Argument: Much stimulus rightly goes toward long-term societal needs
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Paul Krugman. "The Destructive Center". The New York Times. February 9, 2009 - the centrists did their best to make the plan weaker and worse.
One of the best features of the original plan was aid to cash-strapped state governments, which would have provided a quick boost to the economy while preserving essential services. But the centrists insisted on a $40 billion cut in that spending.
The original plan also included badly needed spending on school construction; $16 billion of that spending was cut. It included aid to the unemployed, especially help in maintaining health care -- cut. Food stamps -- cut. All in all, more than $80 billion was cut from the plan, with the great bulk of those cuts falling on precisely the measures that would do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump.
Barack Obama. "We Can't Afford to Wait". February 9, 2009 - The plan will save or create three to four million jobs over the next two years. But not just any jobs - jobs that meet the needs we've neglected for far too long and lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth: jobs fixing our schools; computerizing medical records to save costs and save lives; repairing our infrastructure; and investing in renewable energy to help us move toward energy independence. The plan also calls for immediate tax relief for 95 percent of American workers.
Barack Obama. "We Can't Afford to Wait". February 9, 2009 - it's not just the jobs that will benefit Indiana and the rest of America. It's the work people will be doing: Rebuilding our roads, bridges, dams and levees. Roads like US 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on, and that connect small towns and rural communities to opportunities for economic growth. And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart.
We'll also put people to work rebuilding our schools so all our kids can have the world-class classrooms, labs and libraries they need to compete in today's global economy.
Investing in clean alternative sources of energy and the electric grid we need to transport it from coast to coast, helping make Indiana an energy-producing state, not just an energy-consuming state. Weatherizing homes across this state, and installing state of the art equipment to help you control your energy costs.
Building new high-speed broadband lines, reaching schools and small businesses in rural Indiana so they can connect and compete with their counterparts in any city in any country in the world.
And there is much, much more.