Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stimulus needed today, economists agree

The stimulus bill has passed the Senate (yay!) but now it has to go back to the House for approval. Why the congressional ping-pong? The Senate version of the bill is different from the one the House passed a few weeks ago. The Senate version focuses on tax breaks (thanks to the demands of Republicans in the Senate) while the House version focuses on government spending.

Still, lawmakers are saying we will have a stimulus bill on the President's desk by the end of the week. Why the sudden rush? Unemployment figures were just put out and they are not good. 7.6% unemployment (the highest in 16 years) with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost this fall. For those of you who paid attention in intro Macro, you also know that that 7.6% unemployment doesn't even count the underemployed (people who had their hours reduced or people who work part-time who want to work full time). Furthermore, economists are now saying that some kind of stimulus plan, any kind of stimulus plan, is needed right away if we're going to stop the economy from sliding any further into trouble.

Scary? Yes. But remember that panic is your greatest enemy in a recession. Let's just hope that congress can act quickly and bring some small measure of relief this week.

Keep your eye on TDL for more Stimulus watch. For those of you that need a pick me-up and a refresher of this whole "Bill becomes a Law" process, a short Blue Tube is provided below. Enjoy!