Century, including an increased Pell Grant for over 108,000 students here in Colorado and a higher education tax credit for an additional 36,000 students in our state so that they can stay in college despite these tough times;

·    Tax Cuts of up to $1,000 to Make Work Pay for 1.7 million families here in Colorado and more than $20 billion for American businesses, large and small, to spur job creation;

·    Helping Workers Hurt by the Economy, including 167,000 of Coloradoans that are out of work, those who have lost their health care, and seniors; and

·    Saving the Jobs of Teachers and Police Officers.

The Recovery Plan has unprecedented accountability measures built in-providing strong oversight, an historic degree of public transparency, and including no earmarks.

“America is facing an economic crisis greater than any since the Great Depression, with a staggering 2.6 million American jobs lost in the last year and an unemployment rate in Colorado that has climbed to 6.1 percent,” concluded DeGette.

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 28, 2009

Contact: Lara Cottingham

(202) 225-5693 or Lara.Cottingham@mail.house.gov

Polis Statement on Passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

WASHINGTON, DC-U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) issued the following statement today on the passage of H.R.1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The bill, which will help make America more globally competitive and create/protect 3 to 4 million jobs nationwide, passed the house by a vote of 244 to 188.

“The time has come to set aside partisanship and invest in America to get our economy going again.  This bill will immediately help prevent further job loss in hard-hit places like Adams County, by keeping hard-working Coloradans in their jobs so they can support their families and contribute to the economy.”

“It also lays the foundation for a stellar 21st Century Education System.  It builds green high-tech schools, reaches out to at-risk and disabled children, and increases aid to college students and their families.  Without it, we risk losing precious ground in our fight to close the gap in education and ensure that the next generation is well-equipped to compete and thrive in this globalized economy.  I am proud to take part in this measure to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure – both physical and human – and renew confidence in our economy.”

Video of Polis’ recent floor speeches in support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are available here:

1/28/2009 Floor Speech: http://polis.house.gov/1282009…

1/27/2009 Colloquy with Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller: http://polis.house.gov/1272009…

Estimated Funding Allocations for Colorado under the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

Education:

State Stabilization Fund: $990,116,000

Title I: $126,218,000

IDEA: $174,718,000

Modernization, Renovation, and Repair:

K-12: $136,267,000                      

Higher Education:$90,650,000

Educational Technology Grants:  $10,606,963

Child Care and Development Block Grants: $24,312,304

Head Start: $$8,147,127

Pell Grants: $361,591,900 for 108,084 Colorado recipients ($3,345 average per recipient)

Transportation:

Highways and Bridges: $412,851,201

Transit Capital: $94,995,496

Urban Formula: $85,304,463

Rural Formula: $9,691,033

Fixed Guideway Modernization: $11,269,972

Clean Water State Revolving Fund: $46,432,782

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: $35,200,000

***Proposed “Ready to Go” Highway and Bridge Projects in CO-2***

Approximately $10 million for improvements to I-70 between Denver and Vail

o   $11 million for the SH 52 Bridge replacement along Boulder Creek and replacement of the Upper Big Thompson Bridges on US 34

o   $25 million for a new interchange at SH 52 and SH 119

o   $50 million for full reconstruction of US 36 between Table Mesa Rd. and 88th

o   $16 million for various surface updates and repairs district wide

Energy and Environment:

Weatherization Assistance Program: $208,250,335

State Energy Program: $54,922,075

Health Care:

State Medicaid: $855,635

Elderly Nutrition Services: $2.7 million

Preventative Health Services: $3.8 million

Social Services:

Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG): $43,111,106

Neighborhood Stabilization Program: $56,707.196

Community Development Block Grant: $10,596,207

Community Services Block Grant: $8,865,352

Low Income Energy Assistance: $15,626,828

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): 58,600 Colorado residents would  benefit from $33.4 million in additional funding

Employment and Job Training:

Estimated jobs saved or created by 2010: 70,470

Job Training Programs:

Adult : $4,840,770

Youth: $11,994,919

Dislocated Worker: $8,401,683

Employment Services: $7,288,325

Improved Unemployment Insurance:

o   173,464 Colorado recipients would benefit from the $25 per-week benefit increase

o   35,701 Colorado recipients would benefit from the continuation of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (April-December 2009)

Tax Credits:

An estimated 36,000 new Coloradan families would benefit from an increase in the maximum Hope Credit (from $1,800 to $2,500)

An estimated 1,767,000 individuals in Colorado could benefit from the Making Work Pay Credit (Up to $500 for single workers earning up to $100,000 and married couples earning up to $200,000)

An estimated 433,000 Coloradans could benefit from Child Tax Credit Expansion

###

Comments

116 thoughts on “Lamborn: “Let Colorado Eat Cake”

  1. Today’s House vote is the first test of the new president’s lobbying skills, though the overall stimulus package is expected to undergo changes as it winds its way through the Senate, likely requiring negotiations well into February.

    With the massive majority anything short of a mandate will show weakness.

    As to Lamborn, I do believe there are more then a few Democrats who feel the same way.

    1. Read the Post and other papers. Even Dems are worried that the pork barrel bill should be broken up and that the country shouldn’t be forced into more pork barrel spending.

      It appears Obama and the Dems are forcing the country into a position where there won’t be enough resources left for plans B or C or to pay for another Katrina or 9/11 recovery.

      The moral hazard of bailing out Ritter and other governors is tremendous. Bail them out and they will spend willy nilly expecting the feds to cover up their irresponsibility.

      Ritter must be forced to cut spending so that the politicians will know there is a price to pay for tax and spend legislating during boom times.

      As for Ritter’s budget “cuts,” they’re all high-profile, popular items a lot of voters don’t want cut, not the bread and butter bloat that could be cut. Ritter is showing his lack of honesty with the Colorado voter, and he may get away with it, I’m afraid.

      1. Link is here.

        In testimony before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Alice M. Rivlin, who was President Bill Clinton’s budget director, suggested splitting the plan, implementing its immediate stimulus components now and taking more time to plan the longer-term transformative spending to make sure it is done right.

        “Such a long-term investment program should not be put together hastily and lumped in with the anti-recession package. The elements of the investment program must be carefully planned and will not create many jobs right away,” said Rivlin, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. The risk, she said, is that “money will be wasted because the investment elements were not carefully crafted.”

        For some House Democrats, the problem is less a matter of balancing the short and long term than a shortage of focus and will on the part of the administration. Their disappointment centers on the relatively small amount devoted to long-lasting infrastructure investments in favor of spending on a long list of government programs. While each serves a purpose, the critics say, they add up to less than the sum of their parts, and fall far short of the transformative New Deal-like vision many of them had entertained.

        1. The Republican argument is that only tax cuts for rich people stimulate the economy. Rivlin’s argument is unrelated, and Rivlin supports big spending programs.

          Obviously if you think every spending program is pork, you’re an idiot and also you won’t support any stimulus proposal, so your opinions are not worth taking seriously.

      2. I don’t see the connection of a bloated stimulus/state bailout plan that admittedly when enacted won’t fix the problems for years.

        Also the budget director yesterday failed to address any of the core issues. The state has what 50,000 employees, cutting (or not filling) 500 jobs is a 1% effort.

        What I don’t get is the failure to call a special session last fall when all these facts were known. The business community was more interested in protecting closed union shops and inside no-bid contracting … I fault them too!

  2. From Faux Noise:

    Far from rolling over, House Republican leaders are trying to win concessions from President Obama over the massive economic stimulus package and have proffered a bill of their own to put on the negotiating table.

    …so far the bill has 65 co-sponsors.

     

    Wow!  Sixty-five, yeah that is ‘far from rolling over.’  I’d say its already DOA.

    The counter-package would shift focus entirely from spending to tax relief.

    That’s thinking outside the box–times are good: cut taxes.  Times are bad: cut taxes.  Times are OK: cut taxes.

    The Republicans authoring the alternative bill did not have an estimate for the cost of their counter-proposal…

    Why would that?  After all, that would be fiscally responsible.  

  3. Lamborn brings up the FACT that the stimulus won’t do anything for jobs in the short term and that we’re going into massive amounts of debt, and all you can do is trash him for being “uncaring”?  Why don’t you take on a new challenge Pols?  Why don’t you try talking about why we should be extending the national debt to unsustainable levels?  

    Seriously, this daily dribble of “Republicans bad, Democrats can do no wrong” have made this site less into a discussion board/news site and more into a “beat up on Republicans” site.

        1. how those Bush tax cuts have created a sensational economy with tons of new high paying jobs with great benefits over the past 8 years and so much tax revenue we’re now blessed with the world’s greatest infrastructure.  Oh wait…

          1. Have put the U.S. at the top of the heap in terms of economic prowess, national security, healthcare, research, transportation, etc… Just spend some time outside the U.S. and you’ll realize what you have here.

            Now education, that is a black eye. Having worked ourselves into a consistent 30% dropout rates across the U.S. public HS spectrum … that drives 30% of Denver residents to send their kids to schools other then DPS.

              1. We have a real opportunity to turn that around here in Colorado if Gov. Ritter and RTD realize how important it is to complete the entire system wide FasTracks that was promised to the voters in 2004. We are paying for that complete build out with our taxes, but, will it get built? If RTD does not get it done, Colorado voters will remember. Good luck getting anything funded through the ballot box again if RTD fails to build out entire passenger rail system.

            1. like broadband pentration:

              The US fell from 23rd to 25th place in worldwide broadband penetration in the last half of 2006, according to a recent survey by Point Topic. OECD data confirms the slowdown, with the US falling to 15th in broadband penetration among OECD countries surveyed. US broadband penetration grew 0.65 percentage points to 80.81% among active Internet users in March.

              Or modern transit

              America is disuniting. Compare the U.S. to the European Union. Over there, thanks to Eurostar (the high-speed rail system), easy transit to the airports, and Ryanair, Europeans have more geographic mobility than we do.

              Or a smart grid

              Or clean energy

              The survey finds that wind energy is subject to more important investment, with India leading the market. Solar energy, lead by China, and biofuels, lead by Brazil, had the fastest growth rates. Brazil is the world’s largest sustainable-energy market, with around 44 % of its total energy production coming from renewable sources.

              Tadpole notes:

              Just spend some time outside the U.S. and you’ll realize what you have here.

              Assumptions notwithstanding about polsters have or have not been: I have and I do, but I also realize that a lot of other countries have invested more in infrastructure, and especially over the last 10 years or so, and it shows.

              1. of energy and telecommunication sectors … the only hook is they become #1 in terms of broadband penatration, smart grid and clean energy. But that would be just to free market for you wouldn’t it?

                Of course your other option is massive regulation and control (say nationalize) of these industries, you know forced capital deployment, high revenue based tax regeimes and subsidies up the wazoo.

                  1. It must be that you are holding out for the public-private partnership solution.

                    You know get the bastard all regulated up, infuse a lil ole gov’t cash, throw some mandates at it, appoint a board of community leaders to oversee something, file a protest on Amendment 54, and get the board to jump onto every tax hiking proposal you can muster … all in the name of great social advancement and fairness.

                    You know these same tactics are used in certain countries that parade a democracies.

                    My favorite aspect of these types of foundations or public-partnerships are the inside contracts and financial arrangements that certain controlling parties use to avoid taxes, wash cash, skim interest, wash asset transfers, show patronage, etc…

                    Now I am not saying this happens at the DCPA http://www.rockymountainnews.c… , but the formation of these types of vehicles can lead to some fairly un-American things when they can’t seem to exist under basic clean government statutes.

      1. Congressman Doug Lamborn has introduced legislation to bring free market incentives to help the troubled auto industry. HR 7298 would offer consumers a $10,000 tax deduction when they purchase a new vehicle with final assembly in the United States.

        “That’s a significant savings for a family, and it may be just the incentive they need to help them purchase a new vehicle. My bill is not a panacea for our country’s economic challenges, rather an attempt to offer up a substantive alternative to another taxpayer bailout. As everyone knows, automakers aren’t selling cars.  Instead of writing them a check, my bill could help them move inventory.” – Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

        Additionally, HR 7298 would help small businesses by giving them more generous tax incentives for buying vehicles and durable goods such as computers and software. Under Section 179 of the federal tax code, expensing limits would double, going from $250,000 to $500,000. The higher, phase-out amount also increases. This bill would lock in the new tax savings for small businesses by making these new, higher limits permanent, and indexed to inflation.

        Expanding Section 179 limits on capital goods purchases will stimulate acquisition of goods by small businesses, which can help improve the bottom line for automakers and small businesses.

        This short term stimulus would be made available for the balance of tax year 2008, 2009, and 2010.  

            1. Is it so bad that it can’t compete with our free market derivatives?

              How’s that free market mercenary war working out?  Did Halliburton bring down the cost of killing with their free market contracts?  Apparently planning for the occupation wasn’t free market so that’s the reason they didn’t do it.

              What 1950’s morons to believe that unregulated free markets are sacrosanct and God’s gift to humanity.  If you regulate to restrain the disasters caused by greed then it ain’t free but it sure as hell is a lot better than letting some rich bastards take all the money and tank the economy.

            2. What is this penchant for black-and-white, polarized modes of thought? If it’s not good, it’s bad; if it’s not libertarian, it’s socialism; if it’s not one extreme and dysfunctional oversimplification of reality, it must be the opposite extreme and dysfunctional oversimplification of reality.

              Libertad, ever thought about striving for a bit of nuance? Here are two premises that are easy to prove:

              1) There is no such thing as an absolute free-market economy, and

              2) There is no such thing as an absolute command economy.

              Argument: The most free of free-market economies requires government involvement to establish and secure property rights, and, beyond that, to provide a government-backed currency. “Establishing and securing property rights” is a big business, even if minimally defined, so government involvement starts at a pretty extensive baseline. On the other hand, no matter what some autocratic, overly centralized government might decree, reality seeps in and markets establish themselves (called, in such instances, “black markets”). So the poles don’t even exist, except in the mind! Talking as if they exist in the world puts you on the starting-block already burdened with a tenuous hold on reality.

              Starting from the premises dictated by reality, the question becomes not whether a free-market or command economy is preferable, but rather precisely what blend of market mechanisms and government facilitation is optimal. To start out with anything other than that second question is absurd and dysfunctional. It is the elevation of ideology above reason, the reduction of discourse to useless plattitudes, and the loss of any analytical value to be derived from whatever follows.

              We can disagree about and courteously debate the nature of the precise form and balance of the optimal blend of government agency and market mechanisms, and the political considerations that need to be included while doing so, but to pretend that there is some other question on the table, and an absurd, polarized, “either-or” question at that, is just utterly unproductive and unimpressive.

            1. the purchase of a vehicle will increase the demand for domestically assembled vehicles.

              The consumer needs to have skin in the game; unlike the Alt-A NODOC home loan days created by Barney Frank.

              Wake up Pols, Lamborn’s bill creates a sales tax obligation, those taxes go back to prop-up your local community.

              Are Lamborn’s bills the total solution, no they only touch two areas. But once you accept that driving demand creates transactional tax events you’ll be over the hump.

              I know there is probably some tired old regressive tax policy argument at your finger tips.

              In the mean time it is nice to see Coloradopols, Middle, Fidel and Arvada support the value of Lamborn’s proposals.  

              1. more than anything else. We can all pay absolutely nothing in taxes if we’re “lucky” enough to be unemployed, maxed out on the cards and lines of credit and can’t afford to buy anything.  We won’t need to worry about crumbling roads and bridges either.  We’ll have no place we need to go. Sounds great,huh?

              2. The one thing I would suggest is that Democrats need to do to Lamborn what was often done to Democratic Representatives when the Republicans were in charge….steal the idea, stick a Democrat’s name on it (preferrably a newly elected one from a swing district—Debbie Halvorson D-IL for instance) and then ram it through while showering her with the credit!

      2. That Colorado Pols is becoming a one trick pony:  quote a Republican, make a sarcastic and exaggerated comment, and then all of the Democrats enter into the echo chamber and further beat up on said Republican.

        It’s boring.  It’s not news.  It’s a waste of time.

        1. keeps reminding the rest of us how out of touch and ideologically constrained Republican politicians have become and how poorly they serve the people by refusing to recognize changing conditions the refutation of stale and dated solutions.

          Reagan is moldy worm food right now and his hatred for government has been a disaster for the country.  Obama nailed in his inauguration speech when said the issue isn’t over the size of government but over it’s effectiveness.  Apparently these Republican politicians haven’t gotten the memo because they continue to ride the one trick pony of tax cuts all the while walking around with the lapel pins and patting themselves on the back about how swell the surge is.

          Pols will probably start in on Obama mistakes before we’re ready for it but Haners definitely has the free market choice to not post on this free website.  Whiny cry baby comes to mind.

          1. So how effective is this huge boondoggle going to be in restarting the economy?  Not very much.  The vote in the House today showed bipartisan opposition, not support for the bill.  It passed anyways but the results will be all Democrat.  If it was a good idea, don’t you think at least a few Republicans would have jumped on board?

            1. When the House-Senate bill comes back they can guage if voting for it will be politically beneficial or not.

              Don’t make it seem like they’re looking out for the best interests of the country. It’s all a power move to make sure they can try to take back Congress in 2010 and make it another ’94. Failing that, they at least want to make sure nobody primaries them next year. Voting for the stimulus would have assured that–at least today.

            2. to get on board when they are living in the eighties and are convinced that Saddam had WMD at his fingertips?  The entire goal of the Republican Party is to obstruct at every opportunity to make sure that the Obama Administration is a failure so they can regain power.  We can’t wait for Republicans to abandon their outdated and obsolete ideology and by magic decide to work for what’s best for the country.  President Obama knows what he is up against.  He has to lead by telling people that the roaring 90’s are a thing of the past and that we can’t wait for Republicans to decide to do right by the country.  The Democrats have a mandate for change and they need to act regardless of what the obstructing and traitorous Republicans do.

              1. But we can take a stand against programs we don’t think are a good idea like this “stimulus” package.

                Any problems or failures from this package will rest 100% on Dems shoulders.

                1. Wouldn’t it be nice to have second party to argue the proper things, at the proper time, without angry people arguing side (at best) issues?

                  I didn’t like the last package and I don’t like this one, but the GOP arguments feel petty to me.  They’re still relying on the same old tactics.  The stimulus is going to pass, maybe they could all put their egos away and try to do what’s best for the country instead of their parties, just this once.  Compromise, please.

        2. But the mess they left the state in is.  

          Their complete refusal to try to do anything to ameliorate the situation is news worthy too.  As residents we need to know how little our elected representatives seem to think it’s their job to fix things, so we can vote them out next time.

          Thanks Pols for keeping me up to date on the latest in the Republican-created disaster!

    1. Try as I might, I cannot find a single economist, liberal or conservative, that is arguing for balancing the budget.

      In fact, all of them seem to be saying that for the time being we are going to have to go deeply in debt in order to get out of debt.

      At best, Lamborn is pointing out the obvious–that the stimulus package, like the last one passed under President Bush, is going to drive us further in debt. At worst, he is being an obstructionist and playing party politics with my economic future.

      If that isn’t worth pointing out, then why are we at this site?

      1. At the end of the day it is survival of the fittest. Endless Bush/Obama bailouts will only delay the coming wave.

        At 6-9% unemployment there is a 10 month supply of foreclosed homes. Unemployment will grow to 10-15% as companies are given time for soft landings and bailout $ access. They’ll use this to retrench millions more jobs in order to protect propped up balance sheets. The national foreclosure nightmare will continue as it grows into the previously safe mortgages.

        Unfortunately the best medicine is the free market and that means bankruptcy for non viable firms. In bankruptcy firms are left to be parted out by investors and viable market leaders who have financing access.

        Banks have announced billions in bad loan losses and provisioning for such. What this means is the over levered and over capacity firm that doesn’t have a protective cash position to weather the storm is at risk for default.

        Keeping the brain dead on life support only blows capital that could otherwise be deployed more quickly (less needed) by profit seeking free marketeers who employ people.

        Lamborns focus to push through capital asset tax credits, etc… will stimulate only the viable firms who have capital access to finance such purchases.

        Now balancing the national budget … where or where are Newt and Bill?

      2. Let’s accept that at face value and say that we do have to go into debt…shouldn’t that debt have some sort of effect on jobs?  Or should it just be pork to help people get re-elected?

          1. I still don’t like the idea of going another trillion dollars into debt.  I don’t like the fact that the “fiscal” conservatives ran up debt, and I don’t like the fact that we’re trying to do it more now.

      1. But here, watch this.

        FACT: tax cuts have never directly created a single job anywhere anytime any place. Not even Republicans claim it will; all their claims are for indirect eventual job creation. That’s a FACT, and bold italic capitals trumps capitals any day.

        1. In and of themselves, they do nothing. But included in a stimulus package, I actually think they are vital.

          BTW, slightly off topic, but you nailed it in Dumbass/AS’s diary. Well done.  

          1. But they were a major part of Obama’s campaign promise. Without a middle class tax cut, it would be a huge break with what he was saying on the campaign trail.

            1. still part of the plan.  As for the complaints about tax cuts for those who only pay payroll and other but no income taxes, that will absolutely put money into the economy because those people have to spend every cent they can get their hands on just to get by.  It’s the big tax cuts for the richest that have simply and demonstrably not provided economic stimulus or created more and better jobs and there is no reason to believe they will start doing so now.

          2. As RSB says, tax cuts for middle-income people are a campaign promise, which can indirectly stimulate spending and hence the economy, or more likely just help people continue to pay bills through a rough time.

            Republicans want it all to be tax cuts, and want to make sure poor people don’t get any (cuz that’s socialism), so they target them in very different directions. And hope against hope that somewhere someday a job might be created, but don’t actually do anything that will directly encourage that outcome.

              1. They didn’t like how the one-time payments worked last time, so any new tax cuts would involve reduced deductions from each paycheck. So I imagine it only applies to future income. I could be wrong though.

        1. if Jim Cramer was right on Hardball earlier today.  He made an interesting point, Boston’s “Big Dig” alone was $22B and “only” employed 5,000 people…

          1. the best example if you’re comparing price tags.

            I would like to see a lot more spending on infrastructure investment in this bill. Especially with the latest report from the American Society of Civil Engineers:

            “The nation’s infrastructure crisis is endangering our future prosperity,” ASCE President Wayne Klotz said at a press conference. “Crumbling infrastructure has a direct impact on our personal and economic health.”

            The group rated 15 infrastructure categories, none of which received a grade higher than “C+.” Drinking water, inland waterways, levees, roads and wastewater facilities all received a “D-,” the lowest grades on the 2009 report card.

            http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/2

            As if the Minneapolis bridge collapse wasn’t enough warning about what ignoring these problems could do. People think we’re threatened by al Qaeda prisoners moving to Florence? We don’t even need terrorists for massive disasters to start happening here.

            1. to be happy w/ the infrastructure numbers in this bill?

              Repubs say it’s not enough (and then they start talking about tax cuts…ugh, that’s another story).

              You get a handful of dems like Pete DeFazio jumping up and down telling “look at me, look at me; something’s wrong with this bill!!!” and no one seems to care.

              And then you have Barbara Lee…who’s district I’m in at this very moment…patting the backs of her fellow dems for passing such a great bill that will, somehow, put all sorts of people to work.

              To me, Dems seem more interested in talking about what repub are doing than making sure the stimulus actually…ya know…stimulates…

                1. Turd soup is our favorite.  🙂

                  However the “stimulus” works out, it deserves to be ours.  We have the biggest majorities in congress in decades yet we’re still complaining about repubs.  We have a job to do, just effin’ do it.

                1. Why do this in multiple parts?

                  We know repubs are going to be against huge spending projects, why give them another chance to whine about big government?  Especially when it won’t be connected to stimulus.  You can only sell the stimulus argument so many times.  Eventually it just becomes (to the unthinking chunk of the public) massive gov’t spending.

              1. That’s it exactly.  Almost no one will really debate the package, just take their word for it.  Anyone who disagrees is an idiot and/or hater.  Blaming Bush for the last 8 years (did you know Presidential terms last that long?) is great, but doesn’t do anything.

                On that note, I’d fake the whole thing.  Force everyone to agree that it’s great, driving consumer confidence up and opening wallets.  Actual cost to the country, $0.

            1. …because of this fine prediction he made on the air:

              “The market  will not revisit the panicked lows it on July 15th..Bye-bye, bear market. Say hello to the Bull, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

              July 30th, CNBC’s Mad Money

  4. But I think all the R’s should vote no on the stimulus.  It’s so much money, and you are starting to see pork-type line items creep out of it, plus it’s just the wrong thing to do.

    Obama doesn’t need a single R vote, he just wants cover.  Let the Dems own this pig.

      1. I don’t like the line item veto. With all due respect to Obama (and so far I love him), he and his entire economic team may not know what Colorado actually wants or needs from a stimulus plan. I think our representatives may be able to decide that a little more effectively.

        My view of the separation of powers is that the President does the big picture/bully pulpit stuff, while the Congress does the micromanaging. A President who has to go through a bill to determine what’s essential and what’s not is probably wasting a lot of his time. So even if the line item veto were Constitutional, I still don’t think it’d be a good idea.

    1. I remember it lasting for two days back in October or so. 🙂

      Not sure what counts as “pork” anyway. Construction projects? Those are bad? How else are you going to quickly create jobs?

      Everything Republicans have proposed as an alternative is wing-and-a-prayer stuff for job creation. We might get trickle down out of it on a good day, if we’re lucky.

      This is something. It’s not perfect, but nothing ever is in government. Establishing a reputation on day one for fighting against any sort of progress and not seriously proposing any kind of alternatives is NOT the way to win back a majority in 2010.

        1. then the tax cuts are out, for reasons I supplied elsewhere.

          Instead this is a bill to help people through a recession. Part of that is job creation, part of it is unemployment benefits, part of it is extra paycheck money for paying bills, and part of it is better funding for health care and other possibly huge expenses for individuals.

          I think this is an expansive definition of “pork.” My understanding of “pork” is some specific construction project that gets your district money when another district needs it more, because you have higher seniority. It’s a fairly narrow definition, and the air of corruption is what makes it especially unsavory. I don’t see how funding the CDC has anything in common with that.

            1. If you support the funding one way or the other, why does it matter which bill it goes into?

              If every funding proposal had its own separate bill, with its own debate and potential for filibustering, it would be impossible to fund anything. I know the starve-the-beast types wouldn’t mind that, but I would.

              1. That was my original argument.

                All I’m saying is I understand where LB is coming from on some of the spending. That’s why I suggested the idea of giving Obama a line item veto to cut out things that are either extraneous, or don’t directly stimulate the economy.

                1. which is as important as the other aspects. An illness can cost a crapload of money and push a family over the edge from struggling to get by to financially underwater. Especially in rough times.

                  1. It’s going to research, immunization programs, and awareness programs (page 146/647 of H.R. 1.) I’m sure this will greatly benefit researchers, the CDC, and humanity down the line, but how does it directly help the economy right now?

                    If you start defending every single bit of spending, and saying that all of it is vital to helping the economy, then you start sounding like the Republicans calling for tax cuts.

                    I’m going to stop with this right now for the simple fact that this represents a tiny fraction of the overall $825 billion. All I was trying to say is that those tiny fractions add up, and it is possible to either cut it out entirely or direct the funds towards something that benefits people right away.

    2. spending in the family planning area from the bill (the money for condoms as the Rs like to put it) and I’m all for leaving that and other special interest group projects out and stripping this down to what can reasonably be expected to have a stimulus effect. Other issues can be dealt with in separate legislation.

      Every time some item like this is surrendered the GOP have that much less grounds to claim it’s a Dem wish list bill.  That would make it a very strong win/win situation for the Dems.  Either they get more GOP support and can claim a victory in the name of a new bi-partisan spirit or the GOP just looks like the same old grumpy party of obstruction.  

      Probably why Obama asked for the give-in on that one. Bet there will be few more.

      1. Either way, this pork that they’re talking about represents a tiny portion of the overall stimulus. We can start cutting it down as much as they like, but eventually we’re going to have to pass it.

        They throw out numbers like hundreds of millions of dollars (which is, in reality a lot of money) but in government spending it is a trifle. John McCain tried to do it in the debates, but Obama took him to school.

        It’s hard to tell how the voters will perceive the Republican gambit on this issue (I don’t think your choice if bi-partisanship or boo Republicans is set in stone yet.) We do know that something is going to get passed, it will be a crapload of money, and it might not work. The question is whether the GOP will be on board.

        No matter how it ends up getting played, (spun, perceived, etc.) this is going to be a bellwether moment for the Republican party.  

        1. guess my wording was poor.  I know the family planning was already cut and pointed to it as something that could be seen as giving the Rs something or as Ds standing up to the base.  

          Know these things don’t constitute the big bucks but they are the kind of thing the Rs go on the talk shows with every day. Look at those silly millions for condoms, etc. Talking point stuff that people relate to.  

          Point is, if Dems give in on some other stuff like this it does make them look more willing to deal, takes some talking point wind out of GOP sails.  

          Like you say, something WILL pass and the Dems have the muscle. The rest is PR to be banked for the future.

          LB seems to be banking on failure of the stimulus plan that can all be blamed on Dems if they pass it almost alone. I think the plan will actually be helpful and the Rs will wind up on the wrong side if they are perceived as the party that wouldn’t give an inch.

          1. I don’t believe that it will do much for the economy, to be honest.  Just a different school of economic thought.

            I’d much rather see the temporary elimination or reduction in capital gains and business taxes to stimulate growth.  

            Government does very little well, or efficiently, and this is an unholy amount of money.

            Honestly?  I’d love to be proven wrong since it’s going to pass anyway, but it’s an unholy amount of money.

                1. I simply have never seen a shred of evidence to support trickle down as beneficial for maintaining a broad prosperous empowered middle class or upward mobility for low income workers.  It certainly hasn’t over the last 8 years.

                  If you still believe in trickle down you’re entitled but I really can’t, for the life of me, understand why.  But then I have no absolute faith in ANY philosophy or ideology. I see them as models that always have to be modified and adjusted for utility once you  transfer them from ivory tower to the real world. Peace, LB.  

                1. You are talking about the direct transfer of funds versus a hope that the funds will pass through on down to the poor and middle class from the rich.

                  Very different things.

                    1. that the stimulus package involves a tangible transfer of funds, and I used from the feds to the states as an example.  Trickle down involves a theory of transfer of funds (i.e. – it may or may not happen).  That’s all.

            1. Or at least make a dent in the proposed cuts that were discussed the other day.

              Since the states prop up the Federal government, I don’t see the problem in the feds coming in to help out the states.

                1. States employ a lot of people and can’t see how millions losing state jobs, teachers, firefighters, police etc. defaulting on mortgages, collecting unemployment helps this economy.  

              1. And agree with LB about California.

                It’s pretty easy to cut a budget if you’re willing to cut services.  California and many other states are not, which is why they’re in trouble.

                I used to have this argument with my father whenever he complained about his taxes in NJ.  I’d ask, “Dad, are you willing to do without the municipal washroom attendents?”  He’d say no.  Then I’d tell him to quit bitching about his taxes.

  5. is an easy target.  He’s short, he has a squeaky voice, he’s a Republican, he’s from Colorado Springs…but suppose that he’s right? We’re in uncharted waters here-all of the so-called economists, bankers, and regulators are just as baffled and dismayed as any of us by the events of the last year or so, and it’s not clear whether the stimulus program will indeed stimulate, or whether it’s just Viagra for a corpse. We’ll see-but note that Paulson’s ill-conceived multi hundred billion bank bailout failed to unfreeze credit, or make insolvent banks whole. Perhaps this headlong rush  to print money and spend it right now!! is, as the repubs claim, a disaster in the making.  I don’t know-and neither does Obama, nor Lamborn, nor Geithner.

    1. But we have theories, and we have historical data, and we have measurable information. True, we don’t have God whispering in our ears to tell us the future (well maybe Lamborn does, but the rest of us don’t). But we don’t have nothing, either.

  6. It’s one thing not to vote for it, but they’ve now invested their reputations pretty heavily on it failing.

    If it works, will any of them change their minds about their taxcut “theories”? Of course not.

    So let’s take bets. What will be the Republican rationalization for why the economy improved after the stimulus passed?

    (1) It was all cyclical, everybody knew the recession would be over in late 2009 anyway.

    (2) Bush policies that took a couple years to finally show their merit.

    (3) Republican obstinacy led to a bill that actually worked, even though no Republicans had anything to do with the final bill.

    (4) Michael Moore is fat.

    1. If it works, will any of them change their minds about their taxcut “theories”? Of course not.

      I might.

      I’m betting on this, though…

      It was all cyclical…

      Getting the same people who brought you the IRS and the DMV involved with quickly stimulating anything is a fairy tale.  Government growth isn’t going to spur anything other than higher taxes forever, in my view, and the way Obama’s telling everyone that this has to be done right now reminds me of a car salesman.

      I’d really like to be proven wrong, but I have big doubts.  If it turns things, I’m going to change my position on economic theory.

      1. which used to work pretty well. And the military, which I hear is good for some things. So no, I’m not buying the “government is the root of all evil” right now.

        If one believes the economy is doing very badly for many people, and if one also believes that some sort of government remedy is possible, then one would obviously want to do it as soon as possible. There’s fairly broad agreement among the people who were elected specifically to deal with this, so why not do it now?

        As for whether you’ll change your mind, YOU might, but most won’t. I was thinking more of Republican congressmen anyway, you Obama voter.

  7. Party line vote, but it’s passed.

    The GOP has another chance to vote yes when the House-Senate compromise comes back before it’s sent to Obama’s desk.

      1. the party that bankrupted this country with their failed (or more likely lied about) notions that sending more money to their rich masters would benefit Americans.

        The GOP is the party of no bid sweetheart deals to their buddies and corporates masters who promptly hid the money off-shore so they wouldn’t have to bother paying any thing back into the Treasury as they raped it instead.

        The GOP is the party missing pallets of hard-earned American money sent to a failed nation-building adventure overseas while a major American city drowned.

        Today the IMF predicted global growth for 2009 at its weakest level in 60 years, as the GOP propose:  wait for it–cutting corporate gain taxes.  

        Sure, I think the Dems should have stood up to the GOP bullshit, putting more money into infrastructure (like DeFazio wanted) but instead they took it on faith that maybe the GOP wanted to help this country.  

        I hope Obama learned that the GOP are scoundrels, defeated but not yet dead to their American-hating ways.  Soon enough if they keep up this crap.  Soon enough.  

        A recap:

        Let’s review how well the AS’s of the world are doing with their message in Colorado looking at the last 4 election cycles, shall we?

        LOST-both state legislative chambers

        LOST-governorship

        LOST-2 U.S. Senate seats

        LOST-3 U.S. Congressional seats

        LOST-9 electoral votes for president

        The GOP will own this failure of leadership.  Like when Newt shut down government and got punished at the polls, Americans now are really worried and the GOP just says F*CK YOU.  

      2. Pols are pols. They all want to keep their jobs, and the GOP knows that throwing red meat out on a bill that was going to pass anyway was a good move politically. No Republican wants to go into the 2010 midterms with the prospect of that vote being used against them in a GOP primary.

        The Democrats own it. You’re right about that, but the GOP didn’t put up much of a fight. Just typical GOP red meat: noun, verb, tax cuts, adjective, liberal democrat spending, tax cuts.”

        Either way, this isn’t over. It has to go to the Senate, where they’ll chop things up and then give it back to the House.

        I’ll bet you a beer that by the time it gets to Obama’s desk, some Republicans will have voted for it.

        1. is that most of the ones left come from very conservative districts where Rush is king and voting against Godless Dems is more important than voting FOR anything.

          Just look at that poor Repub Rep. from Georgia who criticized Rush for some of the things he’s said about wanting Obama to fail and disparaging the GOP congressional leadership. His constituents must have ripped him a new one because, next thing you know, he’s falling all over himself apologizing to Rush.  It was pretty pathetic.

          But you’re right.  A handful of Rs in the House and enough in the Senate will be on board in the end.

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