What's the best kind of economic stimulus?

01/29/09 Robert Lorei
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Yesterday, in a 244-to-188 vote, the House approved an $819 billion economic recovery plan written by House Democrats and supported by President Barack Obama.

The entire Republican Caucus, along with 11 Democrats, voted against the plan.

Conservatives have said they are enthusiastic to work with the new President. House Minority Leader John Boehner said "We've made it clear that we will continue to work with the president to develop a plan that will work."

Boehner is a Republican from Ohio, who led his caucus in opposition to Obama's plan. "We just don't think it's going to work." Instead, Boehner and his colleagues pushed for a return to supply side practices. "We have said let's do tax cuts, let's let the American people make the decisions on how they'll spend the money," said

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-AL, on CNBC earlier this week."That will stimulate the economy more than bringing all that money to Washington and then distributing it out in all sorts of government programs." The alternative proposed by House Republicans yesterday, which was defeated 266-170, was composed almost entirely of tax cuts.

We're joined now by Josh Bivens, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C. He's studied the merits of tax cuts vs. more direct government spending such as unemployment benefits, food stamps and infrastructure investment.

For more information, visit EPI.org.

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White collar stimulus

Obama meet Wednwsday with several CEO's from technology sector. Sam Palmisano, CEO of IBM, claimed that a $30 billion investment would create 1 million jobs. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10152470-38.html As part of his efforts to advocate for the passage of the so-called "stimulus" bill, President Obama met with a number of chief executives from the technology sector and other industries on Wednesday to discuss the economy. Tech company leaders present at the meeting included IBM's Sam Palmisano, Google's Eric Schmidt, Applied Materials' Mike Splinter, Motorola's Greg Brown, and Micron's Steve Appleton. Obama called it a "sober" meeting but said the economic package moving its way through Congress will create more jobs and lay a foundation for long-term growth. "It will invest in broadband and emerging technologies, like the ones imagined and introduced to the world by people like... so many of the CEOs here today," he said, "because that's how America will retain and regain its competitive edge in the 21st century."

Buying locally may not work

While I find the behavior of economic markets abhorring, the idea that buying locally is the answer is just plain wrong. They tried that in the 1920's and it didn't work. Mexico tried that recently and look where it got them. I do however, support the idea of fiscal responsibility and living within your means. We, as a people, need to stop using credit cards like we have been. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. E