Episode Information

WWL: Courtney on Stimulus Plan
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
02/03/2009
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In this episode:

2nd District Congressman Joe Courtney

 

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Episode Audio

49:00 minutes (23.52 MB)
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Congressional Democrats helped the new President Barack Obama get his first big victory - passage of an $819 billion dollar stimulus plan, meant to jump-start a struggling economy.  

But, the plan had no support from house republicans, and is expected to have a tougher time in Senate this week.

Raising bi-partisan, and public, support for the package has been complicated by the failure of earlier - so called "bailout - plans, aimed at saving the banking system - and by increasing calls from Republicans that the stimulus is just more of the same old "taxing and spending" from Democrats.

Today, Where We Live, congressman Joe Courtney joins us to talk about what's in the stimulus package, what's not, and what it will mean for Connecticut.   And, we'll talk about whether the president's desire for non-partisan cooperation will survive the realities of Washington. 

Join the conversation!  Add your questions, suggestions and comments below!


 
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Listener Email from Sandy

Why are so many politicians urging Americans to spend?  Do they not realize that people are losing jobs, that most workers wages had not kept up with inflation of the last 8+ years?  Have any of you been to a grocery store and tried to feed your family?

Sandy
 

Listener Email from Eric

I've been trying to make sense of the political calculus on the stimulus bill, and i would seem that the Republicans have been backed into a corner. Essentially, to vote for the bill is to admit that the Republican philosophy of governing that is currently dominating the national republican party for the last 30 years or so is wrong - that government spending is wasteful and inefficient, and that tax cuts are the only way to stimulate the economy. I saw representative Demint on ABC's Sunday talk show, and he kept insisting that tax cuts were the way to go, that the stimulus bill is just another spending bill. We should keep in mind that in a recent poll of republicans, over half indicated that they wanted the party's candidates to be more like Sarah Palin, yet as mentioned earlier on the show, we see some republican governors jumping on board in regards to the bill. Are we seeing a battle over the heart and soul of the Republican party unfolding?

Best, Eric

Listener Email from Henry

Isn't it time for Democrats to respond to the Replican charge of "tax and spend" with "better to tax and spend than to borrow and spend?"
Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush led the charge to borrow and spend.
The government - the taxpayers - now has a national debt of $10 trillion.

When the government taxes and spends it lives within its means. When the government borrows and spends we borrow instead of taxing those who have extra money and we have to pay them back both the principal and interest. This approach just moves wealth toward the already wealthy.

This country is in the mess we're in in part because workers, who didn't receive enough wages and salary to live on, borrowed for housing, but also for health care, transportation and everything else, and have to continue to borrow, going into enormous debt, in order to survive. Those debts have been coming due and families, as well as banks up the chain, can't make payments. The economic crisis right now results from the myth of endless borrowing and spending.

When the government constantly borrows and spends the taxpayers ultimately end up suffering more than when the government up front taxes and spends.

Henry S. Lowendorf
 

Stimulus Plan




Hilaire Belloc once said, “The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself.” The economic planning detailed in the economic rescue bill is the loss of our deciding what is more and what is less important for us. Democratic freedoms can remain only when it confines itself to all but economic matters and by doing so maintains the classic definition of the Rule of Law. Stripped of all its technicalities, this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand – formal rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its considerable power in a given circumstance and to plan ones affairs on the basis of this knowledge. Applying this simple measure to our governments “Economic Rescue Package” reveals why free markets will continue to reject the plans.

When the government has to decide between different groups of people / businesses these views must become part of the law of the land, and by this action a new distinction of rank, which the coercive apparatus of government imposes upon the people. Insulating public employees like teachers or DOT workers from the hard realities of a free and open market ranks public employees above those whom they are employed to serve. President Obama's new economic stimulus is nothing more than a new tax on the private sector to protect the and serve the public employee unions and their pension funds.