Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Democrats in U.S. House pass American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Earlier today, by a vote of 244-188, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - the massive economic stimulus package that President Barack Obama has requested from Congress.

All votes in favor were cast by Democrats, with every Republican voting no. The Republicans were joined by eleven conservative Bush Dog Democrats, including Idaho's Walt Minnick.

Republicans have supplied various phony excuses for voting against the rescue legislation, from "there's not enough tax cuts" to "the Democrats drafted this bill and didn't seek our input."

When Republicans were in the majority, they didn't think twice about excluding Democrats when putting legislation together. But now that they're in the minority, they can't stop whining about how ostensibly oppressed they are.

It's pretty pathetic.

As for the idea of having an economic stimulus with only tax cuts in it, we have four words for the Republicans: Been there, done that.

Congress cut taxes many times during the Bush years, especially for the wealthy. Those tax cuts didn't avert the economic disaster we're in now, and they didn't encourage Americans to conserve money by saving and investing.

Instead, during the Bush error, we were urged to spend, spend, spend.

(Remember when Dubya told us to go to Disney World in the aftermath of September 11th?)

Then Republicans (mis)led the way by plundering and wasting the Treasury of the United States, setting a terrible example for American households.

Conservative Republicans have been in charge of this country for much of this decade. For about half of the 2000s, they had a stranglehold on not one, not two, but all three branches of our government.

We are paying the price today for years of Republican fiscal irresponsibility, Republican ignorance, and Republican giveaways to Wall Street.

Now our economy is in the toilet and Democrats have successfully routed Republicans for two consecutive election cycles.

Yet Republicans have learned nothing. Apparently, that's because their precious right wing ideology cannot fail - it can only be failed.

Republicans have clung so stubbornly to their silly tax cut mantra for so long that they have even suckered Democrats into believing that tax cuts are a good thing.

Here is what every American family sitting around the kitchen table worrying about our future needs to know: Tax cuts do not stimulate the economy.

It's a myth; the greatest hoax that's ever been perpetrated on the American people. (Sorry, couldn't resist a James Inhofe joke).

Does that statement sound shocking? If so, then that's a testament to the prevalence of stale conservative ideas in our civic consciousness.

Think about it. The whole premise of tax cuts is the foolish notion that people always know how to spend their money better than the government.

But what use is a three or five or seven hundred dollar check to working men and women who have just lost their jobs? A one time rebate check is not a salary.

The reason we pay taxes to begin with is so that collectively, we as a people can accomplish together what we cannot achieve individually - like building a railway or electric transmission lines. Our tax dollars, pooled into a shared treasury, comprise our common wealth.

Our common wealth is our greatest strength as a nation. In times of economic hardship - which are what we are faced with at this moment - we need to put our common wealth to work to revitalize our economy.

Congress would be doing the American people a tremendous disservice if it passed another big tax cut. Such an act would amount to a tacit admission that we cannot figure out how to wisely use our common wealth, when we know that our infrastructure is falling apart and we could create jobs by rebuilding it.

The American Society of Civil Engineers just today released their annual report card giving the nation's infrastructure a "D".

The Society estimates that a five year investment of $2.2 trillion is needed merely to fix what is broken, unsafe, outdated, and deprecated. No category in the Society's report received an A or B; the highest grade was a C for bridges.

This is certainly part and parcel of the sad legacy that is the Bush error. But those days are behind us. We have a new President and a new Congress with bigger Democratic majorities. We cannot continue to make the mistakes of the past. We cannot gamble with America's future again.

This country voted for change in November 2008, not more of the same.

Shame on House Republicans for being one hundred percent against economic recovery for the United States of America.

This legislation isn't perfect, but we have to start somewhere. There are definitely some good things in this recovery bill, like Jerry Nadler's successful amendment that added over three billion dollars of mass transit capital funding. That's just the kind of investment we need.

Cheers to our Northwest Democrats in Washington and Oregon for voting yes on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Jeers to Dave Reichert, Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Greg Walden, and Mike Simpson, plus Walt Minnick, for voting no.


Blogger Bill said...

Another pathetic socialist liberal spreading lies. This bill is only cover for substantial liberal pork that has nothing to do with economic recover.

Pork includes billons of dollars going to left wing organizations like Acorn, $600 million for new cars for the Feds, $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts, another $136 billon for at least 32 other government programs having nothing to do with the economy, and $335 million to the STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) program.

The only thing stimulating here is the hand job being given to the American tax payer by the liberal Democrats.

To be fair there are tax cuts included in this bill which will help stimulate the economy. Tax cuts that have been recognized by your supreme leader Obama as one way to grow this economy and top make new jobs.

It is about time Congressional Republicans and blue tooth Democrats show backbone and stand up for what is good for this country. With idiots like Reed and Pelosi around they will have plenty of opportunity to show backbone and vote against this kind of waste.

January 29, 2009 9:44 PM  

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