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Dems Stop All Efforts To Trim Stimulus Bill

From the economic mavens of the New York Times:


Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, right, accompanied by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., left, and Sen. James Webb, D-Va., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, before the Wartime Contracting Commission hearing into Iraq inspector general Stuart Bowen’s critical account of the Bush administration’s blunders in post-war reconstruction efforts.

Centrists in Senate Push to Cut Billions From Stimulus

February 6, 2009
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

WASHINGTON — Anxious over the ballooning size of the proposed economic stimulus package, now at more than $900 billion, lawmakers in both parties are working on a last-minute plan to strip tens of billions of dollars from the bill.

The effort is being led by two centrist senators, Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who say they would like to pare from $50 billion to $200 billion from the package. The final Senate vote on the stimulus package is expected late on Thursday,

Among the initiatives that could be cut are $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $14 million for cyber security research by the Homeland Security Department, $1 billion for the National Science Foundation, $400 million for research and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, $850 million for Amtrak and $400 million for climate change research. But so far, none of the suggestions come close to being enough to shrink the package on the scale proposed

Ms. Collins, one of just a few moderates left in the diminished Republican minority, and Mr. Nelson, one of the most conservative members of the strengthened Democratic majority, have teamed up before to bridge partisan gaps, including an effort in July 2007 to change the mission of American troops in Iraq while not setting the hard deadline for withdrawal opposed by President Bush…

On Wednesday, Ms. Collins and Mr. Nelson met together at the White House with President Obama, who earlier in the day had met one-on-one in the Oval Office with another Republican moderate, Senator Olympia J. Snowe, also of Maine.

Ms. Snowe personally delivered a list of cuts, totaling about $100 billion, that she said should be made. On leaving the White House, she said it was imperative that “every provision has a job creation component.”

But even as Mr. Obama expressed continued willingness to compromise, he warned critics of the stimulus bill that they were standing in the way of his agenda, and he urged Congress to act fast.

I’ve heard criticisms of this plan that echo the very same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis, the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can ignore the fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive,” he said.

I reject that theory,” Mr. Obama continued, “and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay.” …

Later, in a series of votes on amendments to the bill on Wednesday evening, Senate Democrats easily beat back a number of efforts by Republicans to vastly change the stimulus measure by stripping out spending programs and broadening the tax cuts.

In a number of those votes, the Democrats were joined by Ms. Collins and Ms. Snowe, as well as Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and George V. Voinovich of Ohio

Ever notice whom the New York Times calls “centrists” or “moderate” Republicans?

Later, in a series of votes on amendments to the bill on Wednesday evening, Senate Democrats easily beat back a number of efforts by Republicans to vastly change the stimulus measure by stripping out spending programs and broadening the tax cuts.

In a number of those votes, the Democrats were joined by Ms. Collins and Ms. Snowe…

Somehow they always turn out to be Republicans who vote along with the Democrats, even against their own expressed wishes – indeed, even against our troops in the field.

But of course that is all bi-partisanship means to The Times.

It’s the same kind of Orwellian newspeak that says repeats the canard that garnering 52% of the vote without any clear agenda is now a resounding mandate for whatever Mr. Obama now decides he wants to do:

“I’ve heard criticisms of this plan that echo the very same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis, the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can ignore the fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive,” he said.

“I reject that theory,” Mr. Obama continued, “and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay.” …

Hugo Chavez would be proud.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 5th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Dems Stop All Efforts To Trim Stimulus Bill”

  1. proreason says:

    Let’s hope the senate gop show the same sense the house gop did.

    On an unrelated front, I wonder if Angelina Jolie will return my calls today?

    • Steve says:

      “Let’s hope the senate gop show the same sense the house gop did.”

      I think this NYT article is hinting that Collins and Snowe, and maybe even Specter and Voinovich are going to join the dark side on the vote.

      And there will probably be more.

  2. proreason says:

    NRO says about 350 billion of the stimulus is pure income transfers:

    145B for “make work pay” tax credits. The $500 Xmas present to 95% of tax FILERS
    83B for the Orwellian earned income credit by which women are paid about $2K per year per out-of-wedlock kid
    89B for Medicaid (the Medicaire program for the very poor (or those willing to lie about it)
    20B for Food Stamps. A give-away to help buy plasma screen tv’s for Obamy’s voters.

    Then there is a much smaller amount of assistance to laid off workers
    30B for COBRA extensions
    36B for expanded unemployment benefits

  3. oldswimcoach says:

    This is getting scary. I do not understand what “mandate” he thinks he gained when he ran on the word “change” without any qualifications? It has been interesting how he’s reacting to even the mildest of questions about his initiatives, and I thought McCain was thin skinned!

  4. oldswimcoach says:

    I just realized, I was right (accidentally) when I stated “…the word “change” without any qualifications.” This guy really did run on “change” without any qualifications whatsover. He’s in way over his head!

  5. bill says:

    Even the CBO is saying this enormous expenditure of taxpayer money is a waste.

    You try and get Democrats to do the right thing for America and every time they fail. It’s all about them.

  6. wardmama4 says:

    You know I am in a real dilema right now – do I want this pork filled Generational Theft Act of 2009 put to the vote right now – when even Dems are not fully on the boat for this (you know that is true when McAmnesty and Dem-lite Snow blather on about how pork filled this bill is or do I want this to drag on until even the most ignorant gets at least a sense of how this bill won’t stimulate the economy or save/create jobs or solve the housing/credit situation.

    Ok, since it seems to really, really upset The One ™ (now he is promulgating mass fear: Pass it now, or we may never recover) – I vote for the second one – so that more and more Americans can hear all the bogus boondoggles in this Generational Theft Act of 2009.

  7. TheChicagoWay says:

    What’s the difference? Any variation of this pig is going to bankrupt us anyhow…It has to be KILLED, not modified

  8. AmericanIPA says:

    I think people would be pleasantly surprised at how well things ran when the federal government did absolutely nothing. The biggest problem is the meddling hands that cause every problem to get in capitalism’s way are the ones busying themselves with “solving” the problem. The fact that most people in this country have no confidence in their government is not mysterious at all. They’re useless idiots to the last man. Sad to say, but this is a rock rolling down a hill, and it won’t be stopped no matter who is in charge. Depressing isn’t it?

  9. pdsand says:

    ““I’ve heard criticisms of this plan that echo the very same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis, the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can ignore the fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive,” he said.”

    Explain to me exactly how tax cuts led to the current mild economic downturn (known to Democrats as the worst economic crisis in memory)?

    I’d also like an explanation on how our energy dependence and health care system is standing in the way of economic prosperity. It seems to me that as I drive in to work, and encounter literally thousands of other people driving in to work at the same time, that our current use of oil, foreign and domestic is a key integral part of our economic prosperity. It also seems to me that the high cost of health care is pushing a lot of economic activity. I wonder how many people would quit working today if they could get their medicine and doctor visits for free? How would that cut down the GDP in this country?

  10. Barbie says:

    What happens when a country goes bankrupt? I ask this in all seriousness. Anyone know?

    • proreason says:

      “what happens when a country goes bankrupt”

      Here are the options I see as the national debt becomes totally out-of-control:

      1. Non-essential government services could stop. Taxes could increase dramatically. The lifestyle of multiple generations would suffer. This option is possible because the wealthy would hardly be impacted. But the impact would hit all other social stratas very hard, so civil unrest would threaten the government. For that reason, it is high risk to any government

      2. Money could be printed by the government to pay off the debt. Inflation would soar. The value of financial assets would plummet. The lives of anyone on fixed incomes would be ruined, but people working would not be greatly impacted because wages would rise. Also, most working people do not have many financial assets. Inflation does not have a great impact on employment. This option is most likely, because the wealthy own immense real property, and the actual value of real property would not change. The people most effected would be retired people, and retired people would not revolt. This is probably what The Moron and his handlers intend to do. From his perspective, all inflation will do is hasten the flattening of the financial hierarchy, leaving him and his puppet masters more firmly on top than ever.

      3a. the country could refuse to pay the part of the debt owed to foreigners. This would end the US’s era of pre-eminence and probably trigger #4, so it won’t happen

      3b. the country could refuse to pay the part of the debt owed US nationals. A government that did that would be overthrown and the the other options would kick in, so it won’t happen

      4. a major war could “occur”. Tens or hundreds of mllions of people would die. A new Dark Ages could begin. Human population could fall under 1 billion (from over 6 billion today). I don’t think this is what the Moron and his handlers want, but they are playing with fire because the economy in other countries is even worse than in the U.S. and other countries have less to lose.

  11. pdsand says:

    ““I reject that theory,” Mr. Obama continued, “and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay.” …”

    On that theory, the American people voted resoundingly for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, waterboarding, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay in 2004, so I guess it’s safe to assume not a peep was heard from Democrats in Congress about those issues for the next four years?

  12. pdsand says:

    Technically, our country couldn’t really go bankrupt as it were. I think what would tend to happen if the rest of the world realized that we were seriously about to create more national debt than we will ever be able to pay off:
    Our government backed securities ie bonds and t-bills and such would lose their credit ratings and have to start paying exhorbitant interest rates.
    The government couldn’t afford to pay the interest rates out of the treasury, so they would at once raise taxes tremendously, thus shutting down economic productivity, and try to print a bunch of money to pay it off for free at the same time, thus leading to crushing inflation. Then of course our currency would be devalued abroad, and we really would have the mythical financial crisis that we’re supposed to be in now.
    After a little while of people taking a wheelbarrow full of $100 bills down to the grocery store to get a loaf of bread, there would generally be some sort of unrest which would culminate in revolution and probably a lot of dead people. Then the UN would probably step in and prop up the Obama socialist regime, and we would start to look like Rwanda after a couple of years.

  13. Alice L. says:

    “Act without delay” – Zero means don’t examine this bill carefully or hold hearings. Read Charles Krauthammer on this. As for the Maine RINOs, time to run real Republicans against them in a primary. They and Specter are a disgrace. And to think that we lost Santorum ,Talent and Allen! I am still sick over this.


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