A few observations on the Bush stimulus package. I’m not an economist, so I’ll try to focus on the political side of things and leave the facts and figures to those who know better:
One of the side effects of the Bush economic stimulus package is that it may benefit many seniors who receive larger amounts of income from dividends than do most. In fact, it’s rather surprising how many taxpayers such a plan would effect.
Even CalPundit has some cautious praise for the President in selling the stimulus package. He makes the argument that it won’t actually help seniors all that much. Perhaps so, but the Democrats have been fighting tooth-and-nail for years to preserve programs that have even fewer benefits than that for seniors. He’s right – any tax relief that even appears to be targeted towards seniors is going to be very hard to fight. (This is somewhat coincidental as the Democrats have used these tactics very successfully themselves.)
The Democrats do seem to have learned something from the 2002 midterm debacle. They do have a fairly comprehensive stimulus package themselves, and it’s got some very reasonable proposals on it. In fact, it offers more short-term stimulus than the Bush plan does. A hybrid of both plans would offer an excellent way of priming the economy and keeping investment stable.
Still, expect the same kind of class-warfare tactics that are part and parcel of the Democratic debate style and talking points. However, if the Democrats start pushing their own plan and its advantages, they just might be able to put the GOP on the defensive for the first time in a long time.