Is the stimulus plan good or bad?

Published 6:00 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama has yet to take office and already the winds of change are gusting throughout Washington D.C. And these are not just slight summer breezes; these are hurricane force tree-topplers, especially considering the massive $825 billion to $1 trillion economic stimulus package currently being floated around Congress.

House Democrats unveiled an $825 billion plan on Thursday designed to help jumpstart the economy. The plan is based on President-elect Obama’s proposed stimulus package, which calls for increased government spending and federal tax cuts over a two-year period.

Beneficiaries of the plan include:

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n You, the average taxpayer. Well, most average taxpayers. Those individuals making $75,000 or less per year would see an increase of about nine to ten dollars per paycheck in the form of a tax credit. Couples making below $150,000 would receive a $1,000 tax credit.

n The unemployed. Unemployment checks would jump about $25 per week while need to needy families would also increase temporarily.

n State and county road departments. $90 billion will be invested immediately into the country’s infrastructure to help repair outdated and dangerous roads.

n The local school system. The bill authorizes over $140 billion to help insulate schools from state mandated cuts. Yes, the Butler County School System would benefit.

Is this a good thing? It depends on how you look at it.

If you’re a fiscally conservative individual this is the next worst thing to Armageddon. The national debt was never going away anytime soon. Now, chances are we’ll solve the question of time travel before that debt number reaches zero.

Some congressional leaders are encouraging the passage of this bill to help pull the United States out of its worse economic slump since the Great Depression.

Are we actually in that dire of straits?

Or have we reached the point in our nation’s history where the pain of today is best put off tomorrow?

After all, the faster you rip-off a band-aid the less it hurts.