GQjock saidRid ... what about the Macro-economic mess that we were in and still reeling from do you NOT understand
without that stimulus money we and the rest of the world's banking institutions would have gone belly up
There is no debating that
You see the way towns and state govt's are cutting back? If there were no stimulus local govt's would have ceased to function
You don't worry about decorating on a sinking ship
According to the Keysian model when the government is the last to have funds to stimulate an economy that has stalled ... you have to use those funds
As far as Healthcare
It's either you do something Now ... when it's least painful or wait a few years and let it collapse on its own
Because it will .... this is COMPLETELY unsustainable
we are at present spending one dollar out of EVERY six on healthcare and that has been going up steadily and will continue to do so unless we reign in the cause
and that is insurance costs
Alright - I'm glad you're at least open to asking the questions. The stimulus money didn't help the world banking institutions. The bank bailouts and stimulus are two separate issues (and a rapid restructuring type form of legislation empowering the Fed could have been far more effective and real change).
The last stimulus was more about bailing out the states and some infrastructure spending than actual stimulus if you look at the underlying data. ie States have cut funding, and are losing money so the US Federal government poured money into largely things like education spending to plug the holes. Further, even for infrastructure spending - if you ask someone like Keynes - he argued that infrastructure spending was not an effective form of stimulus.
Christine Romer, the expert on the Great Depression that Obama hired has published several papers on the effect of both tax increases and tax reductions pointing out that tax increases have 3x a negative effect on a slow environment - and one of the primary causes for the economy to dip back down 1937-8. I note that the tax cuts also expired this past year - effectively a form of stimulus that had to be made up for.
The problem now and going forward with the stimulus however, is that states and municipalities who, as you point out, are running out of money largely because they grew substantially faster than their tax bases, are having problems making ends meet. But this won't be a problem limited to this year, next year it'll happen again as well - and this isn't stimulus at all - it's a state bailout.
As far as healthcare goes, there are other solutions. I accept that there needs to be reform and I'd be a strong advocate of it, but this seems like a horrible bill on multiple levels. I'm guessing you'd also agree that it doesn't go far enough and that concessions were made to bribe certain senators into agreeing to the bill. I, on the other hand, would argue that incremental change would be better. Given how poorly Medicare is run, how can you trust the Feds to run it better. Keep in mind that the US spends more per capita on public healthcare than Canada - clearly something is broken particularly since in Canada everyone is eligible for healthcare - not so for the US with Medicare.
What I've never understood about partisans who paint Republicans as pure evil or buffoons, is that there seems to lack a certain recognition that governments change. Would you want the equivalent of a Dick Cheney to be deciding what you get for your healthcare?