Is Friday the 13th bad luck for the economy?

Published 11:51 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

It’s a bad omen already. A sharply divided partisan vote edged President Obama’s stimulus bill one step closer to becoming reality. On Friday, the House passed his $787-billion plan to resuscitate the economy.

The bill passed 246-183, which was sharply divided along party lines with all Republicans voting against it. All but seven Democrats supported it.

The bill combines $281 in tax cuts with a half-trillion in government sending, mostly going to fund infrastructure, health care and giving struggling states money to help overcome budget woes.

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The problem, Republicans claim, is that the bill falls short and will only drive the county further into debt. They say our generation’s mishandling of the nation’s financial structure will be the burden of our children and grandchildren if we pass this bill as it is.

In Alabama, local school districts are hoping the bill passes because it means they would receive part of $70 billion in additional funding for K-12 programs and special education. They are banking that this will help stave off massive layoffs and cutbacks, but is it too little too late?

While a stimulus package is very attractive to a state which is obviously sinking in a sea of budget setbacks, is the lifeline we are hoping this bill is worth the price we will have to pay for it?

It is more important that we pass the right stimulus legislation and not as a fast attempt to stick a Band-aid on an open gash.