01/29/09 — Act in haste ... Economic stimulus package must get the job done

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Act in haste ... Economic stimulus package must get the job done

We all want the announcements of job cuts to stop and for there to be a whole different feel to the economic news that has been depressing everyone for the past few months. So, it would be easy to rubberstamp anything that even remotely suggests that it will put people back to work.

And there were probably a few members of the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to accept the economic stimulus bill proposed by President Barack Obama to do just that -- something.

The idea of giving this country something to sink its teeth into and to put more Americans back to work is a good one. We need something to offset the negative news and dire predictions that are making many people uneasy and scared.

But an economic stimulus package that is enacted in haste -- with indiscriminate spending and little attention to what will really put Americans back to work -- is not going to do anything except make the problem worse.

What America needs right now is jobs -- and this nation's companies are struggling to provide them. But the reality is that if people are not working or are scared they might lose their jobs, they are not going to buy anything. No demand means no production, which means more lost jobs.

And a whole round of willy nilly special projects and other add-ins are not going to do anything except create a bunch of make work and not have any lasting effect on this nation's employment picture.

And we do not need to hand out any more free money to corporations either.

There are thousands of businesses across this country trying to make payrolls. We need across the board tax incentives and other programs that encourage owners of businesses of all sizes to not only keep their doors open and to remain competitive, but to put more people back to work.

That is what is needed to get this economy rolling again -- and it is why, in part, some representatives chose not to just say yes to the $819 billion stimulus package. They simply did not want to hand a blank check to anyone -- especially their government.

President Obama has pledged to work with Senate Republicans and Democrats to hone this measure to create a targeted bill that will include a healthy mix of spending, business incentives and tax cuts.

And that is what we need right now.

So while it would have been nice to know that there was money in the works today, it is much better to see that some of the new leadership is really working to not only do something, but the right thing.

The package has already passed its first hurdle. Let's hope the U.S. Senate makes sure it will really get the job done.

Published in Editorials on January 29, 2009 11:45 AM