On Thursday, February 7, 2008, the House and Senate held final votes and passed the "Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008." The bill is expected to be signed quickly into law by President George W. Bush.
The House of Representatives vote was 380 Yes, 34 No, with California congressman Mike Thompson voting Yes. Mike also voted Yes when the bill originally passed in the House on January 29, 2008. See http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-5140 for more details.
The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 is one of the most craven election year stunts ever performed by Congress. It gives tax rebates of $600 for adults and $300 for children to most people who pay federal taxes. Vote for the incumbent; you vote has been bought!
This nation does not need an economic stimulus package. The Federal Reserve has already lowered its benchmark interest rates. The low value of the dollar compared to other currencies and the booming economies of India, China, Brazil and Russia are propelling growth in U.S.-made exports. The economy expanded throughout 2007. There are a lot of unsold houses on the market, but $600 checks will do nothing about that.
In the last half of 2007 some Americans finally woke up and realized that living on credit is a bad idea. Financial advisors have talked in vain for decades about the need to spend less than you make. The slowing down of the economy in December and January was a good thing, it showed that people were coming to their senses and saving more, or at least not going as deeply into debt over the holidays as in the past. In the long run people will have more to spend on goods and services because they will spend less on interest payments on debt.
But speaking of people who live on credit, take a look at the drunken Congress and President. Because of the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich (which Mike Thompson voted for) and the War in Iraq and continued subsidies to giant agricultural corporations and thousands of lesser boondoggles, the deficit is out of control and interest on the deficit is ballooning.
The national deficit is the single greatest threat to the American economy. Congress just voted to expand the deficit. It is the economic equivalent of giving weapons and training to Islamic terrorists. Oh, right, the U.S. already did that back during the Russian-Afghanistan War.
-- William P. Meyers
Thompson Watch Main Page
Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.