Hey! It's Bob Marley's birthday!!
Hope you guys are having a good day! Not much to report at the moment. I'm keeping a close eye on the stimulus package and the fight going on in Washington to get something done to help revitalize the economy. I think that the Republicans have some legitimate concerns. To be honest, all of the apocalyptic death and destruction warnings coming from the Democrats regarding how fast we have to push this thing through are sort of bothering me a bit. It's all too reminiscent of the way the Republicans engaged in fear mongering after 9/11 in order to rapidly push things through congress quickly (which gave us legislation like the Patriot Act and other messes that we're now still dealing with). On the other hand, President Obama says he is taking his cues from some of the best economic minds in the country, and if the experts say that we need to act boldly and swiftly, then I don't necessarily want to place blame on the Democrats for trying to follow what seems to be the most prudent course of action. At any rate, I think the Republicans have some legitimate philosophical differences with Democrats on the stimulus package, but I also think there's a whole lot of obstructionism going on as conservatives try to make Obama's first major policy initiative a dismal failure. A lot of them just want the Democrats to look bad, and they're not really paying attention to anything other than finding a way to try to do that (which really sucks for the American people).
Anyway, I agreed with most of the points that Obama made last night when he gave a speech to Democrats in Virginia. I think that some Republicans are just playing games with the stimulus bill, and that it's ridiculous to criticize the stimulus package for spending money when that was, along with some tax cuts, a primary purpose of the bill in the first place. We can disagree over some of the specifics of the spending, but unless the programs are entirely frivolous (and I don't think most of them are- they're debatable, but not frivolous), then the important thing is to get programs started and get people working. Put the money back into the economy. Green building programs and hybrid vehicles in government are not frivolous- especially when such programs are creating jobs.
Anyhoo, I still question a bit of the doom and gloom tactics, but I'm definitely onboard with the president overall.
Not much else for now. Have a great weekend!!!!
*** Update: New job loss figures released today showed 598,000 jobs lost in January, with unemployment climbing to 7.6%, the worst figures since December of 1974. The sense of urgency contained in the rhetoric of the Democrats may be exagerrated a bit (I'm not sure), but the situation certainly does seem very serious.