America needs a real economic stimulus for real people

With GDP contracting and unemployment climbing, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress realize economic stimulus is needed. Last month House Republicans narrowly passed (216-214) a $100 billion plan that consisted largely of corporate tax relief. Recently, Senate Democrats unveiled an $87 billion plan that, in addition to corporate tax cuts, would include: Tax rebates for those who didn”t qualify earlier, unemployment benefits, health insurance, and agricultural aid.

President Bush initially praised Congress for taking action but has since become very stern. In a rather contentious meeting, he warned members of both parties that he would veto any plan that spent beyond the already agreed $40 billion.

By favoring a plan that”s loaded with corporate tax relief, and by setting a rather stingy limit on its cost, Bush casts serious doubt on his true intentions. Only a small aspect of his version would actually stimulate spending now when it”s most needed. It seems he wants to lock in permanent tax cuts for the wealthy first and boost the economy second.

Congressmen from both parties have questioned whether Bush”s stingy spending cap would make any package too weak to be useful. If Bush had his way, the final package passed into law would primarily benefit businesses and wealthy Americans any spill over or trickle-down effects would be too small to stimulate spending. Unless Bush changes his tone, he seems to be just an opportunist trying to gratify those members of high-society who helped him into office.

Howard Chung

In Passing views are those of individual members of the Daily”s editorial board, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

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