If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Again?
In spite of the nearly $800 billion of taxpayer money used for the first stimulus package, some senior Obama administration officials suggest that more taxpayer money may be required to fix the economy. Is a second stimulus package the answer?
Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Obama's economic adviser recently said, "It looks like the economy is weaker than expected. Why not begin to think about over the next several months whether we need a stimulus package and what it should include."
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman supports the idea of a second stimulus package, and legendary businessman and billionaire Warren Buffett has also chimed in on the public debate.
Yesterday Buffett appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and shared his thoughts on the possibility that one stimulus may not be enough for our economy to rebound. “Our first stimulus bill was sort of like taking half a tablet of Viagra and then having also a bunch of candy mixed in as if everybody was putting in things for their own constituencies,” Buffett said.
With respect to the financial fanatic, that musing doesn’t leave me sold on the need to drive the economy into even more debt.
Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania believes that a second package should focus more so on boosting infrastructure arguing such a move “produces jobs, and produces orders for American factories.”
Republicans, on the other hand, dismiss talk of another package, insisting a call for another proves that the first didn’t work, and thus should be a sign to stop wasting money. Others criticize the move for another package under the claims that the U.S. would be falling for the same trap as nations like Japan who piled on debt in the 1990s with spending sprees that produced few benefits.
Vice President Biden recently acknowledged that the administration "misread" the economy, but still says the first package was necessary. Speaking before workers in Ohio this week Biden refuted GOP criticism of their bill with, "Remember, we're only 140 days into this deal. It's supposed to take 18 months."
Obama’s original economic stimulus plan promised to get people working again and prevent unemployment numbers from surpassing 8 percent. Since the signing of the package, more than two million jobs have been lost. Though there may be benefits to his first stimulus bill over time, President Barack Obama's stimulus bill was passed fewer than five months ago and only a small fraction of the money has been spent thus far.
To that end shouldn’t Obama administration officials and surrogates like Buffett calm talk of a second package for now?
I don’t want my grandchildren’s great grandbabies paying for our mistakes now. Do you?
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