Max Baucus: Looking Out for the Common Person. Well, if the Common Person Makes $75k.


On the broad question of the proposed economic stimulus proposals, I’ll admit I’m not smart enough to understand how sending a few hundred bucks to people three months from now is going to have much of an impact on the economy, but if the federal government wants to keep mortgaging our shared future for the sake of political expediency, sign me up.

I’m also not smart enough to understand what $500 will do for people for people making over $75,000 per year, but Senator Baucus does, and has thus proposed making them eligible for the package as well:

Unlike the package negotiated by House leaders and the White House, Baucus’ $156 billion measure would allow tens of millions of seniors living on Social Security to qualify for the rebate, extend federal unemployment aid and boost a business tax rebate. Baucus’ rebate is lower than the House plan’s $600 per individual. He also would eliminate a House provision to phase out the rebate for Americans making more than $75,000.

It’s not exactly complicated to see why Baucus and other Senators want to extend the rebate to people on Social Security. They vote. There’s not much more to it than that. Of course, the spectacle of the American government giving more and more to the elderly while we refuse to adequately care for our children is something we should probably think about addressing one of these decades, but certainly not now.

Understanding the rationale for extending the benefits to people making over $75 is a bit more complicated, especially when that extension trades off with the rebate for lower income people, who are much more likely to spend the money, and thus, stimulate the economy. So why is Baucus advocating less money for those who might stimulate the economy (if such things actually work) and more for those who are less likely to do so?

Since it isn’t for average Montanans, who make nowhere near $75,000 annually, one has to ask who Max Baucus is really representing.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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