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Politics & Power

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President Obama Signs Stimulus Bill and Launches Recovery.gov Website

In Denver Colorado Tuesday, President Obama signed the historic stimulus package into law. With ten pens and a declaration, ďThere you go, itís done.Ē the bill became finalized. In his speech President Obama spoke of the investment in new technologies and infrastructure that this plan will bring. The President and other proponents of the plan have said that this investment in the American middle class is the best way to stimulate the recovery of our economy. Opponents claim that the plan will explode the deficit and yield few gains. The question has to be which side, if either, is right?

To mitigate some of the criticism of the plan the Obama administration launched the Recovery.gov website on Tuesday as well. The site allows users to see the spending of the money and what happens as a result. Included in the site is a link to the full bill http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ARRA_public_review/ for individuals to read it for themselves. While many have criticized the plan and others have praised it, very few seemingly have actually read the 1,100 page document in its entirety.

Republicans have been quick to criticize the bill, process of passing it and the President for not consulting with them more on the billís structure. For Washington observers these claims come as somewhat misleading. On several occasions the President approached members of the Republican leadership for their input on the bill and many concessions on taxes and spending limits were included in the bill drafted by Democrats. While only three Republicans ended up supporting the bill the influence of the Republican Party was undeniable in the final conference version of the bill signed by President Obama.

Democrats have praised the bill as being the best plan possible given the need to find support from liberals, moderates and conservatives. They have pointed to the concessions made to the Republicans as proof of their willingness to work across the aisle but have also stated that they cannot be railroaded by a minority in Congress to go against the best interests of the American people. While they have made efforts to include some Republican ideas in the plan it has been fairly obvious to outside observers that there was a flexing of political muscles on the part of Democrats during the deliberation process. Republicans were not in the room at times and there was no doubt about who was in charge of the process from beginning to end.

As the President stated during the signing ceremony, the plan is not perfect but it is needed. Doing nothing is not an acceptable option and the tax breaks of the past have not worked. The time for new plans and new ideas has come. The recovery legislation has been passed but now needs to be implemented with wisdom and foresight. The administration has launched the website allowing Americans to view the use of their money. There is an opportunity for Americans to be vigilant and make sure their tax dollars go to good use. Now the plan is the law and the implementation begins. Whether it will work may depend on the ability of government to operate in a way that it is not accustomed to operating. Accountability and transparency have been promised and it will be up to the people to make sure that it is maintained.

As we move forward with the recovery plan we will begin to see its impact on the economy. The Stock markets have initially reacted poorly to the passage of the package. With the focus of the bill being the middle class there may not be much enthusiasm for it on the part of big business. The administration has begun to show itself as being more focused on individuals than on corporate profits which may make the business community less than ecstatic about plans to help workers while limiting the power of business in Washington. Going forward the stock market may be a poor indicator of the success or failure of this administrationís plans and projects. With the change in philosophy may need to come a change in the measurement of success. What is certain is that the administration is committed to working toward a solution. Only time will tell if it is the right solution.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article








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