Democrats & Liberals Archives

If This Is Their Plan, I'm All For It.

The Republicans have apparently decided that the third times a charm, and that between this election and the next, they’ll once more try to convince the rest of America that they’re wrong, that they’re deluded, and that Liberalism should be fought at all costs. And you know what? I’m at the point where I just want to let them be this stupid.

I'm not a radical leftist, though some would quickly define me as such per their Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity/Ann Coulter training. I'm pretty much of a centrist, who once felt very comfortable as a Republican. But as a guy who believe that some government spending was good, that the New Deal was a net positive, that some regulation of Business and society was necessary, and so on and so forth, I found the radical shift to the hard right to be jarring and disturbing. The GOP I knew at that time was not full of people who thought the UN was a tool of Satan, or the Freemasons. It had people willing to face fiscal realities, rather than just a bunch of tax cut addicts. It had people willing to impose environmental and financial regulations, when push came to shove. It had people who could and would talk with the bad guys, and who were famous for having defeated our enemies through diplomatic opening of the country, rather than one final, apocalyptic war.

The GOP as it once was no longer exists.

What's left in its place are either people too arrogantly confident in their ideology to change their minds, or too cowardly about crossing the ideologues and the pundits to be of much good to anybody.

The Republicans in government now can't seem to understand that they've strained the patience of the American people past the breaking point. Now they've decided to try their patience for another four years, in hopes that the failures of their rivals will swing the political pendulum back towards their advantage. They seem more concerned about coming to even slight disagreement with Rush Limbaugh than they do with presiding over the collapse of this country into economic distress. This is twice now that they've been too lazy to negotiate and get their issues aired out in good faith, twice that they've decided to act as a party to stick a thumb in their rival's eyes.

The last time they decided to be obstructive to a man, their party lost several seats in the Senate. In a democracy, that's a clear signal of the voter's preference, and supposedly, in a democracy, the elected leaders are supposed to take that as a hint. Hell, it was more than a hint.

The Republicans have decided to continue on this path, have decided to maintain a policy of arrogantly dictating to everybody else what can and cannot be done, even as they've proven poor judges of proper policy, even as they've lost the political power necessary to dictate terms. It's as if they believe that if they simply, stubbornly insist on doing things their way, that somehow people will see the light, and they'll be able to do things their way once more. They've failed to realize something crucial: people rememember what their party has done, and they don't remember it well. They may succeed in getting the media to give them play on these matters, but that may not help matters if all people think is, "there they go again."

It's sad to say this, but at this point, given how committed they are to not changing their minds, not negotiating in good faith with the other side, not recognizing the shift in the public's preferences on policy, not admitting defeat nor error, I can only hope that they continue to flail around like this, that the Democratic Party continues to pass legislation over their objections, and that Americans continue to punish their party for their obdurancy. Hopefully, the Republicans will either fatally weaken their party's support, or the members of the party will finally get the memo that their former political arrogance is no longer welcome or tolerated much. I would much prefer that they one day come to their senses, but I am no longer expecting it any time soon.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2009 10:44 AM
Comments
Comment #274779

I am soooo sick of “Tax Cuts Fixes Everything” to me it only shows how out of touch the GOP is to the real problems
Their answer (and John McCain’s answer) to no health insurance — a Tax credit!!
it needs to be shouted at them I guess
IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, WHAT GOOD IS A TAX CREDIT — PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY UP FRONT AND WAIT FOR A TAX CREDIT!!! But they just don’t get it

Now, with the economy tanking and the biggest problem being loss of homes and loss of jobs — and then the rest of us NOT SPENDING because of fear of losing jobs — — their answer??
CUT THE PAYROLL TAX?????????????
HUH?????
AGAIN, SHOUTING MUST BE REQUIRED?
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB, WHAT GOOD IS A CUT IN THE PAYROLL TAX???
IF I AM AFRAID OF LOSING MY JOB, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I WILL SPEND A TAX CUT?????
and
For the tax cuts to business
IF THE DEMAND FOR MY PRODUCT IS GOING DOWN, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I AM GOING TO HIRE SOMEONE, OR EXPAND MY BUSINESS FOR A TAX CUT THAT DOESN’T HELP UNLESS I MAKE A PROFIT??????
YOUR TAX CUT STAYS IN THE TREASURY IF I DON’T MAKE A PROFIT!!!
IT IS SO MINDLESS, SO STUPID, SO ILLOGICAL, SO FAR DISTANT FROM THE REALITY OF EVERYDAY LIFE
CAN THEY REALLY BE THIS STUPID?
CAN THEY REALLY BELIEVE WE ARE THIS STUPID THAT WE WILL BUY INTO THE KOOL-AID THIS TIME???

Their answer to the housing issue — reduce the mortgage rate to 4% - IF YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB, WHAT GOOD IS A 4% MORTGAGE RATE?????

It occurs to me that the GOP has been living up the rear end of the wealthy for so long, their policies are all based on people somehow having money at hand regardless of their employment situation??
At least their policies and “proposed solutions” all only appear to work for people who ALREADY HAVE JOBS, OR HAVE A LARGE DISPOSABLE FUND OF MONEY.

OUT OF TOUCH!

Posted by: Russ at February 2, 2009 12:44 PM
Comment #274780

What I find even more laughable is the notion that this mortgage rate thing will help with the housing crisis. They’ve set it up so that the benefit is only given to those with good credit.

Yes, the people who have been making their payments on time, who aren’t in a lot of debt. That’ll make the crucial difference, let me tell you!

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2009 12:49 PM
Comment #274783

Russ,

Yelling generally makes my head hurt, but when you put it that way…I WANT TO YELL TOO!

I rant about the stupidity of tax cuts as a stimulus, but never listed the foolishness in order like you did…thanks.

The people who can actually help us out of this situation don’t need a tax cut, they need surety of a job, and those who can’t help us out of this mess can’t use a tax cut. Republicans are, indeed, out of the loop and out of their heads.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2009 1:45 PM
Comment #274785

I am continually amazed at the writing on some on these blogs. Every one of us will admit, I believe, that nearly every American is cutting back on their own spending…from the uber-rich and middle-class to the lower income workers and non-workers. Plain old common sense dictates that we cut out most discretionary spending, husband what resources we have, work even harder to keep our own business, or our employers business running, and be as generous as possible with our own money to help our neighbors.

That Daugherty may have once been a moderate or liberal Republican, and to present his departure from that party as evidence of something reasoned, and evidence of his mental prowess and moral superiority is hardly convincing of anything more than a return to childhood.

Along come the liberals however who while accepting the logic of spending less for themselves, proscribe the exact opposite for our government. Open the federal checkbook, increase wasteful spending on pork barrel projects, print more money, increase taxes, and lay on hundreds of thousands of more government employees who produce nothing of value.

Children believe parents have unlimited resources and want everything today with no planning or sacrifice involved. Adult liberals, acting like children still believe that money does grow on trees, that government benefits are free, and that successful folks who have more assets than they do should have their tax rates greatly increased to pay for all the toys the children desire.

Liberals and RINO’s gain political power spending other people’s money. With that as a given, it is logical for them to believe that the more they spend the more power they will attain.

When congress, led by PO, propose real economic stimulus spending along with cuts in wasteful spending conservatives will join hands with them. Until then, they will continue to be treated like spoiled children.

Posted by: Jim M at February 2, 2009 2:02 PM
Comment #274786

Jim M:

How to win friends and influence people.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 2, 2009 2:04 PM
Comment #274787

Stephen the republican party since the gilded age has been a bait and switch party. That is how otherwise good people get so wrapped up into the party and the policies that ultimately bring them down. They start with decent middle class policies and then once in power a slight recession triggers the switch and they are off and running with policies that do harm to the middle class while benefiting the wealthy. When one can look back and say the last decent “middle class favoring” republican president was… Nixon/Ford we know it was time for a change.

Fortunately enough people have come around to cause this change. As long as the repubs stay on their current message they will be relegated to the back of the bus. Should they actually decide to develop a middle class message, followed up with appropriate action, they could be driving the bus once again. However as “insurgents” in the Congress they are prolonging their own agony or actually believing their own actions the past 16 years are worth being fought for. Either way they haven’t found the problem yet have they?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 2, 2009 2:10 PM
Comment #274793

“When congress, led by PO, propose real economic stimulus spending along with cuts in wasteful spending conservatives will join hands with them. Until then, they will continue to be treated like spoiled children.”

This “only when you do exactly as we say” attitude doesn’t work Jim M.. Why don’t the conservatives in Congress whose job it is propose these “real” stimulus plans and wasteful spending suggestions do so without the need to treat others like spoiled children?

So far they haven’t brought much to the table. With their already soiled reputation with reining in spending and such why do they think that those with differing political points of view should make these proposal for them and then they will join in? Spoiled children I see but not in the same place as you do .

Posted by: j2t2 at February 2, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #274795

Sorry, j2t2, but, Jim M is making the most valid points to be made on this stimulus package and he is right. (Did I say that?)

First, Democratic leadership denied Republican input into the Stimulus Bill on the House side.

Second, Jim M, is condemning the pork and waste in this stimulus bill, as are Republicans and I bet a majority of Independent voters who DO control the elections.

Third, if Democrats want to govern in a superior fashion to Republicans, why don’t they live up to their campaign promises to cut out the pork and waste in this bill leaving ONLY spending which addresses job losses and retention and increasing consumer confidence? It is bad enough Democrats are rejecting their own PayGo mantra of just a few months ago.

Do you Democrats really believe that power makes right? Because Democrats are in the majority of power they now can do no wrong? And therefore cannot improve upon the weaknesses and failures of their actions? If that is the case, Democrats are no better than Republicans when it comes to governing.

American tax payers want to know that EVERY tax dollar spent is fruitful and prioritized to meet the needs of the nation and their children’s futures. This bill, while containing many positive approaches to the problems we face, ALSO contains enormous waste and abuse of tax payer dollars. Independents like myself are taking due notice of this and like the last two elections, it will be us Independents who will decide the election in 2010 and 2012. You can bank on that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2009 3:46 PM
Comment #274796

””“I’m not a radical leftist, though some would quickly define me as such per their Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity/Ann Coulter training. I’m pretty much of a centrist, who once felt very comfortable as a Republican. But as a guy who believe that some government spending was good, that the New Deal was a net positive, that some regulation of Business and society was necessary, and so on and so forth,”“” here here! I Agree Abe, Teddy, and Ike, Jerry and even RR , I can’t speak for them But i think they would too! They came apart in the 1990s with this obsession to get rid of the middle ground.Then when bush came in it was a three ring circus.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 2, 2009 3:49 PM
Comment #274797

>Along come the liberals however who while accepting the logic of spending less for themselves, proscribe the exact opposite for our government. Open the federal checkbook, increase wasteful spending on pork barrel projects, print more money, increase taxes, and lay on hundreds of thousands of more government employees who produce nothing of value.
Posted by: Jim M at February 2, 2009 02:02 PM

So speaks a member of the party largely responsible for increasing the national debt from one trillion plus to twelve trillion plus, from 1982 to 2008. And the party that was largely responsible for increasing the deficit from 200 billion plus to one trillion plus in the same time period.

Them damned tax and spend liberals are killing our economy…right??? Sounds a lot like Brash Lamebrain to me…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2009 3:53 PM
Comment #274798

>First, Democratic leadership denied Republican input into the Stimulus Bill on the House side.
Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2009 03:46 PM

DRR,

I don’t think so. About a third of the stimulus as presented was tax cuts or tax modification. Nearly all that was from Republican input. They only cry because they could not write the bill and have Dems go along with it as had been done for several previous years.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2009 3:58 PM
Comment #274803

j2t2 writes of Republicans; “So far they haven’t brought much to the table.”

I have provided some very well thought out conservative proposals from those in congress. Sorry if you didn’t find or read them.

marysdude writes; “Them damned tax and spend liberals are killing our economy…right??? Sounds a lot like Brash Lamebrain to me…”

There is plenty of blame to go around among all those in congress. However simply continuing to spend money that is not stimulative to our entire economy and to not reign in wasteful pork barrel spending is not the answer and it won’t win any future elections.

Posted by: Jim M at February 2, 2009 4:35 PM
Comment #274808

Jim M,

It is still the Clinton response…”it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’, is”. My opinion of what might ‘stimulate’ is different than your opinion. That does not mean that either is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’. It just means they are different. Republicans got their way on bills for several years because their ‘right’ had the majority in favor. Now the Democrat ‘right’ should prevail, for the same reason.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2009 4:59 PM
Comment #274810

Marysdude, then you better think and research again. Republicans were not included in the mark up of the bill. They were permitted amendments which failed floor votes. Bi-partisanship however, means getting both parties input BEFORE legislation is marked up for amendments and floor votes.

Obama invited Republicans input, but, Obama does not draft initial legislation. House Speaker Pelosi dropped the bi-partisan ball on this. If she hadn’t pledged bi-partisanship, this would not be that big of a deal, and viewed simply as partisan retribution for Republicans having excluded Democratic input when they controlled Congress. But, the fact is, Pelosi promised bi-partisanship. She now has to deliver on that promise or be justifiably ridiculed for having lied to the public and failing her own self-described objectives.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2009 5:37 PM
Comment #274811

Hey David,

Please stop describing Obama’s bill as pork. The items you are talking about represent an incredibly small fraction of the bill: 7/100ths of 1 percent of the total money allocated. Personally, I don’t even see them as pork, but even if you do, describing this bill as a “pork” bill is flat out disingenuous. Voting against this bill for these reasons, when it is so urgently needed, is criminal.

Posted by: Max at February 2, 2009 5:40 PM
Comment #274814

Max, spoken like a true partisan with blinders on. You are willing to dismiss Democrats flaws, but not Republicans. I understand. Thank you for your candor on your partisanship.

Maybe one day, you too will become an independent voter and demand excellence from BOTH and EITHER party for your tax dollars and children’s future. That is of course, where America’s future salvation lies.

With a $13 trillion dollar national debt square in our face, ANY wasteful and inefficient BORROWING from the Chinese and Saudi Arabians is deleterious to our American future. What part of this do you not understand?

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2009 5:52 PM
Comment #274815

David,

I think most people recognize there is a significant effort at bipartisanship by the Obama administration that is being rejected, sadly, by Republicans. The counter proposal (I would call it an ultimatum) is for permanent tax cuts for the rich.

Posted by: Max at February 2, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #274818

Jim M-
That Daugherty. Hmm. Sounds like the beginning to a showtune. In Ireland.

There used to be a lot of moderate and liberal Republicans, and it’s to your party’s detriment that you kicked many of them out. I presented my departure as something reasoned because it was reasoned. The Republican party, past Clinton’s election (which I was ironically displeased with at the time) turned into a bullying, anti-intellectual, pathologically narrow-minded party.

I didn’t see the point in sticking around and apologizing for those who would force creationism into the textbooks, who would take up all the BS industry arguments about tobacco, pollution, finance and all those other things. I didn’t stop being a hawk, and didn’t stop preferring balanced budgets. I didn’t stop wanting government to be efficient and useful for what the taxpayer dollars pay for. But I really couldn’t support a party that saw fit then, and sees fit now to divorced itself from inconvenient realities.

I became a Democrat, in part, because I felt that their party wasn’t telling me to get lost.

Let me be plain with you about something: the average person can hardly spare a dollar nowadays. Expecting the average person to push a recovery, especially for a downturn of this magnitude is silly. The government, in these times, must spend more, for a limited time, so the average person, the average business can spend more. Then, hopefully, things catalyze themselves, and the market does the rest.

That’s what liberals want. The point isn’t to have government be like a parent, the point is to have the government do with its strength what individuals could not do themselves.

The Republicans are being the spoiled children. lacking in the power they wish they had, they’re demanding to set the agenda, trying act like they’re the boss, trying to berate and browbeat everybody else into doing things their way.

But you know something? People don’t have much patience for this spoiled brattery. It’s going to kill your party bit by bit until you either join the Federalists and Whigs, or you folks finally get the hint.

David R. Remer-
The Democrats didn’t deny the Republicans input. We made tons of concessions to them. At the end of the day, though, the Republicans have not been in the wilderness long enough to know that in their positions, those who want to politically posture stonewall, and those who want to do something negotiate and compromise.

It’s not that we can’t do any wrong. It’s just that we haven’t had a chance to do wrong or right, and the Republicans just want to do things the way they have been doing them, a way of doing things you and I both know hasn’t gone right. They just aren’t learning their lesson.

Maybe we get taught a lesson. In fact, I’ll guarantee we’ll be taught one. But by these guys, and for these reasons? No. They have no right or power to force us to submit to their agenda. The American people want to try things our way. Maybe that won’t be true when everything is said and done, but we should at least get the chance to try.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2009 6:15 PM
Comment #274820

Marysdude writes; “It is still the Clinton response…”it depends on what the meaning of ‘is’, is”. My opinion of what might ‘stimulate’ is different than your opinion.”

Marysdude, I will echo Mr. Remer’s comment to Max…Marysdude, “spoken like a true partisan with blinders on.”

We simply don’t have the luxury of Clintoneese here Marysdude. Perhaps you don’t consider this serious business and merely enjoy the mental and written jousting.

This is very serious and like pornography, I know pork barrel spending when I see it and so do you if you’re honest. Surely you understand that every single dollar spent by government is a dollar that is taken from the private sector, you and me, whether we pay lots of taxes or no taxes. There must be justification for removing that dollar and a certainty that it will be better spent by government or else the taking of it is wasteful at this time. In fact, it is not even compassionate to spend money not needed to stimulate the economy. If this stimulus fails we are all worse off, including the poor and needy.

I understand that millions of folks are having a difficult time right now. No conservative I know advocates abandoning them. We will feed, cloth and house them and provide for the other basic necessities. Anything other than that is to squander money needed to rescue all American’s. We have been fighting the “war” on poverty since at least the 60’s. We have made some progress. We are now fighting a “war” of survival. We can not fail…we must not fail.

Are any of us so cynical that we are prepared to see all we hold dear vanish just to prove a political point?

Posted by: Jim M at February 2, 2009 6:32 PM
Comment #274823

Stephen D. said: “They have no right or power to force us to submit to their agenda.”

True. But, they do have the right and OBLIGATION to point to your party’s weaknesses and failures in developing legislation. And you know what, your party has an obligation and duty to not only listen to their critiques with an open and objective mind, but, also to heed their critique where it merits.

Your party is screwing up right now on this stimulus bill, because your party is NOT listening to the Legitimate critiques of the Republicans and your party appears to not be polling the public on their response to all this. (Others are, and the polls are falling fast for Democrats stimulus bill as drafted in the House.)

Represent the interests of the American people or, fail the American electorate. You and I both know, Stephen, that critics are essential to keeping us from marrying dogma that is out of touch with reality.

Your party has every right to dismiss Republicans calls for adding permanent across the board tax cuts to this stimulus bill. They are incredible hypocrites to sanction a deficit stimulus spending bill to save the economy while also calling for an erosion of the revenues to pay for it. That is how Republicans doubled the national debt in 8 years.

However, Republicans are speaking truth to power when they criticize that this bill contains 100’s of billions of dollars which will not stimulate this economy in the short term, and long term spending should fall under the regular appropriations process and subjected to PayGo which Democrats proffered. These are legitimate critiques, and your Democrats in Congress would do very well to take such critiques to heart. Especially if your party intends to look for favor from the Independent voters in 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2009 8:01 PM
Comment #274825

David R. Remer-
The Republicans, in one year during the last Congress, managed to break the previous record in the Senate for being obstructive. They didn’t renegotiate bills, they didn’t critique them and then have us revised them, they made it so that any bill that had less than sixty votes of support DIED. Bipartisanship is great, bipartisanship is wonderful!

But bipartisanship is not what these people in the Republican party have chosen. They have decided to stonewall. That’s what the linked article at the beginning of my post says. And their happy about it!

The Republicans aren’t speaking truth to power, they are giving excuses for what should be to anybody with common sense a screaming red flag of partisanship: a unanimous vote against a critical bill. I can understand why you’re trying to be fair and balanced with these people, but let me blunt: they have absolute no desire, or no courage as it may be within the party, to be bipartisan. They are aching to get back the control they want, and for many of them, the reality of the outrage of the last five years has yet to sink in for them.

I have been through now six years of trying to be bipartisan with these people, appealling to our common interests, and although there are plenty of Republicans on the lower levels who are fine, upstanding people, who think through things seriously and take a moderate view of things, those kind of people are absent from the Republican ranks in the federal government. The people leading the party seem to have little or no ability to compromise, to treat the rest of us as if we don’t deserve a place at the table.

If the opportunity comes to give these people a chance to rejoin the rest of America, and humble themselves enough to treat the rest of us and our interests with some respect, then by all means. That’s what we’ve been aiming for. And if Obama keeps trying to appeal to them, and get through to them, and speak with them on their terms, fine, I want him to do that.

But if the Republican’s plan, at this crucial time in our history, is to simply get in the way because they’re not getting what they want, because their paradigm is on the decline in Washington, then I don’t have an ounce of pity for them, nor much patience. And I don’t think I’m the only person lacking in such tolerance for further hyperpartisan behavior on their part. If they want to claw their way back to power on the back of America’s good fortune, then they deserve to see just how much more a party in the minority can suffer when they put themselves ahead of their country.

I’ve asked you elsewhere to keep the critiques substantive, and for good reason. There’s always an elegant, persuasive way for folks to lead people astray, and this notion of porkbarrel spending dominating is probably a case of it. We’ve got plenty of good, important things in the bill, And 78% of it kicks in within the next two years.

If you look at what they consider pork, then it only gets worse. Do you consider funding high level physics research to the tune of 1.9 billion pork? They do. Do you consider a billion and a half to improve university biomedical research programs pork? They do. Do you consider 600 million dollars to NOAA to put Satellites in orbit to improve weather forecasts money poorly spent?

They consider a program that will have the government buy 600 million dollars worth of new cars non-stimulative. I doubt the automakers would turn up their nose at that, nor the workers who go behind them.

This is why I insist on this debate being carried out on a more substantive level than back and forth volleys of sloganeering. I think on a basic level, their critique is more rhetorical high-dudgeon than wonkish policy dissection. The question is, are you sick of that kind of governance yet, where people play politics with the definitions of words so they can get their way? I’ve never had much tolerance for it. Here, I think, they’re just looking for a reason to justify what is a politically strategic action, not a substance-based move of principle. They’re not doing this, up in Washington, to save the taxpayers money. They’re doing it to reposition themselves better for 2012, when they hope to have crippled or diminished Obama’s support in the meantime through their obstruction and obfuscation. You supported Obama to help diminish that brand of partisan slimeballery. Support him now to diminish it further.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2009 8:46 PM
Comment #274835

Jim M,

Marysdude knows what pork is, if he is honest…I assume that means I don’t know what pork is if I’m dishonest? I know flagrant misuse of English innuendo when I see it, so pork is pretty easy.

Frankly I thought the subject was ‘stimulus’, not pork. But then, being dishonest, like I am, perhaps I misunderstood…

But being honest like you are, I know the subject must have been ‘pork’ from the beginning…

Okay, let’s talk about both for a minute. Pork in a stimulus package, if the pork is not a wasted cause, is just what the ‘stimulus’ needs in order to be ‘stimulating’. And, a ‘stimulus’ package cannot ‘stimulate’ without pork in it.

But I may lack the honesty required to note these things…perhaps an honest person like yourself can enlighten me.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 2, 2009 10:29 PM
Comment #274843

“Sorry, j2t2, but, Jim M is making the most valid points to be made on this stimulus package and he is right. (Did I say that?)”

Yes you did David. However what I said was “Why don’t the conservatives in Congress whose job it is propose these “real” stimulus plans and wasteful spending suggestions do so without the need to treat others like spoiled children?”
So far Rush has said because the electorate was 46% for McCain then 46% of the bill should be tax cuts as he see fit. That hardly inspires me. In the house what exactly have the repubs/conservatives put on the table other than criticisms of the stimulus as wasteful spending. Some of these criticisms were addressed. They managed to take a partial CBO analysis and use it to suggest the stimulus bill would be to late in spending to be effective. That has since been proven to be inaccurate.

“First, Democratic leadership denied Republican input into the Stimulus Bill on the House side.”

If you were in Pelosi’s shoes and had just dealt with the most obstructionist minority party in the history of the USHOR would you allow them the chance to filibuster an important bill like this? The obstructionist have created this problem and should be held accountable for it. They need to earn the respect of their fellow members and the American people and be brought back into relevance on less important issues first.

“Second, Jim M, is condemning the pork and waste in this stimulus bill, as are Republicans and I bet a majority of Independent voters who DO control the elections.”

Just a few short months ago the Administration put forth an emergency bill to bail out Wall street. By the time it made it through the Senate it was laden with pork yet it passed with significant repub/conservative support. Where was the repubs/conservatives condemnation when it was their “pork” being approved? This double standard seems much more like politics than anything else. Are they willing and have they put forth measures to clean up the pork from that bill as a means of stopping wasteful spending?

“Third, if Democrats want to govern in a superior fashion to Republicans, why don’t they live up to their campaign promises to cut out the pork and waste in this bill leaving ONLY spending which addresses job losses and retention and increasing consumer confidence? It is bad enough Democrats are rejecting their own PayGo mantra of just a few months ago.”

What is in the bill that doesn’t do exactly this? What will bring about consumer confidence that the government can pass in a bill? If they did a PayGo this bill would not exist. Neither would the previous Bail out bill. Either this bill is absolutely necessary to stave off a depression or it is not and should be stopped immediately. Inaction by Hoover lead to the last depression are we all so sure this bill is that bad that we want it stopped outright? Certainly we don’t think the tax cuts are all that is needed or the recession will end itself by early 2011 do we?

“I have provided some very well thought out conservative proposals from those in congress. Sorry if you didn’t find or read them.”

Jim M I have seen your posts but have seen only criticisms of the plan not any real ideas other than tax cuts. Unless someone in the Senate has recently broke ranks with Rush and actually came up with an original idea I haven’t seen anything worth much debate. The mantra of wasteful spending is nice but the track record is less than impressive. Hopefully they can introduce legislation that will actually curb some wasteful spending.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jan/29/obama-stimulus-us-economy

Posted by: j2t2 at February 3, 2009 12:33 AM
Comment #274852

Stephen, Russ, Dude

You all are exactly right. Republicans are stonewalling and wallowing in their own self pity at the expense of this nation. Their actions speak of a selfish and dangerous jealousy that plagues their party. With nothing new to offer their only defense is an offense based on past practice. We all know where that has led this nation. Their agenda makes perfect sense because they are already at the bottom. They really have nothing to lose by stonewalling. If Obama’s plan works, well they are already bottom feeding. If his plan fails, and that is what they are hoping for, they will use that failure to build a reformative base on. I do truly believe they are truly so self righteous as to put their needs before those of the country. Nothing new there.

I agree that what one calls pork another may see as stimulus. It really comes down to definition and the intent of that so called pork. One thing is for sure, whatever is done, needs to be done soon. If republicans continue to obstruct then I can only imagine that they will be held in blame for the coming depression. Their inability to reform will be the final demise of old school republicanism.

Posted by: RickIL at February 3, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #274854

“Do you Democrats really believe that power makes right? Because Democrats are in the majority of power they now can do no wrong? And therefore cannot improve upon the weaknesses and failures of their actions? If that is the case, Democrats are no better than Republicans when it comes to governing.”

I am not sure David if that is what the dems are thinking. Another option may be that because they are in power they must do something to prevent the mini depression from becoming a full blown great depression. The lesson to be learned from Hoover is inaction and depending upon the private sector leads to further deterioration of the economy. Myself I would have liked to see much more spending on new construction projects, yet the reality is they are longer term items if not already designed. To do a build design rather than a design build project would indeed be a waste of taxpayer money.

“American tax payers want to know that EVERY tax dollar spent is fruitful and prioritized to meet the needs of the nation and their children’s futures. This bill, while containing many positive approaches to the problems we face, ALSO contains enormous waste and abuse of tax payer dollars. Independents like myself are taking due notice of this and like the last two elections, it will be us Independents who will decide the election in 2010 and 2012. You can bank on that.”

Of course us taxpayers want to ensure the most bang for the buck. But do we want to defeat this bill for fear it may not work and may not be enough to resurrect the economy? The stimulus bill by design is meant for the government to spend money, and during normal times all of this could be considered pork. Unfortunately because of the doubling of the budget this past 8 years combined with the financial meltdown the stakes are much higher. Sounds just like the beginnings of the great depression. We can all stand around fretting or like FDR finally did-do something even if it is wrong. We can correct mistakes but we can’t correct “act like it is not a problem” and do nothing.
I also consider myself an independent, yet for me to stand by and criticize the incoming administration instead of supporting the best efforts of the administration to do something to get the economy moving with this bill is more than I want to take on. I will suggest that should the Senate listen to the independents and repubs/conservatives that want to consider this bill to be pork and make the changes to the plan they deem necessary, when it doesn’t work we can all point the finger at ourselves instead of the Obama administration. Of course we won’t do that. Instead we will blame them for the failure, so perhaps we should give them the room to fail.

“The stakes are too high to allow partisan politics to get in the way.
That’s why I’ve consulted with Republicans as well as Democrats to put together a plan that will address the crisis we face.
I’ve also taken steps to ensure an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Once it’s passed, you will be able to see how every penny in this plan is being spent.”

Barack Obama
POTUS

Marching lockstep to the sound of a different drummer for the stimulus is petty partisan politics, when compared to the actions of the repubs/conservatives during the bailout bill. They are not hero’s looking to cut wasteful spending, they are obstructionist looking for political gain. They speak with forked tongue.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 3, 2009 11:18 AM
Comment #274855

I have withheld the name of the author to preclude bias in the reader by knowing who wrote it.

“Does it make sense to include in a plan to prepare America for the 21st century borrowing billions from Beijing to mail out in $500 checks to folks who don’t pay income taxes, so they can run down to Wal-Mart and buy more goods made in China?

The New York Times reports Monday in a front-page story about California, “A State With a Wish List,” “More than two-thirds of the states are facing budget shortfalls this year and next … and could use the money to help balance budgets, blunt potential cuts in education and shrink Medicaid obligations.”

Sure, they could. But is this remaking America? Or is it bailing out the same state and local politicians Barack himself castigated in his inaugural as those responsible for “our collective failure to make hard choices”?

Why would Barack wager his presidency on a gamble that, by handing over hundreds of billions in borrowed federal money, to spare governors and mayors the consequences of their own profligacy, he can remake the America economy and ignite a real recovery?

What are the fundamental objections to the Obama-Pelosi plan?

It is three parts social spending to one part stimulus. It takes too long to work. It represents a permanent not temporary expansion of government.

It is too much LBJ, who bet the ranch on spending and failed, and not enough JFK, who bet on tax reductions that succeeded.

Even Bill Clinton would not have ceded so much to the tax-and-spend wing of his party, which he relied on for votes, not advice.

Has Obama no more imaginative ideas for government’s role in reshaping the economy for the 21st century than this? Was it all talk all along, to prepare the way for a return to the days of spend and spend?

Sad, because this is likely to be Obama’s last shot at getting this economy on its feet and running by 2010. For Americans are not as patient as they were in the 1930s, when FDR could try one idea, then another, then another for five years, and continue to roll up massive electoral victories.

If Obama gets this one wrong, and all this pork and welfare fail to generate real growth, his party could face a wipeout in 2010, and his opportunity could be lost forever. Does he really want to bet the farm on the nag Nancy Pelosi just trotted out of the House?

Posted by: Jim M at February 3, 2009 11:21 AM
Comment #274858

>Does he really want to bet the farm on the nag Nancy Pelosi just trotted out of the House?
Posted by: Jim M at February 3, 2009 11:21 AM

Jim M,

Nope.

He asked the Democratic controlled Congress to come up with a plan so it could be introduced when he took office. Why do you think this astute politician would think the first draft would walk through the process and he could sign off on it the second day. Stuff like that are reserved for folks like Cheney/Bush…remember the first 350B turned loose to Paulson?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 3, 2009 11:36 AM
Comment #274992

Aghhhhhhh
Jim M
You are right, for individuals it would appear that cutting back on spending would be the wise thing to do
BUT
For the economy it is the WRONG thing to do
we cut back, demand goes down, people get laid off, less tax revenue, people get spooked more, spend less, more people get laid off, etc etc etc

The reason that the Govt is being looked to save the economy is that it is recognized that it would be unreasonable to expect hard pressed individuals (and companies) to spend when they are scared of losing their jobs, or have lost their jobs

It is left to the Government to spend and inject this money into the economy.
Money to the States and Cities will allow them to keep Police and firefighters employed —
and not in the unemployment line (notice that taxpayer money still gets spent, but in one case we get a job in return)

Money for highways and bridges — PRIVATE companies will be hired to do the work — this will employ workers, generate tax revenues, get a tangible benefit in return and get the multiplier effect that for every dollar paid to the workers it will circulate thru the economy as they buy new products — the companies will be buying equipment, and raw materials to do the jobs —

Money for libraries, schools, power grids, etc will all go to projects that will do the same as above\


What will tax cuts do?
peanut butter spread the billions of dollars out to the populace so that they might (at best) buy an extra 6-pack or something — whoopee do

What will reducing Govt spending do??
contract the economy even more — it will only keep money out of the economy — it will only agravate the problem with our crumbling infrastructure etc

Even the projects that the GOP made fun of would put money into the economy in a targeted fashion that would result in a bigger impact than either “tax cuts” and/or reduced gov’t spending.

It has been agreed among those much smarter (and it makes sense to me) that what is “smart” financial actions for the individual is exactly what is aggravating the economic difficulties (along with difficulties getting credit — many auto manufacturers are saying that their poor numbers are partly due to people who want to buy cars but who cannot get credit regardless of how good their credit rating is)


We need SOMEONE to inject money into the economy
CAN YOU DO IT????
Do you expect IBM to do it?? for a Tax cut?? even if the demand for their product is down?? what kind of “free market force” is that????

The whole idea that tax cuts stimulates investments is the biggest scam perpetuated on the American People EVER.
If one would only take ONE BRAIN CELL and think this thru.

I love the arguement too about American Businesses having the highest tax rates in the world — that is a LAUGH — you don’t pay tax rates you pay TAXES and the amount of taxes they pay vs their income is among the lowest among the industrial nations — some of the nations that are quoted as having the lowest rates are the same ones that are considered “socialist” (Denmark, Finland, etc) and yet their industries actually PAY more taxes than their American counterparts — that is why you hear them crying about RATES but not the TAXES they ACTUALLY pay.

If demand is down, if production is down, if the forecast is that demand will not be going up, they will NOT hire, they will NOT expand, they will NOT invest just for a tax break.

If you have $$$ to invest — are you telling me that you would rather sit on it and get ZERO return and pay no taxes cause you didn’t get a capitol gains tax break — rather than invest your money — GET a RETURN and pay some taxes — the end result is STILL that you would get more money in the end than just sitting on it — and yet we are led to believe that without tax cuts these “smart guys” will do just that — then those people are STUPID.

Posted by: russ at February 4, 2009 5:50 PM
Comment #274995

Great rant russ…makes too much sense for those on the right to listen to though…you’re preaching to the choir. Republicans can’t comprehend the written word, if it does not come out of a bible. And Democrats already know all this.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 4, 2009 7:21 PM
Comment #274996

russ, good comments.

Take the next step. The goal is to get the economy healthy again, ie stable jobs and unemployment numbers, stable wages commensurate with inflation, low to no inflation, and the lynch pin to a stable economy going forward, stable population size.

What got us into this mess at the fundamental level is the assumption that perpetual growth in population would lead to perpetual growth in jobs and productivity, which in turn would lead to perpetual growth in wealth, for all. OBVIOUSLY, that assumption was ENTIRELY wrong, and worked more or less only from 1945 through the 1970’s, at which time it all went sour as inflation overtook wage growth, and wealth became ever more abundantly concentrated into ever smaller numbers of citizens, and our democratic republic was taken over by those wealthy and we dropped the operative concept of democratic from our republic, save for a pretense at election time, in which the charade of democratic elections was maintained through highly effective marketing and advertising tools of the political parties with sufficient funding from the wealthy to deceive the masses in any direction they chose.

A stable economy and fiscally responsible policy absolutely depends upon a stable population and minimum variability in the percentage of that population making up the work force.

Economies need to grow during the civilization process of bringing the population’s living quality standards to a level of sustainability and affordability across generations, as China is doing currently. Having achieved those standards, economic growth actually serves to destabilize the nation’s future economic prospects as Japan, Great Britian and the U.S. are now experiencing, having passed their stabilization balance point a decade or several ago, depending on the nation.

Perpetual economic growth is a contradiction to perpetual economic health and stable quality living standards. Stable balance is the key overarching concept lacking in all modern economic theories currently employed by governments, (with the possible exception perhaps of the French who seem to have decided on several balance position issues and are fighting hard to retain those, in harmony with their philosophy that humans are intended to work in order to live, instead of the American concept of living in order to work.)

Remember, our schools, our economy, and our politics are all geared and centered on citizen’s vocational potential, not their life quality potential, which is by design, meaningful only for the wealthiest and so called “best” in our society.)

The French model is based on family meals together. A traditional French value that to this day underlies much of the economic and political issues and debate in their country.

Americans abandoned family mealtime as a social/cultural value underpinning to government and economic policy with the advent of slavery, manifest destiny, the pony express, and the automobile for every child in the family, all of which determined the progressive dislocation of the extended family concept. Of course, one cannot discount the fact also that this country, like Canada and Australia, were built upon the break up of families in the old worlds with successive generations fleeing to the new world.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 4, 2009 7:35 PM
Post a comment