The stimulus bill, Iraq and "fiscal responsibility"

Obama was in town yesterday to sign his stimulus bill. This victory, the first great moment of the Obama administration, was a hard-fought one earned in the face of fierce opposition from fiscally responsible Congressional Republicans. These staunch guardians of the American purse strings have proven, time and again, their willingness to combat wastefulness and ill-advised spending by…

Wait a second. Back up.

A couple weeks ago I saw one of these miserly GOP types on the TV railing against fiscal recklessness, and it’s not hard to find more just like him. Take this article, for instance, from a couple weeks ago.

Some Senate Republicans vow opposition to stimulus plan

Updated 1/29/2009 4:39 PM
By John Fritze, Richard Wolf and David Jackson, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — A group of conservative Senate Republicans vowed Thursday to vote against an $888 billion economic stimulus package when it comes up for a vote in the Senate.

“A trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., standing with Republican colleagues who said they feel shut out of the process of crafting the stimulus despite Democratic promises of bipartisan cooperation.

As I recall, the GOP did in fact vote a damned-near perfect straight party line.

Ummm. Wow. I mean, yeah, we’d hate to waste the taxpayers’ money. That’d be just awful. I mean, shucks, money don’t grow on trees. Where the heck are we going to find billions and billions of dollars?

How about here, you hypocritical fucknozzles!! $597,74+,+++,+++ and the meter is spinning so fast that if you hooked it up to a ceiling fan you could refrigerate the entire length and breadth of Hell.

But wait – that’s a conservative estimate. A very conservative estimate. The better number is in excess of three goddamned trillion dollars!!

How did you vote on Iraq, Sen. Motherfucker?

3trildollarsI guess we could review the record line by line, vote by vote, doubletalking son of a bitch by doubletalking son of a bitch, but that would just make us mad. So let’s just work with the topline: “Like most of the remaining Republicans in the Senate, Wicker voted with Bush every time a bill dealing with the occupation of Iraq came up.”

There’s lots more fun stuff in the USA Today article linked above.

“This is about spending money that we don’t have for things we don’t need,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said Thursday.

Like a 100-year presence in Iraq?

The cost of the economic stimulus package rose to $888 billion in the Senate because of a $70 billion addition to protect about 24 million Americans from paying higher taxes under the alternative minimum tax.

Alternative Minimum Tax? Wait, where did this amendment come from?

“This was not a stimulus bill. It was a spending bill,” Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the GOP whip, said Wednesday.

Because what we need is a real stimulus. Like maybe invading Iran.

“I haven’t ruled out voting for it,” said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H

No, he didn’t “rule it out” until later. In related news, I haven’t ruled out flying to Mars using the magic of nipple power.

I’m sorry. I promised I wouldn’t get emotional. But knee-buckling displays of hypocrisy agitate me. In fact, the whole fetid affair has me contemplating fiscal responsibility myself. For instance, which would be a more efficient use of taxpayer funds?

  • continue paying the salaries of every Congressweasel who voted aye on Iraq but nay on the stimulus package due to concerns about financial prudence
  • take that money, use it lather them all up in scalding tar, coat them with feathers and roadkill fur, and shoot them into the Potomac with a giant rubber band

As the late Dr. Thompson might suggest were he still with us, these swine should be fucked, broken, and driven across the land….

12 replies »

  1. Tell us how you _really_ feel 😀

    While I don’t like most politicians, the Repubs are the biggest liars and abusers out there. I just don’t understand how most of those that vote for them can be _that_ stupid.

  2. Bravo, bravo and bravo!

    I tell ya, i feel the same way when certain groups of politicians start doing the “small government” routine.

  3. Nice anger. I believe Dr. Thompson would have involved leeches as well.

    As best as I can tell, the Republican strategy to regain control of Washington goes something like this:

    1) Deny our current state of affairs is anything more than a typical recession in a typical cycle. This has the effect of a) making it look as though you’d been doing nothing wrong over the last eight years and b) allowing you to say “I told you so” if the stimulus plan actually works.

    2) Do everything in your power to stop or gut the stimulus plan. If the economy begins growing quickly and public opinion believes it’s the result of the stimulus package, the Republicans can kiss off any hope of power for the foreseeable future. If it fails, they can say “see, it was unavoidable and now we’re in bigger trouble because of those ‘tax and spend’ Democrats”.

    I don’t like the idea of racking up any more national debt, but we seem to have found ourselves in the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” predicament. At the end of the day, it seems like we’re just federalizing defaulted mortgages. Hopefully, our lenders will have the gaul to believe that we, as a nation, are still good for the money.

    • Mike: I think #2 is the key. If the public comes away with hard evidence that – gasp – direct government spending IS an answer, it’s bad news for the “government isn’t the answer to your problems, government IS your problem” crowd. Fact: the golden age of American prosperity that so many like to wax fondly about was a fairly direct result of a bunch of evil gummit spending by FDR.

      If we get to that point, the GOP is gonna be needing a new message that sounds a whole lot different from the old one.

  4. Actually the New Deal sucked, kind of like the present stimulus package, but the GI Bill is probably one of the best things ever done to increase the prosperity of this country. Not everything FDR did was bad….OK, most of it was, but not everything.


  5. @ Jeff: How many investment firms went under or got bought out in the last recession? How many banks failed? When was the last time you heard AIG say “hey, if we don’t get some money by tomorrow, we’re done”? How many homes lost 40% of their value?

    It’s too early to call this a depression, and I think a number of the layoffs we’ve seen of late have been companies looking for an excuse to lay off people without looking like jerks, but still, this doesn’t look like any of the recessions I’ve been through.

  6. Fikshun,

    You ought to study the past recessions and depressions to see just what the carnage was. We’re nowhere near those levels, in fact we’re much better than we were off in 1980. There have been times in this country where 75% of the banks closed. There have been times where call money was going for 150%. We’ve had 30% unemployment, and real hunger…even in the last 80 years. As recently as the 80’s, banks were closing left and right(more than 10%), not to mention the S&L’s. This is nothing compared to those times. Anyways, you can’t compare this recession to the last recession in 2001, as recessions differ. As many financial people lost their jobs in 2001 as in this recession. You might want to look at 1970 or 1974 and see how ugly those numbers were. Go to 1907 or 1874 to see real ugly numbers.

    A good way to look at it is that recessions present as many opportunities for the sagacious person as full blown economic expansions. There are countless opportunities right now for a person who thinks smart, dispassionately, and uses prescience in their thought process.

    The trouble with most of the public is that they actually believe the 24 hour news cycle and get worked up. Since people travel in herds, they are easily manipulated by the powers that be. The key is to buck the herd, be an individual, think for yourself, act in your own self interest, and don’t allow yourself to be spoon fed by the media

    Here’s a good video of what the people who will be paying for all this bailout crap think.

    Agree or not, y’all will be entertained as it’s from the floor of the CME, and Rick gets input from the floor traders on what they think of Obama’s boondoggle.