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Is Washington Holding onto Stimulus Money?

June 10, 2008

President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 back on February 13, calling his stimulus idea a “booster shot” for the American economy. At the signing ceremony, Bush stated, “The bill I’m signing today is large enough to have an impact, amounting to more than $152 billion this year, or about 1 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product).”

At that time, the government mandated that checks be issued to qualified citizens through May. The process has dragged on through June. Some Americans still have not received their promised stimulus payments through the Internal Revenue Service.

Barack Obama is circling the country in a two-week campaign. He is proposing that lawmakers should inject another $50 billion immediately into the sluggish U.S. economy. Mr. Obama noted the largest monthly increase in the unemployment rate in over 20 years. He intends to use his position in the Senate to generate a movement for “another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $50 billion to help those who’ve been hit hardest by this economic downturn.”

Mr. Obama supports the expansion and extension of unemployment benefits, as well as a second round of tax rebate checks. “Relief can’t wait until the next president takes office.”

Federal unemployment benefits for people out of work are usually limited to 26 weeks. A movement of Democrats wants to add another 13 weeks plus an additional 13 weeks in states with unemployment of 6% or more. President Bush has previously been against extending unemployment benefits, preferring to bail out imprudent banks and mortgagers.

On June 6, the Treasury Department reported that it has sent out nearly 67 million in stimulus payments worth approximately $57 billion. Now the important question comes to mind. The stimulus package was advertised as a $152 billion stimulus. Where is the remaining $95 billion stipulated by the first stimulus plan?

Now, we are talking about a new stimulus plan as if the first stimulus plan is complete. Where did the money go? What is Washington up to? Is the stimulus a straw dog of sorts? Has economic stimulus become mere hype? ~ E. Manning

Don’t forget to check out what is going at TNTalk! today.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill Bartmann permalink
    September 3, 2009 11:15 am

    Excellent site, keep up the good work

  2. Carlos Aparicio permalink
    July 21, 2008 1:35 am

    It’s the economy stupid! I’ve received my check and guess what It’s on my savings account for the bad theys not for spending like you gone receive another one tomorrow and you know why because It’s my money anyway I’m the government I pay taxes. It’s easy to critisize but if you look to the mirrow we have a repugnecan as a president and a demorrats in the congress none of them do nothing for this country except just point fingers and wasting taxes payers money!

  3. Nic permalink
    June 19, 2008 7:26 pm

    I have not received my “check” either, but, I think the stupid government needs to be overthrown, so I don’t really care. It’s not going to be worth the paper it’s printed on anyway!

  4. June 12, 2008 12:22 pm

    Unfortunately oilengineer is incorrect as if you also take unfunded Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, war cost, already allocated funding, etc into account this figure rises to a whopping total of $55-60!! trillion liable to taxpayers. Not even taking into account the enormous amount of private debt. Currency valuation isn’t based solely on 9,5T national debt, which isn’t correct to begin with as your government doesn’t include all the numbers other countries do. Time for a new blog..

    (OPEC and the industry are saying the same thing. The current sharp price increases aren’t related to supply. Oil supply is sufficient compared to overal demand. It’s mainly caused by investors hedging in USD denominated commodities – not just oil – against the falling dollar (40% depreciation in the last 5 years compared to other currencies), due to over-indebted US citizens and local, state and federal government and the resulting tanking economy, making them a nice profit in the process. The housing bubble and cheap credit only delayed and exacerbated until breaking point.)

  5. June 11, 2008 6:06 pm

    Hell, thanks to my social security number, I’m not even *scheduled* to receive my check until mid-July. Well, my SSN and the fact that I didn’t want to give the IRS a mainline into my bank account.

  6. June 10, 2008 6:05 pm

    Considering how the government measures unemployment I can guarantee increasing benefits by 13 weeks will increase unemployment numbers. But I agree that it’s illogical to pay people to not work as a strategy to get them to work. Reverse psychology or something? Do they think people’s whose unemployment benefits give up and wait to die instead? Something tells me they are human and like most humans when put against a wall will rise to the challenge.

  7. June 10, 2008 2:04 pm

    “Federal unemployment benefits for people out of work are usually limited to 26 weeks. A movement of Democrats wants to add another 13 weeks plus an additional 13 weeks in states with unemployment of 6% or more.”

    I’m not sure that giving people an incentive to not work is the best way to get unemployment down… If we are looking to hand out welfare, at least hand it out to productive citizens with jobs, increase the earned income tax credit.

    …the Earned Income Tax Credit is a much better tool for fighting poverty. It is tied to your income, so that as you start to earn your credit goes up, until a certain point where it plateaus before it reaches another point where it phases out. Thus at no point is there ever an incentive to not work more, as working more always leaves you with more money than working less. And unlike the minimum wage, the earned income tax credit is directly specifically at those who need it, rather than teenagers and such.

  8. June 10, 2008 12:35 pm

    Sorry folks, your Governments ATM is empty.

    Some Stimulus that was, more lip service than anything.

    Just more for the Corporations and peanuts for everyone else. The good ol’ Republican boy way!

  9. June 10, 2008 12:35 pm

    What government doesn’t print money out of thin air? Should we even discuss the value in securities and banks vs printed bills?

  10. June 10, 2008 12:34 pm

    Good points PapaK, although the role of the Federal Reserve needs to be considered here. They literally do print money out of thin air. This blog discusses that reality:

  11. June 10, 2008 12:27 pm

    The stimulus plan also raised the limit for companies aquiring property to take a tax deduction.

    It also increased the limit on mortgages that government sponsored entities can back.

    The US has 1/10th the national debt of Japan when you take into account the size of economies. Our national debt can also be broken down into FOREIGN national debt which is dramatically smaller than widely reported. Of the 9 trillion dollar debt, 25% is foreign. This is 36% of GDP. By comparison, the UK has 43% by GDP, Canada has 64% by GDP, and Japan has 184% by GDP.

  12. June 10, 2008 12:26 pm

    Yeah, where’s my @#*! check?

  13. June 10, 2008 12:25 pm

    Monies Monies Monies … yet what are the root crux problems …

    It’s not just the price of currency …

  14. June 10, 2008 12:15 pm

    You really need to ask, where did the money come from. Even GW can’t just print money as he needs it. It has to come from somewhere. And we’re so far in dept now that if there is a call from some of the countries we owe money too, you might want to learn that second language and get used to not seeing the stars and stripes for too much longer.

    GW just another repugnacan mistake who sold out our country. Nothing he ever did worked, nothing he does now is going to work. Made sense to me when he was running in 99. I don’t know why the repugnacans didn’t see the writing on the wall but they sure can bring up Obama’s lack of experience on specific matters.

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