An economic stimulus package would have been great ... if it had come in December. But the slow shuffle of shoes can be heard around Congress as it gets ready for a debate that will come too late.
Speaking of a program to help the economy, "Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said he expects Democrats and Republicans to find common ground and there was already agreement that the plan should include tax cuts," according to Reuters. That means that the first quarter will pass without any effort from the government, save rate cuts by the Fed.
Most plans being considered right now would deliver $150 million in stimulants to the economy, many in the form of tax cuts. The programs would raise the Federal deficit, but that can be someone else's problem a few years from now. There is also talk of creating 500,000 new jobs by offering incentives to businesses to create new jobs.
Because of the glacier-like pace of the government's activity, nothing is likely to be in place before the second quarter. At that point, the economy could already be in a deep recession. It would take another two or three quarters for any set of incentives to take hold.
That is a long time for all of the people who could lose homes and jobs this year.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.