Saturday, January 24, 2009

Some Republican commentators have been talking about problems with Obama's economic stimulus package.  The House version, they say, is full of Democratic boondoggles.  House Minority Leader John  Boehner gave an example of weatherization programs as typical wasteful Democratic programs.  David Brooks complained about all the education and health care programs in the House package that he said would force Republicans to vote against the plan.  Republicans think tax cuts will be better able to stimulate the economy.

Okay, tax cuts will allow people to go out and buy more things.  People will buy new tv's and other electronics made in China and Korea.  Chinese and Korean people need their economies stimulated too, but why should we help them right now, when our own economy is our top priority?

The best economic stimulus, spending money on services that will be provided by and to Americans here, are services such as weatherizing houses, teaching and taking care of children,  taking care of elderly and people with disabilities, and providing more health care to people in need of it right here.  

I'm familiar with weatherization programs.  They hire local contractors (small businesses) to install better windows and insulation in the older houses that low income and fixed income retired people live in.  This has multiple benefits, to the small business contractors, to the people who can save money on their heating bills to spend on groceries and other needs, and to the environment; less fossil fuels used, less dependence on oil-rich countries with problematic leaders.

I'm also familiar with health care and with schools, children's day care, and programs that help elderly and people with disabilities.  Many people working in these fields are paraprofessionals who are underpaid for doing critically important work.  It would help our economy a lot if the folks who bathe and feed our children, disabled and helpless elderly were paid a few dollars more an hour.  They could increase their professional standing, and spend more money on their own families.

Republicans: please think about it and do what will really help the economy.

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