Will the nearly $1 trillion get us back on track or chain us to an unimaginable debt for life?
It's our money!
I am feeling queasy about the inevitable green light that will be given to spend nearly $1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) of our money. Am I queasy because of the 12 zeroes or because I fear a lack of wisdom and integrity? Probably a bit of both.
Apparently, President Obama expects to have the final stimulus package bill on his desk today. He will also take it to the American people - both at a Town Hall meeting in Indiana and through a prime-time press conference today.
Reuters reported yesterday that President Obama's top aides "urged Democratic and Republican lawmakers to set aside political differences and quickly approve a massive economic stimulus package this week."
It's important but why the rush?
In my experience, any offer that requires an immediate decision ends up being a bad deal. When we rush into something, we're sure to miss some key things, include uneccesary things, and pay a greater price. Of course the issue of stimulating the economy is of the utmost importance but do we need to rush this decision? What happened to our last 750 billion dollars? Did we learn anything? Is throwing money at the problem the only and best solution? Where should the money be spent?
While we can't spend years studying the issue, racing to the solution will ensure bad choices. My concern is a lack of wisdom and integrity. The character, tax and unethical issues of our recent nominees have done nothing to assure me that integrity ranks as a high priority. It seems like business as usual in Washington D.C. despite promises to the contrary. It's not just Obama's administration. The previous administration didn't put any accountability in their stimulus package. The banks enjoyed their bailout...it helped the banks but not their customers.
The aforementioned Reuters article contained a quote by Christina Romer, a top Obama fiscal adviser, from her appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation." She said, "If we can get this (rescue) package through, we can turn it (the economy) around and be back on the road to growth."
I hope she's right but I doubt it will be a quick turn around. We're in the biggest financial crisis in 70 years. There are lots of our neighbors and friends who are struggling now and are facing a tough road ahead.
What can we do? How can we help? Maybe one way is to practice simple ways to give back. We will all need to live differently and adjust to our current economic times. We are dealing with tough times and it will requires patience, endurance and generosity.
What's your view of the stimulus package, our current times and ways to respond?