So says the CBO’s official score of the plan.
Does that mean the plan will stimulate the economy? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Because while I agree that more money could be allocated for pure infrastructure projects, states are suffering BIG budget shortfalls and they need help immediately so they can carry out even the most basic services.
Why just today we hear that California’s comptroller has said that they won’t pay out tax refunds totaling $3.5 billion to residents because they simply don’t have enough cash. This is at a time when unemployment (not underemployment, which is a higher number) is at 9.5% in the state. They need money to make sure people remain on medicaid, cops and teachers stay on the job, etc. Otherwise that $3.5 billion will never get paid out, which is exactly the kind of stimulus folks need in their pockets right now. And this is happening EVERYWHERE.
So sure, we can go through and pick out parts of it we don’t like, and I hope whatever we think is wasteful gets axed. But Republicans are going to have to accept that 1 in every 3 dollars is being spent on tax cuts and it’s not going to become a 50/50 proposition.
So what type of spending do they think is appropriate besides tax cuts? Because tax cuts is all I’ve heard from them so far. Maybe I’m not listening closely enough, but the majority of them seem to view any spending whatsoever as somehow irresponsible.
Oh, and by the way, I heard some grousing recently about tax cuts for Hollywood in the bill. Well, I think it’s really easy to beat up on the folks who make movies and call them elite, but do know that entertainment is one of the most profitable exports we create in this country and it’s one of the reasons that California is a global economic power house. But as I’ve mentioned above, even they’re feeling the pinch.
More as it develops…