Domenici advocates larger economic stimulus package

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today suggested that federal policymakers are offering “too little, too late” in terms of keeping the American economy from sliding into a recession, and suggested significantly increasing the size of an economic stimulus package.

            Domenici, the former long-time chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, on Monday issued the following statement regarding his belief that the $145 billion economic stimulus plan being discussed by Congress and the White House may need to be enlarged to have the desired effect on the American economy:

            “Our way of life in this country relies on a strong economy, and there is nothing more important before this Congress.  Odds are that offering 1 percent of the GDP is too little, too late.  I think we should consider a larger plan, possibly as much as $300 billion.  This would allow us to offer significant rebates to a broader range of Americans.  We could also give the economy the shot in the arm it needs by offering strong tax incentives to help small businesses, the manufacturing sector and the renewable energy industry.

“A larger package would allow us to reach more people.  I do not believe $300 billion is overreaching.  I am both pleased and surprised by the Federal Reserve’s unusual act to cut rates today, which with our package may really help a great deal.

 “I believe we can work on a plan that would allow all taxpayers, who are in compliance with the IRS even if they filed a zero return, to receive a rebate.  We should look at helping those who take the Earned Income Tax Credit.

            “If we truly want to invigorate the economy, I do not have problems with setting aside pay-go rules on the stimulus package.  In the past, we’ve learned that a growing economy does more to increase federal tax revenues than strict adherence to deficit cutting rules during economic downturns. The best example of this can be seen in the revenues reported by the IRS this last spring.”