Rep. Michele Bachmann, our favorite lawmaker by far, is actually talking some sense lately when it comes to the stimulus plan. Well, sort of.
Bachmann has been strongly against the $827 billion stimulus plan since the start, accusing lawmakers of creating an enormous spending bill that won't stimulate anything at all. She was also against the bank and auto bailouts. Maybe she's got a point.
But should we just send all of that proposed cash out to Americans in checks instead?
Bachmann cites a Bloomberg article
, which says that if the stimulus package passes Congress, the government will have spent $9.7 trillion in the last year to solve the financial crisis. Make more by spending more doesn't seem to be the best answer anymore.
"The $9.7 trillion in pledges would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It's 13 times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve."
Here is what Bachmann had to say
Just like you, I'm getting pretty tired of these rushed multi-hundred-billion-dollar snap reactions. Months ago, we were told by then-President Bush and the Democrat-majority in Congress that we needed to act NOW to save our struggling financial markets. Without my support, we rushed through a $700-billion bailout bill (TARP) that was supposed to unfreeze the stagnant credit market. Guess what? It didn't work. And now, here we are again about to flush more money -- money we don't have -- down the drain in a sloppy and irresponsible spending spree that will leave the prosperity of our nation in great jeopardy. And, President Obama is insisting that we push this bill through by Monday, February 16th.
I understand that Americans are hurting, and I want to help them; but there are wiser ways to go about this. Congress should be working smarter, not faster. And, Congress should focus on passing legislation that will allow our private sector to do what it does best - create jobs and prosperity.
reported on this idea of cutting personal checks. Economists say it just wouldn't work.
With 140 million taxpayers in the country, each would receive $5,714 if the stimulus package was dispersed by personal check.
But Jeanne Boeh, chair of the economics department at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, told WCCO that would be a bad idea because it doesn't change long-term spending habits.
"If you get a one-time check, you're more likely to save it or buy something big," she explained.
Many economists believe the 2008 stimulus checks were a failure, because so many people used the money to pay off debts. While that is a responsible personal financial decision to make, it does not stimulate the broader economy.