It's the Economy

The Senate returned to Washington amid mounting worries over the U.S. economy that triggered a global market meltdown. Lawmakers already have begun to work on a package of targeted tax cuts and investments. Tax rebates for working families, a Sanders' brainchild approved by Congress the last time the economy faltered, now are widely seen as a remedy for recession. "It is important that we move quickly," Sanders told Vermont Public Radio. "Obviously you want to put money in the hands of people

The Senate returned to Washington amid mounting worries over the U.S. economy that triggered a global market meltdown. Lawmakers already have begun to work on a package of targeted tax cuts and investments. Tax rebates for working families, a Sanders' brainchild approved by Congress the last time the economy faltered, now are widely seen as a remedy for recession. "It is important that we move quickly," Sanders told Vermont Public Radio. "Obviously you want to put money in the hands of people who need it the most. They're the ones who are going to spend it the quickest," he added. Sanders also favors a massive investment in public works projects that have been neglected for too long anyway. Another effective tool to spur the economy - and help the environment in the process - would be to devote significant sums of money to programs that improve energy efficiency.

Sanders' long-standing concern about the shrinking middle class and increasing poverty foreshadowed the current economic woes.

At long last even President Bush, who had ignored warning signs for years, is now concerned. The president and congressional leaders were looking for quick agreement on how to pump as much as $150 billion in tax cuts and government spending into the ailing economy to head off a recession. The Associated Press reported that they were negotiating terms of a stimulus bill that would provide tax rebates, business tax cuts and funding for a Democratic-led call for additional food stamp and employment aid.

As the White House and hill leaders negotiated a stimulus package, global stock markets plunged because of spreading fears that a U.S. recession will drag down the economies world wide.

Citing the worsening economic outlook, the Federal Reserve Board this morning in a surprise move cut a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, to 3.5 percent, in an emergency bid to prop up the weak U.S. economy.