Opinions wide on stimulus

February 9, 2009 4:55:53 PM PST
Ask anyone on the street in the Triangle about the near trillion dollar stimulus package making its way through Congress, and you'll find there's a very wide range of opinions.It's not much different amongst North Carolina lawmakers. Several were in Raleigh Monday talking about the package before heading back to Washington. All seem to agree something needs to be done, but what exactly is harder to pin down.

At an "Emerging Issues" forum at the Raleigh Convention Center, even house Democrats disagreed.

Bob Etheridge, David Price and G.K. Butterfield all support the eight hundred billion dollar bill.

"It contains three major components, each of which is essential to our economic recovery - probably not sufficient," offered Price.

The components are helping states, cutting taxes and making new investments.

"In Washington, for a change, we can help. We can't do it all. Our job is to help get it started, step back, let the private sector work," said Etheridge.

But his colleague Heath Shuler, a Democrat from the western part of the state, has voted against the house bill. He says it doesn't provide enough money for infrastructure or cut taxes enough to get the economy going.

"It's going to programs that exist already and although it will help and it will save those jobs and it will go to the states, it's basically a bailout of the states," said Shuler.

Some state leaders question the bill's effectiveness as well. State House Minority Leader Paul Stam - a Republican - is one of them.

"There are parts of it I could support, but as a whole, it's just chopped full of pure pork and special projects for whoever happened to be on the committee," he said.


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