Jan 282009

As I write, the House has just passed a “stimulus” bill that is advertised at $819 billion.  (It’s really closer to $1.2 trillion—that’s $1,200,000,000,000—because they’re not including loan interest in the PR number.)  Eleven Democrats cast “no” votes, but more interestingly (to me), no Republicans voted for the bill.

Perhaps this is the first step in a long march back to fiscal respectability.  (Let’s face it:  I don’t have any plausible hope of seeing a Libertarian or Constitution Party majority in Congress in my lifetime, so Republicans with spines is about as far as I fantasize.)

If you have not read The Wall Street Journal‘s analysis of this bill, you should.  Quoting (and summarizing) the article:

“This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.”

pelosiHow about $50 million for that job dynamo, the National Endowment for the Arts?  How about three times that amount for the Smithsonian?  I like that we have a national museum of its caliber, but what has it to do with the economic health of the country?  How about $66 billion for the Department of Education—on top of the budget doubling under President Bush, and more than the department’s entire budget a mere decade ago?

The bottom line is that, even using the most generous definitions of the term “stimulus,” about 12% of this bill—not even an eighth of it—reasonably qualifies.

Mind, this is going to be law.  I don’t have any illusions about that.  As President Obama so diplomatically put it:  “I won.”

The only shred of encouragement I’m allowing myself is that Republicans may be rediscovering some semblance of principle in their copious wound-licking.  If they keep applying good sense consistently, and the Dems keep shooting the moon, perhaps 2010 will look like 1994.

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 Posted by at 6:41 pm

  4 Responses to ““Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” – Rahm Emanuel”

  1. If memory serves me correctly, House Republicans voted unanamously NO to a similar bill back in ’93. I’m with you in hoping that Conservatives can get their acts together at least enough to regain majorities in the House and/or Senate in 2010. How goes the smoking cessation?

  2. Lee: I’m still good–100% compliance–as of 12:30 Monday a week ago. I’m actually without the gum for about 30 hours at this point. I have one piece in reserve to chew in case of emergency (i.e. on the way to get more if I need it), but if I don’t ever chew it, I plan to be done with it too. Thanks for asking.

  3. Glad to hear it! My unsolicited advice would be to chew the gum whenever you have a craving for at least 2 months. Give your brain time to wrap itself around the idea that gum will be delivering the fix cigarettes have been providing all those years. Sounds trivial but it’s a very important step in my opinion.

  4. Despite a bi-partisan attempt to stop this farce of a bill the majority of Democrats forced this down our throats any way. I very glad to see that no Republicans voted for this. It took a serious ass-kicking in the polls to wake them up.

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