LABJ Forum: Still Time for a Bailout Plan?

While the indicators are never in complete agreement, many analysts are saying that the national economy has bottomed out, and that recovery is underway. When Congress goes back into session, bickering between the parties over an economic stimulus package is likely to continue. So the Business Journal asks:

Now that there are signs that the economy has bottomed out, do you think we still need a stimulus package from Washington?

Jeffrey Walden
Senior Vice President
Canyon-Johnson
Urban Fund, L.P.

I think so. First, we're not sure that we've bottomed out. We're all hoping that we have, but you can't be sure. And I think any additional stimulus would be welcomed, especially considering the areas that are always hit the hardest the inner cities and the underserved communities. I think a stimulus package that focuses on (them) would be greatly appreciated by all. These communities are always hit the hardest (during a recession), as well as the last ones to come out.

Kenny Hull
Director
Real World Chicago

I think that certain areas of the economy still need a stimulus airlines and labor, for instance. But not all areas should be given money that could be used to pay off the national debt. I'm not sure that the current package is still a good idea, but we definitely need something.

Bryan Maxwell
Office Coordinator
Jadi Communications

I have a hard time recalling the last time our government passed an effective recovery package. And seeing as they were reluctant to admit we were even in a recession in October, I'd have a hard time accepting a plan from them. (The government) doesn't seem to have a good idea as to what the problem is, so I don't see how they can fix it. For now, I think we should just let the economy continue to manage itself.

Larry Montz
Founder & Director
International Society for Paranormal Research

Absolutely. I think it's important to re-establish the economy so that we can move forward in 2002. People need to get on with their lives and start spending money so that we don't end up in a depression.

Brooke Halpin
Owner
Halpin House West
Public Relations

I think there's a symbiotic relationship between government and the U.S. economy. So the answer is yes, we do need a stimulus package from Washington, even though analysts say we're on the road to recovery. We need to the government to aid in the recovery, and I don't think we could come back as effectively without the government's support. (The federal government) has to be part of the process. If (Democrats and Republicans) can't come to an agreement on a package, that will be a very negative sign for the U.S. economy in 2002.

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