Think the economic recovery package was all about contraceptives and a $4 billion payout to ACORN? (We wish.) Think again.
What conservative bullies like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are not telling us in their drearily familiar, windbag attacks on the desperately needed economic recovery package is that it contains a wealth of provisions that put money directly into the economy through programs aimed a low- and moderate-income families.
These types of programs are not only essential to the survival of working families facing hardship at every turn, but they put money into the hands of folks who will immediately spend it in the local economy on things like food, transit, clothes, and school supplies. In fact, Moody's Economy.com chief economist Mark Zandi says that investing in the food stamp program (SNAP) will provide $1.73 in GDP growth for every $1 invested.
It is absurd that people like Limbaugh and Hannity are controlling the terms of debate for a package they will never support anyway. To fight back against the right-wing noise machine, ACORN members are taking time out of their day to call their Senators at 1-866-888-9292 and urge them to vote "YES" on the economic recovery package. Moreover, ACORN is highlighting some specific opportunities to strengthen the already numerous progressive provisions within the package. Two of the biggest priorities for our communities are:
• The House-passed version of the Child Tax Credit. Simply stated the House version puts an additional $3.9 billion into the hands of the households who will spend it right away to meet basic family needs, and thus spur economic activity. It helps a total of 12 million low-income children and helps 6.45 million more families than the Senate version. We are asking our members and others to insist that their Senators adopt the House version.
• The House-passed nutrition provisions. Adoption of these would increase the FY 2009 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - food stamps - by 13.9 percent, increase food assistance for seniors and for kids in afterschool programs. Again, we are urging our members and others to insist that the Senate adopt these House provisions.
We, as progressives, have got to step it up the next few days and bring home a bold and progressive stimulus package that will help lead us to a stronger economy. ACORN has set up a toll-free hotline that people can use to contact their Senators, insist on the types of provisions like the two above, and fight back against Rush Limbaugh's attempt to run the Senate. That number is 1-866-888-9292. We've also set up a page progressives can use to e-mail their Senators.
Please take a minute to help pass a bold and progressive package; let's make sure that the spirit that swept Barack Obama to the Presidency prevails in the work being done to get this country back on its feet and back to work.