I can not for the life of me, understand why Harry Reid allows idiots like Sen. Nelson, a presumed Democrat, team up with ReThugs like Snowe & Spector & LIEberman run & ruin the stimulus package? Reid allowed the ReThugs to stymie every positive bill in the last two years of the Bu$hCo assministration. & he did that without making those bastards actually filibuster for 24 hours or so. & now, what in the hell is he thinking? As Paul Krugman points out in today's NYT, these centrists continued Bu$hCo's policy of enriching the rich & screwing everybody else. I'm not sure what these morons think building a school involves, but I do & it involves hiring people to build it. Perish the thought that Snowe, et.al., want to help the working class. They will now sit in their little club, sipping brandy from a snifter, smoking a Cuban cigar, & laughing about how they don't need no goddamned elections to run the country. Wake up Pres. Obama, your postpartisan wet dream has been interrupted. I would urge my loyal four readers to get in touch with their senator & representatives to try & get this travesty corrected. Since the House bill & Senate bill are different, a conference is needed. Let's hope the House holds strong & resists the damaging changes that LIEberman & his moron cohorts have done. As Krugman also points out, the stimulus package wasn't big enough to begin with, plus there were too many tax cuts.
My emphasis.What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?
A proud centrist. For that is what the senators who ended up calling the tune on the stimulus bill just accomplished.
One of the best features of the original plan was aid to cash-strapped state governments, which would have provided a quick boost to the economy while preserving essential services. But the centrists insisted on a $40 billion cut in that spending.
The original plan also included badly needed spending on school construction; $16 billion of that spending was cut. It included aid to the unemployed, especially help in maintaining health care — cut. Food stamps — cut. All in all, more than $80 billion was cut from the plan, with the great bulk of those cuts falling on precisely the measures that would do the most to reduce the depth and pain of this slump.
On the other hand, the centrists were apparently just fine with one of the worst provisions in the Senate bill, a tax credit for home buyers. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research calls this the “flip your house to your brother” provision: it will cost a lot of money while doing nothing to help the economy.
All in all, the centrists’ insistence on comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted will, if reflected in the final bill, lead to substantially lower employment and substantially more suffering.
But how did this happen? I blame President Obama’s belief that he can transcend the partisan divide — a belief that warped his economic strategy.
Mr. Obama’s postpartisan yearnings may also explain why he didn’t do something crucially important: speak forcefully about how government spending can help support the economy. Instead, he let conservatives define the debate, waiting until late last week before finally saying what needed to be said — that increasing spending is the whole point of the plan.
And Mr. Obama got nothing in return for his bipartisan outreach. Not one Republican voted for the House version of the stimulus plan, which was, by the way, better focused than the original administration proposal.