Please note that we've moved to a new blog at www.LibraryGrape.com.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama Stimulus Plan Get Top Mark by Washington Post

The Washington Post graded all of the candidates' economic stimulus plans and Obama was the only one to receive an A, Democrat or Republican!

Barack Obama: A-minus. I criticized his previous tax plan, but Obama is at the head of the class with an intelligently designed, $120 billion stimulus plan. He would speed a $250 tax credit to most workers, followed by another $250, triggered automatically, if the economy continues on its sour path. Obama would direct a similar rebate to low- and middle-income seniors, who are also apt to spend and could get checks quickly. One demerit: Obama omits any increase in food stamp benefits, which Moody’s estimates would have the greatest bang for the buck, $1.73 for every dollar spent.

John Edwards: B-minus. Edwards gets points for handing in his paper early — in December, he issued a $25 billion stimulus proposal (plus $75 billion more if needed), including important help to states to avoid cutting Medicaid rolls. But like Hillary Clinton (see below), he would spend too much money on programs — investing in “green collar” jobs, for instance — with too long a lag time to make them an effective stimulus. Edwards’s grade goes down because he also hasn’t explained how the $75 billion would be spent.

Hillary Clinton: C-plus. Clinton, too, raised the issue early, then turned in a faulty first draft with a $70 billion stimulus plan that didn’t provide much immediate stimulation. It included a $25 billion increase in the program to help low-income Americans with heating costs — an excessive amount (the current program is under $3 billion) that probably wouldn’t kick in until next winter. Even worse was her housing plan, including a five-year freeze on subprime mortgage rates that could produce higher interest rates and reduce liquidity.

Four days later, Clinton said she would immediately implement a $40 billion tax rebate plan she had put in reserve in her first draft. Fine, but overall, the Obama plan devotes a far greater percentage to spending that is more likely to jump-start the economy.

Read More: Whose Stimulus Makes the Grade? via KillHillBlog