February 9th, 2009
08:23 AM ET

Can the stimulus bill work?

Senators reach a compromise to trim the stimulus bill. CNN's political team looks at the implications.

Filed under: David Gergen • Economy • President Barack Obama
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Carolyn

    I keep hearing that there may be help on the way for home owners who are on the edge of foreclosure, which should "stop the bleeding". As a real estate agent I meet people daily that are not only facing the loss of thier home but frankly TOTAL FINANCIAL DEVASTATION. To lose thier home to foreclosure or short means they have already (in most cases) endured job loss, severe credit damage and usually bankruptcy and in many cases foreclosure. Many of them don't even know how they will afford rent. What is the plan to help them recover? How do they ever get back on thier feet and somehow start to rebuild thier lives? Will there be some sort of help for thier destroyed credit and help for a down payment assistance program for a new home? Some of these people may have made poor decisions, but in my experience many of them have not. They have lost jobs, spent thier retirement trying to salvage thier home and are trying to somehow survive all of this. And on a final note, most of them are close to 50 years old and don't have much time to recover before they reach an age where they won't be able to.

    February 10, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  2. Michael C. Mchugh

    For all the sound and fury about the stimulus bill, most of what's in there is nothing really new. I mean, federal funding for roads, bridges, ports, education, medical care, unemployment insurance, etc goes back decades, if not centuries. Nothing new about any of it, except that there's a lot more money.

    I think it will save a lot of people from drowning in the short term, which is good, but it's not the cure for this depression.

    More interesting in this package is all the new spending on green technology and high speed rial, things in which the US has fallen behind. We do need to go in a greener direction. This is no longer some hippy-trippy fringe issue but a matter of survival.

    On the other hand, I'm not really happy about pouring any more money into bankrupt banks with their smoke and mirrors assets and corrupt executives. That to me seems like beating a dead horse–or closing the barn door long after the horse has gone. They should really be thinking about what a reformed banking system will look like, one with a stronger government component and more mechanisms for public investment.

    I do agree that the working class and middle class borrowers also need considerable debt relief, and not just with mortgages. Much has been promised in this area, but nothing done. It's time just to write down or write off a lot of these bad debts.

    I doubt that private capital can do much in this situation. Probably hlf of it built up in recent decades is already lost, maybe even more. Who can really say with all this funny money floating around?

    February 10, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  3. darrill berry

    If you give each state 5bil. california 15bil you will have given 250-260bil. But resrict or direct the money. 2bil for housing, 2bil for job creation, 1bil govenors disgression. And if you really want to stimulate the economy negotiate everyones mortgage back to 30% of their wages for say 7 to 10 yrs. This will put 10,20,30,40% of individuals mortgage holders money, directly back into the economy. Don't give the money to the banks. You want to fix housing, this is how you fix housing. You want to stimulate the economy, this is how you stimulate the economy and put money in the hands of the consumer.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  4. mark

    So what if thebanks would have failed? The FDIC would have covered consumers accounts. They won't work with consumers,I say let them fail,they aren't helping people,just themselves. Let the strong survive,the ones that made bad decisions need to suffer like the rest of us.Thank God are house and cars are paid for.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  5. karin dicker

    i cannot believe how wonderful it was to see a president talking so intelligently as well as coherent. wow. i was very impressed with his grasp of the facts.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  6. mark

    Can somebody,anybody explain what,if anything did the first 350 billion dollars do other than give the banks money they will not loan to consumers?Ithought that was the point,giving banks money so they can loan.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  7. Alfredo

    What about all the Manufacturing Jobs that made and make America?

    How are we going to fix that?

    A question I know many Americans want to know!

    February 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  8. Mike, Zephyrhills, FL

    10 Trillion Dollars has been allocated so far from Federal Reserve, FDIC, Congress, etc... to bailout the banks and system. Would of been easier to pay off all of the mortgages in America. Or have provided $100,000 to each american. Heck I only owe $24,000, all I need. Then I could have some money to spend!!

    February 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    By letting jobs go overseas the GOP who was in charge of the government when most of it happened let the good jobs the middle class relied on leave our shores and replaced those jobs with nothing. The only people that benefited from the jobs being offshored were the big business executives, etc. because they could show a larger bottom line on their financial statements. Now as a lot of us foresaw Americans can't afford to buy the products this same big business produces. Guess big business can't have it both ways – time to bring those jobs back if you want customers.

    February 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  10. Michael Priller

    As a nation we should concern ourselves with the lost production/manufacturing jobs (outsourced). Not how much money we should give to poor business ventures and failures.
    These jobs were the bread and butter of income and paid a substantial amount in tax revenue to the states.
    Now these same workers are working for a substantial amount less (service industry), not being able to afford what they once could.
    Outsourceing in my mind did not bring in more business, but took away from towns, cities, and communities. This devistated the amount of income being made and really did force both parents to acquire employment to even try to make ends meet.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  11. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    P.S> I would have incluse Falwell but he's already buring in Hell along with Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler I'm sure if anything those Fundamentalists say about heaven and hell is true !!!!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  12. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    G W Bush Republicanism be DAMNED !!!! All those who supported it either out of ignorance or just plain Dogmatic Stupidity should hang their heads in shame ! INCLUDING those of the Christian Fundamentalist Right Like Pat Robertson et. al.!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  13. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    G W Bush Republicanism be DAMNED !!!! All those who supported it either out of ignorance or just plain Dogmatic Stupidity should hang their hedas in shame ! ICLUDING those of the Chriostian Fundamentalist Right !

    February 9, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  14. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    One more thing............. @ KAREN......... EXCELLENT IDEA!


    February 9, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  15. Mary V., Salt Lake City, UT

    Yes, it CAN work! IF........ the Stimulus that is passed created jobs, especially in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and giving tax breaks to the Middle-class.

    We need Congress to COOPERATE with President Obama!

    Our Nation, needs Congress to set their ideologies and egos aside for the GOOD OF OUR NATION!

    ITS easy to complain, criticize, and rag on the president! BUT...... the GOP need to stop and THINK....... IF YOU CONTINUE TO OPPOSE AND COMPLAIN....... WE THE PEOPLE, WILL REMEMBER DURING THE MID-TERM ELECTIONS COMING UP!


    AMERICA......... YES WE CAN........ AND YES.... WE WILL RECOVER!


    February 9, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  16. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Karen a most excellent Idea. !

    To answer the question , however, this stimulous plan simply MUST be allowed to work if we are to survive as the World's leading nation.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  17. steve

    We have come to understand that fear is the tactic that the Republican Party uses to push their agenda. On terror, the tactic was used by them to justify anything they wanted to do concerning "national security". Think about it, tapping into our phones, torture, and a war against Iraq. Incredibly, they stand behind these moves to this day, evidenced by Cheney's comments last week. So now we have the economy. A government, ruled by the party for a full 6 of the 8 past years, have lead this country into a tailspin that may take us a long time to recover from, if it is possible to recover from entirely. We, the populous are guilty here as well. Let's face it, we all saw the Wall Street crowd "run up the score" and we feasted from the droppings they left behind. But our elected officials, mainly Republican, drove the plows ahead of Wall Street to ensure that their roads were free and clear of any obstructions such as audit, regulation and the like. The greedy bastards on Wall Street were not happy enough to make billions, they wanted more, defying basic investment knowledge and over leveraging the portfolios. Why did they care, their income was secure, if they made or lost money. So now we come to the cross roads, with a gapping hole in the economy of trillions of dollars, with an employment and housing slide unparalleled in history. Now McCain, Shelby and Co. have answers? Now they step up to the plate? Do they offer anything different than what we have seen in the past 8 years? I don't get it; almost every major economist believes we need a stimulus package, a large one, perhaps larger than the one proposed. All I hear are the Republicans asking for more tax cuts, like removing capital gains...Who will enjoy these tax cuts?. The unemployed? Middle America? I have a lifetime of investment losses that I will never see recovery from in my lifetime. Our 401K and IRA are well less than half of what they where a year ago and will never recover. Capital gains, are we kidding. I was a registered Republican. No more. The party has lied to us, and continues to do so. Now they have moved their key strategic tactic, fear, into the argument, that we are doomed if this passes. Their wrong, we are doomed if it does not. The party needs a serious overhaul, we need to remember their names and get them out of office…

    February 9, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  18. Karen Arnold

    Cash Now is what the unemployed, the hungry, the almost homeless needs! A true stimulus is GREEN CASH in hand that can be used immediately. Please, think about using some or most of this stimulus money by simply cutting checks to those in need. Perhaps to people in the under $100,000 category send $20,000 each to singles without dependents, $20,000 to ‘doubles’ (married filing jointly) without dependents, $50,000 to singles and doubles with dependents. Actually, more cash would be even better!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:50 am |