President Barack Obama announced yesterday that the Commission for Recession Research (CRR) finished its two year, $400 billion study on how the recession was affecting the American public. The single sentence report concludes that “the recession is hitting poor people the hardest and is kind of hurting people that are less poor but not as much.”
Obama praised the report saying that it is “a step forward for this country,” and that the recovery “can finally start” now that they know who to help. The president also praised former President George W. Bush, who formed the commission and approved the multi-billion dollar study under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, saying that he “truly understood how a government must act in a recession.”
Obama remains optimistic that this is truly the turning point of the recession. “I know I’ve stated before that the economy was at the turning point, but I’m totally serious now. I promise. This is really the turning point for the economy.”
The study has come under some scrutiny with questions about why it was so expensive. The report did include the data on how the money was used in the study, it stated that $1 million was spent to hire 20 researches to work on the study, and $399.999 billion was spent on travel expenses.
“It’s expensive to travel across the United States. I mean we went to every city, and talked to lots of people. Yeah, we may have had a couple dinners out while we were out and about but c’mon. Shouldn’t the government at least buy us dinner if its forcing us to travel to places like New York City, San Diego, Las Vegas and Key West? And of course the government had to buy me an iPod and mini DVD player for the airplane trips. How did they expect me to stay entertained while I traveled? With a book? This isn’t the 90s,” said Dr. Jordan Fechel, one of the researchers.
Overall, however, the report is garnering praise from both sides of the political spectrum. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner both praised the study as a “true sign that great things can be accomplished in Washington when the two parties work together.”
“This is what can happen when we work together,” said Pelosi. “Amazing things, truly amazing things.”
Though both sides agree that the study was a great discovery for America, neither seems to be able to agree on what the next step should be. Democrats said that it was time for the government to act, and to curb the effects of the recession on the poor and less poor.
“Now that we know who is affected, we can start to randomly throw money in their general direction and hope it solves the problem. It worked with stimulus packages didn’t it?” said Senator Chris Dodd.
Republicans, on the other hand, have said that while the Constitution allows the government to study the problem, it in no way allows for the government to act on said problem.
“The Constitution does state that hard earned tax dollars can be used to study problems that are affecting this country,” said Republican Senator Tom Coburn. “The Constitution does not, however, state that those tax dollars can be used to actually help people. It’s just not in there, I’m sorry.”