Seven hundred billion dollars here, five hundred billion dollars there...what makes the difference? It's all just numbers, right? Well, sure...until someone has to pay for all those numbers.
The Obama economic team has already pledged to pick up where the Bush economic team left off and continue to throw more and more federal money at the current financial crisis. Obama today spoke of an economic rescue in the $500 billion range. Of course, this bailout would be offset by his promise "to scour our federal budget, line-by-line, and make meaningful cuts and sacrifices as well." Where do you think those cuts will be? Entitlement programs? Ha! More like national security cuts...right? Sure.
Nancy Pelosi said Bush should agree to a stimulus plan to "provide a down payment on new job-creating infrastructure investments, help states avoid deep cuts to health care and other essential services, and provide nutrition assistance to struggling families." So with Obama promising to make meaningful cuts, Pelosi is wanting to fund state programs that are in danger and create new federal assistance programs with "stimulus" money.
One of my favorite aspects of the Obama plan is the creation of jobs. Obama has embraced calls for a "green jobs" program that invests as much as $100 billion in projects to slash harmful emissions. This could include projects such as retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient, upgrading the electrical grid and improving mass transit. Sure, the cut of emissions is far more important than maintaining the current transportation infrastructure, like bridges and roads.
This all sounds pretty troubling to me. Only time will tell but I don't look for an economic turnaround any time soon with this type of plan in place.