Friday, February 6, 2009

How do you feel about the new stimulus plan??

Our U.S. Congress is working on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The House has already passed the stimulus plan and the Senate will soon be voting. If passed, some of the money will come to the state of Georgia, to some of our cities and also some school districts.

Locally, ten cities in Georgia have requested almost 3 billion dollars from the plan, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Marietta, Acworth, and Athens. Proposed projects would put money into repairing old infrastructure and building new that could possibly add 30,000-40,000 jobs in Atlanta region alone. Also a priority to Atlanta is public safety, including hiring more police officers. Mayor Shirley Franklin states that “this is important to the city, to the state and important to the national economy.”

Meanwhile, Rep. John Lewis, who supports the stimulus plan, states on his website that the bill offers tax cuts to 95% of Americans and that the funds will go to increasing Pell grants, infrastructure, lowered healthcare costs thru technology upgrade as well as many other programs. His website shows as much as $8 billion as being requested to aid in projects such as Head Start; employment training for adults, youth and dislocated workers; Low-Income Home Energy Assistance; elderly services; the Food Stamps Program; and Medicaid.

Critics, however, look at this as increased government spending and increasing to our debt, rather than helping it. They urge for continued stimulus to the private sector rather than government programs. Adding to public criticism is the failure to pay taxes by several of President Obama’s administration choices including Tom Daschle.

Meanwhile, the news reports today that employers have slashed another 598,000 jobs in January - pushing the unemployment rate up to 7.6 percent!! According to CNNMoney, the latest job loss is the worst since December 1974, and brings job losses to 1.8 million in just the last three months. Economists project continued losses and economic downturn in 2009.
President Obama has said that the American people called for change in November and “that's what we're going to deliver”. How do you feel about the new stimulus package? Do you support it or oppose it? Have you contacted your legislators about your views? Share with us, but also don’t forget to share with your US Senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, as well as your district House and Senate reps. You can find how to contact them at

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