It's the Economy... And I Feel Stupid

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

It's true — the famous quote may go, "It's the economy, stupid*," but these days, I feel like I'm the stupid, and don't worry if you're right there with me! It's just incredibly volatile right now, so much so that good advice yesterday may be dead wrong today, and day-old economic news is as irrelevant as yesterday's Britney report. What I've found, though, is that all this change, all these ups and downs, make right now a really good time to learn. For example, yesterday I learned about where the money for the rebates Congress is proposing comes from (nowhere?), and all the housing news combined with the Fed's rate cuts mean I have a new key phrase in my vocabulary: the ten-year treasury note (or T-note — it affects mortgage rates!). Often I pick up bits here and there that only leave me with more questions, like "the dollar is falling." Ok, but if that's true, won't folks from other countries want to vacation in the States, and then won't that help the economy? How? If you have answers for me, leave them here, but also leave all your questions about housing news, APR's, rebates, the dollar, and all things American money.

*Although that's oft-repeated today, the slightly different original belongs to James Carville

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I am wondering, is it possible this proposed stimulus package could be used more effectively, like spending it on public works projects to create jobs?

To me the giving of money without having some type of investment is like the old parable of giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish.

If the money were used to create jobs wouldn't this have a more positive impact on our economy then just giving money away?

Sent by everette | 3:11 PM | 1-30-2008

With all this lowering of interest rates, what about seniors who rely on interest income for part of their income?

Sent by Robert Tribotti | 3:12 PM | 1-30-2008

I'm wondering how the treasury can weather a tax rebate this spring with such a large budget deficit? It is hard to believe this could be put through so efficienty when the administration couldn't agree on fixing the AMT.

Sent by H. Lloyd | 3:20 PM | 1-30-2008

If I had the majic wand I would suspend FICA tax both for the employee and the employer until the number of 350 billion is reached. Than I would put money into rebulding then nation.

Sent by David Cook | 3:21 PM | 1-30-2008

Many people around the world would like to immigrate here. Why don't we liberalize our immigration policy to allow them to come? Wouldn't this influx of workers and savers stimulate our economy and help pay, long term, for the retirement of the baby boom?

Sent by Tom Owens | 3:30 PM | 1-30-2008