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The stimulus: One year later

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Stimulus: One Year Later

A little more than a year ago, on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the so-called "stimulus" act. The $862 billion stimulus bill was supposed to create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. In reality, my concerns it wouldn't work regretfully held true, and since it passed in February 2009, 3.3 million Americans have been put out of work.

When this bill was signed into law, national unemployment was 7.6 percent. The President promised the stimulus bill would hold unemployment to less than 8.2 percent nationally. But in the year since, unemployment has soared to more than 10 percent, and in fact is much higher. The total unemployment numbers, including those who have given up looking for full-time work, are now estimated at 17.3 percent.

Unless robust job creation begins immediately, the gap between the President's rhetoric and reality will grow to six million or even seven million jobs by the end of the year.

The stimulus bill was put together so quickly and so secretively, no Member of Congress had a chance to read it before it passed, and it shows. Unemployment is increasing as businesses continue to shed jobs, including 20,000 more lost just last month.

The cost of this bill is truly staggering. In ten years, the federal debt will be 77 percent of America's Gross Domestic Product, our total national economic output. To make matters worse, every single dollar of the stimulus was borrowed, and the Administration has absolutely no plan to pay it back or the interest payments it has spawned.

The end result is predictable.

Instead of continuing to try to put lipstick on a pig, President Obama should follow the examples of Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Both instituted policies which cut taxes, reduced government interference, and freed small businesses to do what they do best -- expand the economy and create jobs through hard work and perseverance.

It is time for Washington to take a new approach to get this economy moving again, based on doing what works: fiscal discipline and immediate tax relief for working families.

To this end, I cosponsored the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act (H.R. 470). This legislation contains numerous short- and long-term tax provisions for individuals and businesses to spur the economy. The bill would immediately assist individuals and businesses by lifting existing tax burdens.

Families would benefit from a five percent across-the-board cut, a child tax credit between $1,000 and $5,000, repealed Alternative Minimum Tax, increased student loan deductions, and tax-free retirement account withdrawals.

Under this alternative proposal, businesses would experience a reduced top corporate tax rate, immediate expense deductions, and a permanent research and development tax credit.

In these tough economic times, Congress must work to promote growth and prevent our economy from backsliding. Taxpayers aren't getting their money's worth from the stimulus, and struggling families and small businesses are rightly dubious of its positive impact. By passing legislation I support, the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act, Congress can still do the right thing by focusing on legislation which creates jobs to put our economy back on track the right way.

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Adrian my wife and I received an $800 tax cut from the make work pay. Also got a $1500 tax credit from a heat pump install and took advantage of the CFC. This is real money in a Nebraska family pocket pocket. This is my money that the stimulus allowed me to keep. This money will be turned into more energy improvements.

If we keep energy efficiency at the same level as national defense we could stop fighting these wars in the Middle East.

-- Posted by Meshedup on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 4:53 PM

Make work pay is not a tax cut but a tax credit big difference. That is also money borrowed from China and Japan.

Government spending does not stimulate an economy, it naver has or will work. What works is letting business create jobs and spur growth. A 1 thousand dollar tax credit for hiring a new emplyee that will cost a company tens of thousands to employ is not going to work.

Keep up the good work Adrian and I support your bill. By letting hard working Americans keep their own money and spend it as they see fit is a much more sensible aproach than taxing, running it through huge burocracies and returning a small portion in social engineering tax credits.

I personally believe the entire tax system should be scrapped and replaced with a national sales tax. It would eliminate the IRS, all the need for tax attornies and accountants and capture all the illegal money spent in the country.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 7:00 PM

So if a Democrat lets me keep $2300 more of my own money it is "borrowing" from China. If a Republican lets me keep $2300 of my own money it is a sensible approach to taxing.

I see what you did there!

-- Posted by Meshedup on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 8:02 PM

No when they give a tax credit it has to come from somewhere because it is money that comes from the treasury regardless of which party does it.

If it is never collected in the first place as in a rate reduction it does not have to be borrowed or confiscated from someone else.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 9:52 AM

I'm sorry Chaco1 but you are wrong. A tax credit is credit for taxes that weren't payed. If a person chooses to pre-pay that amount and get a refund then that is their choice.

The facts remain that President Obama's stimulus plan that Smith voted against cut the taxes for most Nebraskans.

-- Posted by Meshedup on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 10:23 AM

Chaco1, save your energy. Meshedup has no idea how taxes or our government works. This is economics 101 and he has no idea!

-- Posted by remington81 on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 8:48 PM

It's obvious no matter what he will always come down drinking the Democrat kool aid. Fact is the stimulus cost nearly a trillion dollars and did not cut taxes. I can certainly say it did not cut my taxes,. I payed more in this year and got less back. I am also not one of those evil rich people you dems hate so much.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 8:58 PM

I'm not drinking the Democrat kool aid here. Of the $900 billion stimulus $280 billion was in tax cuts. If a Republican would have brought this about you guys would be singing his praises.

The thing is I quit drinking the Republican kool aid. Look at what the Republican leadership got us in 8 years. Then had all 3 houses and a surplus and spent like drunken sailors. Now the are screaming fiscal responsibility?

You guys can buy their song and dance if you want. I've learned from my mistake.

-- Posted by Meshedup on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 12:01 AM

Meshedup I agree they lost the fiscal responsibility and smaller goverment ideals that got them in durring 94. But how can you defend an admin that has spent more in 1 year than Bush did in all eight? Your selective outrage is noted.

There were no tax cuts in the stimulus none at all. There were targeted tax credits. If they collect it and then give it back it can not by definition be a cut. Man this is such simple econ. Where did that trillion dollars come from?

Fact is government spending does not and will not spur an economy. Seems the economy is stil doing terrible. January 11% down in new home sales, Unemployment up,dow back below 10k. Yep it really seems to be working.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 9:37 AM

1 year budget is more the 8? Who is drinking the Fox koolaid?

Make work pay $400 per person $800 for couple not a tax cut? Why because you needed to work to get it?

Did you really bring the DOW into this? It was 10588 when Bush took office and below 8000 when he left. It is 10300 as of friday close.

I'm not a liberal here by any means. I just started looking at the facts. Not the crap that Fox and Rush spew out there.

-- Posted by Meshedup on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 12:00 PM

While the Neo-Cons are arguing.

Can one of you explain the Republican governor who admitted in his state, stimulus money made it possible to keep city, county, special district and state workers on the job, who would otherwise have been laid off.

The total, according to that Republican governor, exceeds increased unemployment in his state by more than three times.

Plus, he noted that all levels of government are accomplishing major improvements to facilities-- i.e.- Roads, bridges, schools, parks, water and sewer.

REALITY -- It took FDR nine years from 1933 to 1942 and he had not stopped the Depression or turned it around.

All professionals are declaring - This administration, with great imput and cooperation with non-political businessmen, has stopped the Bush/Cheney depression in its tracks and started real economic gains -- in less than 12 months.

Please explain how "tax and spend" Clinton developed a successful program to eliminate the annual deficit, start paying down the federal debt and have this nation debt free in 2010 (Recognize the year)--

And Bush/Cheney converted that to an $11-Trillion debt, with multiple billions going to their oil industry cronies.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 9:53 PM

Of course the money saved jobs but it was liberal spending policies that put that state in the position they were in. It was also liberal spending that got Bush Cheney in trouble with the conservatives in this nation. The common denominator is liberalism in spending. Liberals and their ways have destroyed Greece, California, and New York State. THIS NATION CAN'T AFFORD MORE LIBERAL SPENDING!!!!

-- Posted by hankherndon on Mon, Mar 1, 2010, at 2:14 PM

If you are referring to Kalifonia and Arnold well first as HH said it was the liberals in Sacramento that spent that state into bankruptcy. Second Arnold is hardly a conservative but a RINO in the first order.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Tue, Mar 2, 2010, at 9:10 AM

Just test drove a new Lincoln, the salesman told me that in the winter the seats blow warm air up on your fannie.

Then he told me that in the summer the seats would blow cool air up on my fannie.

I asked him if it was a republican Lincoln?

He said what do you mean by that?

I told him if it was a republican Lincoln that it would also blow smoke up your fannie all the time!!

Had to walk home, but it was worth it!!!

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Fri, Mar 12, 2010, at 12:46 AM

Good thing it wasnb't a Liberal Lincoln it would have stolen your wallet.

Why would you look at a FORD product? You hero Obama owns GM and Chrysler don't you support your boy?

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Mar 12, 2010, at 9:22 AM

HAhahahahah. I just can't stop laughing at that joke. And how true is that?!

What's even funnier, or maybe more sad than anything...is that there are people so ignorant, that they think that one political is as pure as the wind driven snow, and the other is bunch of thieving liars.

THAT is what's wrong with the American public.

Why can't we just all realize that both political parties are completely flawed, working against the American people, doing unlawful things, grandstanding and blowing smoke to produce political points?

There are a few men and women in there fighting an uphill battle, but not many.

We need to stop grading our politicians on how much bacon they bring home for their states. We are now in a rat race that we can no longer support because of this. It is breaking our backs and destroying our future.

American people need to start working hard and making some sacrifices. Our politicans and the Obama admin are not going to do that for us, that is for sure. Expanding the budgets of all federal departments in the face of the biggest deficits in history while the American tax payer is drastically cutting back on on spending out of desperation is an absolute slap in the face.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Sat, Mar 13, 2010, at 11:45 AM

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U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith
Washington Report