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PNS Daily Newscast - August 5, 2020 

A massive explosion kills dozens and injures thousands in Beirut; and child care is key to getting Americans back to work.

2020Talks - August 5, 2020 

Election experts testify before the US House that more funding is necessary. And Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state had primaries yesterday; Hawaii and Tennessee have them later this week.

Will Economic Stimulus Plan Improve the State of the Union?

January 28, 2008

Charleston, WV – President Bush's "State of the Union" address is scheduled for tonight, and among the hottest topics it's expected to contain is the proposed federal economic stimulus package. The plan, agreed to by the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives, would give tax rebates to many families and incentives to businesses for development.

But Gary Zuckett with the West Virginia Citizen Action Group, says the agreement is still missing some important ingredients: additional unemployment and food stamp benefits to help the nation's lowest income families. He believes including these would give the quickest boost to the economy.

"What we need to look at is getting money into the hands of people who are going to spend it right now. The unemployment check generally doesn't go into the bank. It generally goes to the grocery store, to the gas station, the utility bills and things like that."

The U.S. Senate is expected to look at the bill this week, where Zuckett says unemployment and food stamp benefits could be added to the package. However, he also observes that economic relief shouldn't stop at a short-term boost, when the nation needs a plan to build the economy in the long run.

"What we really need is a permanent economic growth package, a system of healthcare for all, wider educational opportunities from cradle through college, and clean energy investments. These are the things that will provide a foundation for a new era of prosperity."

He adds that the stimulus plan also should help safeguard the states by increasing federal funding to them. He explains that would protect vital programs such as healthcare funding that could suffer if state tax revenues drop because of the flagging economy.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WV