Before the election, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the country’s economic weakness might last for some time and a new stimulus package might be a good idea. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a major proponent of more economic stimulus, has pushed for a $61 billion stimulus package for passage in November, with her ideal package being $150 billion to aid the states and poor individuals and create more construction jobs.
“I just wonder how much more the American people are willing to put up with,” said U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.
He said President-elect Barack Obama has been talking about redistributing wealth and that Congress has not seen any details about the proposed stimulus.
He said the government has spent $900 billion in recent months and he believes people will realize they cannot borrow their way into prosperity.
“Another $150 billion stimulus package is going to be money we’re going to have to borrow from another country,” he said.
Charles Platt, a retired carpenter, said any proposed stimulus should be different than the first one.
“I don’t agree with the way they did the other one,” he said. “I think they’re just handing out money to anyone who asks for it.”
He said if there is another stimulus package, there should be some mechanism for people to apply for funds and explain why they need them.
“I think they should give everyone the other stimulus,” said Amber Kendrick, who works for a cleaning business in Griffin. “Everyone needs it because the economy’s so bad.”
Shane Gilmer, a Griffin real estate agent, supports the stimulus package.
“I think that’s a possibility, the way Barack Obama’s been talking about it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen before he takes office.”
He said this would not be a good thing - the stimulus should be done sooner than that, but he doubts President George W. Bush will agree to it.
“I don’t think it’s going to do any good, but like anyone else, I can use it,” said David McBroom, a worker at the International Paper plant.
Jody Singletary, a teacher at Moreland Road Elementary School, also does not think the stimulus will be effective.
“I don’t think it really helps,” she said. “I really don’t.”
She said the best thing the government could do is cap the interest and fees on credit cards.
Sandra Tennyson, a sales and design representative at the Jones-Harrison Furniture store on Solomon Street, is also a skeptic.
“I don’t think it will turn things around that much,” she said.
- The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this article.