It would seem from all of the press coverage of the “stimulus” bill that the term bipartisan is a bit confused. Based on a quick review on dictionary.com, I found that it means “representing, characterized by, or including members from two parties or factions”… odd. Based on the coverage of the vote it would seem to mean “voting for something that democrats vote for” and though that would then create a bipartisan vote it is not the definition.
There were two bipartisan votes yesterday on the “stimulus” and both are getting very little coverage. The first was a vote against the big pork barrel main bill all the Republicans and 11 democrats voted against the bill. By definition that would be bipartisan. The other vote was for the Republican alternative bill which garnered 10 Democrat votes. But I see no coverage of this fact.
I did see Howard Dean on CNBC. He expressed the overarching “new definition” for bipartisan. He words were cleaned up but the basic message was this “we won the election, vote like us or you will keep losing”. No understanding for the bipartisan opposition to the pork in this bill. No value is placed on the constituents that put these Representatives in office. Simply “vote like us”.
This bill is not stimulus. Even the CBO stated that only .12 of every dollar (For the Obamatons that would be “a lot less than half”) will go towards stimulating the economy. So 88% of the money goes to what? Pork…the NEA, Acorn, Alternative Fuels, an ATV trail (that might count on the 12%) and adding more children (with family income over the median and up to age 30) to the government healthcare roles. In other words pet projects for Democrat constituents that got them elected. I know many will say that is why they are there and this is what their constituents expect. I tend to agree. The American people say they want change they say they want things to be different. But in the end they want something for themselves and if it means $9000 for every tax paying family to that they can get some spare change back. They continue to put these people in power.
But Taxes are not going up and the economy is in decline. So this “money” does not exist. How can a project be run on money that does not exist. How can the programs that can’t be paid for now, be increased? It is called “printing money” or “deficit spending”. I thought this was the reason Republicans lost power in 2006. Too much spending and yet we have turned the spicket into a fire hose and left on on full.
I blame us. We put them there. We keep them there. We are rewarding deficit spending. They overspend, we overspend, we are all in debt and the economy is collapsing. So we spend more. What sense does that make. We are the greedy &^*&(%^ that care more about soaking the other guy then preserving the economy for future generations.
Unfortunately, I do not think the spending will stop. This “porkulus” bill will fail to help the economy. It will grow government and government jobs and dependency. And we will ask for more help and another bill will be passed, spending even more money we do not have.
If it were to continue, the interest on these payments will eventually outpace revenue (that would be money taken from most of us…still most for a few more months) and out debtors will realize we are in default. The economy will go deeper into recession (probably depression at this point). But that is ok because this bill “saved jobs”. They will argue that it would have been a lot worse, the media will parrot the sentiment and the spiral continues.
Some will remember the brave 188 that voted in a bipartisan vote to slow this train, they tried to take another course. I hope enough will join will them in the coming months and years to stop the train. The path out of deficit spending is hard and disciplined. It means cutting back not spending more it means putting votes at risk to do what is right. I wonder if enough of them have that much courage.