CBS Evening News' Nancy Cordes reported Wednesday on a House oversight committee hearing on President Obama's economic stimulus package. The hearing comes after a report showed that the stimulus funds are being used for day-to-day operations in many states and not reaching the poor and jobless areas that need them most.
Some Democrats are talking about seeking a second stimulus even as the defend the first, but Republicans are staunchly opposed. CBS Moneywatch.com editor-at-large Jill Schlesinger joined Evening News anchor Katie Couric to discuss the possibility of a second stimulus and more.
Couric: Would a second stimulus package be good for the economy?
Schlesinger: Well when we talk about a stimulus we are talking about taxpayer money. Right now we are borrowing to try to stimulate the economy. That means we will have a bill to pay back in the future. So we must think very clearly about what that means. On the other hand, as Nancy just said, we've only seen 11 percent of the money get spent. That means the lion's share of that stimulus package is to come. So maybe we've got to a little bit to see how things work out through the economy
Couric:So patience may be the operative word even though a lot of people are getting impatient. One of the goals of this package was to increase consumer confidence so people will start spending and put money into the economy. But a report out today – a government report – shows consumers are saving and not spending. So how can we turn that around?
Schlesinger: If you are a family and you are in trouble, you can't go out and spend freely. That would be silly. We want people to act responsibly. But if you are a family, you've got jobs, and things are okay, maybe you don't have to be paralyzed in that fear state – you can spend a little bit. You know, in the long run, Katie, if people live responsibly and take control of their financial lives, we will have a stronger economy. It just may take some time.
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