Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Job Bill A Fraud

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony




Many Americans are frustrated with the $819 billion stimulus bill the U.S. House of Representatives recently sent to the Senate. Any effort to produce significant job growth for the long haul deserves serious consideration from our representatives in Washington.

But many of us back home are beginning to recognize that this bill is nothing more than a typical Congressional rip-off, laden with pork and other special interest giveaways. In fact, not one single Republican voted for it. In addition 11 conservative Democrats joined them in opposition in an attempt to stop what amounts to nothing more than a job stimulus fraud.

Last week a Rasmussen poll found public support for Congress’ economic recovery plan slipping. Opposition has increased from 34 percent two weeks ago to 43 percent. It appears the Republican resistance has merit and is gaining traction. Democratic support for the bill is down 10 percent, with 50 percent of the unaffiliated voters and 72 percent of Republicans opposed.

The poll also found a majority of voters believe tax cuts would jump start the economy. They believe a dollar of tax cuts is better than a dollar of government spending.

The Labor Department reported that the U. S. unemployment rate through January has climbed to a 16 year high of 7.6 percent, with more pink slips on the way. But the plan Democrats passed in the House will do little to create the jobs necessary to jolt the economy.

Consider some of the items in this bill that we and our heirs will be paying for, at least for the next 50 years and probably well beyond. And how many meaningful jobs- the stated intent of the stimulus- will be created from expenditures like the following:

1) $50 million to the Endowment for the Arts

2) $70 million for a program to get folks to quit smoking

3) $850 million to Amtrak, which has been bleeding red ink for decades

4) $650 million in coupons to help citizens cover the minimal cost to convert to digital TV

5) $100 billion in refunds going to people who don’t pay taxes

6) $600 million to establish a Heritage Train in Mississippi

Add to that money to purchase 100,000 door bells, disbursements for a dog park, the purchase of hybrid cars for government agencies and installing solar panels costing millions in Puerto Rico. Congress is, once again, trying to deceive us.

Barrack Obama is heavily vested in the success of this stimulus. If it fails, so too, could his presidency. He has said as much. One of the problems Obama has, according to New York Times columnist David Brooks, is that he is trying to jam his entire domestic agenda into one bill.

There appears to be a fissure erupting between the White House, the moderate Democrats, and the liberal leadership in the House. In a recent radio interview, Conservative Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee said that the administration urged him to vote no on the stimulus bill. “[The administration] knows it’s a messy bill and they wanted a clean bill. I got in terrible trouble with our leadership because they don’t care what’s in the bill. They just want it passed and they want it to be unanimous.”

Sen. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) feels that the bad House bill will only get worse in the Senate. And with Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) leading the way, there can be little doubt Pence is right. It appears the Senate version will grow the bill to $920 billion, or $1.5 trillion with interest.

Republicans and moderate Democrats feel that the proven tax relief for families and businesses would better serve the American people, not this congressional grab-bag giveaway that is being masqueraded as economic stimulus.

Obama needs to show leadership. He campaigned on promising to reduce pork barrel spending. So now he needs to get House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), Sen. Reid and other members of his Party in line behind him. They need to be told that neither he nor the American people will tolerate giveaways.

Obama should insist that Congress do three things in finalizing a stimulus bill:

1) Concentrate entirely on creating real jobs with meaningful tax incentives

2) Cut out all pork barrel spending

3) Reduce tax rates for businesses and extend tax cuts for individuals

The stimulus bill being put together now is a catastrophe. The American people are demanding Congress do better. If they don’t, the Democrat’s current reign in Washington could be short lived.

President Obama has an opportunity to become one of our better presidents. The campaigning is over. He’s told us throughout he can lead. Well there’s no better time to start proving it than now.

As bad as Bob makes this bill sound, I am more concerned because of the disastrous long term consequences. It is not just the money is wasted and will not stimulate the economy. Much of this bill establishes new government programs that, as we all know, will never be ended. Our children and grandchildren are being loaded down with an expansion of government more egregious than any expansion since the 30s or the 60s. These were the last two periods of socialist utopian expansion here in America, one presided over by FDR and one presided over by the trilogy of Johnson-Nixon-Carter. How ironic that the struggling economy caused by these earlier expansions is the excuse the socialists use to expand government even more!


4 Comments:

At 10:42 PM , Blogger Earl P. Bell, Jr said...

You do not mention how the last eight years of out-of-control and wasteful spending by the Bush Administration or their unwillingness to exercise even modest control over the excesses of Wall Street put us into this mess. Since 1960, it is essentially an illusion to believe that, once in power, one political party or president has acted in a more financially responsible way than the other. Let's join with Lou Dobbs and establish the Independent Party!

 
At 1:27 PM , Blogger Dean Stephens said...

If you are going to comment, at least pay attention to the dialog. In two earlier articles, bob castigated Bush for "bankrupting America" and for "spending like a drunken sailor". To argue that because Bush was not the fiscal conservative he once told us he was, those of us who criticized Bush, as Bob has, can't criticize the trillion dollar boondoggle of the Democrats is ... no other word for it ... stupid. As for the claim inherent in your argument that Reagan spent money too, the honest answer is that he vetoed more bills than anyone in history. To get his agenda of ending the cold war and returning our nation to free enterprise based competition through a congress totally controlled by Democats he had to negotiate more spending than he would have preferred does not mean he was not fiscally disciplined. I don't agree with your premise at all. FYI, it has been over 150 years since any third party has been able to successfully influence the direction of our nation in a meaningful way. I don't know if the 52% of our nation who voted to make us a socialist tyranny have not ended freedom in our nation or not, but I am sure the Independent Party is not the way to return us to what made us great.

 
At 7:55 PM , Blogger Earl P. Bell, Jr said...

So Dean, you were raised in Colerain? I was raised in Aulander. I always enjoyed all the games we played in Colerain especially football, when you had that great linebacker Cola Cobb. I was a half back and on one play we hit each other so hard that as we tried to untangle from each other, we just started laughing.

Now on the financial responsibility of Republicans versus Democrats, historically, it seems that what your major argument is that since independents have never been successful in U.S. history, which by the way is not true, we are reduced to making a choice between two equally irresponsible, free spending parties. First, on third party successes, how do you view William Jennings Bryan, a Populist, being the Democratic Party's standbearer in 1896? While the Democrats lost that election, the party's platform became the policies for the Progressives, Democrats (Wilson) and Republicans {Teddy R), from 1900 to WWI. The impact of those reforms are still with us. A third party does not have to win an election to be successful if the dominant two parties steal their proposals and make them law.

One other small matter, on debate between Southern gentlemen, I do not argue with people who use words like "stupid." Such language has a way of preventing dialogue.

 
At 6:39 AM , Blogger Dean Stephens said...

Earl, I was actually raised in and near Aulander. My great grandfather was Sheriff Garrett, for whom the road in Hexlena was named. I left Aulander after the fifth grade and my family moved to Georgia. I returned to NC five years ago after living all over the world, including time in NYC and CA.

I will be glad to discuss the effect of third parties on U.S. politics any time. It is true that third parties often have an indirect impact on our nation, but it is often a self defeating impact. A more recent example than one from over 100 years ago is Ross Perot's candidacy resulting in the election of Bill Clinton, a man that the overwhelming majority of his supporters opposed. I see the Independent Party as being that type of self defeating effort. With our current crisis, our nation heading towards a socialist tyranny, I don't think we have the time to make that kind of mistake again. Bush was a diaster, but that was because he was NOT a Republican but was a fiscal socialist himself. In fact he split the Republican party to shreds. Further splitting the opposition to the Democrats will be a disaster.

Blogs are an ongoing dialog with tough expectations for participation. It is your responsibility (if you want to participate) to not jump in to the middle of that dialog and make criticisms that look stupid to those who have followed the entire dialog. Maybe rude would have been a better word describing your violating this maxim. Or perhaps you did not realize the expectation and that anyone would see your comments as inappropriate. I tried to explain my reaction.

In the world of blogging it is not possible to keep going over old material without it becoming a tedious exercise. So anyone who wishes to participate is expected to be up to speed with the TOTAL position of someone you are criticising. You weren't. If I offended you with my blunt terminology, I apologize.

The world of the Internet has been heavily influenced by the world of computers, where being right and following disciplined proccedures is all that matters. Blunt is okay. Being nice does not count. After 40 years as a computer consultant I suspect few would confuse me with being a Southern Gentleman.

As a libertarian I enjoy the debate with Bob. He is very smart and very knowledgeable and presents conservative issues very effectively. You can learn a lot from him. We don't agree on everything, but a blunt dialog can illuminate some important issues for our nation. I hope you stay involved too.

 

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