Saturday, February 07, 2009

Leno, Letterman, Stewart Not Threatened

Senate leaders and the White House have reached agreement on an $827 billion stimulus package, about which President

Obama said earlier in the day that further delay would be "inexcusable and irresponsible" given yesterday's worst monthly unemployment report in a generation -- 598,000 jobs lost in January and the national unemployment rate rising to 7.6 percent. And late yesterday, federal regulators announced the closures of three banks, First Bank Financial Services in Georgia and Alliance Bank and County Bank in California, raising to nine the number of bank failures this year.

Already, too many jobs being lost; too little credit extended; too few homes being sold; too many banks failing; too many businesses closing; and on and on. And Senator Amy Klobuchar (D.-MN.) gets up before the National Press Club and quips

"John Edwards is still talking about two Americas. It turned out to be the greatest pickup line ever."

So it is worth remembering about all the months wasted- first being deceived into thinking the economy was strong (see, Scarborough, Joe: autumn, 2007) and then railing over "socialism." And recalling a report of December 22, 2007 from Bloomberg News:

The federal government should help fund new light-rail lines, parking lots near mass-transit stations and other energy-efficient transportation projects that can get under way in 90 days as a way to stimulate the economy. ``Hard-working families across America are already struggling to make ends meet. ``Before things get worse, I urge Congress to take action immediately to strengthen our economy and create new jobs.''

He said the initial $25 billion (of $75 billion) would go for investments in clean energy such as wind farms and weatherizing homes and businesses; to train workers for new jobs in the clean energy field; for aid to states to avoid cuts in Medicaid, education and other services; and for extended unemployment benefits. (He) also called for a home relief fund to provide counseling and financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure. He also asked Congress to enact new legislation against predatory lending.

Not any Republican (obviously), Larry Summers (almost as obviously), Barack Obama, or Amy Klobuchar. But John Edwards.... more than 13 months ago. Fortunately, Congressional Democrats (other than Ben Nelson and a few others) now understand the enormity of the situation Mr. Edwards had begun to grasp back when one party thought the economy was just fine and the other party could offer no remedy. And thankfully it won't be long before the people of Minnesota will benefit from the addition of a truly effective Democratic Senator to the upper chamber in Washington, D.C.

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