President Bush’s Stimulus Plan

January 21, 2003

Give it to them and they will spend it. Take it away from them and they may exercise a little more spending restraint. At least that's what we could hope. Yes, the President's Economic Stimulus Plan may help to stimulate our economy. I hope it does. Ifit passes. But if you are listening, you can hear the criticism of the plan loud and strong.

Now, why would that be? They say they are afraid the deficit will increase. That it provides too much tax relief to the so-called rich. How about the rest of the story? The simple answer is any plan that denies the big spenders in Congress 670 billion dollars that they want to spend is not going to receive a warm welcome. We have a war to fight against terrorism, maybe a war with Iraq and North Korea to deal with. The States are swimming in red ink. Everyone has their hand out for money.

But keep in mind that the federal government is not obligated to answer everyone's cry for help. Yes, of course we are obligated to provide for the national defense but there are a lot of other spending options that can suck it up for a year or two and get by. If we have the courage, we can freeze discretionary spending. We could even reduce it. We need a wartime budget. Any plan that lets the taxpayer keep more of his or her own money is a good idea. Look at it this way. It's your money. You got it the old fashioned way. You earned it. Would you rather spend it yourself or would you rather give it to the government to spend? If you want to keep it and spend it, tell your congressman! Say "Keep you greedy paws off my money."

But if you don't want to spend it, then say "Take my money. I don't really have any use for it." I was in a business meeting with the Secretary of Commerce Don Evans yesterday. In supporting the President's stimulus package, he said if you want to grow the economy you must cut taxes and control government spending. That sounds good to me.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.