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Dissension Over Revised Stimulus Bill

According to The Boston Globe:

While President Obama and the Senate are fine with the stimulus deal that appears headed for final votes in Congress on Friday and Obama’s signature on Monday, the House is another matter….And it’s not just Republicans….Some House Democrats are upset with some of the changes made to preserve the support of three Republicans in the Senate, who wield virtual veto-power.

And there are reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was ticked off that Harry Reid, the top Senate Democrat, announced the compromise Wednesday afternoon before her rank-and-file had signed off. She is expected to say more at a 3 p.m. news conference.

The Washington Post has some details on the latest changes in the bill.

The bill is made up of four broad categories: tax breaks for individuals and businesses; investments in health care and alternative energy; funding for “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects; and aid to state and local governments, including expanded benefits for individuals who are unemployed and lack health insurance.

[....]

…initial calculations showed that the bill includes $282 billion in tax breaks, including a temporary fix to the alternative minimum tax and a new tax credit for home buyers, although it was drastically reduced from the Senate-passed version. Spending for highways, bridges and other transportation projects is nearly $50 billion. The measure would provide an additional 20 weeks of unemployment payments and health-care subsidies for people who are out of work. Social Security recipients would receive an additional $250 payment, and the federal government’s contribution to the Medicaid program would increase dramatically.

That all sounds pretty positive anyway.

The final package will substantially reduce the Senate’s $15,000 tax credit for home buyers, placing income limits on who could benefit and reducing the overall cost from $35 billion to about $5 billion, Collins said. While most of the key compromises involved cutting the legislation’s cost, negotiators did raise the amount of funding for highway, bridge and rail construction projects to $49.6 billion, an increase of more than $3.5 billion from the Senate’s legislation.

That doesn’t sound so great. Why are we letting Susan Collins control this bill again?

More details from Bloomberg News:

Lawmakers said they reduced one of Obama’s main proposals, a plan to provide a $500 payroll tax cut to individuals and $1,000 to families. Under the compromise, the bill would provide $400 and $800 tax cuts, respectively. Retirees and disabled veterans who don’t pay payroll taxes would get a one-time payment of $250.

Lawmakers slashed a $35 billion plan designed to increase home sales. The Senate bill called for doubling a $7,500 tax credit for homebuyers. Under the compromise, that credit would increase by $500. The Senate proposal was supported by Centex Corp., the second-biggest U.S. homebuilder by sales, and the National Association of Home Builders.

Also scaled back was an $11 billion Senate proposal to help the auto industry by allowing new car buyers to write off the cost of interest payments on their loans and their sales and excise taxes. Under the compromise, estimated to cost $2 billion, buyers would be able to deduct the sales and excise taxes on cars purchased this year.

A proposed business tax cut that would have allowed companies to convert losses into tax refunds was all but eliminated. Baucus said the provision would have let companies claim $67.5 billion in refunds this year and next year….

Lawmakers dropped provisions, opposed by Wall Street, which would have required companies taking money from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program to repay the cash portions of bonuses topping $100,000, Baucus said.

Surprise, surprise.

I watched Pelosi’s press conference. It was a big dud–no fireworks and a bunch of b.s., IMHO. Maybe Dakinikat will react to some of these details.

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146 Responses

  1. OT — I created an easier to play Oscar Pool. Everyone on TC is invited. Please go here:

    http://funofficepools.com/joinpool.php?Pool_ID=oscar09

    Name of the pool is : The Confluence Oscar Pool
    Password is: oscar

    You will have to create an account. But this is a much, much easier one to play than the one on the official Oscar’s site. Pat J, Jadzia sign up & everyone else too!!

  2. Pelosi is on MSNBC right now.

  3. She says she is proud of the bill. I thought she was “ticked off” about it. Oh well. Quick roll over, Nancy!

  4. Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that there may be a snag in the process. Maybe it’s something Pelosi hasn’t heard about yet?

  5. Angie,

    I would participate in the pool but I’ve been so busy with my school work that I haven’t had time to see any of the movies, which is unusal for me.

  6. I just submitted my picks Angie.

    When it gets down to musical scoring and art direction, I have to guess.

  7. Looks like some of the bad things were taken out and some of the good things put back in.

    They didn’t say it directly, but the Medicaid provisions could refer to the birth control funding Obama took out for no reason at all. I sure hope they put those back in.

    Still, this is clearly not what we REALLY need right now.

  8. me too madamb. I wonder where we can see a copy of the revised stim bill?

  9. Madamab,

    I hadn’t thought of that. I was pleasantly surprised to read some of the things that are in the bill.

  10. WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal and state leaders across the country are facing significant budget shortfalls and are floating the idea of a 300% increase on gasoline taxes. “Look, we really need the money or people are going to be out on the streets,” said a senior aide to the Obama administration. “After Hurricane Katrina and until very recently, motorists got used to paying up to four dollars a gallon for gas, so this won’t be that much of a shock to them.”

    So I am going to get $400 back from the government, but my gas will be back above $ a gallon. Sounds like a deal to me. Sure glad we elected this guy.

  11. That should be $4 a gallon

  12. cwaltz,

    Someone posted a link to the bill on-line. I’ll go find it.

  13. Stimulus bill on-line

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/12274824/stimbill

  14. Thanks bb.

  15. Celeste – typical Washington lack of thinking. They have no comprehension of what people go through in their daily lives.

    I heard on the NewsHour that the tax cuts Obama is proposing will amount to $13/week in our paychecks. In other words, it’s jack sh*t, and I’d prefer that money to go to the states and job creation so Bloomberg and Paterson don’t have to raise my state and local taxes, thank you very much.

  16. Not bad.

  17. bb — you don’t have to have actually seen the movies to play — you can vote based on “buzz!”

  18. More meaningless symbolism from Obama. He wants the bill passed tomorrow so he can sign it on Monday, President’s Day. Yet another pathetic attempt to appear Lincolnesque.

  19. Their genius idea is to raise gas prices? Oh Lord, we are doomed, doomed, doomed. All that will happen then is folks won’t travel anywhere including to stores. D’oh.

    I’d gladly trade my 13 a week in if it will help someone struggling pay for electric or groceries.

  20. I could really use the extra 13 bucks a week, but I probably won’t get that, because I’m actually poor and needy.

  21. OK, that last paragraph about the bonuses ticks me off. I wonder which lawmakers lobbied to have that provision dropped.

  22. Another problem with raising gas taxes – not only does it cost you more, but every product you buy, groceries, toilet paper, a bottle of aspirin, everything cost more due to increased shipping fuel fees. If a product requires a petroleum product to produce it, there’s another hike.

    My mother just bought a 2′ x 5′ piece of 3 inch foam to make a cushion for a window seat. It was $42. The lady said when the price of gas goes up, foam goes up. A gas hike affects so much more than just what goes in your tank.

  23. bb – no worries, you will surely get the $13 a week, I mean aren’t 95% of us getting a tax cut? Wasn’t that what we were promised, along with the unicorn?

  24. Pelosi’s interview with Katie Couric. Didn’t she a few days back say that she told Obama he can throw her under the bus but she doesn’t appreciate him rolling it over her again and again.

    Couric: Are you surprised how intimately involved he is in the whole process?

    Pelosi: Quite frankly, yes. I said, “Mr. President, neither of us has time for this conversation, especially you,” because we really, we understand each other. We know where we need to go.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/11/eveningnews/main4793967.shtml

  25. I want my unicorn. If things get bad we may need to eat him.

  26. Raising gas taxes – more taxing the poor.
    What’s $4 a gallon to a poor person living on $200/week
    compared to someone making $4,000K a week? All get
    taxed the same.
    A lot different from raising taxes of the rich, as Hillary
    proposed, and Obama said he would do.

  27. Nell, on February 12th, 2009 at 3:50 pm Said:
    ———————————————

    Seriously, what the hell is up with the media sucking up this Lincoln stuff?

    Just because one follows Lincoln’s path, has his picture taken in front of Lincoln’s monument, etc DOES NOT MAKE THE GUY ANYTHING CLOSE TO BEING LINCOLN.

    Sorry for the caps, but this is disgusting.

  28. Speaking of Lincolnesque, did you know the Obama’s were at the newly renovated Ford Theatre Wednesday night?
    ___________
    WASHINGTON – President Obama praised Abraham Lincoln for his conviction that a divided nation could be made whole at a gala Wednesday night, capping a day when congressional leaders agreed on a compromise $789 billion economic stimulus package.

    The agreement marks Obama’s biggest legislative victory to date.

    He says the package is essential for pulling the U.S. out of its economic tailspin, staking his presidency on the stimulus plan, putting pressure on Congress by taking his case to the American people, arguing that it will keep the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s from turning into a catastrophe.

    On Wednesday night, the president and first lady Michelle Obama joined a crowd of Hollywood stars and Washington heavy-hitters celebrating the $25 million renovation of Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated.

    Calling the theater “hallowed space” where Lincoln’s legacy thrives, Obama praised him for restoring a sense of unity to the country.

    “For despite all that divided us — North and South, black and white — he had an unyielding belief that we were, at heart, one nation, and one people,” Obama said. “And because of Abraham Lincoln, and all who’ve carried on his work in the generations since, that is what we remain today.”

    Earlier in the day, Obama called the final deal on the stimulus package a “hard-fought compromise,” and he expressed gratitude in a statement to Congress for its work.

    “I want to thank the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together around a hard-fought compromise that will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs,” the president said.

  29. High gas prices are what helped lead us to this point; price increases on goods and services, tourism, less disposable income.

  30. There is a WSJ reporter on Fox right now. He says the bill isn’t posted on the net yet and noone knows what’s in it. So the link I posted may not still be accurate. The details in my post came from a summary I think. Some in Congress are still complaining they can’t vote for it because they haven’t seen what’s in the bill.

  31. Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) waved a copy of Newsweek magazine with the cover headline “We Are All Socialists Now.” He declared in a morning floor speech, “We will soon become even more French.”

    I particularly loved this part. Can we at least have their health care and vacation package if we’re French?

  32. where are we borrowing the money from for this bailout
    where is it coming from? Which creditor is doing this?

  33. I’m glad they got rid of that stupid tax break for homebuyers. Just another giveaway to rich people. In fact I’m furious that they’re doing anything to pump up home sales…and once again, nothing for Detroit automakers.

    Although a commenter at the Housing Bubble blog was wondering if he could buy a distressed $2000 home in Detroit and get the $15K tax cut…sweet!

    And yes, that payroll tax cut is next to useless. Maybe I’ll be able to buy more booze with it.

  34. “Can we at least have their health care and vacation package if we’re French?”

    LOL, exactly. Not to mention their food, and wine, and fashion sense…

  35. I saw this idea for a bumper sticker – I want one.

    Hope $13 a week is enough change for you!

  36. It’s still in there but they put an awful lot of conditions on it. It’s $8,000 and they are restricting it to certain income levels. The way I read it earlier the credit was restricted to 10% anyway so if you bought a $2000 house you would get a $200 credit all the way up to $15,000 on a $150,000 piece of property.

  37. where are we getting the bailout money from?

  38. $13 a week…..whatever shall I spend all that money on? Oh I know, that’ll cover the 17% increase in my utilities.

  39. Commerce Secretary Nominee Gregg just pulled his name from the process… says he disagrees too much with the stimulus plan and the plan to remove census from commerce, that he says he doesn’t want to be part of an Obama administration

  40. Dancing: I thought the tax credit for a house was for first time buyers only, was I wrong?

  41. bb, do you have clones?

    Whenever I stop by you’re here, often writing some
    cool post that requires research, links, monitoring
    press conferences, etc.
    Then you also work and write a thesis?
    How the h*ll do you do all this? There have to be four
    of you.
    I work 30 hours a day, (yes, day), and I feel lazy
    next to you.

  42. Sigh. I liked Judd’s replacement. She was the bright spot for another GOP member being appointed. You’re gonna tell me no now aren’t you? :(

  43. TRK

    They changed that due to GOP negotiations initially.

  44. daki – where did you hear that about Gregg?

  45. GAgal — today is actually Lincoln’s birthday — do you think Obama will be getting a cake with candles to celebrate? LOL

  46. dak — I’ll be honest — I know nothing about Gregg, but if he did pull his name for those reasons I sure respect the h3ll out of him.

  47. I do hope it is a credit limited to one property. The last thing we need is boneheads like the one on that blog buying distressed properties up for the tax break and ignoring them and their upkeep.

  48. daki: wow. I’m amazed someone actually took a stand for something, even if I don’t agree with it. Someone doesn’t want to bathe in the Glory of Obama? I read yesterday that another Census expert said if he were offered the job at Commerce, he would refuse it if the Census was going to the WH, because it effectively guts the Commerce Secretary’s role. Guess Gregg agrees. The Census relocation really concerns me. It’s much too Donna Brazile/redistricting fraud prone for me. I DO NOT TRUST these people.

  49. We were gonna get a female Senator though who actually had a history of putting her value system before party politics. I was excited. Grrrrrrrrr.

  50. I do respect Greggs position though and think it is great he is standing up for it. I’m not crazy about the census move either.

  51. Somebody had to oversee the fox they put in charge of the census chickencoop.

    Good news, IMO. That was a bad choice.

  52. The census bit Gregg and he ran.

  53. Here’s something abou the Gregg stuff:

    Judd Gregg abruptly pulls out of the process of becoming Commerce Secretary.

    The statement from his office:

    I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

    However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

    Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

    I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

    As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals. This will certainly be a goal of mine.

    Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period. In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

    As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.

  54. celeste: Cnbc : i watch it in the background during the day i stay home to do my research and dont’ teach or go to campus

  55. celeste, on February 12th, 2009 at 4:24 pm Said:

    daki – where did you hear that about Gregg
    ************
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew his nomination as commerce secretary Thursday, citing “irresolvable conflicts” with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economic stimulus and 2010 census. “We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy,” Gregg said in a statement released by his Senate office.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GREGG_WITHDRAWAL?SITE=TXPLA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

  56. “The Team of Rivals” has turned into the “Clown Car Clusterf*ck”

  57. I accidentally posted this on the “happy thread.” Sorry for the duplication.

    Here’s Gregg’s statement. How can he say he thinks the country will “greatly benefit from Obama’s leadership at this time,” if he is withdrawing because he disagrees with his direction?

    Senator Gregg Statement on His Withdrawal for Consideration of U.S. Commerce Secretary

    Sen. Gregg stated, “I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

    “However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.

    “Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives.

    “I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.

    “As we move forward, I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the President’s proposals. This will certainly be a goal of mine.

    “Kathy and I also want to specifically thank Governor Lynch and Bonnie Newman for their friendship and assistance during this period. In addition we wish to thank all the people, especially in New Hampshire, who have been so kind and generous in their supportive comments.

    “As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”

  58. lol. Let’s see how many times we can post Gregg’s statement!

  59. Since he wanted to do away with the Commerce Department, it kinda sorta just makes sense.

  60. speaktruth,

    Thanks for the kind words, but I don’t work that hard all the time. I have today off. I should be working but I’m slacking off a bit. Can you tell?

  61. Good grief. Obama supporters are saying Gregg stabbed him in the back. Obama pretty much made Gregg’s job a non-job by siding with the black caucus on the census issue and taking it away from Commerce.

  62. When I say I’m working it means I’m writing my dissertation, going to class because I’m a teaching assistant, or teaching. I teach one day a week for 4 hours. That’s kind of tiring, I admit.

  63. I’m just glad Gregg withdrew. Why do we need three Republicans in the Cabinet? I guess it’s another embarrassment for BO though. Ha ha.

  64. The final package will substantially reduce the Senate’s $15,000 tax credit for home buyers, placing income limits on who could benefit and reducing the overall cost from $35 billion to about $5 billion, Collins said.

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. After all, wasn’t housing/mortgage issues a lot of what started our problems to begin with?

    I like the idea of increased spending on roads/bridges. God knows there’s a long list out there of what needs to be done with those.

  65. I wonder if Gregg realized that Obama’s version of compromise was the same as Bush’s-my way or the highway.

  66. bb,

    I used to teach middle school English. It was the hardest
    job I ever had, even though I was so young. It was even
    harder than being a landlord – and that’s saying a lot.
    Of course, junior high age is crazy.
    Teaching adults is better, but still very tiring in a four
    hour slot. People who’ve never taught have no idea how
    much energy it can take. Of course, with good classes,
    it can also be energizing.
    I’m impressed with how many blogs you cover, and
    all the links you come up with. Thank you for your hard work.

  67. I just saw this & I admit it worries the cr@p out of me:

    http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/02/budget-balance.html

  68. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090212/ap_on_go_co/stimulus_poor

    I’m pleasantly surprised with some of the bill. If the numbers are right what got reduced was tax cuts and I’m okay with that.

  69. Fredster: The problem I have with this, since they have cutout the first time buyer requisite, is will the upper 1% that are receiving the huge bonuses, buy up all the distressed property, get the tax break and sit on the property until all this is over and then create another mess, just like the one we are in now?

  70. Gregg apparently didn’t give the White House any warning. Ouch.

  71. Kim,

    I heard someone say (Krugman?) that people could just sell their property to family members and then pocket the $15K.

  72. Thank you, Speaktruth.

  73. I’m a self-employed, real creative class (RCC tm) individual. I’m really down to it and don’t see that this bill does one thing for me, zero, zilch. Except if there’s a trickle down effect from whomever is going to receive some of this stimulus. Funny, I don’t feel stimulated in the least. sigh.

  74. Gregg’s dropping out is one more example of
    the stupidity of this bipartisan bulls*t.
    A democracy is based on diverse points of view.
    Totalitarianism or dictatorship is based on having one idea.
    That’s why we have elections in a democracy. To choose
    which ideas will dominate for that time.
    Bipartisanship means watering everything down to
    make it all the same, which gives you dirty unappetizing
    soupy water that accomplishes nothing.

    The only time we need bipartisanship is when Repubs are
    in power. They need watering down.
    The only time it’s even talked about is when Dems
    are in power.

    Actually, the best system is the parliamentary system,
    with many parties representated, many diverse points of
    view. Two party system is obsolete in our complex society.

  75. TRK

    The problem I could see is that there have been instances where people are buying lower priced housing and then allowing the higher priced housing go into foreclosure from what I have read. I do think with a $8,000 credit they are going to be somewhat limited if it is written as it was earlier and it indeed has income ceilings as the article suggests.

    It would have been great if they could have figured out a way to allow people who have previously bought houses in the past but didn’t presently own one buy with the credit but didn’t give people a way to justify jettisoning their more expensive housing in leiu of cheaper housing and a credit.

  76. Couric (to Pelosi): Are you surprised how intimately involved he is in the whole process?

    How come so much of what Katie Couric says sounds like it’s out of a romance novel?

  77. @carolflowery; re who’s paying all the trillions for all the stimulation? The money is coming from you. From taxes paid to the US Govt. (But you knew that, right?)

  78. Lb

    I don’t see alot of relief for the middle class in it but am pleasantly surprised at some of the stuff they are doing for the poor, who have been largely ignored prior to now.

  79. I am glad to see aid for health care and unemployment, and apparently aid to the states is back on the table, but do highway guys work with shovels any more? Shouldn’t we have something besides a 1930s works project? I didn’t even write to my Koolaid guzzling senator Dodo and representative. I would have had hope that Lieberman might have a brain about this, but he’s been reduced to groveling. So no matter what any of us say, some piece of crap legislation gets passed.

    Last night I went to hear Judy Shepard talk about gay rights. She is the mother of Matthew Shepard, so brutally murdered in WY in 1998. Her talk was good for the most part, but she actually believes that Obama is NOT among the gay haters. She told the students, look at his civil rights page. We are out of the darkness of the last 8 years. Well, the last 8 years were pretty dark and nasty, but i just don’t see the light. Not for gay people, not for working people, not for America.

  80. Tax breaks for buying houses? As much as I want
    housing market to come back, this tax break seems to
    benefit the rich again. What do you say, dakini?
    Who always benefits most from tax breaks? People
    who have most income, pay most taxes. Buy more
    expensive houses.

  81. Digby is disgusted that Gregg pulled out:

    “I think we can officially call the bold experiment in post partisanship a failure at this point. If they can pull this stuff at their greatest moment of weakness, they have no intention of acting in good faith down the road.”

    There are always two sides to every story. To blame the Republicans because Gregg pulled out (yes, he was getting pressure from his state for not voting on the stimulus and it might have played a part), but he was also being played. The bottom line is both sides should be happy about this. I’m glad to see him go.

  82. bb

    The seller doesn’t get an incentive(credit). They wouldn’t get to pocket money, short of the money from the sale. The buyer pockets the credit. has anyone seen the income parameters since they put an income ceiling on it?

  83. Pelosi is starting to surprise me.

  84. I’d really like to see the income limits because I do see stimulating the housing market as a good thing. I do see some areas where this could be exploited though by wrong minded people.

  85. Isn’t the credit for first-time buyers only, and with income restrictions?

  86. cwaltz: I dont know the answer to that problem. In fact, I don’t know that if I were in the same position I wouldn’t attempt to try to unload the more expensive property. A house down the street from me sold 5 years ago for $140k; two years later, during the height of the boom, it was put back on the market for $210k. A bidding war eruptedand the house sold for $230k. The same house is back on the market again for $135k. It is insane.

  87. I see ACORN is still getting funding. UGH.

  88. Birdgal,

    Unless they changed it yes to income restrictions, but no to first time buyers(thanks to GOP).

  89. Did Obama decide to pull Census out of Commerce because he did not trust having it under a Republican? Of course, if you can not trust your Commerce Secretary to run the census w/o politicizing it, then he shouldn’t be your Commerce Secretary.

  90. Or was it Obama who was planning to politicize the census?

  91. Whew. Obots can relax. Big Tent D. says the Gregg thing is no big deal. He says no one outside Washington knows there’s a Secretary of Commerce or a Judd Gregg.

    Well, he go the last part right. Obot supporters probably don’t.

  92. TRK

    I definitely would have preferred that they had halted foreclosures and reassessed properties and created a program to allow for people to refinance at what housing is worth. I’m not gonna hold my breath though. Investors would scream to high heaven and we all know we can’t have that.

  93. Very few will qualify for the $8,000 home purchase credit.

    Lending standards for mortgages are still pretty tight.

    It will be a credit for the financially sound, financed by the rest of the taxpayers. Unfair, IMO

    First time homebuyers who bought their homes prior to April of 2008 are out of luck and don’t qualify for the credit.

  94. Bingo, Kim. I can’t believe the number of stoopid reader comments on the NYTimes political caucus site about how the Repubs are stabbing Barry in the back with Gregg’s withdrawal from nomination. My comment, of course, will likely remain in eternal moderation b/c it doesn’t kiss Obama’s butt.

  95. bb I’m in the pit again.
    Let me oouutttt!! Let me oouuttttt!!!
    (claustrophobic, sorry!)

  96. Gregg doesn’t owe Obama anything. Heck, he was pretty polite in his explanation for why he was declining. I don’t see how saying no thank you is the equivalent of stabbing someone in the back. Obots must exist in some alternate reality.

  97. Who is going to push for privatization of Soc Sec now? Gregg was a supporter.

  98. what part don’t I understand?
    Backtrack just went to an Ill town where they make RVs and promised that the stimulus bill would create jobs for RV makers. Now they claim gas will go to at least $4.00 a gallon. RVs run on gas the bank bosses who got the bonuses do not use RVs. Due to the rise in gas prices food and goods will not come down in price. Who will be able to afford the RVs ?
    California just announced a budget that raises taxes, cuts services and will make it harder to live here as is and part of that budget is an increase on gas taxes and the federal taxes are going to go up on gas. Cuts in local transportation
    will not make any easier to get to a job if you have one.
    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  99. CWaltz,

    Yes, but I think what Krugman was suggesting is that rich families would sell each other houses and then split the $15K.

  100. Good for you Greg. There is nothing wrong with having Republicans in the cabinet, as long as they do a good job. Gregg good call, get the hell away from Obama and his ilk. You probably just saved your career. Stay far, far, away from Obama and his administration.

  101. Catarina,

    Did you get out? Joanelle keeps going into moderation too. I have check and see if someone who got banned has the same IP address as you two.

  102. Pat J — if you are here — I signed you up for the “new” oscar game too & did your picks for you as assigned from the first one.

  103. afrocity: I agree. I think Gregg realized what a colossal f-up Obama is, and doesn’t want any part of it.

  104. Obama lied about campaign promise to post bills on line for 5 days before he signed.

  105. House Dems have delayed the vote because they demand to read the “fine print.” Sounds like Reid might have to work on Sunday. Awwwwww….

  106. I would submit Oscar picks but i have not seen any of the movies.

  107. Is there anything Obama hasn’t lied about? He even lied to his daughters about buying them a dog right away.

  108. That dog cannot be purchased for religious reasons.

  109. Maybe Gregg had fundamental differences with Obama because he paid his taxes.

  110. On that Commerce post
    by kos
    Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 02:54:23 PM PST

    I’ve got an idea about what Obama should do with that post. It’s kind of crazy, but keep an open mind and try not to dismiss it out of hand, no matter how unconventional it might be in today’s political world:

    Nominate a fucking Democrat.

    ———- lol lol lol lol ———–

  111. This whole census thing really bothers me. What if cheneybush had tried to put the census under WH chief of staff? Wouldn’t the dems have been all up in arms, rightly so? So why is it OK for O’bambam to do it? I applaud Gregg for standing up to this.

  112. I agree Jmac.

    (Stay away from the hopenchange revolution. Good for you Gregg for not being a token Republican for Obama’s garbage and being responsible for Obama’s census BS)

  113. Who deleted Bi-Polar Mood Disorder Guy?

    I thought he was unusually witty today.

    (after I edited his comments)

  114. Me — I didn’t recognize your touch. Want me to get him back?

  115. YAY! Hello dearest Conflucians!

    I’m finally feeling better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!!

    So just to catch up, Sirota is a WATB on a Kool-Aid overdose, the stimulus isn’t stimulating, Greeg The Republican resigned and Axelrod let the sheepf*ckers out to play…

    Am I missing anything?

  116. Naw, he had his chance

  117. Jmac: AMEN. I say like a KRUGMAN type.

    Or Krugman himself!

  118. MYIQ: Maybe we should have an open thread for Happy Black Guy to state everything he feels it’s soooooo important to tell us.

  119. Whistleblower protections were quietly removed from the stimulus bill.

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Whisteblower_protections_stripped_from_stimulus_bill_0212.html

  120. Glad you’re feeling better, SM

    How are things with your M-I-L, Katiebird?

  121. BB: So if you rat out a rotten Wall streeter, you get screwed???

    Typical O-bush-ma

  122. sm77:

    I wish there was a way to transfer comments to a permanent troll/spam thread where anyone with morbid curiousity could see them, but the rest of us would be unbothered.

    I should say “the rest of you” cuz I have morbid curiousity.

  123. So if you rat out aren’t a rotten Wall streeter, you get screwed

    Fixt

  124. myiq,

    It’s too bad there can’t be a troll thread where they can talk to each other and we can follow along.

  125. We could do a “Thursday Troll Thread” every week

  126. Trolls only, of course

  127. BB – thank you!

    I swear, I stay away from the blog for a few hours/days and I feel lost. I have to read the other posts & comments, be back!

  128. myiq2xu, on February 12th, 2009 at 7:23 pm Said:

    sm77:

    I wish there was a way to transfer comments to a permanent troll/spam thread where anyone with morbid curiousity could see them, but the rest of us would be unbothered.

    I should say “the rest of you” cuz I have morbid curiousity.

    myiq2xu, on February 12th, 2009 at 7:29 pm Said:

    We could do a “Thursday Troll Thread” every week

    I like that!!!!!

  129. Isn’t there anyone out there concerned about the euthanasia medical care items in the so-called stimulus bill?

  130. Afrocity -

    Completely agree with you.

    My take on the census is that it will be abused – manipulated to gain and maintain voters during the next elections.

    This is wrong – the census should be apolitical.

    Elections that eventually evolve in 99.9% votes for one party are a direct result of a nation which has lost its freedoms.

    Afrocity-

    Are you still planning that Chicago Puma get-together?

  131. I think she’s OK, BostonBoomer. I haven’t seen or heard her at all.

  132. afrocity, on February 12th, 2009 at 6:19 pm Said:
    That dog cannot be purchased for religious reasons.
    —————————————–
    That was always true===== before he promised his kids and went through the motions of choosing an anti-allergenic one amd using the press to focus on the dog issue and not something negative. (I can’t remember specially what it was that time)

  133. Bi-Polar Mood Disorder Guy likes the idea

  134. plainjane

    Yes. It was the subject of intense discussion at home. My mother (who is pro-choice but not pro-partial birth live abortions-in her late 80′s) said that she is not surprised to see it coming from Obama and his team. She lived through the war and two occupations and said that “the elimination of the old, the sick, and the mentally incapacitated has already happened once in civilized society because the people were slowly conditioned to accept it by a beloved demagogue. There is a precedent and it can happen again.”.

  135. plainjane — you bet it’s concerning.

  136. Am I missing anything?

    And Obama has been thrown under the bus by the CEO of Caterpillar

    D’oh! Caterpillar CEO Contradicts President on Whether Stimulus Will Allow Him to Re-Hire Laid Off Workers

    EAST PEORIA, ILL. — President Obama today repeated the claim we asked about yesterday at the press briefing that Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., “said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off.”

    Caterpillar announced 22,000 layoffs last month.

    But after the president left the event, Owens said the exact opposite.

    Asked if the stimulus package would be able to stop the 22,000 layoffs or not, Owens said, “I think realistically no. The truth is we’re going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again”

    “It is going to take some time before that stimulus bill” means re-hiring, he said.

    Owens supports the stimulus plan, but said it would take some time to have an impact on his industry and “is a little light on the heavy construction.”

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/02/doh-caterpillar.html

  137. It’s concerning to us but I don’t see anyone in the media or in Congress suggesting that it should be taken out or that this is a slippery slope, heading right for Naziland.
    Why place this into a stimulus bill other than to sneak it by without discussion?
    As I’ve said, I have sympathy for the Right to Die, but I do not want the government making that decision.

  138. One of the things taken out was Rationed Healthcare for Seniors. It was also one of the things Nancy had put back into the bill.

  139. shallbe4, on February 12th, 2009 at 8:20 pm Said:
    One of the things taken out was Rationed Healthcare for Seniors. It was also one of the things Nancy had put back into the bill.

    ——————————————————–

    Is it still there?

  140. looking for integrity — I am very concerned about that. Back during the Primaries I heard that the Democrats were no longer interested in the problems of older people. They wanted a new younger party. 76 Million Boomers have begun to retire and now they want people to get used to dying of their illnesses. This was removed from the Senate Bill and brought back by Pelosi. However, she favors spending 30,000,000 on the study of mice.

    The added problem is that Seniors have long memories and Obama seems to have a problem with anyone who contridicts him. This is why they want to see the end of Talk Radio.

  141. New post up. I’m hogging the blog today….

  142. Shallbe –

    Is it still there? For those of us in the sandwich generation it will be exceptionally painful as we watch our parents become victims of this while we earn too little money to mitigate it and have to stand by and watch.

    If these items will remain in the bill I will seriously consider, plan, and excute a move abroad to a more humane place.

  143. Afrocity,

    I agree with you too. I’m glad Gregg got out. He’s better off.

  144. looking for integrity, on February 12th, 2009 at 8:33 pm Said:
    Shallbe -
    Is it still there? For those of us in the sandwich generation it will be exceptionally painful as we watch our parents become victims of this while we earn too little money to mitigate it and have to stand by and watch.
    If these items will remain in the bill I will seriously consider, plan, and excute a move abroad to a more humane place.
    ———————————————————

    I’m worried about my parents. My mom keeps calling me saying, “they just want us all to die”. They both have health issues. My husband’s parents have health issues. Nobody has any money. This sucks.

    I don’t have a passport. Should I start working on that?

  145. I don’t know of any country where they have “Rationed Healthcare for Seniors”. In France doctors treat you before they bill you and the French have the best healthcare. In Italy everyone is insured. We live in a country where aborted late stage babies are thrown into the garbage and now we are going to have government sponsored euthanasia of seniors. Isn’t AARP going to do something with millions of members? Or will they only offer discounts on hotels, luxury travel, merchandise etc.

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