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Democratic Led Congress Approved $787 Billion Stimulus, Handing Obama A Major Victory

By: Steve Johnson

2/14/2009 - 46 Comments

The U.S. Congress handed President Barack Obama a major legislative victory on Friday, with a $787 billion stimulus bill that aims to provide much needed emergency government spending and tax cuts to the nation in the grip of a severe recession.

The largest stimulus bill in history, has bounced back and forth between the House and Senate, contains thousands of pages of special provisions for just about everyone.  President Bush’s stimulus package last summer was only $150 billion followed by $700 billion bailout of the financial sector of the economy, but neither one has been able to jump start the economy. 

This time around, the nation is in an official recession which has spread into every sector of the economy. Obama’s didn’t have the luxury of the being able to focus on one sector of the economy, forcing his plan to be much more comprehensive. 

But, addressing many sectors of the economy has also deluded the about of money that each industry, state, program and person will be getting.  The end result is that we each get $5, which does not seem like its going to have much of an impact on the economy. 

It was also interesting to learn that not a single House Republican voted for one of the biggest single spending bills in the nation's history and only three Republican senators backed it.  This is a vote of no confidence.  If our leaders don’t believe in the bill, then how can we?  Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell complained the bill "is unlikely to have much stimulative effect."

The White House said it would take about a month for the money to start flowing. One of the primary concerns of economists is that the stimulus will come too late to do much good in 2009.

The next question is going to be, “How big is the next stimulus bill going to be?” if this one doesn’t work?  And if it doesn’t, God help us.

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