Will the Trillion Dollar Stimulus Bill Help You or Your Business?

Last Updated Feb 17, 2009 7:47 PM EST

I don't know about you, but I'm having one helluva time thinking about anything but this crazy trillion dollar "stimulus" bill that will apparently do everything but stimulate the economy. What happened to change? What happened to reaching across the aisle? Anybody out there starting to feel buyer's remorse?
America is in trouble. Capitalism is in trouble. We're at a crossroads. We can't afford to stuff this bill with pork spending. This bill needs to be different. This bill needs to stimulate the economy and add jobs ASAP and with minimal spending. Read my lips: ASAP and with minimal spending.

Who turned Nancy "we're going to lose 500 million jobs a month" Pelosi loose like a little kid in a candy store, stuffing a monstrous piñata the Wall Street Journal called "a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years."

Just a week ago, newly minted President Obama told 13 CEOs, according to MSNBC:
He [Obama] hopes to sign the stimulus plan into law in the next few weeks and went on to stress that most of the money would be spent immediately on job creation and noted that there was skepticism about the size and scale of the plan. He also said a new Web site - Recovery.gov - would allow the public to follow how the government uses taxpayer money.
The recovery.gov website, however, had only this to say:
Check back after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to see how and where your tax dollars are spent. An oversight board will routinely update this site as part of an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.
So that's what transparency means? After it's law, we'll tell you what we stuck you with? You're kidding, right?

The Wall Street Journal had this to say about the bill:
In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make "dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy." Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.

Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.

This is supposed to be a new era of bipartisanship, but this bill was written based on the wish list of every living - or dead - Democratic interest group. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did.
In selling the bill, President Obama seems to have lost much of the savvy that helped get him elected. According to Business Week:
President Barack Obama said Wednesday the recession will turn into "a catastrophe" if the economic stimulus is not passed quickly, lobbying anew for the plan as its price tag climbed above $900 billion and drew more criticism.

The president rejected several complaints about the plan, including arguments that tax cuts alone would solve the problem or that longer-term goals such as energy independence and health care reform should wait.

"A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe ..."
You'd have to be the greatest confectioner in history to find a way to sugarcoat this thing. This bill is nothing but political "business as usual" on an unimaginably large scale at the worst possible time. It will not, in its present form, help you or your business. And the tactics being used to sell it are, simply put, Chicken Little strong-arming.

Frankly, I'm appalled at the lack of leadership skills President Obama has demonstrated at such a critical juncture. It's frightening -- really.

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