A Ben Cohen Ink Comic


By Ben Cohen a “legendary master of the left field.” -BRP!

“Unintentionally misunderstood since 1975.” –Anonymous

“A big f@#k you, to the audience.” -B. Pendarvis

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Bill

Paul Krugmen has said there is simply not enough in the Economic stimulus plan to solve the issues. Republican’s are instinctively resistant to the size of the bill…I have this instinct as well…But I can see Obama’s position that we have to stop the spiral before we balance the budget. These are extraordinary time and if you are not into revisionist history you know that FDR’s approach was effective. I think there should be some separation of issues here (putting healthcare in a comprehensive health care bill). Also there is the Tarp bill which should be tweaked and can help with much of the same issues. My bottom line is that we should be using the necessity of changing our energy policy as an opportunity to get out of the broader economic issue. I am not alone in this thinking and Obama is attempting to do this. This imperfect bill may do it, but I am worried it is not enough. And then I am also worried it is to much. If we focus on info structure and renewable energy we will create the next great economic opportunity, we will reduce our dependence on foreign oil (an important part of our security needs), we will improve our environment slowdown in global warming, we will revitalize the American Auto industry…on and on…this is a no brainer.
Breakdown of House and Senate bill commentary:
It is scary that the numbers in both the house and senate plans seem so low to provide aid to poor and unemployed. Particularly the only 1 Billion for heating.
The direct cash payments seem much better in the senate bill, but again provide roughly a week to two weeks worth of relief. This maybe significant for those who live check to check and can be disciplined enough to save the amount they are given…this is an unlikely reality. When I was living in this category it would have been gone immediately.

The amount to be spent on Infrastructure is a big chunk at 46-47 billion, but is not significant enough. I know the reality of needs in Vermont is significant. I also realize that there are likely unfunded plans in the Midwest and Gulf Coast that have not finished and are great health and safety concerns. Don’t get me started on Earth Quake engineering needs.

Health care is an integral part of everyone’s economic reality and significant pointing of fingers, corruption and pushing the ball down the road has lead to an even bigger issue. Also I know of potential growth economically in this sector (we have shortage of nurses, dentist and TMJ specialist in our state). But I do wonder if this is not just throwing money out. I would prefer that it was part of a more comprehensive, well debated, thought out bill that was a permanent solution to this growing issue…I have much more to say on this issue.

Education is the foundation of our economic system and never been fully treated as such. There are calls for more efficient, effective and pervasive investment in education of all areas for all students; these calls are coming from rural communities, inner cities as well as the top executives in the silicon valley and energy companies in Texas. This is because they are all concerned about the future…not just for everyone else…but for themselves. Both bills provide some relief, but there have been finance promises dating back to the 70’s that still need to be paid for. This like healthcare is huge issue to tackle and one that cannot wait. It should be comprehensive and extensive. With lively debate. My top concern as an art teacher is the cutting of funding for arts education…which I argue is just as important as science, math and English.

Energy is just as important to invest in this bill as Infrastructure. In fact I think the two have the best option to build for the future while effecting positively the jobs market and individuals income. The senate number at 40 billion sounds better…but I still think it is way low. Every home should have the option to have energy provided by solar power. Every community should benefit from wind and hydro. Every car should have one of the options for alternatives to gas. The car industry should be working on all fronts not just one solution. All the energy providers should be investing in renewable energy. The days of coal, gas and oil should be ending.

Why is Homeland security in this bill. Other then in the context of eliminating foreign oil there should be no security components to this bill. (There I just saved us 4.7 billion). We have spent enough on this military crap…time for them to tighten their belts. Is this not pork.

Law enforcement I think the military budget should take some of their extensive funds and donate it to Law Enforcement so we don’t need it in a stimulus bill…there I saved another 3.5 billion. Is this not pork.

Housing has virtually no difference in the two bills…I side with John Stewart show has been suggesting we take these funds and the Wall Street bailout money and use it to pay down individual debt based on individual needs. This way the banks would get their money the right way and people who are hurting will be helped directly not accidentally if at all.
Tax credits are nice and all, and the plans to move closer to the reasonable tax plan Obama campaigned on. But again comedian John Stewart made a great point…what about a payroll tax…it would benefit workers and employers. From what I know about this bill it does not address it.
Expanded college credit is a nice idea, but again helping reduce student loans would benefit more people. I do think increasing the pell grant is vital.

The Home energy credit is a nice start, but is it enough…see above.

The senate’s Unemployment leaves me conflicted.

Bonus depreciation is out of my league…can someone explain this.

Money losing companies plan sounds good…is it?

Government contractors seem to be getting a brake…do they really need it?

Energy production tax credits are essential, I am wondering if the number is high enough at $13 billion.

Repealing bank credit is a great provision.

Bond subsidies is unfortunately needed, if you are aware of local bond issues nation wide this is a huge issue that needs to be addressed as part of the infrastructure and education needs. The senate version is better, because is includes infrastructure.

I am curious about the benefits of $11 billion to make interest payments on most auto loans and sales tax on cars deductible in the Senate bill.

Any thoughts?

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