President-elect Obama and Speaker Pelosi are meeting about passing an economic stimulus package through Congress:
President-elect Barack Obama will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday as Congress prepares to reconvene and debate a massive recovery plan for the nation’s struggling economy, according to Democratic sources.
The face-to-face meeting between two of the nation’s top Democrats will be one of the president-elect’s first acts after relocating his family to a hotel in Washington over the weekend.
Sources said Obama and Pelosi will discuss the scope and timing of the economic recovery package, which Obama has said will be his first priority upon being sworn into office. Pelosi has said her goal is to have the legislation on the new president’s desk and ready to be signed on Jan. 20.
But that schedule appears increasingly likely to slip, as Republicans and conservative Democrats are raising concerns about the impact on the federal deficit of spending hundreds of billions on an array of projects with little vetting by Congress. Lawmakers now expect a spending package of between $675 billion and $775 billion.
Yeah, this will be deficit spending. But according to basic Keynesian economics, deficit spending is necessary to help resolve recessions, particularly severe ones. And once the economy is growing again and our government has a surplus we can afford to pay off the debt we incurred preventing greater economic catastrophe. It’s like getting an emergency loan–you go into debt to stave off economic disaster, and once the crisis passes you can pay that debt off.
Of course, Mitch McConnell’s Roadblock Republicans–and, unfortunately, a few conservative Democrats–are trying to kill this stimulus package. It’s funny how they had no problem forking over hundreds of billions to Wall Street bankers and CEOs, but when it comes to helping middle-class autoworkers or putting money back in the pockets of the American people they’re suddenly balking at the price tag.
It’s funny how they spent eight years supporting a President who almost never vetoed a single spending bill, a President who saw the national debt increase by nearly $5 trillion under his leadership, are now suddenly worried about the national debt just as a Democrat is about to move into the White House.
The Roadblock Republicans are willing to let our economy suffer for no other reason than they want to deny President Obama and the Democrats political success. The GOP’s obstruction for obstruction’s sake is absolutely dispicable. Our economy needs some serious help and tThe consequences of doing too little are far worse than the consequences of doing too much. I hope President-elect Obama and Speaker Pelosi will succeed in breaking through Mitch McConnell’s roadblocks and getting our economy back on track.