NEW BEDFORD ï¿½?? After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states' stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Thursday.
In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.
The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.
"The people of Iraq want us out, and we want to stay over their "
States have many infrastructure projects ï¿½?? bridges, highways, etc. ï¿½?? that have been shut down because of a cash-flow problems, he said. So it is not the case that a stimulus will take months or years to wait for design and approval, since projects are already in progress or ready to go.
Also, he said, "we'll increase the federal share of medical care so states won't have to lay off people." Unemployment insurance benefits won't increase, he said, but the period of collecting them will, and eligibility requirements might be relaxed.
And, ultimately, there will be tax increases on the upper brackets. "We'll have to raise taxes ultimately. Not now, but eventually," he said.