In the past 24 hours the government has announced 3 different stimulus programs. Washington DC seems to be on a spending spree and it’s important (FOR) you know if your tax dollars are being spent and if they are where they’re going.
As I wrote about yesterday, the Federal Reserve is going to reinvest their principal payments on mortgage holdings into long term Treasury securities. The Fed hopes this will keep interest rates low which will promote lending to consumers and businesses. Economists predict this program will be valued at $10 – $20 billion a month. No new dollars are being printed for this stimulus.
Next, the Congress was summoned back from summer break to vote on an emergency jobs bill. The focus of this legislation was to save 300,000 jobs, primarily teachers, nurses, and policemen. The bill, valued at $26 billion, gives money to states which are financially struggling financially. These states were forced to initiate massive layoffs, especially in the school systems, to meet their budgets. Though this bill was strongly opposed by Republicans, it was successfully pushed through the House by Democrats.
The Democrats argued that the bill is essential to protect nonfederal employees’ jobs in order to educate America’s children, take care of the sick, and keep the streets safe. Also, the Democrats are reminding Americans that the funds for this bill are not adding to the national deficit. Instead, the funding from this bill is coming from cuts in the national food stamp program.
Republicans accused this $26 billion bill of being an example of wasteful Washington DC spending. They claim it rewards economically challenged states for irresponsible behavior. The right believes this is another one of the Democrats bailout programs of which our country can no longer afford.
The third stimulus program is from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). $3 billion is going to be spent to provide assistance to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and have experienced substantial reduction in income. This aid will be available to those that have faced involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition for up to 24 months.
Having 3 stimulus programs initiated in 24 hours makes it clear that the government is fully aware and very concerned that the economic recovery is waning. Why else would these stimuli need to be implemented?
Of these 3 programs, the HUD stimulus is the one I take the most issue with. Propping up real estate prices with my tax dollars is not OK. I feel awful for those who are unemployed, can’t find work, and can’t afford their mortgages but why do I have to pay for them? For the next 2 years my tax dollars are going to pay someone else’s debts? And where are my dollars going… to banks and mortgage lenders? It boggles my mind.
Let me know your thoughts and opinions…