Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

June 10, 2008

What are the Feds Doing with Stimulus Money?

President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 back on February 13, calling his stimulus idea a “booster shot” for the American economy. At the signing ceremony, Bush stated, “The bill I’m signing today is large enough to have an impact, amounting to more than $152 billion this year, or about 1 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product).”

At that time, the government mandated that checks be issued to qualified citizens through May. The process has dragged on through June. Some Americans have not received their promised stimulus payments through the Internal Revenue Service.

Barack Obama is circling the country in a two-week campaign. He is proposing that lawmakers should inject another $50 billion immediately into the sluggish U.S. economy. Mr. Obama noted the largest monthly increase in the unemployment rate in over 20 years. He intends to use his position in the Senate to generate a movement for “another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $50 billion to help those who’ve been hit hardest by this economic downturn.”

Mr. Obama supports the expansion and extension of unemployment benefits, as well as a second round of tax rebate checks. “Relief can’t wait until the next president takes office.”

Federal unemployment benefits for people out of work are usually limited to 26 weeks. A movement of Democrats wants to add another 13 weeks plus an additional 13 weeks in states with unemployment of 6% or more. President Bush has previously been against extending unemployment benefits, preferring to bail out imprudent banks and mortgagers.

On June 6, the Treasury Department reported that it has sent out nearly 67 million in stimulus payments worth approximately $57 billion. Now the important question comes to mind. The stimulus package was advertised as a $152 billion stimulus. Where is the remaining $95 billion stipulated by the first stimulus plan?

Now, we are talking about a new stimulus plan as if the first stimulus plan is complete. Where did the money go? What is Washington up to? Is the stimulus a straw dog of sorts? Has economic stimulus become mere hype?

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