Economic Stimulus Package: Game Day (UPDATED X6)


Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the $825 billion economic stimulus package.

When they go to cast their votes, Representatives of both parties should keep in mind that the American people support the stimulus package:

NBC/Wall Street Journal: 43% good idea / 27% bad idea

Rasmussen: 45% favor – 34% oppose

Gallup: 53% favor – 36% oppose

Hotline/Diageo: 54% favor – 34% oppose

IPSOS/McClatchy: 55% necessary – 41% not necessary

NBC/Wall Street Journal #2: 57% good idea – 36% bad idea

CNN/ORC: 58% favor – 40% oppose

IPSOS/McClatchy #2: 62% necessary – 32% not necessary

Hotline/Diageo #2: 67% favor – 27% oppose

ABC News/Washington Post: 70% support – 27% oppose

CNN/ORC #2: 71% favor – 28% oppose

That’s a pretty strong consensus–every single poll taken on this issue shows that the American people support the economic stimulus plan; at no point has a majority (or even a plurality) of Americans opposed it.

Also, Pollster notes:

When asked whether they favor or oppose an “economic stimulus” plan that would cost $800 billion or so (give or take a hundred million), Americans generally express support in the mid-50-percent range.


When the questions provide more information on how the $800 billion (or so) will be spent, usually specifying a combination of tax cuts and transportation, education and energy projects,” support grows to mid-60 low-70 percent range.

In other words–contrary to GOP logic–the more people learn about the specifics of the plan, the more they support it.

Oh, and keep this in mind:

Job Approval / Disapproval
Obama: 67 / 29
Pelosi: 39 / 37
Reid: 33 / 41
McConnell: 29 / 46
Boehner: 21 / 47

The major supporters of the economic stimulus package–President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid–are far more popular than its major opponents, Minority Leaders McConnell and Boehner.

Contrary to the conservative melt-the-phones-kill-this-bill hysteria, the economic stimulus package has the support of the American people on it’s side; once again, conservatives are on the wrong side of this issue.

UPDATE: The floor debate on the bill has started.

Republicans should be happy the bill is as small as it is–according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, it will cost $2.2 trillion to fix our country’s failing infrastructure.

Republicans–no matter how much you give them, they’re never happy.

UPDATE II: Hey, remember that economic stimulus package Bush signed into law? You know, the $168 billion package full of the same kinds of tax rebates and corporate tax write-offs Republicans are for pushing now? And do you remember how the economists said it wouldn’t work since debt-burdened consumers would just use their government checks to pay their bills, which doesn’t spur economic growth? And remember when that happened, and that stimulus package failed, and the economy collapsed even more? And then we then had to pass the TARP legislation and this new stimulus package in order to undo that damage?

I’m just asking because it seems like Republicans forgot that whole episode. I mean, we already tried doing this their way and we just ended up in a deeper hole. Why would any of us do the same thing again, but with 5 times as much money?

UPDATE III: And then there’s this:

Mark Zandi, a Republican economist who advised John McCain’s presidential campaign, has been stressing this point for months. Zandi’s research showed a corporate tax cut delivering $0.30 in real GDP growth for every $1 invested, an alternative minimum tax patch delivering $0.48 for every $1 invested, and a regular tax rebate delivering anywhere from $1.02 to $1.28 for every $1.

Compare that to aid to state governments, which Republicans have roundly criticized: $1.36 for every $1 invested. Infrastructure spending delivers a whopping $1.59 in GDP for every $1.

But it’s not just Zandi making this point. The Congressional Budget Office — you know, the guys with the incomplete stimulus report that Republicans absolutely loved last week — deemed last year that corporate tax cuts are “not a particularly cost-effective method of stimulating business spending.”

UPDATE IV: Steve Benen makes a point:

Listening to House Republicans talk about the economy is not only tedious, it’s a striking reminder that these guys don’t know what they’re talking about.

I mean that, literally. They’re clueless. There are coherent arguments against the stimulus plan, even from a conservative perspective, but actual GOP policy makers apparently aren’t familiar with them. Their arguments about the CBO are wrong. Their arguments about tax credits are wrong. Their arguments about aid to states are wrong. Their arguments about the stimulative benefits of tax cuts are wrong. Their arguments about corporate tax rates are wrong. Their arguments about housing are wrong. Even their arguments about allocation are wrong.

There has been a lot of talk about bipartisanship, but few people seem to be asking why this bill needs to be bipartisan in the first place. Why should we assume that the Republicans know what they’re talking about and that their ideas are equally worthy of consideration as Democratic proposals, considering their economic track record over the past eight years?

Republicans were at the helm when the economy collapsed; they were the ones who ran this ship aground. The question here isn’t if we’re including Republican policies enough, but if we should even include them at all.

The GOP clearly hasn’t learned anything from the economic crisis–they’re pushing the same policies today as they did before this mess even started. When you’re in a hole you stop digging, and when you’re in a Republican-created recession you stop passing Republican policies.

UPDATE V: The stimulus package has passed the House, 244 to 188. Republican obstructionism fail.

UPDATE VI: Here’s the roll call.  11 Democrats crossed over to vote against the package–Boyd, Bright, Cooper, Ellsworth, Griffith, Kanjorski, Kratovil, Minnick, Peterson, Shuler and Taylor.  Ginny Brown-Waite did not vote.