November 6th, 2008
11:51 AM ET

Stimulus package II. Why?

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

I just paid less than 2 bucks a gallon for gas. In my world, that's about 20 bucks a week or 80 bucks a month. No government involvement, no government workers mailing government printed checks, no government wasted time deciding who gets and doesn't get the government printed checks.

And after I filled up, hopped in my car and flipped on CNN (yes on satellite radio. I'm a news junkie) I hear about another push for another stimulus package we can't afford.


Isn't the drop in gas prices giving us a market driven stimulus package? Didn't the last stimulus package do little, if anything, to stimulate the economy? Didn't voters make clear that run-away spending is one reason we wanted change?

I'd be more stimulated if congress actually stopped handing out money it will eventually have to take back.

Filed under: Bailout Turmoil • Gas Prices • Oil • Raw Politics
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Mari

    I think if there was a perfect time for a 2nd check, that would be NOW (not next month or year, but NOW), why?.. because if it is true that the first one did not delivered the results expected, it is not less true that this time it will be all different because of the Christmas season that is almost here. I'm sure that almost everybody would spend this money NOW, since on top of the fact that lots more have lost their jobs, houses and savings, it will be harder going through the holidays without a present for their kids. Businesses on the blink of closing would be happy as well. This week the market continued it's nose-dive plunge so it is evident that this extra help to try to bust the economy is needed. People are more willing to expend NOW than at any other time of the year.Why bail out the rich banks and not our kids holidays???

    November 6, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  2. Reformer

    Another economic stimulus? You bet! Those of you out there who can afford to fill up your gas tanks, kudos! But for the rest of us who are still struggling (even with full time jobs), it will be a welcome relief. I agree with you that we don't need to borrow more money. Actually, we don't need to. What we need to do is repeal the senseless bail out of the very idiots who put us in this predicarment in the first place, and give the money to the hard working men and women in this country.

    The $700 bailout of Banks and Investment companies is a complete failure and disaster. It was intended to be a stimulus for them to grant credit to those who seek it. But unfortunately, they took the money and are not lending even to people with good credit. Some of them have gotten very bold: They are using the money to buy other assets-instead of lending. We need to take the money back now before they file for bankruptcy and flee to the Bahamas with our money.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  3. Mark

    I completely agree with Drew. The gas price drop is an economic stimulus in itself. The government should not continue to borrow against future generations for us.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  4. nick, california

    I support the proposed stimulus package. I was laid off in May and was unemployed, unable to find a job for three months. I have a $1700 property tax bill I can't afford to pay, it was due November 1st, delinquent on the the 10th of December.

    I plan to use the stimulus package the same way I used it last time; to pay my taxes.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  5. Nick

    there is no amount of "stimulus money" that will work. Printing money makes the dollar worth less. Why not give everyone $1,000,000? Of course, gas would then rise to $50,000 per gallon, so the stimulus money would not go very far, and the government debt would be increased by a gazillion dollars.

    Idiot Pelosi and Co are so out of touch! They look at the public as dogs who are to be fed scraps.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  6. Presley

    This must be the New Math in action. I'm a Math junkie.
    Sure it does help, a lump sum of cold hard cash.
    Of course if you crunch the numbers, it would have been merely the money we saved anyway but spent because milk and gas prices were having a race to all time highs.
    I will remain neutrally cynical. It will be good for the Holidays and if you are thrifty enough, help with heating costs this winter. Provided fuel prices stay low like they are now.
    But this is government New Math, add it all up, I smell price hikes somewhere.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  7. Lesley

    The next round will not just be sending checks to citizens. It will also be used for creating new infrastructure, states and local governments will get assistance, unemployment benefits will be extended, things of that nature. No one complained when year after year corporations and wealthy individuals sent money to foreign bank accounts and avoided paying their taxes, even the reduced taxes they were supposed to pay under the Bush tax policy. All of a sudden everyone is looking at every dime twice. It seems to be we are complaining about the wrong things.

    November 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  8. Joanne, Syracuse, NY

    To Cindy, Ga....when you use the word "friggin" are you talking about the Republicans that you support, wrong or right...mostly wrong...or the new majority Democrats in Congress and the Whitehouse?

    November 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  9. Gianni

    Pelosi wants another 'stimulus' package because she knows she can get more pet pork $$ – The last 'stimulus' package of $700B wound up costing $850B because they had to add $150 BILLION in "incentives" (aka bribes) to get all the votes... She's drooling like a teenage girl in a shoe shop...

    November 6, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  10. Backward Bailout

    $700 Billion to bail out the automakers and the mortgage lenders.

    When they are bailed out, people still can't afford to buy cars or pay mortgages. Help me understand this.

    Since you are using the taxpayers money anyway, why not divide $250 Billion of those dollars up among the people that actually pay taxes. What will they do with that money?
    – Pay back their delinquent mortgages so they can keep their house they are in jeopardy of losing
    – Pay back their delinquent car loans so they can keep their cars.
    – Maybe even buy new cars and houses along with Christmas gifts and other items.
    How will that help the economy.
    – Bails out the mortgage companies
    – Bails out the auto manufacturers
    – Less layoffs due to low demand in the mortgage, real estate, and auto industries.

    I may have over simplified things and I don't claim to know it all. I just don't understand how bailing out these big companies is gonna help us. Their employees are still losing their jobs because of the lack of production. They just don't have to file bankruptcy and we get stuck with the bill.

    Concerned Tax Payer

    November 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  11. Marq

    Jim (above) "Drew- if You GOT a first stimulas check Be thank full, I could have used one & I didn’t get one – those that needed it most got screwed.
    You want a look into my world??? try being unemployed for almost 2 years, no credit & paying $2.95 a gallon when you have NO income- if it was not for a friend helping me out, I’d be a literal Cave man. I Help him & he keeps a roof over my head,food, Gas & communication. If the Government had given me a $20,000 bail out, I could have paid my debt to my friend off, paid my bills & needs ahead for the next 4 YEARS & still had money left over.& unlike the Wallstreet crowd I’d provide reciets & be ACCOUNTABLE for what is given."

    So instead of going out and trying to find a job or educating yourself to improve your odds, you're sitting at your friends house and reading CNN.com crying (with poor spelling I might add) that government isn't helping you! Perhaps this is the problem with our country.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  12. Jeanne

    No one is spending money, even if they have it. That is what is wrong. Giving someone money will not make them spend it.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  13. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    THE SITTING PRESIDENT, BUSH & THE SITTING CONGRESS, will do what it wants BEFORE a NEW administration gets in!

    The Democrats DO NOT HAVE the majority needed to BLOCK another "BAIL OUT".

    But the DEMS will be in there in force come January 2009. SADLY, the new President will face the HUGE BUSH LEGACY:


    November 6, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  14. Gloria Key

    Instead of a rebate just give a tax credit. Do you realize the money you save by not writting checks.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  15. Temekia

    Well we are quick to use the word they say what you mean and mean what you say some people neeed the help and just because they dont have all the wealth in the world we should not be the judge for that is what god is for

    November 6, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  16. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Since we are approaching the holiday season, I suppose another stimulus package could help the retailers but that's only if those who receive a package, spend it and that was way before all these job layoffs got announced. If they aren't already, my guess is that most people are going to be very cautious in their spending this year.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  17. yvone

    Sorry...did I miss something because the last stimulus check didn't stimulate anything. It went to paying bills that I have because the cost of EVERYTHING is going up. They need to stop it they'll just eventually include it in our income to tax us more.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  18. Terra Hoskins

    Could not agree more. It's short sighted. So the government throws money at consumers to get them to spend...which they may or may not do...and then what? Unemployed people, for example, are going to save money. They aren't going to spend freely until they, you know, land jobs.

    Why doesn't the government stay out of the market and let it regulate itself? Sigh.

    November 6, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  19. Heather,ca

    I am really looking forward to another Chinese financed rebate check . Where exactly does this stimulus money come from? Our tax dollars that would normally go to pay for national things that our country needs. I just love the gao three book deal. What is it Voodp economics? Lets devalue our currency by printing more of it and make it worse.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  20. Lyle Watkins

    As part of extending/raising unemployment benefits, kick starting employment growth and freezing the foreclosure process for 90 days, President-Elect Obama should consider mandating a fix rate (e.g..: 4.25%) and term/amortization (e.g.: 25 years) on all those bad home loans the tax-payers just picked up. Then require all banks to offer the repossessed/foreclosed homes back to those who were evicted. This would be an immediate and direct infusion to those who need it.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  21. Janet Kane

    Does this mean we should credit Pres.Bush for the decrease in gas prices? We were all too quick to blame him for the increase.
    When will people wake up and understand what supply and demand mean. They have nothing to do with the presidency.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Tomasz


    Don't send another stimulus! Solve the problems that started the mess. Spend the money on keeping roofs over the heads of people.
    If you have anything in excess, spend it on the people that need medicine.
    People shouldn't be buying CDs and DVDs and Tvs and all that nonesense. It's the essentials that matter now ie, food, clothing, keeping a roof over the head and medicines(Don't send people to death by not helping with medicine costs.).

    Shukran wa Ma Salama.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  23. David of Alexandria VA

    Another stimulus package? I'll bet China would vote for that. After all, that's probably where half of the last one went.

    In this type of global economic crisis, stimulus packages are nothing more than placebos to make people feel better on the way down. We got here because too many people spent too much, borrowed to the hilt against everything they own or will earn for years to come and weren't savvy enough to know that "stuff happens."

    I have always lived within my means, have lost a ton in the market, and am not too anxious to mortgage any more of my future (or other responsible citizens' futures) to bail out a few and make Congress seem like their doing something.

    If Congress did a lot less "spreading around" and pork-barrel funding, we'd all be a lot better off.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  24. Sandra

    Why another stimulus package? And if they are going to do one, it should be for people who pay the most taxes. I am tired of being punished because i am single and i make more than others because i made the effort of going to school so i would be able to make a decent salary.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  25. meka......ky

    I agree with xtina i think the checks did nothing ( it was nice to have extra money in these hard times). But i belive that every little bit helps if not to off set the gas prices but to help out with i don't know ,maybe high medical bills. Or anything. Food is higher, everthing has went up.Please belive that even cause the gas has gone down that it is still hard times. But people still try hard to keep their head above water.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  26. KATE--FL

    I would like to see the tax rates reduced, especially for those of us in the REAL middle class, who have paid all the taxes. The stimulus gives an equal amount per person. We do not pay equally per person, but by income.

    November 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  27. James in Nebraska

    I would think that the drop in gas would be enough. I feel another stimulus package would just be wastefull.
    Sometimes you need stitches (real solutions) on a wound instead of a band aid (stimulus package).

    November 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  28. Lynzy

    While gas prices being down is definitely helping the average family, it is not enough. Americans have lost their jobs hence their livelyhoods. If there is lost income, then gas prices don't matter. We can not have that be the final factor of what needs to be done to stimulate the economy and help those families who have been hit the worst in this economic downturn. While the last stimulus package didn't do much to stimulate the economy, it at least helped some of those struggling families. Now even more families have been affected. Why are we so against helping our fellow American. Not everyone is asking for a handout, at times people do need help.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  29. Maria

    Happy day Drew,
    I don’t know if it is kind of mixing apples and oranges or just try and error experiment. I certainly agreed with you about oil price drop will re-stimulate economy and stimulus package II is kind of re-cycling money. But let’s look at the other face of the dime, stimulus package II is probably not totally harmful thing to do to re-boost economy, yet it is not solution.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  30. gn

    Seriously, wouldn't that stimulate the economy more then sending a check?!!!

    November 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  31. gn

    I'm curious to see what President-Elect Obama is going to do about the current housing crisis! Wall Street was bailed out when they should have been jailed. While I am very liberal, I find myself agreeing with John McCain's approach at having the government purchase at risk mortgages. If the government would not have lifted regulations on lending, engery, etc. I find myself wondering if consumers would have these problems in the first place. Sometimes having too much government is a good thing.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  32. Sean

    I have to agree. it sounds crazy to go back to China and borrow another 100 billion that we doent have. But when you already owe 10 trillion, whats anither 100 billion. Some things in washington never change. STUPIDITY!!

    November 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  33. Renee

    What makes sense to the government is to waste millions and millions of dollars sending out checks to people to process and process and be returned and found.

    I am probably the only person around here that agrees with the Huckabee and the fair tax system. If each and every person paid at the pump or the cash register, the system would be more fair and require less and less paper.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  34. Michael

    Hmm, looks to me like things got worse since the last stimulus check. So, lets do it again. Don't get me wrong, I'll be glad to buy a new TV for Christmas, but I'll do it knowing that my TV is now part of the national deficit. At least I can do my part.

    Seriously, that stimulus check should go directly to paying down consumer debt. Don't use it to buy more stuff, pay for the stuff your credit card already bought!

    November 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  35. Jeanette

    Myself and most people I know didn't rush out and buy something with the stimulus money. They either paid bills or paid down their credit cards. They are really a big joke, however, the joke is on us because its our money they throw around.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  36. k_michael

    I'm not sure I favor these 'economic stimulus packages". They seem to be too similar to trying, as one commercial ad depicts, to fix a leak in a dam by jamming a wad of chewing gum over the drip.

    First, the people who need it most will probably end up mostly buying things made overseas (in jobs that have been moved out of the US). Second, it's fleeting, temporary, similar to giving a hungry person a bowl of chili – that meal feeds them for a while but does nothing to fix the actual problem. Third, money inevitably also goes to people who, quite frankly, don't really need it, making it a wasteful expenditure.

    There aer other problems with it as well, problems that are more theoretical, but the point is that it solves nothing and, in the long run, oncly exacerbates the problems that created the "need" for it in the first place.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  37. Vi

    Another rebate??? The first one did not seem to do any good. There are many folks out there loosing their homes, filing bankruptcy, and avoiding collection calls right now. Many of them have monies tied up in 401k's that they can't access without significant penalties......How about a 90 day window one time window of opportunity where folks could cash out the 401k's with no taxes or penalties??? No cost to the government (only loss of future paid in taxes), and great potential assistance to many people. I know of many people who could really use access to these monies to "get them through" the current financial situtation. Allowing us access to our own money.......things that make you go hmmmmm...........

    November 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  38. Rahni, Connecticut

    I would not mind if another stimulus rebate check. I need to pay my bills that needs attention. I would not mind if they eliminate automobile property taxes and real estate taxes. I really do need the money.

    I wish the government bail me out of my financial situation and it will NOT cost 700B.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  39. Patty, VA

    I didn't get a check the last time because they say that I made too much. I guess they think I don't have expenses or student loans to pay back. Why don't I just write them a check, or, better yet, flush the money.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  40. Dawn Eliadis

    So, you think gas will stay down? "NO". Of course the stimulus package helped!!! It sure helped my family. We paid off our car so we could afford the GAS since it made us so strapped for cash. Gas went up so high that it was like having additional car payment between myself and my husband. So, please speak for yourself, it helped our family!!!!
    Dawn in Baltimore

    November 6, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  41. Jim

    Drew- if You GOT a first stimulas check Be thank full, I could have used one & I didn't get one – those that needed it most got screwed.
    You want a look into my world??? try being unemployed for almost 2 years, no credit & paying $2.95 a gallon when you have NO income- if it was not for a friend helping me out, I'd be a literal Cave man. I Help him & he keeps a roof over my head,food, Gas & communication. If the Government had given me a $20,000 bail out, I could have paid my debt to my friend off, paid my bills & needs ahead for the next 4 YEARS & still had money left over.& unlike the Wallstreet crowd I'd provide reciets & be ACCOUNTABLE for what is given.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  42. Mercedes

    If they wanted to give another stimulus package they should have done so before the "bail-out". Had they given each working American citizen $25,000, that would have jump started the economy for sure. I don't see how a couple of hundred dollars is going to make a difference. Most people will probably pay utility bills and other than the gas and electric companies no one else will see a dime of the package.

    November 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  43. K

    Gas is the ONLY price that is dropping ... it is reported that the increase prices of other items, such as groceries and airfare, will continue ... Americans continue to lose jobs, investments, homes, etc. ... it takes longer than a month or so of falling gas prices, etc. to turn the current economic crisis around!

    November 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  44. dogsmycopilot

    Why? Do you know what Christmas profits mean to businesses? Do you know how many will not see the profits they need this year? Can you imagine how many lay offs those businesses will have due to that? The last stimulus was aimed at those with incomes so high they had credit to pay off. Stop with the class warfare and give some stimulus to those who will spend it on a Christmas they could not have afforded otherwise and the businesses will see profit so they can stay afloat. How people can be so mad and claim "those people don't pay taxes," is beyond me. The poor pay plenty of tax, from payroll to sales taxes and it's killing them.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  45. Nichole in MN

    That is so true.......

    November 6, 2008 at 12:25 pm |
  46. Johnna

    There needs to be a limit on how much money we need to give a government that takes it, gives it to people who don't need, and then says, "Oops. Bad idea. Can we have more?". This has happened too many times. The money for the stimulus needs to come out of the pockets of those who propose the bill. If you want to vote it in, fine, but, you will use your money only.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:25 pm |
  47. EJ (USA)

    hmmm, the response from people in general to the last stimulus payment appeared to be positive.

    also – I remember hearing that the stimulus payment did help

    i know it helped me... but then again I've been looking for full time work for over a year

    I think a stimulus payment like the one done earlier this year would've been a better alternative to the company bailout.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  48. Melissa, Los Angeles

    Lucky for you Drew the gas is under $2 in your area. I'm still paying about $2.69 for the cheapest gas. I can't complain since I can now fill up to $30 instead of $40.

    The reason the last stimulus check didn't work is that people have far too much debt so they used it to pay that off instead of spending it the way the government wanted us to. I think it's a bad idea to send out another stimulus check. We all have to learn how to be financially responsible and this is not the way to go about it.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:08 pm |
  49. Cindy

    So now they want another stimulus package!? They are a joke! What did they friggin do with the last one? I haven't heard one thing that happened that made anything turn positive.

    Well if they want it they'll probably get it. Nothing we can do now. The election is over we can't boot them out. They will do what they want like they always do.


    November 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm |
  50. xtina, chicago IL

    Instead of a rebate, how about keeping money in our pockets by having Congress eliminate the federal gasoline tax?

    No, that makes too much sense.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm |
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