Sunday, February 1, 2009


"Timely, targeted, and temporary" is the new Republican talking point. The NYT link that I provided earlier counters this argument, but TTT sure has a 'ring' to it, doesn't it?

I believe that the past eight years have proved bankrupt the tax-cut approach to stimulating the economy. As to criticisms that the Democrats are pushing too many of their long-preferred (but not widely favored) projects and huge "social spending" initiatives, I agree with John Kerry on Meet the Press this morning: "We've been pressing for years to get high-speed rail, to fix community schools... [these] dovetail with the [stimulus]... and all of this will be debated on the Senate floor, not kept in secret"--the latter in response to a charge that the Democrats are doing exactly what the Republicans did in the wake of 9/11.

One of the minority-party complaints is that we have to address the financial industry's reluctance to issue credit. IMHO this is the public face of a push to make taxpayers cover the losses of the financial markets. Banks need to own their losses to their shareholders--and when I think about who the major shareholders are, I am even =more= convinced that government absolutely should not get in the middle of private profit-and-loss matters. If banks feel reluctant to give credit, even when they are receiving massive bailout dollars, then let new institutions arise. Credit is by definition a =risk=, so don't buy it if you hear people lamenting the poor banks taking 'hits' if they issue loans!

Another complaint is about the provision of Head Start funding. This has, of course, direct bearing on my employment situation, so that's my caveat. I was not necessarily in favor of seeing Head Start funding in this package, but only because the package is a onetime award, and Head Start needs to be recurrently funded over the long term.

The preschoolers who benefit directly from Head Start will not be earning in the near future, and I think that's the point that prompts the criticism: where is the 'urgency' that justifies providing those dollars immediately? But any caregiver, especially a single caregiver, who hopes to hold a job, especially a new job, needs full-day Head Start and after-school care (for grade school children) to be available =now=.

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