Accuracy in Media

Responding to a request given by President Obama for involvement, the House Republicans came up with the House Republican Economic Recovery Plan. It is their alternative to the stimulus package. It is intended to make “twice the jobs at half the cost.” There are five parts of this plan—

1. Cut tax rates for “every taxpaying-family in America.”

2. Tax cuts for small businesses so they can “free up funds…to retain and hire new employees.”

3. “Any stimulus spending should be paid for by reducing other government spending, not raising taxes.”

4. Because “the Federal Government actually imposes income taxes on an individual receiving unemployment benefits,” the “House Republicans propose to make unemployment benefits tax free.”

5. “House Republicans propose a home-buyers credit of $7,500 for those buyers who can make a minimum down-payment of 5%.”

All of the above information came from the Office of the Republican Whip’s website, where the layout of the plan is listed.

Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) was supposed to explain this plan at a Conservative Bloggers’ Briefing, and although he says, “We have some specific items that they don’t have,” and “We [have] a viable alternative,” when questioned, that is about all he said of it.

Rep. Camp brings up the idea of “rate reductions” that are unique to this bill. He argues that the stimulus package does not carry it. He addresses the complaint that tax cuts for unemployment benefits are a cut for the rich by saying simply, “People who are unemployed are not rich.” When questioned about the long-term effects of this alternative, he asserts that this plan is not intended to be a long-term economic plan, but a short-term stimulus. He says, “This is not our long-term, stable policy document.” He explains that a long-term plan is currently being discussed, but the alternative is just a short-term response to not only the economic downturn, but the stimulus package being pushed through Congress. Rep. Camp says that people, after hearing about the stimulus package, say, “This is wasteful; how is that going to help?” He argues that the House Republican Economic Recovery Plan will help.

Perhaps the best part of this plan is explained by the Office of the Republican Whip’s website: “The House GOP plan does not include wasteful pet projects and it ensures that the funding immediately goes into effect. No waste, just jobs.” However, because of this very fact, this plan will probably never get passed, and the United States will end up with an $800 billion-plus stimulus package with lots of goodies for the constituents of various members of Congress.

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