Friday, February 13, 2009

The Economic Stimulus Package

I just spent hours reading the full bill. Yes, my brain is mush. Typically, it's 647 pages, 1.10MB, half of which are stipulations (hoops to jump through) for getting this illustrious, much touted economic stimulus money. It's very dry reading to be sure, but if you are bored and have the time to kill....

Now, if you are like me and your primary concern is a stimulus check like we got last year, when and how much...nope, it ain't gonna happen. Oh, unless you already receive social security benefits, then the powers that be have deigned to give you a measly additional $250 bucks. Granted your unemployment benefits will be extended. You are eligible to be retrained for other employment. Your WIC and child-tax credits have been expanded. Your food stamps might be increased, depending on the state's actions. But basically, if you are not employed, already re-trained, under 65 without a dependent child under 18 you are screwed, in more ways than one.

I have been losing hope for this stimulus package for quite awhile now, but when I read it, it hit me...same ole, same ole--at least in rhetoric and the sheer volume of paperwork required to receive the benefits and to justify receiving the benefits and to prove you used to money like you said you would. Crap, all I could think of while reading the bill was how those less schooled in reading and writing government-speak could screw this up for those depending on the benefits. All I can think of is a poor old social worker, head of a community center in po-dunk Mississippi, knowing her center is eligible for benefits, wracking her brain well into the night trying to write up a suitable proposal for her center and the people she helps, knowing that they will be coming in soon wanting to know where said help is and when they can get it.

If you want the gist of the plan you can visit Nancy Pelosi's website here. She has it all laid out with bullet points and everything :) If you just want to skip the hype and want an itemized list of who gets what go here.

After my disastrous visit to the doctor's office yesterday and then four hours at the emergency room because said doctor basically would not treat me and would rather I was admitted for a $10,000 hospital stay. Luckily when my uninsured self arrived to be admitted, said hospital was sensible enough to allow me to get my breathing treatments though the emergency room, where I proceeded to beg them not to admit me. That little trip probably only cost me 3 or 4 thousand. I'm sicker today than I was yesterday....mentally I'm taking to my bed for a minute.


  1. Oh you poor thing. =( It's just so unreal that the people who need help the most can never seem to get it.

    I had read that they were trying to work the stimulus so that the people who are the most poor get the most benefit because they are more likely to spend it rather than save it like those of us who aren't living in poverty. I can only hope this is true and will work the way they say. My dad will at least get the extra SS I think.

  2. I have to say thanks for the link. I went on over to the itemized list and saw that CSBG got a $1 billion dollar increase. I am hollaring for joy on this one! I used to be a CSBG case worker, and its a great program that was attacked again and again by the Bush administration. Its a program that really does try to help folks directly (through weatherization and self-sufficiency job training and financial planning), so I'm tickled.

  3. CSBG got a $1 billion dollar increase, which tickles me pink as a former CSBG caseworker. Its a good program and I'm thrilled someone over there in D.C remembered it. Bush attacked it again and again, but it works.