PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL: U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Tuesday he is definitely running for reelection in 2010 and has begun using criticism of the $838 billion federal economic stimulus plan as a platform to raise money. McCain, 72, had given indications of a run for fifth term, but publicly told supporters in a fundraising e-mail Tuesday he is definitely seeking reelection. He also used the opportunity to criticize Democrats over the spending package. “The economic challenges currently confronting our nation are immense and unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress propose addressing these challenges through increased spending that wastes billions of taxpayers dollars and saddles our children and grandchildren with a staggering debt. Their proposals will not stimulate economic growth or create jobs,” McCain said in the e-mail. MORE
PAUL KRUGMAN: What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses? A proud centrist. For that is what the senators who ended up calling the tune on the stimulus bill just accomplished.
Even if the original Obama plan — around $800 billion in stimulus, with a substantial fraction of that total given over to ineffective tax cuts — had been enacted, it wouldn’t have been enough to fill the looming hole in the U.S. economy, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will amount to $2.9 trillion over the next three years. Yet 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. MORE
SLUMDOGGING THE MILLIONAIRES: Rep. Mike Capuano Spanks Bank CEOs
This is pretty awesome.