Stimulating the economy

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The new stimulus bill is the only thing on people’s minds these days, with much argument over what’s stimulus and what’s just spending.

The stimulus bill (H.R. 1) was originally slated as a bill meant to jump start the American economy is a time of trouble. There was bipartisan support getting people back to work and loosening up the business credit market. Without jobs and the ability to create new ones, the economy will continue to stagnate into a depression.

Much of the Congressional Republicans’ displeasure has stemmed from the over-spending in the bill. Food stamps, unemployment benefits and other increases to the amount funds a lower-income family can receive are crucial, but they aren’t stimulating.

In the first several dozen pages, the bill does nothing but allocate funds to government programs which have no bearing or effect on the job market. There are sections later that increase funding for infrastructure programs, ostensibly creating jobs and stimulating the economy. All in all, though, the bill increases the funding to public programs and does little to get people back to work.

It isn’t that Congressional Republicans are opposed to increasing the funding of public safety net programs. Rather, it’s the time being spent on this bill, that everyone knew would be spent on this bill, and how every extra piece causes a longer delay.

Instead of creating a large, all-encompassing bill, Congress should have been laser focused in their scope. A stimulus bill should include things that will immediately stimulate the economy – debt relief, job creation and increases to the Small Business Association.

Congress needs to focus on two things : getting out of work individuals back to work and giving Americans more income to spend each month. Food stamps, Medicaid and unemployment can be included in a seperate, also laser focused bill. Until Congress focuses its efforts on single topics, nothing will get done.

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