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POLL: Do You Support President Obama's Stimulus Plan?

Last week on THE JOURNAL, Bill Moyers mentioned some recent polling that suggests public support for President Obama’s economic stimulus plan has been eroding:

“Support for the economic recovery plan working its way through Congress has fallen again this week. For the first time, a plurality of voters nationwide oppose the $800-billion-plus plan. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 37% favor the legislation, 43% are opposed, and 20% are not sure. Two weeks ago, 45% supported the plan. Last week, 42% supported it. Opposition has grown from 34% two weeks ago to 39% last week and 43% today... Related survey data shows that half the nation’s voters say the plan that finally emerges from Congress may end up doing more harm than good.

What do you think? Take our poll and respond in the space below.




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Comments

Thinking Inside the Box

Most of the people protesting Obama’s recovery plan are the same people that never said one word of protest while George Bush was on a spending spree aggrandizing the super rich.

Generally speaking, they are the same people that voted for the imbecile 2 times over===that should tell you something.

They are people that firmly believe failure is the best way to solve a problem, because, it is a recognizable process [Humans often mock what for them is incomprehensible].

George Bush spent about a trillion dollars on an unnecessary war that has jeopardized the security of the US and the world. Once Iran was freed from the threat of Hussein’s administration, Iran was then empowered to impose their lunacy on the rest of the world. I am sure George never considered this; as in the same mode of thinking he once said, “We never once imagined that insurrection could be possible in Iraq” [???].

The fundamental difference between the Bush administrations’ spending and the spending of the Obama administration is the way the money is going to be disseminated. Bush spent his dollars on the super rich and endeavors outside our country. Obama’s plan is to spend his allocations on programs that will produce jobs [in the US] and improve the country’s infrastructure; THAT ALONE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE.

The financial lessons garnered from the Depression taught us that being financially conservative during a period of economic depravity is a sure way to sustain it. Action must be bold, open-minded, and immediate.

Very few people alive today have experienced a Depression; I can tell you this, a Depression is a sure way to solve the nation’s problem with obesity.

Ron Paquette

M.A. Dowling: It's much worse than you say. Get outside the box of two party ideology and you see the possibilities of 90% debt peonage and runaway hyper-inflation. Actually, Obama and Geithner know all this. (Michael Hudson, Robert Johnson, Joseph Stiglitz, Ravi Batra and others have said it.) Can't you see it in their eyes? They're enslaved to a golem economy.

Spending our way into stagflation with taxpayer money that will leave a debt legacy to our granchildren (all in the name of stimulus) is one of the worst frauds ever perpetrated on the American people.

I read much of the "stimulus" bill and it should be called the paybacks, welfare, big government bill to be more accurate.

The stimulus has passed. Let's have another election. Obama will win again, with $20 contributions from working americans. America want's change and he is the President of The United States. He's owes no one. He only want's the best for the country. The President is trying to save the country and I thank God very day he is in office.

The Republican's need to reach out- he is. He could can fill the mall with a million people next week. All he needs to do is ask them to show up.

I HAVE A QUESTION FOR OBAMA SHEEP. DO YOU STILL THINK A COMMUN ITY ORGANIZER WAS THE BEST PERSON AT THIS TIME?

I HAVE A QUESTION FOR OBAMA SHEEP. DO YOU STILL THINK A COMMUN ITY ORGANIZER WAS THE BEST PERSON AT THIS TIME?

Criminal M.O. :

Sorry if I offended the impaired. They say erectile dysfunction drugs, over frequent masturbation and listening to Rush Limbaugh diminish one's vision. I hope you can stop once you require coke bottle bottom glasses to see your country dying. Wake up and realize that Republicans are sugar-free hemlock and Democrats are caffeine free hemlock.

HAS ANYONE TAKEN NOTE THAT BEFORE 2006 THE STATE OF THE UNION DIDN'T SEEM TO HAVE TO0 MANY PROBLEMS THAT WE AS A NATION COULD'NT HANDLE, THEN...2006 ELECTIONS CAME WHEN THE HOUSE WAS TAKEN OVER BY DEMOCRATS WITH POLOSI AND REED RUNNING THE SHOW. THERE ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE WITH ONE FEASCAL AFTER ANOTHER. THE ECONOMY BECAME WORSE AND WORSE WITH THE HOUSING BUBBLE BURSTING. FANNIE MAY AND F.....MAC FAILURE WAS THE DIRECT RESULT OF BARNEY FRANK,POLOSI,REED DIRECTING F......MAE AND F.......MAC TO GIVE THOSE LOANS OUT TO FOLK'S WHO COULD'NT AFFORD THEM. EVERYONE BLAMES BUSH AND I SAY YEAH BUSH BLEW IT BIG TIME BUT THE DEMS WERE PUSHING RIGHT ALONG WITH HIM. AND NOW THIS CONGRESS IS SCREWING UP WORSE THAN OL BUSHY. I DIDN'NT VOTE FOR THIS SOCIALIST CRAP AND I'M SURE MOST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DID'NT EITHER. REMEMBER...57% OF US DID'NT VOTE THE OBAMA TICKET.
MAKY D

APPERANTLY I'VE OFFENDED SOME FOLK'S WITH MY CAPITALIZATION. I TRUELY APOLOGIZE IF THIS OFFENDS YOU. BUT I DON'NT SEE AS GOOD AS I USED TO AND IT'S MUCH EASIER FOR ME TO READ THE LARGE PRINT. I ACTUALLY WISH EVERYONE BLOGGED THIS WAY. IT SURE WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR ME TO READ. AGAIN, I APOLOGIZE, I WAS'NT TRYING TO DRAW MORE ATTENTION THAN YOU OTHERS WHO HAVE JUST AS VIABLE OPINION AS I DO.
AND IF MY OPOLOGY IS'NT ACCEPTED, SO BE IT. I WILL STILL CAP MY OPINIONS KLARKY.

MAKY D

You can read the stimulas plan at recovery.gov where you can follow the money and give your ideas about if it is working or not.

It's strange that republicans (especially politians) seem to do nothing but complain.

President Obama did inherit all of these problems that were left by the republican Bush administration.

Certainly, we as Americans should be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Let's all participate and bring our country back to her feet again! The least we can do is follow along on recovery.gov and let them know what we're individually thinking.

God Bless America
V.P.

VP Feb 16 4:52AM & Ken Delanoy Feb 14 3:06 pm
Good points!

Mainstreet may begin to expect change & develop room for confidence to return IF failed corps. chairman of the board, CEOs,& Presidents, plus Congressional chairmen of finance related committees were fired--no benefits, parachutes,secretaries, cars, etc-just gone & today would not be to soon.

The middle management & govt. committee members have all the talent & skills needed to run things better than recent events show the big guys have done.

Returning the failed poilcies to functional capacity still will not replace the thousands that should not have qualified for a loan or for as large a loan, or restore plastic money to the level just a year or two ago. So, where will the customers for the recovery come from? Tighter qualifying rules mean fewer loans & when govt & corp. say help foreclosures & Mainstreet what they really mean is more money to do with as they see fit.

Show the new managers that accountability & responsibility will be implemented & enforced & they may get the message, BUT the current big guys are to far gone. Terminate them. Send them off with their tails between their legs OR wait for the next Savings & Loan give away!

Billy Bob, Florida so, you don't like reminders of your standing by when the DNP & Obama denied my vote

Dee: I don't see old Bashful Barry throwing no fit. See him in mile high Denver signing with a smile? See him teasing evictees in Phoenix that help is on the way. A Cool Cat would have never appointed Geithner and Summers- the Marx Brothers of Wall Street. BHO is a lawyer who knows zip about economics and history, a hand fed zoo tiger owned by the banking elite. He'll never bite the feeding hand. I hope you weren't counting on a living waged job or a refinance, Dee, cause Santa ain't coming this decade.

Obamateers,
This was not Obama's stimulus plan....it was Pelosi's and Company....read between ALL the lines!! the rhetoric and the actual 1000 page document...written by the staffer's of the senate and the house...PLEASE educate yourself before drinking anymore kool-aide!!

I WANT OUR SACRED CONGRESS TO IMMEDIATELY PASS A LAW WITH DEATH AS A PENALTY THAT ONLY REAGANITE CONSERVATIVE BUSINESS BOOSTERS CAN WRITE THEIR POSTS IN ALL CAPS. CAPS ARE A SYMBOL FOR SUPPORT OF OUR SACRED CAPITALISM AND THE BENEVOLENT GOD ORDAINED GLOBAL CORPORATIONS THAT MAKE IT WORK SO DAMN GOOD. ONLY WE ORDAINED ONES SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEEK ATTENTION WITH ALL CAPITALS. THEN THE FIRE ECONOMY RETURN TO NORMALCY AND MY HOUSE GO UP AND I MAKE BIG MONEY ONCE MORE.

socialist swine should write very tiny if they are allowed to write at all. maybe i take the e off their keyboard and see how they do then?

MARK CAP ODONNELL (faux)

Happy Flagentines'Day

Recently, I learned something which was such a surprise! Business routinely takes out loans to pay payroll and to buy inventory. What a shock. I thought that business was supposed to be self sustaining.

We have an economy built on debt. We have bankers who make billions on breeding debtors. No wonder there is such greed. There is no limit.

I voted for the stimulas plan because I believe Obama is trying to "fix" things. Though, I'm not sure it is fixable.. Certainly, most of our representatives largely live in a different world reality than most Americans do.

Just as Ceo's and the Madoff crowd...who seemingly have no clue what is to live by the "law" or even have a conscious telling them to do the best for all..if that view ever existed, it has gotten lost over the last generation.

How did prices of homes and land become so inflated in just a few short years? Possibly because mortgage lenders made it so... Now it seems they want more money to keep up the inflation.. I hope they will return to prices that people can afford to pay. But, how is that possible..if the goal is to keep companies afloat that created these farce prices in the first place?

I hope the Obama administration will do something to make housing more affordable....other than just throwing money at the companies that created the bogus prices.

Tbe best thing for everyone related to the housing crisis imo is to re-evaluate the homes and set up mortgages that resemble the actual value of each property in question.
The company that made the greedy inflated loans should eat their losses.

Let's get back to reality. Some of the homeowners were also greedy....mortgaging their homes every year and getting a kickback of several thousand each time. It's probably true that many were pressured by "sales people" yet, they also ultimately have to be responsible for their actions. If they want their home loan to be a price that they can afford, perhaps they can give back the thousands they got out of the multiple refinance gigs. Otherwise, maybe they could be given a chance to rent and sell the home for its "true value." It's called common sense....

This is the area that I'm concerned about and has yet to be addressed..if they continue with inflated prices then, we all lose. If they lower the prices..some may be upset in their "losses", but at least the loans will match the value.

V.P.


I became a citizen of the US 14 years ago.
With the mindset and values of our present society I feel like I'm just getting in the
way. I choose a simple frugal life. Unless
I blow money ,yet to be earned ,like a
drunken sailor I feel like an productive member of our society

The stimulus is being applied to the further commercialization of American life. Already, most people cannot imagine life without assessing everything in terms of money, profit, cost. This commercialization is squeezing the life out of life, leaving a hollow and frazzled sense of anxiety and fear.

Government has got that old horse back on its feet with this bill. Now the task will be to whip that dead horse and make him go. It will not work. This is not merely a temporary downturn.

In regards to my lack of support for the so called economic stimulus or rescue package being considered by our leadership, I would like to add the following comment. My wife and I have spent our entire adult lives immersed in hard work, sacrifice and resistance to the excesses laid out before us each and everyday. The simple economic principles that have guided our middle class life style have been to live within our means. To accomplish this we have forgone lavish vacations, homes, cars, toys, etc., and made a large percentage of our purchases from the second hand markets. For several decades now I have watched the direction of our nation head toward certain failure with the loss of base industries that fuel our economic engine and secure our nations means to basic defense. All the while publicly held companies bowing to the scrutiny of the "Street" (Wall Street). The net result has been the continued decay of a once skilled blue collar workforce in favor of shortterm profits. At the same time our nation has been transforming to this fragile and unsustainable, service based economy, Americans have been amasing huge amounts of personal debt while lavishing in the excesses of the years of mistaken shortterm prosperity. Now, as it had to someday, the bill has come due. Our so called government representatives in the close companionship of the pirates of Wall Street and Corportate America have driven us off the cliff of economic disaster. The hardships of such a freefall will hardly be felt by the those bandits of the great American dream but instead will fall hard into the laps of those with little or no control over these continuing failed policies. This 1500 or more page, unmanageable, so called rescue plan is supposed to ease the crash and turn the tide back toward prosperity. Americans are being asked to once again spend our way out of trouble on borrowed monies, the amounts of these rapid and carelessly infused funds are now being measured in trillions of dollars with no regard to the eventual payback. Unfortunately without a serious shift in government or individual spending habits we are only delaying the painful corrections to come. The only way to turn the tide is for serious individual, government and corporate accountability. Without breaking down the fundamentals of our failures and prosecuting these failures with the goal of correction, we can only count on more of the same to come. The question remains to be answered; Are we too far gone? Because I love this country, I hope not!

YOUR BLAMING BUSINESS FOR TRYING TO STAY ALIVE? THE TAX RATE FOR OUR BUSINESSES ARE THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD !!! THERE IS A LITERAL TRUTH THAT COMPANIES CAN GET TAXED TO DEATH !! BY EARNING MORE MONEY OVERSEAS THEY CAN PAY HIGHER DIVIDEND CHECKS TO THEIR INVESTORS. THAT'S NOT WRONG BONEHEADS, IT'S GOOD BUSINESS. THIS HAS MADE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WEALTHY. I SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING FISCALLY SAVY. THOSE COMPANIES LEFT BECAUSE OF TAXES OUR GOV. WAS TAKING FROM THEM. IF WE WANT THE COMPANIES BACK THEN WE NEED TO LOWER THE TAX RATES. THEN YOU'DE SEE ECONOMIC RECOVERY WITH NEW JOBS FOR US TO FILL THAT WOULD INCREASE OUR GDP.
THERE WOULD BE MORE PEOPLE PAYING MORE TAXES BUT AT A LOWER RATE FOR ALL.
GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM NOT THE PEOPLE OR BUSINESS!!!!!
MAKY D

We could also put it bluntly, that if the business interests hadn't been so busy investing in cheap foreign labor, our economic doldrums wouldn't require massive gvt intervention.

AS I UNDERSTAND IT, WE ARE MOVING TOWARD SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE WITH THIS NEW PORK SPENDING BILL. THERE IS TO BE A NEW HEALTH ZAR WHO WILL DETERMINE WHETHER SOMEONE WHO IS ILL AND NEEDS MEDICAL CARE GETS THE SURGERY OR TREATMENT THEY NEED TO STAY ALIVE. THE ZAR AND IT'S COHORT COMMITTEE WILL DETERMINE IF ONE WOULD HAVE ANY WORTHWHILE LIFE LEFT AFTER THE TREATMENT IS DONE.(THEY DETERMINE THIS BEFORE ONE GETS THE MEDICAL ATTENTION THEY NEED) AND IF THE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS TO MUCH TO BE WORTH IT, THEY TELL YOU TO GO HOME AND MAKE YOUR FINAL PLANS. NO HELP FOR YOU.
NOW LET'S PUT 2+2 TOGETHER SHALL WE? SOCIAL SECURITY WILL BE BROKE BY 2015. THAT'S A FACT, THE RETIREES ON MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY ARE A DRAIN ON THE SYSTEM...HOW DO YOU DECREASE THE ROLL NUMBERS OF ALL THE BABY BOOMERS ON THIS SYSTEM...THINK JUST A LITTLE...NOW YOUR STARTING TO GET IT. SOUNDS EVIL DOES IT NOT? YOU SAY, OUR GOVERNMENT WOULD NEVER DO THAT. I SAY, WHAT MAKES YOU SO SURE? THE SCENARIO IS BEING SET UP AS WE SPEAK. AND MANY OF YOU WILL HEAR THOSE WORDS "THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO FOR YOU"
WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR OWN INS. POLICY YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE CARE COVERAGE THAT WOULD GIVE YOU A FEW MORE YEARS OR MANY, BUT WITH A GOVERNMENT RUN BY PEOPLE WHO GET PAID TO SAY NO, BECAUSE THE MONEY DRIED UP, YOUR DEAD!! OR GONNA BE REAL SOON.
HOW'S THAT FOR CHANGE AMERICA?? YOU VOTED FOR IT, NOW WE ALL HAVE IT. THANKS ALOT
MAKY D

The only change we'll be seeing is the one that the global elite have already chosen for us -- a North American Union and a new currency that Canada, the US and Mexico share. 911 and the economic collapse were planned. Read "Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein

Never spend your money before you have it. Thomas Jefferson

I buy a cup of coffee in the morning with money I already have. That's the stimulus package that works best for me.

=
MJA

So many Moyers bloggers seem about to lose a house or to have a close relative or friend in that situation. Others are swamped in consumer debt. I would advise anyone who owes more than the house is worth to walk away. I would advise anyone with big consumer and medical bills to declare bankruptcy and then to operate on a cash basis. You can file your own paperwork without a lawyer, especially when mortgage is not part of the picture. There will still be several hundred dollars in filing fees to be paid to the federal court. The hearing is perfunctory if you've been honest in your filing. Once your unpayable debts are discharged you will feel much better. There are driveable cars out there for cash costing less than $2000 and rents are already abating in some cities. Say to the landlord,"What do you want, something or nothing?" Say to the curbside seller,"Your asking is ridiculous considering the acres and acres or trade-ins on used car lots and the unsold 2008s hidden behind them."
Deflation is good for the individual without debt. Deflation is surely coming. Discharge your unpayable debt as soon as possible. Be proud in your cheap apartment and old beater car. You're ahead of the "success ethic" game. Obama is only a little skinny lawyer. He is not coming to help you.

Just listened to Friday's show. I appreciated your mention of Amy Goodman; but in your guests' comments (and yours), I missed a mention of Keith Olbermann. I consider him MSM, and feel that he does speak out against the "way things are in Washington," probably the reason he is the target of such strong attacks from the right these days!

The message that I took from the discussion was one that I thought was right-on: that We The People must tell Washington what they need to do. Obama says it himself: that he cannot make change on his own. The real thing that needs to change is that We get involved and tell our representatives, including Obama, how to govern.

There are plenty of plans. what needs to happen is each home still on the verge or foreclosure needs to be re-evaluated and a 50 year loan or a government assitance loan, and told the value will go back up.
No money for banks, auto companies or any other privately owned business.

The rewarding of greedy crooks for their acts leading up to this situation is what this is. Bailout the guilty parties, who go on with their high life, and real Americans suffer with little or no end in sight.
Bah, humbug!

I'm not sure about the stimulus plan anymore. I don't think there are enough controls to monitor who gets the money. I read an article yesterday saying the state is gearing up to use the stimulus package in Massachusetts to finance the building of Casinos. Gag me! Tell me we'd never, ever consider this money to invest in gambling. It just can't be! Gambling revenues and jobs in Las Vegas and Atlanta are falling drastically. And even if that wasn't the case, how can we honestly think gambling is a sustainable industry to invest in our future. Katie Couric also had a section on last night's news about how the banks are using their tarp to buy other banks. That is not right.! Will there be controls over spending???? Until that is answered, I'm just not sure.

Regarding a different issue I felt very let down to see President Obama inviting CEO's of what he called "American" companies to the White House. I felt betrayed. IBM's global resource labor market strategy continues today and yields Sam Palmisano lucrative stock options and huge annual bonuses of $60M+. Sam's leadership has held US American's wages flat for years. At least those not getting laid off, which most are happy to still have a job. They've been watching fellow workers train their GR counterparts to be laid off as training completes. Lift & Shift is the cute spin word which means, for the good of our investors ,we'll lay off American workers and move to low cost labor countries. Off-shoring skilled jobs resulted in laying off tens of thousands of IBM regulars and contractors affecting thousands of down-stream people and businesses. Just ask the people in "IBM Alley". Now why is President Obama entertaining CEO's of these companies? "Yes", Sam says, "IBM provides jobs in countries revenue is earned." 60% of IBM's revenue is made offshore so 60% of the labor force is provided offshore". IBM kept the highly paid company positions in the US while off-shoring the "back office" positions normal Americans need. Sam's bonuses along with the upper IBM 10% wage earners are the main jobs kept in the US. IBM may be a good company to buy stock in (I said maybe) but they are not an American company concerned with Americans. They care only about profits to keep Wall Street investing. Today, Sam touts "IBM's new Centers of Excellence" as providing new American jobs. He merely laid off hardworking, middle class, loyal IBMers who'd been working long enough to earn a decent wage, with new college grads, global resources and employees living in areas of the country having weak labor opportunities. In the 90's, IBM pushed employees to work from home so they could unload their real estate while maintaining a workforce, and told employees, "we live in a virtual world now." Today, now they've isolated employees so it's not so noticeable when fellow cube mates get axed, Big lay-offs aren't announced but it's known they occur daily across the country. IBM now says the "Center's of Excellence are much more productive. They just want to unload more of us hard working employees, who put in so many hours we now suffer poor health. Sam states the global economy is important. President Obama states the American economy is important. Read President Palobama's speech, I mean President Palmisano, and President Obama's speech and note the times President Palmisano said Global Economy and how many times President Obama said American economy. I know the economies are related since we live in a global economy but right now, I want companies who are care about American workers more then companies whose dying wish is "profit to the stockholders" to get the entire share of the stimulus package. Us dumb workerbees here in the US have asked for years, who is going to be around to buy products in the US if our "Corporations" keep outsourcing jobs? Right now I want companies concerned about American workers and the American economy rather then Wall Street investors to get our tax dollars. Of course, companies like IBM say "you need to be profitable to maintain jobs" But I repeat, anymore the jobs maintained are in countries who are desperate enough to accept the lowest wages. So, to summarize, I'm just not sure President Obama is cynical enough to be entrusted with this huge sum of money. This huge sum of money the American families will end up paying back.

Global Corporate Capitalism:
How many were for it before they were against it? Talking bad about "BIDNESS" used to doom us to rejection. What is there to be rejected from anymore? The sedan chairs need only 4 bearers. Remote controlled predators handle security.
Now people come to us dissenters for their scripts. What a stupid mistake. Try telling your own story, and this time, listen hard as you tell it.

The stimulus plan is a bad idea. Too many people are saying "We must do something; this is something; therefore, we must do this." No we shouldn't. If $300 bn in tax cuts is irresponsible when we have a $1300 bn deficit, then we shouldn't do it. If spending $200 bn in a lost war is stupid, then we shouldn't do it. And why should we get a bailout before our soldiers get one. Our soldiers should start coming home first, and then we should get a bailout. If we need to "rush" the bailout, then perhaps we need to "rush" our soldiers back home.

I'm a member of that minority who said I'd go for it if it were changed some.

I don't think that handing money to movie producers = economic stimulus. People forget that our major studios are foreign owned, and we've already exported too many dollars as it is. We need our money at home. Don't try to tell me that movies are shovel-ready or that shovels have anything significant to do with movie making, as if everybody could get a job making movies anyway.

What's amazing is how incoherent Republicans have become in trying to make any kind of case against the bill.

Trickle down economics is doomed to fail. Trickle up economics, however, according to the Cook Plan is a real winner in my opinion. It shares the same philosophy as the Alaska Permanent Fund. Each citizen receives a stipend based on what their state earned, instead of sucking it up into the government, it allows people the freedom to spend the money how they best see fit. There's a lot more information on this at http://www.richardccook.com/

Richard C. Cook was a government insider for 32 years and has a very impressive background as an economic analyst from within the Treasury Dept.

No.

These bailouts will only worsen the economic condition, which is exactly their purpose.

Some people think the U.S. is undertaxed. How is that possible when we have a $1.3 trillion budget deficit? When Clinton raised taxes, he canceled the budget deficit. When Bush lowered taxes, we regained a budget deficit. Andrew Bacevich suggests that we attempt to live within our means, but how is that possible if we consume $1.3 trillion more in government resources than we put into government?

Even though the FED has the ability to "print" money, the government does not have an infinite amount of money. As the FED prints enough money to bail out the big banks, the value of our money will fall, and we'll see what the costs are of letting the FED carry us through this depression. The correct way to respond to the economic crisis is to raise taxes (mostly on the wealthy), end the War on Terror, pay more in welfare/unemployment compensation and fund the states.

Corporations should nether benefit from direct government infusions of money nor benefit from permissive regulations aimed at letting them make more money. They should be allowed to fail in accordance with the market rules that Conservatives are so fond of promoting. However; the government won't allow the corporations to fail; instead, the government will saddle itself with multiple trillions in debt to save these companies. But the current debt system is unsustainable, so when these companies finally do fail, it will be because the government has failed.

OH MISTER MARTIN... YOU'VE SHOWN YOUR TRUE COLORS. BRAVO, NOW I JUST WISH THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA WOULD BE AS BRUTALLY HONEST AS YOU HAVE BEEN. ALTHOUGH I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH YOU ABOUT CAPITALISM, I AT LEAST KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM AND WITH YOU I COULD HAVE AN HONEST OPEN DEBATE. MOST LIBES IN OUR CONGRESS AND MEDIA HIDE BEHIND A CLOAK OF DECENCY AND HIDE THERE TRUE INTENTIONS WHICH I BELIEVE TO BE THE ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION OF CAPITALISM. OUR CONGRESS AND IT'S COMMITTEES ARE NOTHING BUT SELF SERVING POLITICAL STRATEGY SESSIONS. EVERYONE IS JOCKYING FOR POSITIONS AND POLITICAL GAIN IN THE FORM OF MONEY AND POWER. AND OUR MEDIA IS IN ON IT TO. GONE ARE THE DAYS OF GOOD INVESTIGATING THAT DIGS UP THESE ULTERIOR MOTIVES. NOW WE JUST GET PITCHED A BUNCH OF BULL-S AND MOST AMERICANS EAT IT LIKE IT'S CANDY. NOT ME NOR MY FAMILY, WE CAN SMELL SH.. A MILE AWAY AND WE REFUSE TO BE SWAYED BY THIS CRAP. THAT'S WHY I READ AS MUCH AS I DO FROM THE NET.. IT'S STILL A BASTION OF HOPE AND INFORMATION FOR US ALL. THANKYOU BILL FOR HAVING THIS BLOG, I MAY DISAGREE WITH YOU TOO MOST OF THE TIME BUT I LEARN FROM FOLKS LIKE YOU AND MANY OTHERS.

MAKY D

Paulson's demand for $700 billion was turned down by the House so they approved $800+billion.

Obama wanted $300 to $700 billion but it became $900+ billion so the Republicans could take out $100 billion & support another increase in the "bailout-stimulous.

If the stimulious "plan" were taken to a real bank would it get even a second read?

There is no "PLAN" other than to get re-elected.

Hopefully Mainstreet will remember the manipulations in the 2010 election & throw all rascals (both parties) OUT!

Senator Nelson & Congressman Connie Mack are exempt, but Barney & all related commities should pay with THEIR JOBS

Billy Bob, Florida where the DNP, Obama, & ya'll denied my vote.

No..., no,no,no....
I can see why we need outlays to keep people from starving, losing hope, or dying from lack of medical care. I do not believe our educational system needs funding until it is reformed and the financing profits ended. I think funding for nuclear power is a criminal act. Green funding, if well directed to sustainable power, is desperately needed. FDA reform is needed but need not be part of a stimulus. I cannot see that $500 per worker tax refund will do much good. What we really need are some living waged manufacturing jobs, like yesterday. Ravi Batra, SMU faculty, thinks the auto manufacturers should have been handed over to the workers. They couldn't do worse than the CEO's he reasoned.Ravi is a great economist and humanitarian and is on the right track. Why can't our representatives hear him?

Global Corporate Capitalism has self-destructed and should be allowed to crash and die. Its pilots can bail out broke or burn in the fire they caused. It was terminally ill from birth but has needed hospice care since the 1920s. The people are tired of paying interest, sacrificing unreimbursed productivity, not having a safety net or health care provided and fighting senseless wars for profit. We will no longer be fooled by your Pearl Harbors, your Tonkin Gulfs, your 9/11s or the success ethic meltdown anymore. Pipsqueek Bashful Barry Obama, Honourable Pitchman, it is over. Either care for our needs or we'll no longer pay attention to the big head projected by "the man behind the curtain." As Mouvinon says,"Labor fashions your existence by the hour." And as I and tired Bill Moyers say,"It is difficult or impossible for one to become or remain extremely wealthy, or extremely poor, in a fair and just society." So Mister Change: You'd better find a way to devolve corporate personhood, annul elite contract, and desacrilize great wealth and power; because the time of those things has passed. Only a second Emancipation Proclamation can restore faith and hope. You have to rise to the challenge of Neo-abolitionism and free the wage slaves. Its the only means of survival for the entire world.

AFTER I'VE READ MANY RESPONCES ABOUT THIS BILL I'VE COME TO THE SIMPLE CONCLUSION YOU ALL ARE LOOKING FOR A SAVIOR WHOM YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE
BARRACK OBAMA. IN THE HOPE THAT ANYTHING THIS ADMINISTRATION & CONGRESS PASSES WILL RESCUE US FROM A DEPRESSION OR AT THE LEAST A DEEP RECESSION.
I'VE NOT READ ANY REAL OPTIMISM THAT THIS CONGRESS WILL DO ANY GOOD WITH THIS SPENDING. PROBABELY BECAUSE IT LACKS THE DEPTH AND FOUNDATION OF A THRIVING ECONOMY. IN A THRIVING ROBUST ECONOMY THIS BILL WOULD CAUSE A HUGE SLOW DOWN AND INFLATION LIKE NOTHING WE'VE SEEN SINCE CARTER'S DAY. IN THIS ENVIRONMENT THAT WERE IN IT WILL CAUSE GREAT CONSTERNATION AND INFLATION THE LIKES OF NOTHING WE'VE EVER SEEN. A GROWING ECONOMY CAN ONLY BE NURTURED WITH INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES AND PEOPLE TO KEEP INVESTING IN AMERICA'S BUSINESSES. WE CANNOT EXPECT POSITIVE RESULTS FROM STEALING MONEY AWAY FROM THEM IN THE FORM OF REDICULOUS HIGH TAX RATES AS COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES. WE ARE OVER TAXED AND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT ADMIT IT IS IGNORANT OF ALL THE EXCESSES OUR GOVERNMENT SPENDS IN THE FORM OF PORK BARREL SPENDING AND EARMARKS. OUR CONGRESS NEEDS TO LEARN WHAT'S TRULY NEEDED AND WHAT IS EXCESS. UNTILL THAT HAPPENS AND THEY RULE ACCORDINGLY...WERE IN AHEAP A TROUBLE FOLKS.
SO HERE'S A PRAYER FOR ALL YOU PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A SAVIOR...
BARRACK OBAMA WHO'S NOT IN HEAVEN FUNNY IS THY NAME, THY KINGDOM COME THY OWN WILL BE DONE HERE ON EARTH BUT NOT IN HEAVEN. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILEY BREAD AND FORGIVE US OUR TAX DEBTS AS YOU HAVE FORGIVEN THE TAX DODGING CHEATS YOU HAVE APPOINTED (OR TRIED) TO YOUR CABINET POST'S. LEAD US NOT INTO A DEPRESSION BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL SELF SERVING PEOPLE IN OUR CONGRESS. FOR YOU NOW HAVE THE POWER AND THE GLORY BUT NOT FOREVER. ALL MEN....
ARE NOT NECESSARILY CREATED EQUAL IN THIS COUNTRY...IT'S JUST A SLOGEN TO THE ELITES OF THIS PLACE.

MAKY D

The problem with polling about the stimulus plan is that the poll questions are meaningless. I support a stimulus plan as originally described by Obama before his inauguration. Since that time, it has been watered down in an effort to placate the Republicans. I support the REAL Obama Economic Recovery Plan. But I have no way to express that view the way the poll question responses are worded, especially since the Republicans are construing the "significantly altered" response as meaning more of their thinking. WRONG!

@ leslie freudenheim

So what do you propose will keep the recovery going once card holders have extinguished their card values and have no reciprocating income (because they can't find a suitable job after a year, or their income as been decreased due to wage cuts) to continue spending? We'll be right back where we started in 2010/2011 like we are now in 2009 after the Tax Rebates given to the public in 2008. I didn't take the $500 out of principle that it won't create a lasting effect. I want a stimulus bill and I wan it BIG. At these dire times that's how I want to use my tax money and to know the future taxes I pay will go toward keeping resources in peoples communities at a time when most communities don't have the money, and grants and services to build new job development. Unbelievably Shortsighted Congressional Card would be more like it.

We have tried to work with the GOP. President Obama cannot wave a magic wand. Now it is time to make some command decisions as best we can and move forward. We had to eat crap from the Republicans for eight years. How can the Democrats possibly do worse? The President is our hope!!

Finally we begin to hear the full spectrum of social and political views that have been silenced in this country since the late 1960's and before. Bring on more of this, PBS.

Prof. Rosen is using a definition of "behaviorist" with which I am unfamiliar. This is odd, because I am a behaviorist and member in good standing of the Association of Behavior Analysts (ABA).

A behaviorist, at least within psychology, is by no means committed to examination of large numbers of people to determine what is going on. B. F. Skinner, the best known of all behaviorists, championed examination of individual behavior, and eschewed the analysis of group data.

The recovery plan needs to lose the Republican tax cuts. In my view, nothing should be in this bill that won't produce or save as many jobs as possible -- and we KNOW tax cuts don't cause job expansion (or even stimulate the consumer economy meaningfully).

To keep the focus of each bill clear, separate legislation should deal with the needs of those who've lost jobs (food stamps, continuation of healthcare, extension of unemployment, etc.

I support the stimulus plan but I admit that I have not read it. Instead I am relying on the recommendations of individuals like Paul
Krugman and James Galbraith. The plan is balanced with short term and long term goals. Now we need to see some action from congress.

I enjoyed all of the guests tonight. As a 50 year old, I feel I am just now becoming aware of what is important. My sources of information have broadened in the last year to include blogs like Greenwald, Tompaine.com and Press Think. For too long I relied on narrow sources of news and it has been wonderful to tap into fresh thoughts. I am deeply appreciative to Bill Moyers. My challenge is to now engage and help restore our republic.

I wish our so called experts were bright enough to see that the economy and education and energy and the environment are ALL LINKED and can be immensely helped by implementing APPRENTICESHIPS: 25 - 30 hour weeks to spread the jobs around and have health care there for the nation. We should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and prosecute our war criminals....that means Cheney, Rumsfield, Tenet, Powell and Bush. Is this ever going to happen? Not on this planet. I'm going to try my best not to reincarnate here again. Too many clowns.

What we need is A Dazzlingly Simple Bailout: A $10,000 Credit Card with an Early Expiration Date sent to American Citizens will cause immediate spending and thus immediate re-hiring.
In addition to jobs for green energy, infrastructure and education Congress should divide the next mammoth bailout the Senate Finance Committee is considering among American Citizens, by sending each a combination credit/debit card (let’s call it the Uncle Sam Congressional Card or USCC card) with an early expiration date to force spending now. Depending on formulation this could give $10,000 or more to each American family.

Details
Who would get the Uncle Sam Congressional Card (USCC card)?
1. Every American family earning less than say $300,000 in taxable income would get a USCC worth $10,000 and each individual earning less than say $200,000 would get a USCC worth $5,000. (Congress will decide who will not get the USCC card; however, a cut off of $250,000 is much too low because if families earning $250,000 have kids and live in a big city they can barely afford rent, school, food, etc. Therefore, they deserve to share in this bailout, especially if they have lost their job/s). People earning over $300,000 should not get the card.

How would the USCC card be given out?

1. The Federal government gives Food Stamp Credit Cards to the poor and unemployed. The IRS has taxpayer contact information and with computers one can merge all taxpayers’ contact information with the Food Stamp Credit Card data base.

2. To save mailing costs, taxpayers can pick up their USCC cards at:
a) Banks; or
b) Post Offices; or
c) Automobile registry offices; or
d) Wherever Congress mandates.

3. Those who earn so little they do not have to pay taxes would also get the USCC card.
Food Stamp recipients are already given a Federal credit card so it should be easy to give them the USCC card, and to expand that program.

How the Uncle Sam Congressional Card (USCC) Would Work
1. The card must have an early expiration date to stimulate spending immediately.

2. This credit/debit card (USCC) should allow the taxpayer to buy whatever he/she wants up to the amount on the card. This will stimulate sales and thus hiring, immediately.

3. This USCC card should be in addition to funds for green energy, infrastructure, education, etc. because those bailouts will create jobs over the long term whereas this card will help the recovery, and stimulate hiring, instantly.

Uncle Sam Congressional Card would be the Most Efficient Bailout


1. Giving taxpayers the money will result in the most efficient recovery possible, and the fastest.

2. With this card in hand each taxpayer will be able to get a loan since the card will represent collateral backed by the US Treasury. The banks should be prevented from refusing to lend to someone wanting to borrow as long as the card can be debited to pay off the loan.

3. Small businesses can use the card to get small loans, to pay off debts, to hire, etc. and small business would benefit because we would all have money to spend.

4. Design the USCC card so that monthly loan, rent, credit card and other payments can be automatically deducted from it, if the taxpayer so desires.

5. An expiration date must be on each card. (I suggest an expiration date of one year to speed spending and the recovery.)

To Prevent Fraud with the Uncle Sam Congressional Card (USCC)


Do exactly what is done to prevent fraud with the Food Stamp Credit Card.

In sum, the Federal Government can just expand the existing Credit Card program used for Food Stamps to include taxpaying Americans. The stimulus effect will start the minute people have money and are able to buy things again.

Please forgive the previous messed-up post. This is what I meant to say in the second paragraph:

A proper bailout should be elementary: increase welfare payments and prepare for larger numbers on welfare; provide national healthcare (cheap: less than $100bn yearly); increase and sustain unemployment compensation for five years; give the states the $200 bn of the $300 bn they need to survive this year. These are all "shovel-ready" projects, and giving money to people seems to have a bigger positive effect on the economy than giving money to banks for not giving out loans (effectively not loaning the public's money to the public).

Thank you again Bill Moyers for another good, relevant and intelligent program.

"Ms b" is correct in saying that the bailout money should go to "unemployment, food stamps, etc." The states also need money to continue operating during the recession. A proper bailout should be elementary: increase welfare payments and prepare for larger numbers on welfare; provide national healthcare (cheap: all "shovel-ready" projects, and giving money to people seems to have a bigger positive effect on the economy than giving money to banks for not giving out loans (effectively not loaning the public's money to the public).

And the Republicans have every right to be concerned about the amount of debt--even if it's hypocritical. They need to be even more hypocritical is that prevents the demise of this country, and debt will bring this country to an end. If the Republicans are truly concerned about the national debt and the deficit, they can (in bipartisan form) unite with Democrats to end the War on Terror, undo the TARP (withdrawing money from all of the banks that failed to loan out at least half of the government's money), and undo the other $6.8 trillion in bank bailouts (except for those that fund the FDIC).

However, that won't happen--not because Republicans don't want to do those things, but because Democrats don't want to. Democrats want the War on Terror to continue, and they passed the TARP (pressuring and bribing Republicans to do so). America's political system is broken; no true solutions are accepted, and so this country won't take the actions needed for its survival.

TMP 2-7 8:28am you got it right.

Notice how many from the banking crisis say it can only be solved by keeping
those (themselves) that precipitated this crisis?

Traditional banks took capital, loaned it for interest & it worked for decades. High risk, gambling derivates are only needed for the really smart people to remove wealth from stupid Mainstreet & so they will continue to fund the ponzi scheems.

Wall Street needs the funds from Mainstreet---Mainstreet can go back to traditional banks & NOT need Wallstreet.

The really smart Wallstreeters almost killed the golden goose. How is that smart--more Short sighted--sort of shorted their value to US.

Billy Bob, Florida

I voted for President Obama because I don't think he has any other agenda but to get us out of this mess.

This clearly isn't a recession. Someone needs to coin a good name that sets it apart- like the "The Great Collapse" or some such.

I see all these comments that say "nobody knows what's in this stimulus plan". Please read the plan and then make your comments. It is available to anyone who cares to not be ignorant and make ignorant comments. Quit listening to the right-wing talking points and educate yourself. We're Americans, we can take charge of our destiny. Quit your whining and get busy.

The problem is that though the new administration does want to bring CHANGE to D.C., most of the same old players are still in their Congressional seats. They have no idea how to change their ways.

Plus, the bank bailout was so mishandled,we the people don't trust those in power to look out for us.

The Sheeple of America are wake and paying close attention. It's about time.

i support a stimulus but congress has added their pet picks and this makes us all angry. money should go to unemployment, foodstamps, etc we don't need tax cuts for the rich again. we don't need $10-20 in my check..tax out the fisa tax period. i like the ideal of just give us the american the money not the companies or the rich or themselves

I think the bill would have been most effective if it had been used to create actual jobs. Tax cuts (and trickle down) have/(has) a track record of ineffectiveness and waste.

Do you support President Obama�s stimulus plan?


What is in the stimulus plan?
Is it not the same as the other $850 billions? Is it not a continuation of robery? Is this realy a change?

67% of The Journal's eyeballs support a plan for which no details are available? For which the Congress (with an average asset value for each current rep at about $15 million) is hastily negotiating behind closed doors over the weekend? 67% support a plan for which they do not understand the adverse consequences for 90% of Americans and generations to come? 67% do not see a pattern of "shock and awe" government in action again? Even after Iraq? Even after the 2007 Economic Recovery Act (TARP)? Mr. Moyers, you have done a poor job of reporting when so many of your viewers cannot see past their political biases to protect their own economic interests. And I am a Progressive (tho not to be confused with Democrat)!

Reluctantly, I voted in the poll about the stimulus. But the problem is - yes, I support the President's plan as I understand it.
The Senate has now spent days watering it down, ruining it with tax cuts and pandering to Republicans who cut the most necessary parts - how is money for education NOT going to create jobs? (Or rather, since teachers are now being laid off and school days shortened, restore jobs already lost)

I do NOT support the bill as presently configured, at the end of Friday 2/6/09, but I'd rather have it than nothing.
You need to rework that question.

The problem with polling about the stimulus plan is that no one has an informed opinion because no one knows what is actually in it. The mainstream media has beat a steady drum against it, at least from my observations, because it provides some money for condoms. I 'suppose' I support it, at least I do appreciate that President Obama wants to do something to help make our lives a bit better and easier, but I cannot say that I know anything about what is in the plan, or how it will help us because it is probably 789 single spaced pages of 10 point font written in legalese and government-speak that our legislators probably have not read and would not understand if they did. So what good are the polls, and why do they ask us what we think about this thing that none of us understand? They are mainly the msm's way of checking to see if we are buying their propaganda. Today a few more people are not sure it is a good idea anymore. What a surprise... since all I've seen on the news are republicans blathering against it because of the condoms. Frankly, I wish someone would take all the money in the world and compost it (a few decades back I would have said burn it, but at this point I'm too concerned about global warming to suggest that). What do we really need it for? Does it really exist? Has the economic system become so complicated and toxic that it does much more harm than good? What really motivates us to work? Isn't money just a tool to coerce the majority; a tool that is currently being used by a much smaller number of narcissistic parasites to control and direct our lives against our own best interests? Are we imaginative enough to come up with a saner, healthier, less obsessive way to fairly exchange goods and services? Is this the reason it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle?

This may surprise you, but nothing really in the economic situation has materially changed since mid-2007, except that as we create more debt, we make the situation worse by decreasing productivity in relation to the amount of money, to be sure, but also I believe absolutely by sinking more into unproductive uses. At least it hasn't helped. The deflation we are experiencing now was caused by sinking money into things like houses, which were not going to pay back the debt that was created. That debt to society doesn't go away, and it must, in some manner, be paid, or the deflation will turn to inflation as inventory is depleted. The analysis of the Philips curve in the 70s is directly analogous, and we are, as then, facing stagflation. The best thing we can do is to ready ourselves for that eventuality by: 1. not digging the hole we are in any deeper; 2. reorganizing our business to be more productive; 3. saving as much as we can to finance that; and, 4. working out the relations between debtors and creditors so that the burden of our folly is reasonably and amicably shared. In practical terms the last probably means intervening directly to restructure mortgages and other contracts, and the legal basis must be found to do that. Cutting taxes is fine, because it will enable ppl to save or pay down their personal debts. But cutting govt budgets is fine, too, for the same reason. Mostly, however, we need to work smarter both in the private and public sectors, cut away the fat, and work for ourselves, too, if we intend to be a really prosperous country. We can't afford to be living off the labor and inventiveness of others. In that connection foreign countries holding large amounts of dollars need to put them to good use, either by buying American goods and services, or by buying real estate or govt debt here. In the long-term this country needs vastly more saving and less credit creation, and the best way to ensure that is stop all banks from manufacturing it, by instituting a 100% fractional reserve requirement, which would in turn end the Fed's monetary manipulation and persistent unbalanced Federal budgets. These, and nothing else but mercantilist policies like China's, cause the problems that we experience and rush to fix with more of the same to no avail. Other than these banking problems, the stock mkt, itself, is the villian here, and a truly just, or responsible, society would not separate ownership and work as we do. Above all ppl should not look to the stock mkt in anywise as an indicator. The stock mkt rises with the promise of inflation and it always has. Wall St wants inflation and it always has. Inflation is the way it is able to do its deals and mergers, and bilk everyone else. 90% of the time when the stock mkt avgs rise, the economy is worse. That's really all anyone needs to know about that. None of this, however, should negate our duty to see that to the utmost of our ability no American, or any one else in the world for that matter, goes homeless or hungry as a result of our stupidity.

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