With all the threatening, cajoling, windiness and righteous rhetoric coming from Obama and the Congresscritters over the Frankenstein mishmash called the “stimulus package,” a few glimmers of light have somehow made it through the fog.
The problem with the package is that it’s not what either party claims it is, and everyone knows that by now. Dianne Feinstein gave the Democratic argument in a wonderfully succinct manner.
See how easy that is? Four and a half minutes was all it took. Actually, I can do it quicker, but I’m not a Senator and don’t need to quote all those facts and figures. We did the tax cuts before. They didn’t work. Why should we do it again? Let’s create jobs instead.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while appreciating the need for quick action, is furious that the spending cuts in the package demanded by the Republicans are coming out of all the wrong places – namely, education.
“We must have a bill [quickly],” she said, in a clear message to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has spent the past two days wrangling with moderates who want to cut proposed education funding for the states by as much as $50 billion.
“These cuts are very damaging — [the House bill] was put together very carefully. … The funding goes directly to school districts, they are stimulative because they maintain jobs instead of cutting jobs.”
Furthermore, she wants all those unnecessary tax cuts taken out of the new package, and the soon-to-expire Bush tax cuts for the wealthy repealed immediately. I mean, really – how else is the government going to get back the money it’s spending? Borrowing from China? Printing it? Spinning gold out of Unity Pony poop?
The speaker, who spent early Friday huddled with Democratic governors, reiterated her strong opposition to increasing tax cuts. In January, she convinced Obama to decrease the tax cuts in the package from about $300 billion to about $250 billion.
The new Senate cuts, if passed, “will do violence to the future,” said Pelosi, who is also pressing a reluctant Obama to repeal Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy before they expire at the end of 2010.
Here’s what a real group of FDR Democrats would have done.
1) Tell the GOP that they appreciate their input, then create a completely Democratic stimulus package. That means lots of spending on job creation and the social safety net, and raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for it.
2) When the GOP, David Broder and Rush Limbaugh start screaming and whinging about how it’s not “bi-partisan” enough, the President could THEN make a fiery speech about how the past eight years of tax cuts, crony capitalism and gutting the New Deal have brought the United States to this sorry state, and that it’s time for a new direction.
3) Do enough back-room dealing to win a few moderate Republicans to your side without harming the overall package. If that doesn’t work, make those Congresscritters filibuster till their tongues bleed, all the while telling the American people how obstructionist and selfish they are on every news show they can find. The caving would come shortly after.
Unfortunately, the FDR Dems are rather few and far between these days, and those on the left who do speak up are never listened to or allowed to have any input. All we seem to have is a bunch of careerists on both sides who have no core principles whatsoever, who are only looking towards the next election.
Apparently some type of compromise was reached last night. Details are sketchy, but considering that the package was not good to begin with, I can’t imagine it’s great news for us taxpayers.