Debate continues over the bailout/stimulus package. Currently the senate Republicans are proposing an alternative plan, noting that they see too much waste in the current proposal. Amazingly, despite all the political posturing, the economy continues to do poorly.
The Republicans do raise some good points in regard to the waste. For example, the current plan includes $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program and $1 billion for the 2010 Census. While $650 million for the coupon program is tiny compared to the massive amount of money being thrown around, it does not seem like the greatest idea in these economic times. While TV is important to keep the masses occupied and exposed to advertising, it seems reasonable to believe that providing such coupons is not a legitimate job for the government. After all, TV is hardly a basic right nor does it seem to fit within the basic obligations of government. In regards to the Census, that seems to be important. But, it is not quite clear how it fits into the stimulus package. Unless, of course, the plan is to hire lots of people to work on the census.
While some see the Republicans as merely playing politics (which is what politicians do), their criticism does serve an important role. After all, it is generally good to have some opposition in politics to keep those in power from getting away with too much or getting too sloppy because they have it too easy. Naturally, it is important to sort out reasonable opposition from spitely obstructionism.
Meanwhile, the economy continues to spiral down and jobs continue to be lost. Congress seems largely incapable to doing anything to solve the serious problems. Perhaps Obama will be able to get things pointed in the right direction. But, as always, it is not up to Washington to save us. That is our job. That is, of course, a good thing-imagine what our fate would be if we had to rely on politicians?