House In Order

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jim Himes, first-term Congressman from Connecticut (D-4th), discusses the passage of the stimulus bill in the House (without a single Republican vote); what the package has in store for his district; and how his first month in office has fared.


Jim Himes

Comments [29]

Marianne from Staten Island

The House Republicans should be ashamed of themselves!
The American people should remember who voted against them in times of economic trouble (massive loss of jobs, foreclosures, loss of health benefits, etc) and who stood up for them.
The tax-cut mantra that was the song of the past 8 years and where are we now with that?You cannot cut tax where there is no income!
The corporate mentality with unchecked regulation and tax loopholes I lead us to major calamities now. Reagan started the free enterprise slogan ("Government is not the solution...) that gave the "go ahead " for the private sector and a whole range of unscrupulous entrepreneurs that anything goes. It created the Tom Delay-likes who fought against all government-regulations. The lack of regulations gave birth to the crooks from Enron to Madoff to subprime mortgages...

Jan. 29 2009 11:59 AM
RLewis from The Bowery

If tax cuts really worked, then Bush would have gone out with an 80% approval rating. Not!

Jan. 29 2009 10:50 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I'm going to chime in a little bit with robert from Park Slope (#16). I am worried about the Medicaid part of the bill. It allows states to award Medicaid benefits to anyone collecting unemployment until 2010 without any means test whatsoever. This seems like throwing money into an abyss. With health care inflation at 6-12% a year what will that end up costing? What about people who are not collecting unemployment but can't get insurance and also can't qualify for Medicaid? COBRA subsidies seem like a good idea but this--I don't know.

Jan. 29 2009 10:35 AM
Michael from Park Slope

Note to the other "Mike from Park Slope."

Your heart is in the right place, but increasing aggregate demand (i.e., spending) rather than saving is what is required to increase economic activity and create jobs. With interest rates near 0%, the issue is NOT an shortage of savings, in the short run.

99% of economists agree on this--even Republicans. Google "Paradox of Thrift" for some background on this.

Jan. 29 2009 10:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Regarding "infrastructure," the fact is that government always had to induce the private sector to invest, going back to giving land to the railroads to build out to the West. At the time it was a "railroad to nowhere." But towns were created along the route, and the new homesteading farmers then had a way to get their produce back East. So the job for gov't now is to plant the seeds of the 21st century infrastructure, so that hopefully business will eventually follow with the major investments required. Just hope they do it wisely with a minimal of waste, if that's at all possible.

Jan. 29 2009 10:31 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

#13 - The Republicans are ideologues at the expense of everyone. Your black cloud comments do nothing to further this debate. I wonder how you are effected by this economic downturn?

Jan. 29 2009 10:30 AM
ceolaf from brooklyn

Why did the congressman keep insisting that unemployment is a political issue?

Jan. 29 2009 10:28 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

The biggest problem with the bill are the tax cuts. $275 billion. Where is the money for all this "stimulus" coming from. We all know tax cuts don't work. Remember Herbert Hoover? He lowered cuts on the rich three times. Taxes under Hoover were lower then FDR. Reagan? bush's cuts led us here. 1/3 of the bill goes to this. people don't spend tax rebates, thay pay down debt and save. If China sells bonds, which it is thinking about, we're in deep trouble. Britain defaulted on an IMF loan in the 70's by cutting taxes too much

Jan. 29 2009 10:28 AM

yawn i'd really like to hear some gop reps thanks

Jan. 29 2009 10:27 AM
Michael from Park Slope

I was appalled that Rep. Boner (oops!) Boehner was doing the "we can't leave this debt for our grandchildren" speak before the House vote in arguing against the size of the bill.

Where was he when Lone Ranger Bush was running up record deficits for 8 years without a peep from the Republicans?

Jan. 29 2009 10:26 AM
Mike from Park Slope

It seems to be axiomatic for these guys, for Americans to spend rather then save at the moment for stimulus, but doesn't saving put more capital into banks, which should free up lending? Also, is it the same for investments, like a 529 plan or an IRA?

Jan. 29 2009 10:26 AM
Annette from New Jersey

How sad that it takes a recession to update the infrastructure and electrical grid.

Jan. 29 2009 10:25 AM
RLewis from The Bowery

Isn't and "infastructure bill" and "getting money out fast" just too oppositional? Oximoronic?

Isn't it just going to be messy? Some will get money who don't deserve it, but that just has to be swallowed like worse we've stomached in the last 8 years.

The stimulus package has got to be Too Big To Fail.

Jan. 29 2009 10:24 AM
robert from park slope

The COBRA and Medicaid provisions for the unemployed are nice, but they are yet another band-aid on our ailing health care system. This morning on CNBC, the CEO of JPMorgan, Jaime Damon, said that he thinks its time that the US comes up with a plan that btoadens coverage and separates it from employment. I believe other CEO's are also on board to move towards a universal health care system. Its time to stop applying these stop-gap measures. Instead, let's revamp the health care system from the ground up.

Jan. 29 2009 10:24 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

More than a little premature for Mr. Himes to be telling us what _would have been_ if not for this bill.

I'm struck also that Mr. Himes and others think that we don't what to recreate the mistakes made in recent years while _nothing_ is being asked of major corporations that have already been given hundreds of billions. Those corporations are doing exactly what they did to create this disaster and Congress has done nothing to curb this -- most notably Republicans who demand of regular Americans and unions what they expressly reject for big business.

Jan. 29 2009 10:24 AM
Harry from NYC

Caller: How can you complain about fiscally irresponsible states and say the bill should have been triple?????
And what about the cut on abortions, how are we going to pay for all the new people????

Jan. 29 2009 10:24 AM
michaelw from Upper West Side

Betty Anne from UES -

The Democrats were in lock-step with Bush to invade Iraq remember?????

Hilary Clinton - Obama's Secretary of State
Joe Biden - Obama's Vice President

The Stimulus Bill is garbage.

Jan. 29 2009 10:21 AM

Betty, #6

A suggestion that came from one of the older members of our group of Obama volunteers - we need a teach-in.

My only disappointment is that Obama hasn't made a video explaining every point of this, and what the overriding strategy is.

Or maybe he did and I missed it.

What about Jon Stewart's idea?

I don't think this stimulus bill is sufficient, but I doubt this is the final stimulus bill, sadly.

Jan. 29 2009 10:21 AM
Jacob from Brooklyn

Why haven't Democrats advocated for foreclosure/bankruptcy relief? Why do we keep letting the financial sector dictate the terms of financial recovery plans? If we allowed citizens to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages we could clean up the "toxic assets" in way that would actually be good for the most of society and not just the financial institutions.

Jan. 29 2009 10:21 AM
Lauren from New York City

Why can't a portion of the stimulus plan, perhaps the amount earmarked for the bank, be divided among the tax payers and then credited towards our federal income taxes due in April. Then the money everyday people will save, by not paying some taxes, can go towards other things like food, rent, etc. Seems to me if the banks get it, the people won't ever see it.

Jan. 29 2009 10:19 AM
John from Norwalk CT

I can't believe how Rep. Himes is trying to push this stimulus package through without some oversight and discussion. The TARP was pushed through and look at all the problems with that package. It is better to take some time to make ensure that there is NO PORK and that the money is focused where it will be most effective.

Jan. 29 2009 10:19 AM
Steve Mark from Manhattan UES

2nd Ave subway
Trains Trains Trains

Jan. 29 2009 10:18 AM
Jim Gribbon from Atlanta

Was their a provision in the stimulus package to provide incentives for companies to keep jobs in the US instead of off shoring? This seems like a quick way to create jobs to me.

Jan. 29 2009 10:18 AM
Betty Anne from UES

I love that Republicans are all over staunchly against this bill but gave Bush carte blanche to invade Iraq. Most voted lock-step for something they had strong evidence against.

Just think what we could have done with that money.

Jan. 29 2009 10:16 AM
Jeff from Midtown

For "big picture" industry-wide infrastructure improvements, (e.g., upgrading the electrical-grid or electronic storage of patient information), I'm concerned we'll start throwing money at the process before developing an integrated and well thought out approach. 10 years from now, will we be asking how we could have spent x billions of dollars to upgrade the electrical grid and have so little to show for it?

Jan. 29 2009 10:14 AM
kc from long island

My new least favorite about the stimulous bill is the Republican Party. Peter King is my representative and he should be ashamed of himself: he's not a moderate. In fact, if you go to his site and want to send him an e-mail, you have to give your zip plus 4.
Talk about bureaucracy!

Jan. 29 2009 10:14 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The best way to get out of this depression is to do what we did in WWII, and bomb the factories of all our economic competitors into rubble, and then everyone will have to "buy American" as they did for a few decades after 1945.

Tongue in cheek :)

Jan. 29 2009 10:13 AM
Cheap Throat from east village

If I was confident money was actually going where it was supposed to go, then maybe I could really support the stimulus package.
In these modern times, is it possible to really track how the money is spent, every step of the way? The state gets this much, the county gets this much, the district, the school, etc. ?

Jan. 29 2009 10:09 AM
michaelw from Upper West Side

The stimulus bill is a huge waste and will provide not relief or help to the economy.

This government is hoplessly broken.

The banks and other companies need to fail in order for any recovery to take place.

We've spent over 4 Trillion without any positive result.

Jan. 29 2009 10:02 AM

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