Friday, February 13, 2009

Bipartisan Stimulus - Not So Much



With the votes in the House drawn exactly down party lines and the slap in the new president's face of Republican Senator Judd Greg passing up on the Secretary of Commerce post that seemed so perfect for a Republican to hold, the Republicans have signaled they want no part of bipartisanship, they're willing to take the fall if the Stimulus Plan works, and betting against it from the get go.

The beauty of American politics is that, as much as we might want them to, the losing party doesn't have to go home. They get to hang around and complain, even when without much power. The losers are never really out of the game, they continue, playing whatever cards they have and betting on the come. At this point, the GOP is so anguished they are willing to go against the only hope we have of getting out of this mess they have left us with.

It is a horrifying amount of money to be borrowing. It may well come back and bite us in the butt somewhere around 2030 or so. Or it may save the economy, actually create a foreign-energy independent country, with great roads and an infrastructure that is less crumbling, with schools that teach well from pre-K through college, businesses that flourish, and HEALTHCARE for everyone. Although the last isn't really part of the bill.

Here are the spendings as from the House bill.

Here are the Tax Changes as from the House bill.

The GOP, who handed the banks their checks months ago and will continue to fight for them, who created this economic mess through malfeasance, ineptitude and greed, is against this bill in it's entirety.

Senator Greg is a curious addendum to the situation, almost the poster boy for the Republican campaign to disrupt progress by any means. A man of his stature, a Senator darnit, accepting such a lofty position and then walking away from it saying, "It just became clear to me that it would be very difficult, day in and day out, to serve in this Cabinet, or any Cabinet, for that matter, and be part of the team and not be able to be 100% with the team, 110% with the team."

Well, dear Senator Greg, if you ain't on our team then you are the enemy and a part of the team sulking away from the scene of the crime, unwilling or unable to accept your teams losses, consider the fight done, and move on to a battle much greater than any one team. In our lifetime, this is one time the politicians should walk away from partisanship. It really is a war against financial disaster, to avert another depression, and the GOP wants to posture in preparation for the next election.

I am embarrassed by their behavior.

Perhaps the real reason Senator Greg wanted the post was to control the census of 2010. There is HUGE political gain to be had in controlling the upcoming legislative/voting boundaries and that was a part of the Commerce Department. President Obama wisely pulled that off of their docket and handed it to his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel who is about as fiercely political an animal as their is. This is politics after all. But shouldn't a Republican be the face of business in Washington, wouldn't it be proper for their spokesperson to be representative of their personal majority?

Apparently not if it means having a Democratic Party boss.

I grew up in a very politically conservative household. Dad was a Goldwater man. Barry Goldwater wouldn't have let us get into this mess in the first place and he would be smart enough to see past his party's own needs to the needs of the country, the people and yes, businesses. Barry Goldwater not only would have voted for this bill but with the state of the GOP today, he'd be a Democrat.

The GOP doesn't want a nation. They want a corporation.

But we, my friends, are going to have a wonderful country. I am stunned as I look at the numbers and where they go. Too much to list here, the links are above, but WOW that is a big chunka cash getting spent.

Paying the bill on the flip side isn't going to be easy by any means. We as a nation will be saddled with the payments on that debt for decades to come. What won't we be able to do then because of what we had to do now?

We need to get there to find out. There are darned few economists that think we'd get there without the tax cuts and spending plans in the bill.

So let's do it, let's get to work.

Don't hope harder than you work. Hope and pray hard, work harder.

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