Today, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1) to create and save 3.5 million jobs and spur reinvestment in our nation's economy.
Below is a selection of editorials from newspapers across the country:
Tulsa World Editorial (Oklahoma) - The stimulus
Now it's time to put aside all the political rhetoric and get the country moving. Despite all the talk about bipartisanship, that didn't happen. Only three Republicans in the entire Congress, all of them in the Senate, voted for the package. The Republicans continue to charge that there aren't enough tax cuts in the package and too much spending on wasteful projects. This is the same line they have taken over the past eight years. Maybe it's time to try something different.
It is a shame that there is a part of the population that is rooting for this plan to fail. And it's mostly coming from the same crowd that accused anyone who was against the war in Iraq of being a traitor. Being against a war is traitorous but hoping that the country has an economic meltdown is patriotic?...
Obama's proposal has funding for health care, education, infrastructure, energy, science, the unemployed, food programs, aid for workers and, yes, tax cuts…
The country is in a desperate situation. It calls for bold and drastic action. Congress and the president have taken that step… [2/17/09]
Brattleboro Reformer Editorial (Vermont) - A Victory for America
On the 24th day of his presidency, Barack Obama recorded a legislative achievement that few of his predecessors had accomplished at any point of their terms in office.
In just over three weeks time, the Obama administration guided economic stimulus legislation through Congress. With virtually no assistance from the Republicans, President Obama's team pulled off the passage of the most sweeping economic measures since Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.
Sure, there were missteps and miscalculations of the kind that will keep the political pundits' tongues wagging for weeks to come. But in the real world, beyond the Washington bubble, most Americans see it differently. They see President Obama delivering on his promise to marshal the resources of the federal government to lift the nation out of a deepening recession… [2/17/09]
Aurora Sentinel Editorial (Colorado) - Nation crosses its fingers for stimulus
…The logic behind the bill is sound. Those of us who still have jobs are spending less on everything, forcing other businesses to cut back or close, putting more of us out of work and pushing the rest of us into spending even less, which in turn, creates more layoffs. While that's an over-simplification of what's led to the threat of an economic infarction, the downward spiral is now the driving force of our troubles and the most important problem to address.
Despite all the disagreements of those in Congress working on the problem, everyone agrees that the government is the only entity that can inject itself -- and your money -- into the economy to try and change what's happening. The choice then had become either to do nothing -- because it either won't work, or it won't net enough good for what it costs -- or give it a shot.
Congress and Obama were right to choose action, and they painted the effort as one that would at the very least leave us with better roads, bridges, schools and cars… [2/15/09]
Sarasota Herald Tribune Editorial (Florida) - Spending that Stimulates
…We are sorely disappointed in our hometown congressman, Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan, who voted against legislation that is projected to bring an estimated 7,600 jobs to his district, which has been hurt badly by the collapsed housing industry and rising unemployment.
Buchanan agrees that a stimulus is needed but favors a different plan, he said in a statement Friday afternoon. 'We need a bill that will create jobs by helping small businesses and working families without leaving the country with a massive debt.'
Swell idea, if only the Republicans had followed it rather than contributing to a massive deficit when they were in charge of Congress and the White House…
In all, this package is a step in the right direction. We only hope it will be enough. [2/14/09]
Decatur Daily Editorial (Alabama) - GOP betting against American prosperity
Apparently, Republicans believe a continued policy of tax cuts for the wealthy is the best way out of the recession. After all, look at the lack of prosperity that policy has spawned during the past 12 months, when more than 4 million jobs were lost.
Fortunately, the American people -- including those of us in Alabama represented by Sens. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, and Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile -- will benefit from the stimulus package. The more than $600 million in infrastructure improvements in this state will put people to work and pump public and private capital into the economy while strengthening crumbling roads and bridges we all use. The legislation sets aside more than $38 billion for similar projects across the country…
Something has to be done to help the American people in these troubled times. How ironic that the party whose election theme was “Country First” is betting against the prosperity of the American people. [2/17/09]
Lexington Herald-Leader Editorial (Kentucky) - Pay attention to state's suffering
As Kentuckians, we can take some pride in the fact that our senior senator, Mitch McConnell, plays such a large role on the national stage, presenting as he did last week the opposition voice to the Obama administration's stimulus package.
However, as Kentuckians we can also wish that our senator, elected by our voters, might give a little more thought to the suffering back home in one of the poorest states in the nation.
As the stimulus bill he unsuccessfully fought headed for Obama's signature, McConnell was ever the stern taskmaster, saying 'the Democrats have been making up for lost time with a government spending spree on the taxpayer credit card.'
Arguable, but thousands of Kentuckians are losing or have lost jobs because no one else is spending…
Tough love about responsibility and future national debt is not going to help those thousands of families survive this recession… [2/17/09]
Des Moines Register Editorial (Iowa) - Rescuing desperate Americans
…The legislation is widely known as a 'stimulus' package, though the official name includes the words 'reinvestment' and 'recovery.' It would be appropriate to also include the word 'rescue' in the title.
Many Americans need some rescuing right about now…
But it is virtually impossible to argue against strengthening this country's safety net at a time when more and more Americans are falling into it.
Part of the $800 billion package will provide direct help to low- and middle-income American families feeling a lot of pain at this point in our history. It's money well spent… [2/14/09]