I continue to remain dumbfounded over what Congress is doing. Our problem, in a nutshell, is that Americans saw the financial disaster that the crash in the housing market and financial institutions have created. Americans response to this was to stop buying. Therefore, we have an economy that has plenty of supply and no demand. The purpose of a stimulus bill would be to increase demand. As President Barack Obama said last night, the purpose of the stimulus plan is to spend money. Thus, increase demand and get the economy going.
The new job numbers are out and they are awful. 598,000 jobs were lost last month alone. Over 1.5 million jobs lost in last three months. We've now had 14 straight months of job losses. 3.7 million people have lost their jobs since the start of this recession. The unemployment rate is now 7.6%. The employment rate for men 66.1% is the lowest level ever recorded. The unemployment rate for blacks is 12.6%, Hispanics -- 9.7% and for whites 6.9%. We can take these numbers and slice them and dice them and dissect them but the bottom line is it looks ugly. It looks ugly from every angle.
So, a reasonable person would expect that the Senate will look at these numbers and act quickly to increase spending in the economic stimulus plan. We would expect that our senators, knowing at least a little something about the economy and economic principles, would come to their senses and pass a spending plan to help state and local businesses and governments and more importantly to help us, the American people. But no. The Senate is one place where logic and facts cannot penetrate those cold stone walls. The package that appears to have come out of this "compromise" has over 40% of the overall spending is made up of tax cuts. Not infrastructure. Not aid to states.