Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Was it an Agenda Bill or a Stimulus bill?

Few who talk about the 'stimulus bill' say it is going to produce a spurt in growth. If it is possible to have stealth stimulus bill that is nearly one trillion dollars in size, this was it. So what was it really? We are about to find out...

The Agenda Package strikes back
So now the rubber hits the road again as the President has his first year's budget. At the time of the stimulus package I called that legislative effort a white elephant, a bill that had three parts: it had Stimulus, Agenda and Cushion. Now that the President has his regular budget to put forth we'll see what happens. Much of what I would expect a new president to do in his first budget is to fund his agenda. But that that has already largely been done in the massive AGENDA bill that some refer to as a stimulus bill. How will that fact impact the President's first budget?

From obesity to anorexia
Will the budget be less expansive than it otherwise would have been because the stimulus package is already so large? If so then some of the punch from the stimulus bill will be eroded. Will Republicans use this as a wedge to fight to reduce deficits long term - their new-found religion? That is supposed to be a theme for the President tonight- long term budget deficit reduction.

Challenges for the President
Am I the only one who finds this focus by the President on budget reduction odd as a nearly one trillion dollar stimulus package has been passed and is still coursing its way though the system? And that is a package that most see as not a having had a laser beam focus on the 'objective' of stimulus. And what about our still not having a financial sector plan? Is that on the table for tonight? The President needs to know that governing is not about soaring rhetoric. It is about making the economy fly.

Yes I can! Meets mother may I?
Barack Obama ran for office arguing that HE could better run the economy than John McCain. Can he? Is HE willing to step out from behind the 'I inherited this mess' slogan and take a stand? HE ran for office because he WANTED TO INHERIT THIS MESS, let's remember that. How long will his administration have a plan to have a plan? When will it implement one? It's time for the President to set his jib and sail in an actual direction instead of being buffeted hither and thither by the financial storm 'set in motion by others.' Pick a direction Mr President. You do not need permission. And you can't spend your entire term hiding behind the skirts of past Republican incompetency. You can't do that, in part, since Democrats have been running the two key financial committees in the House and in the Senate for some time. Dodd and Frank are as much a part of this mess as Bush - like it or not. This is not a Republican problem, it is national problem. If every president took no action on the legacy of issues he inherited in office we would be in a real fix.

It's budget time Mr. President and it is time to have your dollars make some sense.