Streams

Stimulus on the Hill

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) talks about the stimulus bill that’s up for a vote in Congress today. Question of the Day: Now that the details of the stimulus bill are emerging, what is your favorite and least favorite feature? Be specific. Comment below!

Guests:

Bill Pascrell

The Morning Brief

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Comments [111]

kyle Harrow from Millburn

In response to the comment on the Short Hills Mall- I know that my friends were talking about the great sales going on. So I don't think it is the high end doing well it is people taking advantage of the significantly lower prices.

Jan. 29 2009 11:22 AM
martha Matteo from Westchester County, NY

Congress needs to ensure that bailed out banks ledn ONLY in situations that CREATE jobs< not like the recent Pfizer-Wyeth deal

Pfizer acquisition of Wyeth will be funded in part by $23 million in loans from 5 banks, "four of which recently received bailout money" (NY Time, 1/27/09 pB4). The result of this acquisition is anticipated to cost 19,000 jobs (in addition to some 15,000 that Pfizer has already cut following previous acquisitions), an $18 million payout to Poussot, Chief of Wyeth (and probably more to other to-be displaced Wyeth execs). I AM OPPOSED to seeing my tax dollars funding the loss of 19,000, with NO ADDITIONAL RESEARCH anticipated. Pfizer wants the existing pipeline and will be/has been laying off R&D people. HOW DOES THIS HELP THE ECONOMY, especially of NY State??? CAN IT BE STOPPED?????

Jan. 29 2009 10:47 AM
martha Matteo from Westchester County, NY

We need to ensure that the bailout money to the banks will actually stimulate job growth, not put $18 million in the pocket of a CEO getting bought out in an acquisition.

Pfizer acquisition of Wyeth will be (as per NY Time, 1/27/09 pB4) funded in part by $23 million in loans from 5 banks, "four of which recently received bailout money." The result of this acquisition is anticipated to cost 19,000 jobs (in addition to some 15,000 that Pfizer has already cut following previous acquisitions), an $18 million payout to Poussot, Chief of Wyeth (and probably more to other to-be displaced Wyeth execs). I AM OPPOSED to seeing my tax dollars funding the loss of 19,000, with NO ADDITIONAL RESEARCH anticipated. Pfizer wants the existing pipeline and will be/has been laying off R&D people. HOW DOES THIS HELP THE ECONOMY, especially of NY State and Connecticut??? CAN IT BE STOPPED?????

Jan. 29 2009 10:34 AM
smidely

susan/kingston/89

Intelligent and charming, congrats

Jan. 28 2009 08:10 PM
Doris Chernik from New York City

Least like: Tax Cuts .. waste of money. Old outdated Republican philosophy .. rebate checks made only slight blip .. one month only and costs huge amounts.

Most liked: Updating infrastructure .. bridges, railroads and subways/transportation.

AFRAID of giving money to states .. if we do .. MAKE SURE THERE IS OVERSIGHT TO SEE THAT IT WAS USED CORRECTLY, EFFICIENTLY.

Jan. 28 2009 12:38 PM
Doris Chernik from New York City

Least like: Tax Cuts .. waste of money. Old outdated Republican philosophy .. rebate checks made only slight blip .. one month only and costs huge amounts.

Most liked: Updating infrastructure .. bridges, railroads and subways/transportation.

AFRAID of giving money to states .. if we do .. MAKE SURE THERE IS OVERSIGHT TO SEE THAT IT WAS USED CORRECTLY, EFFICIENTLY.

Jan. 28 2009 12:38 PM
NWP from Greenwich,CT

Re: Hanna the adjunct professor

Where does my $50,000.00 tuition per year go for my son? He attends at most 12 classes in that time. There are at least 15 students in each class.

Doing the math says that of the $750,000.00 those 15 students pay, they generate $62,500.00 per course. If the person actually standing in the room is only getting $2,500.00 then there is $60,000.00 for the school to spend elsewhere.

WHERE DOES IT GO???

Jan. 28 2009 12:19 PM
MRS. BEE from NEW YORK

TYPOS - "LESSING" RESPECT = (LESSENING) & "SUPPPORTERING" BASE = (SUPPORTING)

Jan. 28 2009 11:50 AM
MRS. BEE from NEW YORK

WE, HARD WORKING, TAX PAYING AMERICANS,BAILOUT THE CROOKED RICH BUSINESSES, WITH "NO DEMANDS" FROM OUR FORMER "MILITANT LAME DUCK" PRESIDENT OR POLITICANS. AND NOW, WITH LESSING RESPECT TO THE REPUBLICANS, IN ADDITION TO THAT, THEY'RE CRYING TO GIVE THEM & THEIR RICH SUPPPORTERING BASE MORE UNDESERVED & UNWARRANTED TAX-CUTS. COME ON!!!

"GET A RIP" ON REALITY!!! THAT'S WHY WE LOST! AND, WE'RE GOING TO KEEP-ON LOSING, UNLESS YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY "GET A GRIP, GRIP, GRIP!!!"

Jan. 28 2009 11:28 AM
Francis from New YOrk

Ms Townsend is quibbling over the legality of waterboarding - saying we have to consider whether it's "legal" and effective. This is monstrous - we should consider whether it's moral - and whether it's a completely uncivilised and barbaric practice. We have seen how White House lawyers can make even torture "legal" - I find her attitude completely unacceptable.

Jan. 28 2009 11:20 AM
Jessica from Brooklyn

I like the idea of the COBRA help but do no think it is necessarily fair. I very recently switched from my own COBRA plan (on for some months since I was laid off from last salaried job due to lack of work) to low-income Healthy NY. Freelancing had dried up and COBRA was too expensive. I decided to sacrifice better coverage, to save $200/month with a high-deductible plan with no prescription coverage. Now, if COBRA is subsidized at 65%, I would have saved money if I had not switched! I imagine there are many others in my situation, and yet others who decided to forgo COBRA entirely because of the high price. What about us?

Jan. 28 2009 11:17 AM
t. ann from new jersey

I love the portion of the contraceptive funding, because I feel that on the local level, the costs resulting from child cost, that is, education and health care, is causing the high property taxes and major spikes in budgets costs. We need to have a two-child or less policy in this country. This is where the costs are spiraling.

Also, I think the stimulus package should be a THREE-TIERED program. This will give the most urgent costs in the first two years and then the next urgent the following two years, and then finally the least urgent in the years of the next administration. If the first-tier does not work or there is no improvement in the economy this would give them time to reconfigure the next part of the program or cancel it altogether. This would delay the costs till later years or perhaps eliminate it altogether if there is no improvement. The cost would be reduced significantly or altogether if nothing is working how it was planned.

Jan. 28 2009 11:17 AM
Smokey Forester from LES

Least favorite:

All the partisan bickering by the ill-informed about how to stimulate the economy. Where are the non-partisan experts who have really studied this and have some informed ideas about what will really do the job. My guess is that it’s not tax cuts, but I truly don’t know that to be a fact.

Most favorite:

Not much, so far!

Jan. 28 2009 11:15 AM
Hannah from Manhattan

I'm a soon-to-be-laid-off adjunct professor. People outside of academia have no idea how bad education is getting in this country. Increasingly, classes are being taught by adjuncts, who get paid about $2000-$2500 per class, per semester for a class of 40 (and next year, they will be even more), with no other support, benefits, or job security whatsoever. so what about the miserable lives of the adjuncts... they did choose to go into academia... but what does this do for students? There is no way a professor in this situation can ensure the personal attention and time that a college student needs to learn. I've gotten to the point where I have so many students that I can't even assign writing assignments anymore. College can't continue like this. Education is a crucial element of the long-term success of our economy, and this part of the stimulus package seems like the most efficient and beneficial way to get the economy on the right track for our children.

Jan. 28 2009 11:15 AM
George Warren from Kinnelon, NJ

We need stimulus now to prevent the continued falling of the number of jobs. We also have infrastructure as seen in Minneapolis that is falling apart. Commerce and the things that produce jobs, wealth and tax revenue depend on a transportation system, roads, highways etc.. Without that infrastructure, unique to the developed world, things like health care reform, cobra support (as well intentioned as that is) new infrastructure, arts support and tax revenue all fail and unemployment and economic trouble grows. Let's not get sidetracked.

Jan. 28 2009 11:14 AM
Jumpy from local

The answer is not to cut worker hours but to make NYC a total 24 hour city.
Crime would drop because the streets would always be filled.
You'd be able to buy what you need at any hour.
Crowding in shops would go down.
More people would be hired.

Jan. 28 2009 11:11 AM
markbnj from www.markbnj.blogspot.com or sos-newdeal.blogspot.com

BTW, i THINK that the ONLY way to get the 'pub's on board with this bill is simple:

ENTIRELY remove ALL the tax-cuts from the bill.
Submit it to the congress, and tell them instead of MORE tax cuts, there will be NONE, and it can be either a TOTALLY partisan (DEMOCRATIC) bill or it can pass as suggested with the 33% taxes as a BI-partisan bill.

Explaining that politics as usual is OVER, hasn't sunk in yet with the republicans.

Jan. 28 2009 11:10 AM
Rose Rowland from Croton, NY

I like the money for green initatives. That is critical. I'm praying they get more money up for transit so we can have speedy nationwide transit the way they have in Europe. The worst part is the tax cuts - this is the worst time to be reducing government revenue- no tax cuts for 3 years!!!

Jan. 28 2009 11:10 AM
Harry Burger from Long Island

RE: shorter official work week - Those of us on salary often work well over 40 hours/week without extra compensation. Cutting the official work week to 36 hours won't help us at all.

Jan. 28 2009 11:06 AM
Janet Crawford from New York

Against adding Pell Grants up to 50% more. I think the government has to be careful about handing out too many grants because they have to be paid back which is very difficult after one graduates. Having taken out all kinds of loans for my Ivy League education, the payments are overwhelming. We know students are defaulting currently, lower cost education is the logical answer, not more loans. I think students need to be forced to budget, choose schools they can afford and perhaps work and study part-time to achieve their goals.

Jan. 28 2009 11:06 AM
markbnj from www.markbnj.blogspot.com or sos-newdeal.blogspot.com

Hey to all those interested in INFRASTRUCTURE:
Look Here.
... sos-newdeal.blogspot.com/2008/02/proposal-transportation-and-energy.html

I published this (and sent the idea to WNYC OVER a year ago, and have never heard a word from them...)

Essentially, we need to take the EISENHOWER highway system (designed for emergency preparedness in the cold war era) and EXPAND it
to have HEAVY RAIL and mass transit ALONG the ENTIRE system (think the AIR-train over Van Wyck expressway to JFK...!)

Now THAT's infrastructure that is ALSO Green, and will ALSO help STIMULATE the ECONOMY

listeners. if you agree, send a copy to me AND to Brian's producer suggesting that it might be a great idea to forward on to others...
(repost...)

Jan. 28 2009 10:59 AM
Robb

Medicaid for the unemployed only covers those who became unemployed after 9/1/08. I was laid off 8/04/08

Jan. 28 2009 10:58 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

smidely - I think that your comments are irresponsible. As Obama reminded us it is time to grow up and take responsibility for our lives and the communities that we live in.

Jan. 28 2009 10:58 AM
Jonella from New York

It seems to me they could make the Pubs happy AND the Dems by giving tax credits to people who:
Buy a home; renovate a home; paint or fix-up a home, etc.;
Buy a car or truck or take a car or truck to be repaired by a business that does that;
Buy a major appliance; a musical instrument; art supplies; other materials that MAKE THINGS;
Start a business or service that could eventually employ people or provide goods or services that people will want to pay for!, etc.
In other words, reward the activities that TRULY DO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY using tax credits!!!!
Then perhaps everyone will be "happy" - (except of course the sour Pubs who will not be happy about anything, so long as Bama is Prez...)

Jan. 28 2009 10:58 AM
markbnj from www.markbnj.blogspot.com or sos-newdeal.blogspot.com

Hey to all those interested in INFRASTRUCTURE:
Look Here.
... sos-newdeal.blogspot.com/2008/02/proposal-transportation-and-energy.html

I published this (and sent the idea to WNYC OVER a year ago, and have never heard a word from them...)

Essentially, we need to take the EISENHOWER highway system (designed for emergency preparedness in the cold war era) and EXPAND it
to have HEAVY RAIL and mass transit ALONG the ENTIRE system (think the AIR-train over Van Wyck expressway to JFK...!)

Now THAT's infrastructure that is ALSO Green, and will ALSO help STIMULATE the ECONOMY

listeners. if you agree, send a copy to me AND to Brian's producer suggesting that it might be a great idea to forward on to others...

Jan. 28 2009 10:55 AM
Marco Nistico from NYC

I am an opera singer, based in NYC. My favorite part of the stimulus package is the funds allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts. It is only 50 million (if I am not mistaken) but Art companies are in deep trouble all over the country and need any help they can get. Everybody talks about infrastructure, science, small businesses, medicaid, unemployment insurance etc, and I agree with all that, of course. But Arts also create jobs and are very important for the health of a country. I do not understand why the Republicans are opposing that, calling it wasteful spending (or so I heard, at least). My least favorite part is the tax cuts.

Jan. 28 2009 10:55 AM
stephanie andriole from brooklyn

my least favorite aspect of the economic stimulus package is the removal of provisions to provide affordable family planning. this is unconscionable! the Medicaid Family Planning State Option would allow millions of women to access affordable health care *and* it would actually save states money by supplementing their already strained budgets. this is an EXTREMELY DISPPOINTING development.

Jan. 28 2009 10:51 AM
kc from long island

I am very happy about the extensiion/addition of Cobra; I am appalled that there is so little infrastructure being repaired/rebuilt or built. The money shouldn't be used to pay back but rather to build forward.

Jan. 28 2009 10:51 AM
Kathy Schwarz from Brooklyn

There are many things I like about the stimulus package, but I totally agree that funding for contraceptives should be in there. It seems clear to me that, with the forever increasing population of this country and the planet as a whole, there will be more and more competition for jobs. We need to think in the long term and I congratulate Obama and his team for including this.

Jan. 28 2009 10:50 AM
maya toitova from NYC

Wacko! The proposal really is this: the gov't pays 10% of big business payrolls.... I work in an office with 2 people, 40 hr/wk... If the BIG COMPANY I work for cuts us to 36 hours, there will be NO new person in the office, and the work we will be expected to produce will not decrease... Why shouldn't ANY business go for this?

(I'm posting this here because there's noplace else... the brianlehrershow email doesn't work)

Jan. 28 2009 10:49 AM
hjs from 11211

steve
maybe hoboken should merge with the rest of Hudson County and cut admin costs & consolidate services

Jan. 28 2009 10:48 AM
Lee from Memphis

With respect to the work week reduction, my company's HR department touts a 37.5 hr work week when recruiting employees. In my department however, every person is 'expected' to work no less than 16 hrs a day 6 days a week to be considered adequate. If a person in my company wants to be perceived as above average that employee is looking at 18 hr days, 7 days a week. Vacation time is also frowned upon.

Jan. 28 2009 10:48 AM
Bill from Summit NJ

Every option has risks and benefits. I haven't heard what the risks of not doing the stimulus package might be in terms of GDP lost, tax revenues lost etc. How might the same measures change with the stimulus package? These are hard times and we are trying to minimize our loses.

Jan. 28 2009 10:46 AM
JENNIFER from NYC

How can we spend if we don't have money

Jan. 28 2009 10:45 AM
Suzanne Barlow from Rumson, NJ

I am in favor of the reduced work week so that I could study to keep my job, my kids could be employed, and when i retire, a trained workforce follows us.

Jan. 28 2009 10:44 AM
steve from hoboken

I think that if they are going to ask the general workforce to take a cut or do more work then this ought to apply to municipal services. Here in Hoboken we've suffered a 47% tax increase which is largely attributed to salaries. Everyone needs to feel the pain.

Steve

Jan. 28 2009 10:43 AM
Larry Conroy from Manhattan

I'm 78 -- as an actor and a media coach -- I have no enmployer. There are millions of US. Yes, I get a pension from my unions, but its not enough in these days to co0ver costs. We need universal health care -- COBRA, etc only set back the date for that to become a reality. As for cooperation with the Republicans, they seem set on pouting and bullying. America, when getting zero cooperation from a country, will set sanctions and at times, we go to war. The conservative right have pushed us around when they had a majority, now they are doing it again, and our answer is to bow to their demands. Its time.

Jan. 28 2009 10:43 AM
Tony from San Jose, CA

No, France is in big trouble, and the job market is much worse there, even for educated workers. This is a lie.

Jan. 28 2009 10:43 AM
Nicole Minichiello from Brooklyn, NY

Brian,
It sounds like your guest is arguing that there are not consequences for our actions. There are. Just as we are today where we are because of collective decisions we made yesterday, printing and borrowing lots of money will bring us other unintended consequences.

Also, on Cobra :

The essential thing about Cobra is that it allows you to keep your coverage, and you are combined in a pool that you were in while you were working. Essentially, you won't be rejected by the insurance company for previous conditions that people in the individual market deal with all the time.
So even if it is expensive comparitively, the individual market can make it impossible for some to get insurance at any price/
Thanks

Jan. 28 2009 10:43 AM
Enrique from Flushing

I have already implemented this idea at my company so I can save employee's jobs. Thus far most people are happy to cut some hours and possibly save their job or their friend's.

Jan. 28 2009 10:41 AM
Tony from San Jose, CA

And printing money Zimbabwe-style is not a good idea.

Jan. 28 2009 10:41 AM
jj from nyc

What does Japan do? They are the second best economy on Earth.

More with less - HA HA HA - very true.

Jan. 28 2009 10:41 AM
John Connor from New York, N. Y.

The "Tunnel" ends up in a station 175 feet below Macy's basement, not connected with Penn Station and servicing only NJ Transit trains. The original plan was to serve Penn and connect with Grand Central, which would also serve Amtrak's regional requirements. Amtrak will be completely shut out of the new tunnel and station. A bottleneck and boondoggle all rolled into one!

Jan. 28 2009 10:40 AM
Tony from San Jose, CA

Haha,

France is a country in much, much, worse shape than the US. I came to the US 5 years ago, I had left because the unemployment rate for under 25, was 25%.

This is an appeal to laziness.

Jan. 28 2009 10:40 AM
bob from huntington

to the republicans and their allies who ask where the money will come from, i ask: how much has this mis-adventure in iraq cost us?

Jan. 28 2009 10:40 AM
John from Jersey City, NJ

Dean Baker's idea:
My Fiancé worked out a similar deal with her employer. She took a slight pay cut but now she has Fridays off. As a struggling fine artist, it works out great for her.

Jan. 28 2009 10:39 AM
Daniel from manhattan

Dean Baker rocks!
Why isn't there a comment for that?

The woman, Tigan, commenting on the air right now is spot on.

Jan. 28 2009 10:39 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

U are a shill for the banks if u wanna print money to get outa the problems we are in...printing money (not actually printed byt created electronically) devalues ALL money...My savings suffer if u print money. So someone that is thrifty looses cause the banks decide that spending is what we need...there is a moral dilemna we are facing...u buy what u can afford, and what you can afford is what you have earned...

Jan. 28 2009 10:38 AM
Steve from The Moon

All this urgency reminds me of the first Banker Theft Bill back in september. Where did all that money go? Keep spending the future of generations to come into slavery (unpayable debt makes you a slave by the way) and feel good about yourself. I have a shovel ready project for you BURY THE FEDERAL RESERVE and stop them from making interest loaded money out of thin air! Congress can issue debt free money on its own, we don't need a secretive cartel of international central bankers issuing debt on the United States and then proclaiming that it cannot be audited! Wake up people, don't listen to the disinformation and research the Federal Reserve yourself. Then call your "representative" and ask them who they actually represent!

Jan. 28 2009 10:38 AM
smidely

(Yes, I was joking. I hate saying that!)

Jan. 28 2009 10:37 AM
Jeneane from Brooklyn

Bill Pasquale is wrong about removing family planning services as his wages probably aren't affected by his reproductive choices. Congresswoman Pelosi is correct that such services help lower income women and girls and our society in turn. Also heard the Senate Finance Committee is caving in on extending tax cuts to the wealthiest tax payers. Shame on them.

Jan. 28 2009 10:37 AM
janet Clarke Bell from nyc

More funding for education--excellent decision!

Jan. 28 2009 10:37 AM
Mike from Queens

Dean, I enjoy your blog and your fresh ideas but this abbreviated week, while an interesting idea is not practical for salaried employees who already work more hours than they are paid for, esp in NY.

Jan. 28 2009 10:36 AM
smidely

hjs I prefer Macau

Jan. 28 2009 10:36 AM
hjs from 11211

eCAHNomics 26
oh yes, good point. but if smidely wants to flush money down the toilet at least it's more fun than the stock market.

Jan. 28 2009 10:35 AM
Al Delfiner from Eastcheter, NY

Family planni8ng and contraception is a health and economic issue. It is not about teenage sex. If a husband is unemployed and his wife is the family's sole support, an unplanned pregnancy can bankrupt the family. Sex between husband anf wife can be very stressful and lead to breakup of families.

Jan. 28 2009 10:33 AM
Diane from Brooklyn

I don't understand how an unsubsidized COBRA benefit for 55-65 yr olds solves anything; COBRA payments are notoriously unaffordable, hence the temporary 65% subsidy for the newly unemployed. How can this 'benefit' for over 55s be taken seriously?

Jan. 28 2009 10:33 AM
hjs from 11211

Teo Quintana 4
not sure but don't think u can get cobra unless u had a job

Jan. 28 2009 10:33 AM
Erin from Manhattan

As a musician and arts administrator, I'm delighted to see the extra NEA funds and education spending included in the bill.

As a financially responsible person, I'm scared to death of the cash injection into these same sectors, such as they exist now.

Jan. 28 2009 10:31 AM
KC from Brooklyn

Now is a great time to invest in automobile infrastructure instead of concentrating more on public transportation. What events in the past year could possibly indicate anything to the contrary? Other than the wars and the terrorism and the gas prices and...should I go on?

I'm sad the honeymoon is already over, but I look forward to watching the Republicans run against a bill they helped ensure would fail. Are the Democrats the majority party or what? Should someone tell them?

Jan. 28 2009 10:30 AM
susanne from manhattan

I agree with comment from Jennifer from Hoboken. what about freelancers? We are not eligible for unemployment, do not have easy access to health insurance and we're struggling for work just like anyone else!!! Sounds like we get nothing.

how does this legislation help me?

Jan. 28 2009 10:30 AM
Matt from NY

What a waste, a colossal waste why are we trying to keep this rotting corpse alive? The consumer based economy is over, we need to move on.

Jan. 28 2009 10:29 AM
Gordon from Verona, NJ

Please leave the money for the arts in the
package. Artists buy goods and pay taxes also. Imagine the Inauguration without the
music and poetry.

Jan. 28 2009 10:29 AM
John from queens

I was laid off last year, and I could not afford the COBRA payments so I've let it go.. I am no longer on COBRA.. so I won't qualify for these subsidies of COBRA now?

Jan. 28 2009 10:29 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

This government is not going to save this country and it's economy.

Banks and businesses need to fail people will be out of work and it will hurt but it needs to be done in order to recover.

Obama is going to be another Herbert Hoover. Gone in four.

We are following in the failed steps of Japan.

Jan. 28 2009 10:28 AM
Susan Buttros from Chester, NJ

I am disappointed but not surprised, that the funds for the National Council on the Arts has been critisized by the Republicans. As a pianist and singer and having spent my entire life in the Arts, I am tired of the public feeling that the Arts are not as important a apart of life and education as "everything else".

Barbara Boggs Sigmund, the former Mayor of Princeton, said at a conference on Arts funding in NJ, that "When they uncovered Pompii, they were not looking for the minutes of the last government meeting, they were looking for the Art. It really is time for people in general to put the Arts in the important place which it deserves.

Jan. 28 2009 10:28 AM
HC from nyc

i am totally sick of listening to politicians "struggling" with this universal health care mess. If the people do not have health care then neither should the politicians, period. Let's see the congressman go without health insurance for his family and see how quickly things get done.
If we really want to sa this is an equal society than basic rights like access to health care MUST be a starting point.
Same with eduacation. It should be universal and equal for all.

Jan. 28 2009 10:28 AM
susan from manhattan, upper east side

Missing from the stimulus plan once again is aid to senior citizens receiving Social Security whose total income exceeds a very low level, never indexed for inflation since Reagan and company imposed this on the lower middle class in 1982. No elected official in my district, the Obama candidate team, transition team, and now President's team has done anything to eliminate the triple tax on Social Security benefits. See Time Magazine, February 3, 2003! Seniors can't wait for IRS tax reform, if this would be included in tax reform anyway.

Jan. 28 2009 10:27 AM
Jennifer from Astoria, NY

Of course contraception was one of the first things to go...and of course your guest, a man, doesn't think family planning belongs in the bill either...

Jan. 28 2009 10:27 AM
Denise from Brooklyn

Don't like that NEWLY unemployed are elegible for subsidized medical while those of us who have been un-or underemployed are out of luck (screwed) for benefits, health insurance and tax cuts only help if you have income to tax!!! This state, country needs revenue which will only come from spending and taxes - can we re-fund the IRS to track down the leaks starting at the top income levels.

Jan. 28 2009 10:26 AM
eCAHNomics

The benefit of foreclosures is that rich people can come in and scoop properties up for pennies on the dollar. It's another way for the rich to steal from the poor.

Jan. 28 2009 10:26 AM
Phyllis Wrynn from Brooklyn

Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure!
Not a day goes by that we in America don't come in contact with some kind of legacy from the WPA project....60 YEARS AGO. The bridges, roads, tunnels, rural electrification, improved water delivery systems and buildings are a testament to the effectiveness of that kind of infrastructure spending. Tax cuts evaporate...infrastructure improvements are a lasting benefit to communities and regions all over the country.

Jan. 28 2009 10:25 AM
Joyce from Brooklyn

And health care and other help for so-called "discouraged" workers, who are insanely not counted in unemployment numbers?

Jan. 28 2009 10:25 AM
Susan Schneider from Chatham NJ

My husband and I are both self employed. We pay our own health policy, and we don't have much savings. What is in this plan or what is already in place to keep us from losing our home in the very possible scenario that our businesses fail?

Jan. 28 2009 10:25 AM
Jorge from Manhattan

Will there really be no money for the MTA?

Jan. 28 2009 10:24 AM
Richard Williams from Larchmont, NY

I am a 47 year old unemployed music teacher who has had interviews with 22 school districts the past seven years. My 56 year old wife has been a part-time babysitter for almost five years after 28 years with an insurance company. We still have her health coverage. Please make sure that education funding goes to hiring music teachers(Put me on the conductor's podium). I like the infrastructure spending and it can be improved.

Jan. 28 2009 10:23 AM
Susan Schneider from Chatham NJ

A general question: My husband and I are both self-employed. We have to pay for our own health insurance policy and we don't have much savings. What is in this program, or what is already in place to keep us from losing our home in the highly possible scenario of our businesses failing?

Jan. 28 2009 10:23 AM
Joyce from Brooklyn

What about health insurance help for the self-employed?

Jan. 28 2009 10:23 AM
NWP from Greenwich,CT

Isn't a consumption tax the most regressive available?

People with less income spend a greater portion of that income than those with larger incomes. i.e. A $500,00 earner pays his housing and food costs with say $150,000. While a $50,000 earner barely affords his apartment and food.

This ignores the greater questions of education costs for his family and saving enough for retirement.

Jan. 28 2009 10:23 AM
Sally from Manhattan

Least favorite: TAX CUTS! Haven't we learned anything in 8 years of this policy? Why should the Democrats, who were voted into office, cave into the Republicans who put us in this mess?
Most favorite: Education spending and COBRA extension, as a temporary feature, prior to REAL healthcare reform.

Jan. 28 2009 10:22 AM
hjs from 11211

why does NJ and NY send so many tax dollars to the plains states and the south. don't we have unmet needs here

http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/1397.html

Jan. 28 2009 10:22 AM
Mack from Brooklyn

And why do I get $100 less in New York City for my Unemployment Benefit than I would if I were in Jersey. $400 a week only pays my rent.

Jan. 28 2009 10:22 AM
Christine from Staten Island

Well, I was pinching myself this morning as I read the Times in my VERY new role as an unemployed person. One expense I won't have AND coverage!!! This should even work in the GW Bush mantra...."keeping more $$ in taxpayers pocktet". What? Not earned? Trust me, I've earned my UI!!
And hoping to become emplyed ASASP!

Jan. 28 2009 10:21 AM
Jennifer from Hoboken, NJ

I am not familiar with the details of the plan and I ask how does it accommodate freelancers???

We are not eligible for unemployment, do not have easy access to health insurance and we're struggling for work just like anyone else!!!

how does this legislation help me?

Jan. 28 2009 10:21 AM
Norman from NYC

Permanent Medicaid for the unemployed, without an asset test, would be a major reform. That would eliminate most of the uninsured.

Jan. 28 2009 10:21 AM
KC from Brooklyn

That caller who asked why we don't just throw out our useless health "system" and start over = the only sane thing that can be said about this mess. Everything else is delusion. Bravo.

Jan. 28 2009 10:20 AM
eCAHNomics

his asks "why not just bet the whole SS trustfund in atlatic city?" Answer is: because Atlantic City doesn't finance political campaigns to the extent that Wall St. does.

Jan. 28 2009 10:20 AM
Norman from NYC

The problem with the COBRA reform is that it subsidizes the insurance companies.

If the money went to paying for health care services -- through Medicaid or Medicare, for example -- it would cost 1/3 to half as much.

Jan. 28 2009 10:20 AM
Robert from NYC

Well what do they do that they don't have the time to do what is their job? That's what you do as a representative of the people to the government.

Jan. 28 2009 10:20 AM
Jonathan Steuer from East Village, Manhattan

Favorite: The 65% financing of COBRA health insurance extensions -- I was recently laid off from a job and my wife is self-employed. This means that we are now paying $1500/month for our family of four in health insurance costs, of which only half is tax-deductible (I paid $250/month through my employer, all deductible, when I had a job). This benefit will enable us to keep our private insurance, which is good for us and good for the country, as it means we don't end up on Medicaid. The extension of COBRA to folks who have held jobs 10 years or more or are over 55 until they hit 65 is also great.

Least favorite: I wish Obama had not agreed to a compromise with the Republicans on family planning services funding -- the House Republicans aren't going to support this bill anyway. To his point the other day: "We won."

Jan. 28 2009 10:18 AM
Robert from NYC

I fall into the laid off after 55 and I am paying into my previous employer's health plan until age 65. I pay a little more than $800/year into the plan...not bad when I hear what others are paying privately. I was paying just under 600/year, it went up this year, 2009.

Jan. 28 2009 10:18 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

The "Stimulus Bill" is a great idea....for an idea of what it will be like watch the 3 Stooges episode when they were plumbers....

Jan. 28 2009 10:18 AM
Mack from Brooklyn

I was laid off a couple of months ago and the medicaid would have been helpful. I thought there was going to be a break for people going back to school. I had heard that the education tax deduction would be increased from $1000 to $4000? I've gone back to school since being layed off and that would be a great help.

Jan. 28 2009 10:18 AM
Mark Trushkowsky from Brooklyn, NY

My least favorite part of the stimulus package is that the education funding does not include an expansion to adult basic education or GED spending.
The President calls for parents to be more engaged in their children's education and promises to make our labor force more prepared for the 21st century, but then does not fund the educational programs to support that process. Educating our children is key, but as their education begins in the home, to not offer opportunities for undereducated adults to move forward seems to be cutting off the root of our children's education.

Jan. 28 2009 10:18 AM
Leo from Queens

Smidely #2 - I Hope you are being sarcastic!.
The last thing we need is to continue with the failed ideology of the Republicans who have driven this country down a cliff and have given billions to criminals.

Based on an interview with Republican Representative Eric Cantor, he said that we need to give breaks to investors and enterpreneurs 'so they can get back in the game'!!. Obviusly, he is under the delusion that all we need to do is to promote gambling in the stock market and that this will trickle down to the economy.

Jan. 28 2009 10:17 AM
KC from Manhattan

I've been out of work since April. I could only afford COBRA for 2 months than had to drop it. How does the legislation help me as written?

Jan. 28 2009 10:16 AM
Steve from Hoboken

I'm having my old house insulated (they're here today). The federal tax credit for this covers materials only, but more than 95% of my cost is for labor (cellulose is cheap). So, on an $8,000 job, only a few hundred dollars will be eligible for the credit. Why is the structure of this credit, which seems to be contrary to the purpose of the stimulus -- to create jobs, not being fixed in the bill? (The stimulus bill increases the existing 10% credit to 30%, but doesn't change what it currently covers).

Thanks!

Jan. 28 2009 10:16 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Is there anything to help people who are unemployed or in trouble but who do not qualify for unemployment compensation because they were temp or freelance workers?

This is now a significant percentage of the workforce. Companies lay them off (or end the working relationship) at a moment's notice and these freelancers have NO safety net of any kind in the US today.

Jan. 28 2009 10:16 AM
Lucy Sisman from Manhattan

How will anything in this stimulus package effect the self-employed? It's crazy keeping healthcare linked to employment - this isn't the way the world works anymore: everyone i know is self-employed and works on what Tina Brown calls 'gigs'. We are outside all help (both healthcare and unemployment help) and yet we are tomorrow's entrepreneurs.

Jan. 28 2009 10:16 AM
eCAHNomics

This guy sounds like a R. Tax cuts is part of what got us into this deficit mess. He wants more of the same.

He clearly has no understanding of macroeconomics. Economy is in a paradox of thrift, meaning business and consumer tax cuts will be saved not spent. What the economy needs is more demand, or spending, and only the federal govt has the borrowing power to be able to do that.

Jan. 28 2009 10:15 AM
RLewis from The Bowery

Need to get money into the economy fast? Fund the arts - it's a shovel-ready community. supplies, services, personnel, space rental - we don't save, we spend faster than anyone.

Jan. 28 2009 10:14 AM
Leo from Queens

I know that Republicans are pounding on this bill because of the pork while they insist that we will retain jobs and promote job creation by giving tax breaks to corporations.
Has anyone done a study of why a corporation would be swayed to retain or to hire someone in exchange for, lets say, a $10,000 tax break when they don't really need that employee because their business is either slow or drying up?
Also, why can't we maintain the Washington Mall? It is an investment in a National Park which will require the Park Service to hire a landscape contractor in the DC are to do this job. It will require buying the sod and other supplies from nurseries. - These are real jobs for working people that are unemployed and its a boost to several small businesses.

Jan. 28 2009 10:14 AM
Darius from Prospect Heights

Tax cuts!! What a waste. Businesses will just sit on this until the recession/depression is over. Tax cuts have long been discredited in their potential for stimulus. Let it rest. Please.

Jan. 28 2009 10:13 AM
Jeff Putterman from Queens

The most important part of this bill is the increase in education spending. The least relevant part, indeed the completely wrongheaded part, is more tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations.

The last eight years, and the current financial meltdown, is blatant proof that tax cuts for those who don't spend the money are counterproductive.

If our populace were more educated, they would understand that. That is one reason, albeit a minor one, why we need to spend more on education. Our population has been dumbed down to the point where most are incapable of even understanding that economics is not a science. We need to change that, or we need to recognize that we cannot support the lifestyle many of my fellow americans seem to think is a right.

Jan. 28 2009 10:13 AM
hjs from 11211

smidely
why not just bet the whole SS trustfund in atlatic city?

Jan. 28 2009 10:12 AM
Gary from UWS

Was the ATM temporarily "patched" or permanently "fixed"?

Jan. 28 2009 10:12 AM
Patrick McNulty from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

Least favorite: TAX CUTS! TAX CUTS! TAX CUTS! Study after study has shown that tax cuts to the middle and upper class has no discernable effect on the immediate state of the economy, not to mention that these folks don't need them. Tax cuts to the poor is the only effective economic stimulator.

Jan. 28 2009 10:12 AM
Teo Quintana from Brooklyn

Most favorite: Cobra spending, I'm a recently graduated student and this sort of aid is rather helpful at a time when few employers would even begin to consider covering me

Least favorite: lack of infrastructure spending, if we're going to spend so much can't we get something that will last at least until I'm middle aged, the New Deal understood that!

Jan. 28 2009 10:11 AM
Brian

Republicans believe that federal stimulus spending won't work. Let those who are philosophically opposed decline any and all such spending in their own district. Then they can face their constituents...

Jan. 28 2009 10:11 AM
smidely

What a breath of fresh air that Obama is obeying the collective wisdom of the GOP's top thinkers.

Now -- why not follow through with Bush's privatization of social security idea which would pump money directly into Wall Street brokers and thereby boost the stock market.

Jan. 28 2009 10:10 AM
Daniel from manhattan

I am newly unemployed and I truly like the medicaid element.

The tunnel would also be fantastic

Jan. 28 2009 10:09 AM

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