COMMENTS: Stimulating

ABC led its newscast with the political angle on the looming recession. Martha Raddatz detected "a growing sense of urgency" to generate fiscal stimulus on Capitol Hill, a package of $100bn to $150bn. She reported that Chairman Benjamin Bernanke of the Federal Reserve has endorsed such spending "provided it is both temporary and quick." Partisan bickering persists over what to stimulate: Democrats would channel funds to low and middle income households; Republicans would favor tax breaks for businesses. CBS' economic lead had Anthony Mason look at the growing number of delinquent payments on credit card bills--up 20% in the last three months--and automobile loans. He warned that Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, "which can take months to work their way through the economy, may come too late to keep us out of recession." Cynthia Bowers followed up in CBS' Hitting Home series, which outlines the specific impact of hard times on individual households. She selected Theresa Welsh-Davis of suburban Chicago, whose paycheck as a community counselor has seen no raise even as gasoline prices have spiked by 30% and food from the dairy counter by 29%. Her bills run $1,000 more each month than her income and she may have to sell her house.


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