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Searching for a solution

March 26, 2009 2:35:10 PM PDT
How to fix the economy?

Bottle that solution and you could make a fortune. Republicans in the House, who usually can't agree on lunch, now seem to be in agreement that the way Pres. Obama is trying to pull us out of the recession isn't working, and won't work.

And so today they crafted "The Republican Road to Recovery," a 17-page document that they claim will spell less government, lower taxes and economic prosperity.

Nowhere is it mentioned that this recession was born while we were on "The Republican Road" the past eight years with Pres. Bush at the wheel.

Less government? Mr. Bush grew the government to the biggest in history. Lower taxes? Only for the rich. And economic prosperity? Watch any of our newscasts and count the number of times we team the words "tanking economy" or mention "recession."

While House Republicans were penning their tome, one of their colleagues in the Senate, John McCain, gave a speech lampooning Obamanomics and criticizing the President for cutting taxes for 95% of Americans, while putting the burden of the budget deficits on the wealthiest 5%.

Say what? The House Repubs blasted Mr. Obama for not cutting taxes, while their standard bearer in 2008 criticized him for cutting taxes on too many Americans.

Thank you John McCain for shining a light on what you and your brothers and sisters in the House are really saying: Keep cutting taxes on the most well-off Americans, and let the less well-off shoulder the economic weight.

That ought to go over well, just like the bonuses paid to executives of failing companies bailed out by taxpayers.

Am I just missing something here? Didn't we have an election last fall, where one candidate said we should continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and the other said we shouldn't?

I'm just askin'.

Meanwhile, New York City continues to get hammered by the economy. The unemployment rate for February rose to 8.1 percent - up from 6.9 in January, the biggest monthly jump for the City on record.

And The New York Times, the paper of record for the country, continues to feel the pinch. With a steep drop in revenue, The Times today said it would cut by 5% the pay of most employees --- for at least nine months. In exchange, the workers get 10 days' leave.

The paper also plans to outright lay off 100 people.

We'll have the latest on the economy - and on Pres. Obama's first online town hall meeting, where the economy was issue number one - tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the debate continues over whether it's Economic Stimulus or Pork. There are many projects - the vast majority - that can be justified for funding. They create jobs and opportunity. And how else would they get the attention of lawmakers if some elected representative didn't bring it up?

It's one of the fuzzier areas of the sausage-making process we call Democracy.

But there are definitely funded programs that are just outright Pork -- unadulterated, full-of-fat, and a waste.

Tonight our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer takes a look at several local programs, funded as "earmarks," and asks the question: Is it Economic Stimulus or is it Pork?

Some of what Jim's uncovered will make you smirk, or get ticked off, or both.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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