2/03/2009

New Op-ed in the Philly Inquirer: A wish list that shifts $$ around: Stimulus package lacks economic logic: How does it create jobs or spending?

I have an op-ed piece in the Philly Inquirer today.

Americans are getting dubious about the stimulus package.

A majority of Americans want Congress to either reject or make "major changes" to the economic stimulus package on Capitol Hill, a poll out Tuesday finds.

The Gallup poll, conducted from Friday through Sunday, found that 75 percent of Americans want Congress to pass some version of the plan, which is tagged at about $900 billion in the latest Senate package.

But the survey reflected deepening doubts about the effectiveness of the programs and spending items currently being considered by federal lawmakers. Only 38 percent of those polled favored the existing stimulus proposal, down from a slight majority holding that view in the Jan. 28 Gallup survey.

Thirty-seven percent want major changes and 17 percent reject the plan outright. . . . .


Very cute response in a letter published by the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Stimulus doesn't mention ACORN

In his commentary Tuesday ("A wish list that shifts $$ around"), John Lott rants against some minor items in the stimulus bill and then throws in the big lie - $4.2 billion for ACORN. Lott, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, hasn't done his research. Any reading of publicly available resources would tell him there is no specific money for ACORN in the stimulus package.
There is $4.2 billion for buying, rehabbing and selling abandoned and foreclosed houses. More than $3 billion is restricted to state and local governments and some consortia of nonprofit organizations through competitive bidding processes. About $750 million is set aside specifically for competitive bidding by nonprofits for the tasks described. ACORN is not mentioned anywhere, though presumably it could join the bidding process.

This is the same hyperbolic stretch Rep. John Boehner and other Republicans have made.

Virginia Klipstein
Glenside


Here is the problem. ACORN isn't mentioned by name, but the requirements for who is eligible limits nonprofit groups based on their characteristics who can compete to ACORN.

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