Senate Stimulus Package--Using a bandaid where a transplant is required

The Senate is proposing to give the United States a bandaid, when a transplant is required.


I was disappointed when the House’s version of the Stimulus Package was released with only $95 billion allocated to green initiatives out of $550 billion in expenditures (and another $275 billion in tax cuts), but the Senate version is far worse. By my reading, only $67.2 billion of the $885 billion Senate stimulus plan is now allocated for green initiatives:


Energy Efficiency for DOD Facilities


Water Infrastructure


Public Transit


Energy Investments





Instead of a down payment on our future, the Senate bill sprinkles most of the stimulus money throughout the existing economy, with $13.9 billion in Pell Higher Education grants, $13 billion "to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential," $5.8 billion to "fight preventable diseases and conditions." Some money is clearly not green at all—like $27 billion in highway funding.


There are also major bucks for residential real estate proposed. According to CNN, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said he would propose an expansion of a temporary $7,500 first-time home buyer credit so that it applies to all purchases of primary residences, and some Republican senators have called for an increase in the credit to $15,000. Senate Republicans are likely to introduce a provision that would encourage lenders to offer a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4%.


The problem with the stimulus package and the proposed amendments is not the amount of the allocations, or even the worthiness of some of the programs, like higher education and healthcare. Rather, it is the fundamental perspective on the American economy that it represents.

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Construction Law Monitor - February 13, 2009 2:06 PM
Around the web this week, we have a few articles related to the Employee Free Choice Act and potential labor law changes under President Obama that's turning out to be a hot issue in the construction biz, commentary on the new stimulus bill, and in the...
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Christopher G. Hill - February 10, 2009 9:03 AM

Clearly, we are in a dig us out now and forget the future mode. The Washington meat grinder strikes again, leading to less "change" and more money thrown down a well. I wish I could say I am surprised, but, alas, I am not.

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