Tag: Stimulus Bill

When are we going to “Nation Build” in our OWN Nation?

When are we going to “nation build” in our own nation?

What are we waiting for?

Each bridge to fall down,

Every road to turn back to gravel,

Water mains to burst,

Grids to burn out?

To say nothing about the Investments in

Schools, and Computers, and Networks.

Small Businesses, Parks, EcoSystems, and Science?

and another thing, if “9-11 changed the world”,

when are we going to change our “soft targets”

to prevent the next 9-11?

All these Projects spell JOBS.

All these Projects are an Investment in OUR Future.

They are NOT a Hand Out.

They are Protecting Our OWN.

Another Labor Day has arrived, with FAR TOO MANY Citizens,

having FAR TOO LITTLE to Celebrate …

The first Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, STOP digging.

The first Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, STOP digging.

—  Molly Ivins

Stop Digging?   Check!

Heck, even Erin Burnett (of CNBC) admitted the Stimulus is working, today on MTP … that

“Without the stimulus we would be significantly worse off than we are now.

— any serious economist says so. …  She has the charts.

so do we.

CBO: Stimulus DID create Millions of Jobs

There was some good news from the CBO today:

CBO: Stimulus bill created up to 2.1 million jobs

By ANDREW TAYLOR, The Associated Press – Feb 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — The economic stimulus law added between 1 million to 2.1 million workers to employment rolls by the end of last year, a new report released Tuesday by congressional economists said.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office study also said the $862 billion stimulus added between 1.5 to 3.5 percentage points to the growth of the economy in 2009.


CBO projects that the stimulus measure to have a greater impact this year, boosting gross domestic product [GDP] by 1.4 to 4 percentage points and lowering the unemployment rate by 0.7 to 1.8 percentage points.


And CBO is projecting even more good news this year, due to the Stimulus Jobs Bill …

It’s Time for a WPA — It’s Time to fix that Leaky Roof

The Problem: Unemployment, is just supposed to keep getting worse:

Unemployment rate rises to 10.2%

It’s the first time it has hit double digits since 1983.

By Don Lee and Jim Puzzanghera — Nov 7, 2009

Not since 1983, after a double-dip economic downturn had sent the auto, steel and housing industries plunging, has the jobless rate gone so high. And many economists predict that it will go higher still in coming months — and remain high for most if not all of next year.

Some 15.7 million workers now have no jobs, the government said in releasing its monthly unemployment report, and an estimated 5 million more are working fewer hours and drawing smaller paychecks than they were before the country fell into the worst recession in a generation.


Funny, you’d think that a Country with SO Much to Fix, in the Backlog, could find SOMETHING for ALL those Millions TO DO?

We Need a New WPA, to “Bridge” Workers with Hope

The Problem: Unemployment, is just supposed to keep getting worse:

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose More Than Forecast

By Shobhana Chandra

Oct. 22, 2009  (Bloomberg) — More Americans than forecast filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, a reminder that the labor market will be slow to recover.

Initial jobless applications rose by 11,000 to 531,000 in the week ended Oct. 17


Economists project the unemployment rate will reach 10 percent by the first quarter of 2010, underscoring the risk to consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. Companies cutting costs remain reluctant to hire, even as they’ve eased dismissals from levels seen earlier this year.


I heard a news Report this weekend that the +10% is expecting to last throughout most of 2010 too … Uh Oh!

Infrastructure Report Card — and the Crumbling of America

America was built on lots of hard work. At the cost of untold blood, sweat and tears. So much so, that we take it for granted. We just assume that all the modern conveniences we enjoy — will just always be there!

Well a team of super serious, civil engineers, is warning our careless assumptions here, could be in for a very rude awaking.

American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE, has issued their 2009 Infrastructure Report Card, for America, and well, it’s far from encouraging …

Why Dems like the filibuster; it’s a fig leaf

Steve Burns at the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice asks a very timely question, as Congress takes it sweet time tinkering with a stimulus bill:

What is it the makes Democrats so committed to the Senate rule that allows the minority to tie things in knots?

Remember the "nuclear option" threat by the GOP when Republicans ruled the Senate? The threat, basically, was that if Dems didn't play ball they'd change the rules and eliminate the rule that says you need 60 votes to end debate and pass a bill.

It’s not like it was in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Says Burns:

After Democrats retook the Senate in the 2006, Republicans, now the minority, filibustered frequently, under a tacit agreement with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid that they would never actually be required to go through exertions of Mr. Smith’s Senator Jefferson Smith. No thermos of hot coffee and wax-paper-wrapped sandwiches for them, Republican leaders merely needed to utter the word “filibuster” and Reid would quickly drop any proposed legislation that didn’t have a guarantee of 60 votes. This exercise became so routine that newspapers began to omit mention of the filibuster entirely, simply reporting that a piece of legislation failed because it didn’t have the “60 votes needed for passage.” An inattentive reader might be forgiven for thinking the Constitution had been quietly amended to require a three-fifths majority for passage of legislation in the Senate.

Why do the two parties have such differing levels of commitment to the filibuster? Republicans, when in the majority, are willing to discard it entirely, and agree to keep it only on the condition that it never be used, while Democrats cling stubbornly to the filibuster, even when it appears to ensure the defeat of their legislative program. Why?

I’ve thought for some time, during the last session of Congress, that Democrats should call the GOP bluff.  Make them actually filibuster.

I’ve been thinking it while watching this charade on the stimulus bill.  If Republicans want to stand up and talk for days to prevent passage of an economic stimulus package, while the economic handbasket careens closer to hell every day, let them do that.

Let the whole country see what they stand for.  Let the voters see that it’s not just Rush Limbaugh who is willing to put everyone at risk for the sake of political payback.

If they want to filibuster, I say bring it on.

It’s time for Dems to quit making nice and up the ante.

But WNPJ's Burns suggests that Harry Reid and others may actually like the rule, and the way it’s applied now, because it gives them a great excuse for inaction or half-assed action:

It places Senate Democrats in the enviable position of enjoying all the perks of being the majority party – like committee chairmanships and an increased ability to bring home the bacon – with none of the responsibilities that would normally accompany majority party status. “Want more money for Head Start? Sorry, we’d just love to do that, but those nasty Republicans won’t let us – the filibuster, you know,” is the standard Democratic refrain.

Read the rest of Burn's excellent piece on the WNPJ blog here.  

Manufacturing Tuesday: Week of 02.03.09

Hello friends, welcome to another edition of the Manufacturing series.  This was intended to be released yesterday, but family issues came up that needed to be resolved (this seems to be happening a lot to me on these days lately!).  So, please accept my appologies on the delay.  Saying that, though there is a silver lining, I’m going to go ahead and basically give you a more “fresher” version of what was planned for yesterday (I normally write these up on Saturday and Sunday). So without further adieu….

Transport Stimulus: You’re Doing It Wrong

Burning the Midnight Oil for Energy Independence (crosspost links at the blog)

There is this big emphasis on “shovel ready projects” in the Stimulus Bill … but now that the details are coming out, we can see that in transport, its just a load of horseshit used as an excuse for supporting business as usual.

The headline numbers are $30b highway spending, $10b for public transport and rail:

  • Transit Capital Assistance, $15.9b in shovel ready projects, $6b in funding
  • Amtrak, more than $10b in capital backlog, $0.8b in funding
  • Fixed Guideway Infrastructure Investment, $50b capital backlog, $2b in funding
  • Capital Investment Grants, $2.4b in already approved projects, $1b in funding

I got a “shovel-ready” project for you … shoveling out the bullshit from the Bush Administration Department of Transport and replacing the pandering to the oil companies with a concern for America’s Economic Future.