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Middle Class Tax Breaks Within Weeks of Stimulus Passage

President Obama's National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers, appearing on "Meet the Press" this morning, predicted middle-class tax cuts would put money in the pockets of working Americans "within weeks" of the passage of stimulus package -- at the same time he also predicted that the nation's overall economic problems won't be solved overnight.

MR. GREGORY: Let's talk about what can be achieved this year, this calendar year. It's a big concern, you want that up-front stimulus to jump-start the economy. The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report this week, and it was also echoed by a research report done by the investment bank Goldman Sachs. And we'll put a portion of that Goldman Sachs report on the screen: "Preliminary estimates imply that of the $825 billion Congress is considering, only $250 billion will make it into the economy in the current calendar year. This could still change as the package works its way through Congress, but these estimates highlight the political and practical challenges in enacting an effective fiscal package, particularly in 2009." Only $250 billion worth of impact this year. Don't you want more of a jump-start?

DR. SUMMERS: This is something we've been very focused on. There's certain adjustments that are taking place in the legislation. The president has committed, through a letter from his O and B director, Peter Orszag, that three-quarters of this $825 billion program will be spent out within the first 18 months. And we're doing everything we can. But frankly, we're not going to rush things to the point of being wasteful. But the tax measures are going to change withholding checks within weeks after they're enacted. Cities across the country are going to see help so they don't have to lay off teachers or cops within weeks after this--after the program is passed. So yes, speed is a crucial concern. But you know, David, there is something else we have to recognize, which is these problems weren't made in a day or a week or a month or even a year, and they're not going to get solved that fast. So even as we move to be as rapid as we can in jolting the economy and giving it the push forward it needs, we also have to be mindful of having the right kind of plan that will carry us forward over time. That's why the productive aspects of the investments the president's making--doubling renewable energy, for example, modernizing 10,000 schools--are so essential.

President Obama made a pledge to America -- "Yes, We Can." The American electorate responded to that call with a resounding "Yes, We Will." Republicans in Congress, lead by blubbering John Boehner, are responding with "No, We Won't," as they stand ready to do all they can to block the passage of the stimulus.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh has been beating the drum loudly in the conservative media, pledging to do all he can to insure that Obama's efforts to restore America fail.

"I want him to fail. If his agenda is a far-left collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?"

...[H]is stimulus is aimed at re-establishing 'eternal' power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle..."

The stimulus was forged with advice from a bipartisan panel of economic experts:

DR. SUMMERS: [...] That's why we surveyed a range of economists. We talk--and this is something the president insists on--to a lot of experts, both Democrat and Republican. And you know, frankly, some of them think the stimulus should be larger, some of them think the stimulus should be, should be smaller. President balanced the different views and I think came to the approach that we've taken, and came to an approach that's balanced in another way. It's balanced between very substantial new investments that are referred to between very important protections to prevent teachers and cops from being laid off, and also--and this is a substantial part of the package--tax cuts, because we recognize that we've got to help households to be able to spend, and businesses.

The stimulus package, as it stands now, is already a balanced approach taking into account both Democratic and Republican viewpoints. But the Republicans in Congress, in concert with conservative media mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh and his band of linking wannabees, stand lock-step and arm-in-arm to defeat the stimulus package when it reaches Congress.

They aren't happy with a compromise approach. They want to "stop liberalism" and all of the new administration's efforts to fund education, for example:

Boehner and Republicans have called for more tax cuts instead of the Democrats' plan to primarily use federal money to help states and to fund infrastructure projects as well as energy, education and healthcare programs.

Funding education, in addition to investing in America's economic future, preserves and creates jobs in the education field. But since funding education is a plank of the Democratic platform, and therefore part and parcel to the "liberalism" so hated by the Republican ideologues, watch for the Congressional Republicans to fight Obama tooth and nail over the stimulus packages' passage next week.

"No, We Can't" has been the loudest battle cry in Washington for the last 8 years, and if Rush Limbaugh and the power-hungry Republicans in Congress get their way, the nation's current spiral downward will continue for another 4 years.

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Comments (6)


Hmm. And Rush Limbaugh wants an Obama Presidency to fail. Wasn't this the guy that spent the last few years castigating "liberals" for supporting terrorists by not supporting Bush? Sounds like Rush is now in bed with al Qaeda. Why does this drug-addicted pedophile hate America?

And if tax cuts were the magic bullet, and Bush and Boehner cut taxes over the last eight years, shouldn't the economy be in great shape? (Indeed, it's this thinking that led the National Republican Congressional Committee to argue, as recently as yesterday, "Thanks to Republican economic policies, the U.S. economy is robust and job creation is strong.") Now that Boehner has come forward with a "plan" he needs to demonstrate its successful track record and set of background givens so we can get a better idea of how his philosophy will play itself out in real time America as we work our way through the worst economic conditions we've faced since 1933. It's that, or Boehner and his fellow travelers have not a clue how economic reality operates. Do they not have to buy their own groceries? The only thing that I can figure is that the majority of people in Boner's district are suffering from the effects of inbreeding.

"Our plan is rooted in the philosophy that we cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity..." So it's only ok to borrow and spend through prosperity? More likely only ok to borrow and spend when the Republic Party controls the WH.


I believe that most if not all of this legislation needs a simple majority to be forwarded to President Obama for his signature. I don't believe any Republican votes are needed. I would also be surprised if Republicans at this stage of Mr. Obama's tenure would increase their visibility by filibustering any of this legislation. I agree with Allen that it is difficult for Republicans to take the stance as vangards of fiscal austerity as they have done a very lousy job of it the past 8 years. I write this as a conservative who tends to vote very often for Republican candidates. However, I believe Boehner is correct that we cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity so I think they DO have a clue how reality operates. One can not shun reality because one is in power but that is what the Republicans did. I confess I have not yet read Mr. Obama's plan in its entirety. I hope there are significant incentives in it for small business. I think the strength of small business is an important aspect of economic recovery in a country like the United States.

Lee Ward:


A House vote is expected Wednesday. Democrats, if united, have a large enough majority to pass it without GOP backing. But Obama is seeking bipartisan support on this critical early test of his presidency. Senate Republicans could block the package but they would have to be united to do so.

I'd be really surprised if there weren't efforts by House and Senate Republicans to make a very vocal and public battle over the stimulus.

Republicans haven't given a crap about the nation's prosperity for 8 long years. It's been tax cuts for the rich and the rest of the nation doesn't matter.

Suddenly, having had their asses handed to them in the 2008 election, Bonehead has found a new religion. That man is so dishonest he sweats when it's freezing.


And now the non-biased version of the article:

Republicans are concerned with the fact that the stimulus bill keeps increasing, and much of it will not be for job creation; rather billions will go to things like ACORN, contraceptives, and planting grass at the Washington Mall, and further, there is a near absence of growth stimulating tax cuts. However, President Obama, despite his pledge of bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle, refuses to take any suggestions that do not match his own plans.

Lee-- I realize that you hate Republicans with a passion. I know that you think that conservatives are evil, and out to elevate only "the rich" while pushing all others to poverty or death. Unfortuantely, your hatred has made you blind to the truth. The truth is that while Republicans have different ideals and beliefs than you, they still want what is best for people. I don't understand the vast majority of liberal doctrine, and strongly disagree with most of it in strong terms. However, I do realize that Democrats also want the success of the people and the nation, as do Republicans. I hope someday your hatred will ease to the point of at least realizing that while Republicans have different views of how to accomplish things, they honestly want the best for the nation, just as you do. I'll add that I am considered middle class-- and have gone from being way below poverty level to where I am today. The last 8 years, I have benefitted, esp. from the Bush tax cuts that you claim only helped the rich. I would say the Bush tax cuts helped more people than Obama's/Frank's pet housing loan projects that have devestated so many.


Wasting your time Kev. Their too busy kissing the Chosen One's ass to realize that this 'stimulus' program is nothing more that an attempt to get as many as possible hooked on the government teat. Once you've got that, their hearts and minds will follow, forever. None have the intelligence to ask the question: "And what happens when the government money dries up?"

Lee Ward:

"And what happens when the government money dries up?".

We sell off the daughters of the Republicans in Congress to Islamic extremists...


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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