Nearly five months after Democrats used their majorities in Congress to push through the stimulus, the two-year package has had little impact. Americans have watched the country’s unemployment rate surge to 9.5 percent, and it is expected to go higher.
Although we have been asked to have patience, when you have no job, no money, no food to feed your family or a home to provide shelter, it is difficult to wait and hope for the best. Continually being asked to wait raises doubts that the first stimulus package was implemented properly and about its ability to stimulate the economy.
The Obama administration expected the U.S. unemployment rate to peak at around 8.0 percent when it pushed through the $787 billion plan. But unemployment could hit 11 percent and the country may need a second stimulus package, according to news reports.
It has been reported that only about $100 billion of the $787 billion has been spent so far, and in the coming months a more rapid pace of funds may be released. It cannot come soon enough!
Warren Buffett, the billionaire founder of Berkshire Hathaway, said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America that we have suffered “a shock to the system” from the economic problems in the last quarter of last year but felt we had started to rebound.
“We’re not in a free fall, but we’re not in a recovery either,” he told Good Morning America.
“I think a second one may well be called for. It is not a panacea. A stimulus is the right thing. You hope it doesn’t get watered down,” he said.
“We’re going to come out of this better than ever. The best days of America lie ahead but not next week or next month,” Buffett concluded.
Maybe we need a different approach. Maybe this second stimulus package, if selected, should be given directly to the people: you and me and every other tax-paying American. I’ve shared this before, but perhaps we should consider a simpler approach like the one described in an article in the St. Petersburg Times.
The Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?” Here is one of the responses:
Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan.
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.
It can’t get any easier than that!