economic stimulus package

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Why Obama Gets No Credit for Success

His presidency's been about 'preventing disaster,' writes Michael Grunwald

(Newser) - President Obama “prevented an atrocity” in Libya, but no one’s giving him credit. Why? “Because he prevented an atrocity,” writes Michael Grunwald in Time . It’s called the “counterfactual problem:” “It's hard to get credit for avoiding a disaster when it's impossible to... More »

Feds Hit States With Interest on Unemployment Loans

Tax-free provision ended with first stimulus

(Newser) - With most states already swinging in the recessionary winds, more bad news—many will have to start paying interest on the money they borrow to pay unemployment benefits. When jobless levels hit the unthinkable, with some states seeing 14%-15%, many had to go cap in hand to the feds to... More »

Most Productive Congress Since 1960s Adjourns

111th passed vast legislation in 'dysfunctional' environment

(Newser) - The 111th Congress adjourned last night, after passing more key legislation that affected more Americans than any since Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s “Great Society,” Bloomberg reports. That included $1.67 trillion spent to save the economy, health insurance for 32 million people, and new regulations on Wall Street;... More »

Democrats Too Dumb to Realize Obama Won Tax Deal

Krauthammer: GOP gave him his stimulus, and looked bad doing it

(Newser) - Barack Obama pulled off a huge coup with his tax-cut deal, but House Democrats are too dim to realize it. Obama slyly negotiated “the biggest stimulus in American history,” complains Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post . Republicans boast that this is their kind of stimulus—meaning mostly tax... More »

Ohio, Wisconsin Spurn $1.2B to Build Train Lines

Stimulus funds will go to other states

(Newser) - The US is redistributing $1.2 billion in federal stimulus money that had been headed to Ohio and Wisconsin, after both states' Republican governors-elect called for an end to proposed train projects, arguing they were unnecessary and would cost millions to operate. “Wisconsin taxpayers were victorious today in defeating... More »

So What Exactly Is in the Tax Deal?

Republicans, Obama agree to payroll tax holiday, middle class breaks

(Newser) - The tax cut deal President Obama struck with Republicans yesterday is far more sweeping than lawmakers on either side of the aisle were expecting, and aside from extending the Bush tax cuts across the board, here's the lowdown, as per the Washington Post:
  • Inheritance tax: After a year's lapse, individual
... More »

Stimulus Gave $140M to Faith-Based Groups

It's one of the quieter aspects of the federal package

(Newser) - Conservatives slammed it as “anti-religious”—but in fact, some $140 million from President Obama’s stimulus package has gone to faith-based organizations. The money “kind of fell from the sky, and it was unbelievable,” says the head of a church-backed nonprofit. But the matter has gone... More »

Enough With the Bush Nostalgia

He did a lot of things wrong, and some Republicans 'haven't forgotten'

(Newser) - With President Obama’s approval ratings in the toilet and George W. Bush’s highly-publicized Decision Points out today, it’s easy to get caught up in a bit of “Bush nostalgia.” And yes, W’s “candor, decency, self-effacement, and clear love of country stand in stark... More »

Obama Didn't Need to 'Focus' on Economy...

...he needed the guts to do something worthwhile to save it

(Newser) - Recently prognosticators—like Evan Bayh, in this article —have been accusing Barack Obama of “focusing on health care rather than job creation.” So Paul Krugman of the New York Times has a question: What does that even mean? Are they saying Obama should have pursued a bigger... More »

It Was the Economy, Stupid

Voters didn't trust Democrats to turn fortunes around

(Newser) - Those who went to the polls cared about the economy and President Obama's handling of it, not witchcraft, masturbation, or college pranks, exit polls show. More than 60% of voters polled said the economy was the country's top problem and more than 90% said they were worried about its condition... More »

Government Isn't Bigger

Obama hasn't expanded spending—and that's too bad

(Newser) - The Obama presidency has mobilized hundreds of thousands of conservatives to clamor against the "big expansion of government spending," but said expansion simply didn't happen—and that's the problem, writes Paul Krugman for the New York Times . The president hasn't created new benefits for the poor, large new... More »

72K Stimulus Payments Went to Dead People

But amounts were small, and about half were returned

(Newser) - The Social Security Administration sent 72,000 stimulus payments of $250 each to dead people, and another 17,000 to prison inmates, according to a new report from the inspector general. That amounts to $22.3 million in accidental checks, of which about $12 million has been returned, the Wall ... More »

The Stimulus May Have Worked

(Newser) - Jim Surowiecki, writing for the New Yorker, says that the Obama stimulus package worked surprisingly well. Yet, Surowiecki notes, Obama gets little credit for it because he did the economically, rather than politically, expedient thing. Rather than lump-sum tax rebates, which consumers tend to horde, he gave taxpayers a small... More »

Greenspan: Forget Stimulus, Let Markets Take Over

Government spending is less effective than we hoped

(Newser) - Alan Greenspan says stimulus spending isn't perking up the economy as much as hoped—and that at this point, it's better to let businesses and the markets handle the recovery, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We’d probably be better off doing less than more” because “you’d... More »

Tax Cuts: Good for Politicians, Not Economy

There are better ways to go, but no one wants another stimulus

(Newser) - “Tax cuts” is a phrase politicians love, especially in election season—but they may not do the economy much good at all. Those in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts (Republicans and a few Democrats) argue that ending the tax cuts, thus increasing taxes, for anyone—even the... More »

If Obama Could Do It All Over...

He wouldn't have focused on stimulus, health care

(Newser) - Democrats appear headed for a big November defeat, but it didn’t have to be this way. In today’s New York Times , David Brooks imagines an alternate history, in which Obama took a wiser path. In December 2008, as his staff was clamoring to recreate the New Deal, “... More »

Obama Promises Action On Economy

...But warns that there's 'no quick fix'

(Newser) - There is “no quick fix” for the economy, Barack Obama said today in a speech at the White House, but his team is working on a new series of proposals to boost growth and hiring. Obama spoke following the Labor Department’s latest employment report, which showed that private... More »

Prof Gets $700K in Stimulus Cash to Write Jokes

Take my tax dollars ... please!

(Newser) - Here’s a knee-slapper for you: A Northwestern University professor has snagged $712,883 worth of stimulus funds for his efforts to teach computers how to create jokes. Kristian Hammond and his grad students are working on a “machine-generated humor” project that aims to create “structured queries that... More »

Obama Weighs New Wave of Tax Cuts, Stimulus

Team searches for ways to bolster economy

(Newser) - With economic recovery looking sluggish at best , President Obama is considering a national infrastructure program, alongside a wave of tax cuts for businesses and individuals. Up for discussion are additional tax cuts for small businesses, a possible payroll tax cut for businesses and individuals, and other tax breaks aimed at... More »

Fixing the Economy Is a Lot Like Parenting

It's all about 'good values' and a secure environment

(Newser) - Americans debated the merits of fiscal stimulus a lot—in particular how big it should be. But it's important not to lose the forest for the trees when engineering an economic recovery, David Brooks writes for the New York Times . Consider Germany, which had a much smaller stimulus and is... More »

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