Reportedly, the Democrats will throw in some small-business tax breaks and a temporary payroll tax holiday gimmick, supported by some Republicans, for companies that hire unemployed workers.
What we do know for sure: The $154 billion Spawn of Spendulus passed in the House on a party-line vote in December is crammed to the gills with special-interest spending. Half of the money would go to government bureaucracies already overflowing with Stimulus One money. Nearly $30 billion would go to protect public-sector union employees in state governments.
While tax relief would be temporary (Democrats always make sure of that), the Reid bill will follow the House version in continuing the endlessly "temporary" extension of jobless benefits that will cost billions of dollars and encourage more and longer unemployment. That's on top of the $58 billion in jobless benefit extension funds paid out by Porkulus I. Senate Republicans voted against this permanent entitlement lard-up measure that has nothing to do with job creation two years ago. They should do so again.
In addition, President Obama wants $23 billion added for a fraud-friendly "Cash for Caulkers" weatherization program. Instead of returning the money to reduce the debt as stipulated in the law, Obama is also pushing to siphon $30 billion from the ever-morphing TARP bank bailout program to fund small-business lending initiatives.
"What I won't consider is doing nothing in the face of a lot of hardship across the country," Obama said this week. "Doing nothing"? How about leaving well enough alone, dispensing the rest of the original stimulus, retreating from debt-deepening, tax-increasing, economy-stifling initiatives from the government health care takeover to cap-and-trade, and refusing to redistribute tax dollars toward private job destruction and government job inflation?
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