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Shaping a stimulus plan

February 04, 2009

Re "GOP set to carve into stimulus," Feb. 3

Regarding the Senate taking up the economic stimulus bill passed by the House: I'd love to see bipartisanship rule the day. Post-partisanship, better still. But what I'd like to see even more: our battered country rescued and revived.

Top corporate and individual tax rates have been cut repeatedly (led by Republicans, abetted by Democrats) starting under President Reagan in 1981. In the last 28 years, we've seen the wealth of working Americans redistributed to the richest and have felt our mighty economic engine shudder and backfire.

President Obama and Congress must correct course, spending every penny of political capital they have to fix the engine. Listen to Republicans but don't bow to them, because no matter how noble their intentions, no matter how nice the idea of avoiding partisanship, their ideas have stalled out. We have to try something new. Adam Wolman

Pacific Palisades

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Instead of debating the contents of the stimulus package, we should be debating the package itself. Why is this $800-billion behemoth not divided into separate bills? Why not take the tax component as one item, debate it, come to agreement and vote on it?

Same with the infrastructure repair portion. For that matter, why isn't every bridge or highway project studied, discussed and evaluated?

If Obama is all about shining the light of day on how our tax dollars are spent, then why create a bill so large that no one can comprehend what's in it?

Answer: Omnibus bills in which every legislator likes something, but no one likes everything, are a way to secure money for things that would not be approved on their own merits.

Perhaps we need a constitutional amendment stating that no bill can have a price tag larger than $1 billion.

Dale Kutzera

Los Angeles

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Hey, I have a great idea for finding the billions of dollars that Obama wants to give away to stimulate the economy: Just collect all the back taxes owed by his Cabinet members and other appointees!

Should be more than enough.

Michael Joerger

San Clemente

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