Democrats are talking about passing early next year a stimulus package of $500 to $700 billion to be spent over two years to jolt the country out of its recession. This would be good government action if and only if this enormous sum of money is spent in a manner that not only stimulates the economy but provides significant long-term economic benefits, such as a lot of middle class jobs. The message from the American people provided during the last two national elections is loud and clear the America people want more good middle class jobs and want a better standard of living. America cant afford huge multiple government programs to achieve these goals, the American government has to make ever dollar it spends go as far as it can to achieve these ends. The Democrats in Congress from what has been reported in the media are planning to put together a stimulus package when it convenes in the first week of January and have the bill through both chambers of Congress by Jan. 20, 2009 so Barack Obama can sign it immediately once sworn in as President and can get it immediately working to pull the country out of the recession. This super rushed start to completion timetable for this legislation will be a complete disaster, with the U.S. governments track record for ineptness one can guarantee the money appropriated in this bill will be spent foolishly. Look at the waste and abuse that took place in the spending of money on the Iraq War, egregious overcharging on fuel costs, building of power plants in Iraq that required natural gas to operate which was not available, etc. Reflect on the bad results when Congress rushes legislation and doesnt have a good public review, the nation sees the executive branch conducting initiatives that invade Americans civil liberties which resulted from the legislation authorizing the war in Iraq; from the Medicare part D prescription drug plan legislation in which Medicare was prevented from negotiating drug prices with the drug companies America has seen billions of dollars of added costs to Medicare which the program can ill afford. The bottom line wisdom the Congress should be applying here is that in this stimulus matter it should immediately draw up a detailed draft of this legislation and make it publicly available and hold hearing on this legislation beginning in the first week of December. Invite newly elected Congressional officials to attend these hearings and ask questions. The best way America will see a really great piece of legislation come out Congress on this $500 billion plus stimulus package is if there is full transparency and a large opportunity for good public input because the alternative is legislation put together by the politically powerful and lobbyists and one can be guaranteed if this results the American peoples best interests will not be well served. There is a lot of considerations that need to be accounted for in this stimulus legislation that dont seem to have been aired publicly which really should if this legislation is to be all it can be. Rightfully, it has been spoken of that this legislation will contain increased spending on road and bridge construction. However, as parts of this country have seen time and time again when certain types of construction spending increases dramatically, prices for that type of construction increases dramatically. Government officials should not sacrifice getting good value for the public monies spent here. Experts should be brought in to testify at congressional hearings to indicate what is a prudent level of spending here. Also, today America has significantly less number of refineries producing asphalt than it did even in its recent past, meaning today asphalt is extremely expensive and tomorrow asphalt will be extremely expensive. Wisdom really calls for America to review its standards on how often it repaves its roads, it needs to reevaluate the value that it places on that smooth ride for automobile users because that smooth ride in the future will be very expensive. It will be a real tragedy and a real waste if this stimulus package contains billions of dollars for road repaving projects which are not really needed and these monies could be better spent on renewable energy projects or the like; Congress would be well serving the American people if it heard from experts on this issue. Congress would be going a long way to achieving its goal on this stimulus legislation of obtaining long-term economic benefits if it steered significant amounts of this money to increasing renewable energy supplies such as solar, wind and hydro-electric energy. Not only over the long-term will this help lower electricity prices but it will also achieve the high priority goal of creating good jobs. Many states already have great grant programs in this area for homeowners, funneling stimulus monies into these programs would be prudent. There are a lot of large-scale renewable energy initiatives stimulus monies could be spent on. It would be beneficial for the American people if Congress would hold hearings and hear from experts on which ones are viable and make sense for America to fund through this stimulus legislation. Americas small businesses are good at creating jobs. Why couldnt the Congress with this stimulus legislation funnel significant amounts of this stimulus money to the Small Business Administration to funnel this money to small and medium size businesses that have good ideas to grow their business and create jobs. American politicians whenever they start talking about job creation they mention if America cuts its capital gains tax it will spur capital spending which will create jobs. However, if Congress pursues this course with this stimulus legislation, it would be nice if they just lower the capital gains tax rate on new investment and thus on new job initiatives otherwise this will just result in big companies and wealthy Americans increasing their income on past investments and America cannot afford such expenditures.