Stimulus needs work

Published 10:26 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

There’s some good news and some bad news about President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan, which is making its way through several house committees. The price tag of these plans if passed will total near the $825 billion mark.

The good news is there are plans to improve our nation’s infrastructure. There is money earmarked for road improvements and upgrading our nation’s electricity grid, both of which are vastly needed.

There are plans to give taxpayers making $75,000 or less a $500 tax credit and those making $150,000 or more a $1,000 credit. Students and their families could receive a temporary $2,500 tax credit to help them pay for college. Both of these would vastly help families nationwide.

However, there are things about this bill that are making Republicans and even some Democrats not support this bill. One of the main points of contention is that only $30 billion of the plan is going toward road and bridge construction. Some feel that number should be more.

“This $900 billion economic stimulus is being sold as a massive highway infrastructure bill, when, in truth, only three percent of this money is committed to highway construction,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said. “This is the largest spending bill the Congress has ever considered, and the American people … need to know exactly what they are getting, or not getting, for their money.”

Some democrats agree with that statement.

“This bill … is not even near what we need for short-term needs and it does not in any meaningful way address the long-term needs for our country,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., at a Transportation panel hearing.

We believe that $30 billion isn’t enough allocated to roads and bridges. At least one-tenth of the money should go to that. Our infrastructure is aging, and it needs major updates nationwide. This would also be a great way to stimulate new jobs in America to get out of the recession.

If nothing is changed, this $825 million package could wind up being a package to expand government instead of a stimulus to the economy.