It's not clear that the package will stimulate the economy. The $168 billion Bush stimulus plan -- that sent rebate checks of $600 to working individuals and $1,200 to couples -- didn't do what it was supposed to do. So the Obama plan looks like burning more money Washington does not have on a plan that may not work.
Only a few months ago, Obama was proposing a $60 billion-stimulus package. But his plan keeps on growing, even though Congress just authorized the release of the second $350 billion of the Bush bailout.
This month, the fiscal watchdog group The Concord Coalition warned that the first-ever annual deficit projected to exceed $1 trillion will hit a post-World-War-II high of 8.3 percent of GDP. And that number doesn't include the proposed stimulus package.
In his inaugural address, Obama referred to the "the winter of our hardship" -- as if these days are among the hardest that an America, which survived the Civil War, two world wars and a depression, has seen. It isn't a winter of hardship when you're throwing around so much money that no one knows when to stop. Although, if Washington keeps opting for the easy choices, while extolling an era of responsibility, it could be a bitter winter of hardship for those left with the tab when there's no running away from the bill.
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