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March 02, 2009

Defending the spending

Why do Republicans complain about President Obama wanting to spend money to improve our highways, bridges and schools? This creates jobs and improves our transportation system and schools. What’s wrong with that?

It’s a lot more than Bush ever did for his own country.

John Thomas
Prairie Village

Some Republican governors, including Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, have stated that they will not accept parts of their states’ allotments of the stimulus program.

I suggest President Obama immediately redistribute these funds to other states such as Kansas and Missouri, where there is real leadership in the governors’ offices that cares enough to want to help their citizens.

Sandy Salz
Overland Park

The tax increase on the wealthy that President Obama is proposing is long overdue. Why shouldn’t they pay their fair share?

This is not a step toward socialism, as so many sore losers on the right repeat ad nauseam. It’s a push back to democracy and away from the plutocracy we have lived in since we made the grand mistake of electing Ronald Reagan.

Carl Raccuglia
Kansas City

Kudos to George Lafferty (2/27, Letters, “GOP’s sudden frugality”) who so eloquently wrote about the Republicans’ past silence about debt spending. For weeks now, I have been aghast when I hear on TV or read in the paper about all the Republican outrage over deficit spending. For years we have never heard a peep from any of them.

Suck it up, guys. Your newly found outrage is eight years too late.

Susan F. Weiner
Overland Park

Comments

Casady

8 Years? What the heck are you talking about NM? Including the Oct. bail out money, he spent $1T in '08 alone.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

What I find fynny is it took Bush 8 years to spend a trillion dollars, it took Obama less than 30 days to write a hot check!

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

John Thomas is obviously uneducated.
During the BUsh administration we increased wind power capacity from 20,000 Mw to 120,000 Mw. Bridges and schools are a local issue. Blame your county and State, they receive funding via property tax levies.
State DOT receive funds from the Highway Trust which one of the funding schemes is gasoline tax, maybe they shoud allocate 100% of that trust to roads and bridges versu the 60% of current. The other 40% goes to "other" (lawyers, politicians, lobbyists, special interests). Once bridges are fixzed/repaired/built....then what? Those jobs are gone except for government jobs which require 14 people to fill in a pothole.

beaker

Cassady -

"Was this also your response to the Bush/Bernanke/Paulson driven $700B bailout last October? Somehow, I think not."

How do you know? Actually, you have to let bad money fail, you don't throw bad money at bad money. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.


Jim -

Facts don't have a side. Some day you'll figure that out.

Engineer

Jim
Please recount some "questions or factual challenges" that I have not answered. If there have been some they have appeared on this blog after I left it for the day. Usually I'm here late but not always. Maybe you would like to define "fair share" or even "middle class" another beloved but never defined reference.

Jim

Eng,

Why bother? No matter what is said, you'll call it socialism, spew more debunked talking points and consider the argument "won."

This is just a tad hypocritical, considering you don't ever answer questions or factual challenges yourself.

Engineer

In rereading the thread, I see no one has cared to define just what the "fair share" should be. This is one of those things that liberals and those on the left live to repeat ad nausea but never define. So what is it?

Engineer

Casady
As I have repeatedly said, my problem with the bill is that so much of it has little or nothing to do with stimulus. Much of the funds it dedicates are to programs that will have little or no stimulus impact. I see no reason why I need to advance alternative stimulus ideas to make my critique of the bill's makeup valid.

Kate

Cassady, I didn’t like the original bailout, either, but the World! Was! Going! To! End! without it, so what could we do. Now, we’re handing out money like it’s a taxpayer-funded game show, “Deal or Better Deal” where every case holds at least a bazillion dollars. And it seems that no one at all in Washington has a clue whether this will work or not.

I think you misunderstood the sleeveless comment. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/03/cafferty.first.lady/index.html
Or ask Mrs. Cassady about it. No matter how much exercise I do, though, I can’t go sleeveless in the winter. From September to July, my skin is so pale that it reflects light way up into the sky, interfering with bird migration patterns.

Jim

It certainly helps people like Mark sleep soundly at night, Casady.

Casady

Revisionist history, Jim. It's a beautiful thing.....

Jim

Mark, of course, leaves out Reagan's many tax increases during his tenure. Reagan increased taxes more often than he cut them. Revenues increased by far more during the Clinton years than during the Reagan or Bush 43 years.

The Clinton tax increase, we were told at the time, would plunge the economy into depression and cost millions of jobs. As we now know, quite the opposite happened. Robust growth, 22 million new jobs and shared prosperity with the lower income, middle income and wealthy gaining in income during that period.

The Bush years saw a widening of the gap between rich and poor, increased poverty and not a single solitary new job created, with a $1 trillion deficit handed over to President Obama.

It's amazing what short memories some people have. After being wrong in the 80s, wrong in the 90s and wrong in this decade, we're supposed to just believe that more tax cuts for rich folks will somehow magically work? Tax cuts are indeed part of the solution to a sagging economy, but they aren't the only solution.

Casady

Yes Mark, we are all familiar with your one stop solution of across the board tax reductions. However, as I have also pointed out, the growth periods you mention were also periods of active monetary policy where we saw significant reductions in the discount rate. In addition, the late 1990s saw significant economic growth without the aid of significant tax reductions. We did however, see a siginificant decline in interest ratess, saw siginficant declines). Care to explain that?

While I agree that tax reductions help in the long run, they have never solved the problem without the aid of hands on monetary policy (at least not in the last 50 years). Since we are at the end of our rope in terms of interest rates, I'm not sure tax reductions by themselves will solve the problem and they are certainly not the answer in the short run. If you disagree with me, please explain how tax reductions will loosen current credit conditions and stop the hemorraging in the financial sector. These problems require short term solutions, not trickle down tax reductions (although I too am in favor of the capital formation incentives provided by reducing tax breaks on upper income earners).

Mark Robertson

Nothing in terms of viable alternatives? Pardon me? On a regular basis I have called for across the board tax rate reduction and a regulation overhaul.
The economy was worse in 82 when President Reagan brought on tax rate reduction, cutting the top rate from 70 to eventually 28 percent. treasury revenues nearly doubled in the 80s and 50 million jobs were created over the next 25 years.
Supply side economics always works, as the 20s early 60s, 80s and this decade prove.
Yes, it is a very viable alternative to the always failed government spending route that Obama is taking. Just ask FDR. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson
Independence

Casady

Heck Kate, there are loads of times I don't agree with you but, since your posts arfe most always civil and intelligent, I always look forward to what you have to say. As for the sleeveless workout look, you certainly know how to toy with ones imagination. Nothing like keeping Mr. Kate on his toes!

I just get tired of the windbags like Robertson et al who say this is wrong or that is wrong yet they offer nothing in terms of viable alternatives and often contradict themselves in the process (ie. agreeing with Bush appropriated bailout funds but abhoring Obama appropriated funds).

Kate

Sorry, Cassady & Jim, but I just don’t see the point any more. It doesn’t matter to The Won what I think.

But I am spending more time at the gym lifting weights. Sleeveless is all the rage now.

Casady

I dunno Kate. I just thought it would be nice to stimulate (no pun intended!) some discussion on alternatives that may be available. Silly me!

Jim

Whining doesn't become you, Kate. For a party that talks a lot about how horrible the "victim mentality" is, the GOP faithful sure love to cast themselves as the victims.

Poor things.

Kate

Cassady,

Why bother trying.

“I won.”

End of discussion.

Casady

EKAN/Beaker/Mr. Robertson:

I posed this question last week and again yesterday and I didn't exactly see any of you chomping at the bit to respond (only Eng had the nads to respond and he didn't even directly answer the question). I'll try one last time. First, I am not a fan of the stimulus package but in my opinion, doing nothing will have much more far reaching implications than additional deficit spending. Since the package includes a tax breaks for both individuals (all income levels) and business, I personally am being cautiously optimistic since I feel those incentives are necessary to jump start the economy. You guys, on the other hand do nothing but trash the bill but you have absolutely nothing to offer in terms of alternatives. Was this also your response to the Bush/Bernanke/Paulson driven $700B bailout last October? Somehow, I think not.

I guess what it comes down to is this; your complaints lose a whole lot of validity when you do not have any original thoughts of your own in regard to what else can be done.

 
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