Little noticed in President Obama’s "fiscal cliff" plan is a demand for a huge new stimulus package. Wait! Wasn’t he and everyone in the press telling us just before the election how the economy was gathering steam?
In addition to the $1.6 trillion in new taxes on "the rich" that Obama demands, he’s also pushing for upward of $255 billion in new stimulus spending for next year – including $50 billion for roads, $30 billion in extended unemployment benefits and various short-term tax breaks.
According to the New York Times, the administration’s argument is that "the sluggish economy requires a shot in the arm."And, indeed, the Times paints a rather grim picture of the current economic situation.
Data show "the recovery once again sputtering," it reported Tuesday, adding that the "underlying rate of growth (is) too slow to bring down the unemployment rate by much." Manufacturing and exports are lagging, it noted, while consumers and businesses are "holding back" and "wage growth is weak."