President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill does have its positives, North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad admitted to Mad Money on Friday, but there’s “a lot that really misses the mark.” The much-anticipated spending plan holds none of the “timely, targeted [and] temporary” initiatives needed to jumpstart the economy.
Senator Conrad’s just the latest critic of the bill, which passed the House on Wednesday. Conrad, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, wanted to see more infrastructure spending – in the $200 billion range, rather than the $30 billion set aside for highways and bridges. And not just for much-needed building but also to create jobs. He also pointed to a lack of aid to the financial and housing sectors, both of which “still are in deep trouble.”
“If they don’t get well,” Conrad said, “we can’t have economic recovery.”
Expect some changes as the bill makes its way through the Senate. And Conrad has some ideas on how to make President Obama’s plan better, such a $10,000 tax credit for homebuyers, a way to renegotiate at-risk mortgages and more money infrastructure. Conrad even co-introduced legislation to set up an investigative commission to find out what got us in this mess, how to prevent it next time and who to hold responsible. He’s looking to make prosecution recommendations to the Justice Department.
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