Stimulating the economy

I’ve heard some say that this is the worst recession since the Great Depression. That’s a frightening thought, but it may be true.

President Obama says that the economy will get worse before it gets better. That is to be expected of any large problem, so it comes as no surprise that times will still be difficult for a few years. His proposed stimulus package will be the biggest national investment since Eisenhower’s interstate highways in the 1950’s. Having said that, what comes to mind is not the enormity of it or even numbers at all. What comes to mind is just how much in this country interstate highways made accessible – not just places, but people and opportunities. I can’t imagine life without them, and neither can my parents. It was an enormous expenditure, but generations later, people are still infinitely reaping the benefits.

The House Democrats are presently pushing for this bill to be passed by mid-February. The package will be at least an $824 billion investment with $500 individually and $1000 to families. The hope is that the money will help to stimulate the stagnant economy by helping citizens spend more than they usually would during times such as these. With more money flowing, more services are being rendered, and ultimately jobs are saved and less people will be laid off. That is the best-case scenario. However, it does not always work that way. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, for instance, is generally considered to have been somewhat ineffective – so what makes this one different? According to Obama, the economy is in enough of a crisis now that it will be more receptive to stimulation.

I am left wondering how much money it is going to take to right this teeter-tottering of the economy. I do not underestimate how dire the situation is, nor do I approve of pouring money into the problem and hoping for the best. Of course the stimulus package is more than just money; included in the package are job-creating plans comparable to FDR’s New Deal programs. Obama also wants to enact a green infrastructure. I am most supportive of these side points of the package. I just fervently hope that this stimulus package will prove to start a process of long-term healing instead of the equivalent of a patch of duct tape over a cracked pipe.

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