THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Stimuli

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on February 18, 2009

323e9e6e-8523-43b6-b51e-4f5a994ef92fh2There is a certain amount of simple genius to the stimulus plan in that it attempts a holistic approach – not only is it looking to put people back to work, but it simultaneously allows investment in infrastructure, education reform and safety net programs.  Not to mention smart investment in the explosive industry of renewable energy.   The question remains, however: is $787B enough?  The fairly grim response from the markets (with the Dow Jones dropping nearly 300 points) signals a rough road ahead for the stimulus.  Perhaps this is because the next phase is keeping track of the money, or managing where it gets spent.  The Administration’s Recovery.gov appears quite ambitious by fulfilling the task of transparency, but one can’t help wonder if this will be lost by the politics about to take place.

There is both an obvious public policy aspect to today’s signing and an underlying political angle. On one hand, Obama picks a state where people have been hard hit by rising foreclosures. But, on the other, you can’t negate the significance of signing this bill in a swinging battleground state that was once reliably red, yet voted for Obama in 2008.  In that respect, he’s definitely solidifying support for the mid-terms in 2010 and his re-election in 2012. We’re curious to see it items in the Act that seek to stem the rise of foreclosures, encourage steps towards universal health care reform and create jobs are points will have noticeable impact. What is noticed is the sharp turn in rhetoric – from the grim realism used to push the bill through cantakerous Congressional chambers to now a more hopeful “the beginning of the end” of our dire economic outlook.

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