Recognizing that rebate checks ranging from $300 to $1,200 aren’t enough to turn around the economy, several lawmakers are proposing a second stimulus bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has indicated that she is interested in “increasing unemployment insurance and food stamp payments, as well as putting together a public works spending package.” On Sunday, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) brought up expanding and repairing “the deteriorating infrastructure needs of our country.”
But yesterday in a meeting at the White House with small business owners, President Bush rejected a second stimulus bill, instead wanting to wait for the stimulus checks to “kick in“:
And thirdly, I, you know, I think we ought to, in terms of pro-growth packages, I think we ought to, again I repeat, give this one a chance to kick in. The experts tell me that this pro-growth package is going to add some — you know, a percent, percent-and-a-half to the economy here in the latter part of this year.
Like Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also wants to wait out the financial crisis. From his appearance on ABC’s This Week on Feb. 17:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’re open to helping homeowners?
McCAIN: I am open to helping homeowners. I would rely to a large degree on the situation of time. But also to people like secretary of the treasury Paulson who the financial markets and a lot us have a great deal of faith in. If more needs to be done, I’m for doing more.
The American public isn’t as optimistic as Bush and McCain. According to a recent Zogby poll, just 28 percent “believe the government’s economic stimulus rebate plan will help.”
As a matter of fact, one of the things that’s going to happen with this pro-growth package is that not only is it going to affect small businesses like it’s affected folks here, but 130 million families are going to get some money, their own money. And of course, the purpose of that is to help boost consumption. We’re in a rough time right now; I’m confident we’re going to come out of it. And when we do we’re going to be a stronger — stronger and better country.
Congress, of course, is contemplating different measures. And my only advice to them is, one, make sure you give the pro-growth package that was passed overwhelmingly a chance to work, see what the effects are. Secondly, anything they do should not hurt the economy. And thirdly, I, you know, I think we ought to, in terms of pro-growth packages, I think we ought to, again I repeat, give this one a chance to kick in. The experts tell me that this pro-growth package is going to add some — you know, a percent, percent-and-a-half to the economy here in the latter part of this year. If that’s the case, it’s going to be an important part of recovering.
Exit Stage Left Says: “600 won’t pay the typical monthly utility bills for the home lost to foreclosure.”