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Opening Arguments

Right stand, wrong time

House Republicans discover their spines:

In contrast to the House, where Republicans complain that the $819 billion economic recovery package has been drafted without their input, the Senate is ramping up for a more open process. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed on Wednesday by a vote of 244 to 188, with no Republican support. Eight Democrats voted with 177 Republicans to oppose the bill.

Of course, it's easy to stand on principle when the outcome is preordained and you know your vote doesn't really matter. Some might even call it posturing. What happened to the conservative principles of the 91 Republicans who voted for the $700 billion bailout monstrosity, half of which has already been thrown down the rathole? A "no" vote might have meant something then. If the bailout hadn't passed, the precedent wouldn't have been set to act hastily out of panic and call it repsonsible leadership. And when we spend billions and it doesn't work, we panic even harder. We will spend even more, but this time we will spend it better. Honest! We really mean it this time!

Republicans are correct that this is just a Democratic wish list of pork projects that have very little to do with stimulus or recovery. But they'd be more credible if they'd established a slightly more responsible record on spending when they were in charge of Congress.


William Larsen
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 2:09pm

As of 9-30-2007 the national debt was $9,007,653,372,262
As of 9-30-2008 the national debt was $10,024,724,896,912

The official 2008 budget deficit is $1,017,071,524,650

The 2008 deficit had only half the TARP money borrowed.

As of 12-31-2008 the national debt was $10,699,805,000,000.

The debt limit is $11.315 trillion. We will reach that by March 09. This authorization to spend $825 Billion (bailout) means the national debt limit would have to be raised. If they do not have the votes to raise the debt limit, they cann't borrow the money!

I predict the 2009 budget deficit will be close to $3 trillion.

Steven T.
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 10:56pm

As I Republican ( for the present), I must emphasize that Republican spine is not my largest concern these days. The party will dismiss (too conveniently, I am now convinced) George Bush the Latter as a loose cannon.

I have not yet found it necessary to reject the conservative party as a whole in order to judge politicians individually, upon their actions. But the Republicans are on probation. If you want to know anyone's heart, ignore the words and scrutinize the actions. People always put their energy where their truth is.

In short I suggest the following course of action: Listen, but moreover watch, as your nation's life depend upon it.

Steven T.
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 11:04pm

Let me add one important overall thought:

History proves that a new national government can always purchase good will by the general dispensation of wealth (whether 30 silver coins or $825 billion US) to its populace --no matter if that ruler is called king, dictator, president or congress.