Earlier today, the GOP indicated that they are not on board with the Democrats’ proposal for a second economic stimulus package. There’s no surprise there.

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), the top ranking Republican in the House, wrote a letter to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) calling the proposal:

an irresponsible, business-as-usual approach that has earned this Congress the lowest approval ratings ever recorded.

Harsh. But here’s my take: the proposal, as currently being touted, is, in fact, irresponsible. And I sincerely hope that Pelosi takes that to heart.

That said, the idea that Boehner is trying to pin the current low approval ratings on the Democrats is laughable: everyone had a hand in this nonsense.

Handing out small checks and increasing Medicaid programs will not stimulate the economy. If that’s the purpose of this package – and you’d think so, since they’re calling it an economic stimulus package – then the Democrats are way off base. And despite the fact that Pelosi says her package will “provide relief for the middle class, to encourage consumer confidence and to have regulatory reform by re-writing the rules for financial institutions,” there’s no real relief proposed for the middle class.

What does the GOP propose instead? The usual suspects. Some of the ideas floated by the GOP are:

  1. Allowing offshore oil drilling.
  2. Cutting taxes for US corporations with foreign subsidiaries;
  3. Expanding capital gains relief on the sale of homes; and
  4. Eliminating capital gains on stock purchases for the next two years.

Jeez. Can’t either party get this right?

Middle class. Two words. Don’t forget about them.

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Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.


  1. I always see complaints that Washington doesn’t do enough for the middle class but no one ever offers proposals as to what they would do to help the middle class that ever withstands scrutiny and logic. What would we have the government do that will benefit the middle class w/o benefiting the rich? The sad fact is that anything that will truly benefit the middle will end up benefiting the rich.
    The middle class needs good paying jobs. Who creates them? The rich.
    The middle class needs health care. Who provides it? The companies they work for which are owned by the rich. (please don’t tell me that government health care will help the middle class! Can’t you see that it will just end up like SS and medicare? A disaster!)
    The middle class needs a secure retirement. What do they look for? Investments in companies that are owned by the rich. Pensions don’t invest in the middle class. Nobody buys stock in the middle class. (Please don’t tell me the social security is secure or meant to be a retirement plan!)
    I am middle class and I refuse to be sucked into this never ending class warfare rhetoric about how we can give breaks to the middle class and stick it to the rich at the same time. Logic dictates that this is impossible in the long run. At no time in our history have the middle class done well and the rich done poorly. They are directly proportional.
    Sticking it to the rich will stick it to the middle class. Never fails. We don’t have to like it but we have to accept it in order to prosper.

  2. I am very disappointed with our politicians in Washington DC. We are running record deficits and the National Debt is skyrocketing. On a cash basis the national debt is 10.2 trillion dollars and it is about six times that amount on an accrual basis.
    Our politicians need to immediately cut Government spending!
    I was against the last “stimulus” package and I am against this one.

  3. Let’s see the last stimulas package gave me $300 not the $600 published for each person. I am disabled and can’t work. I live on less than $23,000 per year. None of the benefits to help low income people apply to me. All the talk about helping the people on medicare and medicaid just passes me by. I worked most of my life, paid taxes and paid into SS. Yet none of the so called help is there for me. Stimulas packages is a joke. The money will go to the medicare and medicaid agencies, banks, manufactors and car industries…so how does that help the “other” people like me? I’m not on welfare but I am hungry and cold most days. There are only so many layers of clothes one can put on.
    Each month my main food is beans,rice,vegetable soup and more soup(no meat or chicken because it is to much money.) Long gone is breakfast of an egg. This winter I will not be able to use my heater to stay warm or drive my car because I can’t pay for car insurance or gas. I received the SS increase however the medicare insurance went up and I received less in my pocket after the increase than I was getting the year before. I wrote the SS office asking what had happened and if they could help. That was 4-months ago…I did not get a response. Every thing is going up, etc…so how am I to survive? I’ve stopped taking some of my medication, the TV isn’t turned on, no lights, clothes are washed by hand in the sink and bathtub after my weekly bath) and I walk to the store when I purchase my beans and soup makings. Is anyone (or the goverment)out there going to step up and help me?
    My neighbors are kind enough to give me their old newspapers that I read by flashlight on dark days and use for toilet paper. On Sundays someone in the neighbor hood brings me a plate of food.
    The US Goverment allowed 17,000 Iran/Iraq into the US this year and gave each family $1,700, a place to live for 8-months,$800 a month cash, food stamps, speach classes and training for jobs. Now they also get an medical attention they need. They also receive medicare and medicaid medical benefits. They are hooked up with church organization that also provide them with food, clothing, cars, gas, etc… None of these benefits I am allowed…yet I paid taxes and still pay taxes. Is there not something wrong with this picture? Not just for me but the other people like me!
    I have applied for assistance to every program I hear about for medical assistance, and any other assistance offered. However, I am told I am JUST above the poverity level…sorry
    WHY can’t OUR goverment take care of the americans first then help other people.
    There are millions of US AMERICAN people living in their cars and on the streets. Why are we letting poeple into this country and supporting them? What about OUR americans??? Am I angry…you better believe it. If I knew what to do about these issues I would help lead the charge. The change OBAMA will impose will once again by pass the little people like me. Is there anyone out there to help me??? How will I end my twilight years? The outcome and answer will only be death when I no longer can afford medication,water and food.
    The stimulas package is a joke for some of us. Why are we helping companies that don’t manage their companies properly?

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