Posted by Julie Ponzi
Dems just can’t resist being Dems . . . on the other hand, they may be over-playing their hand.
We should hope this will trigger a veto from Bush that might sink this stinker of a plan to do nothing to an economy that doesn't need anything done to it except reassurance that Bush's tax cuts will be extended, and right now isn't seeing it.
Julie -- Given the amount of money that the Bush administration spewed about the country, especially during its first term, shouldn't you be including the Bush Administration in your criticism? Are you for Rudy because you hope he will act more like what we think of as a Republican?
David, you can include the Bush Administration in there if you want to. I only omitted it out of mercy (and to point out the more pernicious fact that NOTHING--no amount of taxing and spending--ever satisfies the appetites of the Dems). Beating up on Bush now feels like kicking a dead horse. Bush must know the stimulus is a bad idea but he hopes to be able to say that he "did something" and thus remove himself from the line of fire. There will be a time for a serious re-evaluation of the Bush Administration but I don't know if now is it.
As for Rudy, I never thought he would be my beaux ideal of a Republican . . . but I thought he may be a slight upgrade and I thought he was the best in the field with a chance of winning. Of course, that was all contingent on factors that now seem out of play.
If we are going to throw money into the populace, does it matter where it is thrown? The seniors will spend it, too. If handing spending money to people is all that is needed to revive the economy after raising the minimum wage, devaluing the dollar, making credit for housing so easy that the unemployed could buy homes, an endlessly increasing budget and so on, then who cares who gets the money as long as they will spend it? I just wish they'd come up with a cheaper way to spew. Rebates are showy, but really just another silly expenditure of public funds just to give away the checks.
And no, lest someone ask, I think the stimulus package is a stinker, anyway.
Julie -- I don't like animals, so have no objection to kicking dead horses or live ones for that matter. My comment was directed to the point that it turned out there was no difference between the Democractic and Republican majorities in Congress with regard to spending. Remember all the publications by Heritage and other conservatives about Congress being out of control, etc? Most of that stopped when the Republicans took control, leading one to suspect that the real problem was who was receiving the spending. The Republicans just wanted it to go to different people. It does make a difference, I think, contrary to what Kate suggests, about where the money goes. Should we argue that the Republicans' spending targets were more worthy (more productive?) than the Democrats'? If we don't make such distinctions, then isn't this all just low politics (i.e. distributing the spoils)?
I was being sarcastic, and distribuiting the spoils is a useful way of putting it if we consider that giving money to taxpayers might be a way of playing to the R. base whereas giving money to non-taxpayers might play to the D. base. Yet in terms of help to the national economy, neither seems particularly
useful, but perhaps I trust the WSJ too much. Maybe this one plays to your point. I liked this: Imagine what we'd have got if they'd been negotiating against a Democratic Congress with something more than an 18% approval rating.
Well, you're right that Democrats are perfectly happy to criticize Congressional spending if the recipients are the military or anyone connected to the war effort and, conversely, Republicans are perfectly happy to spend tax-payer dollars on those efforts. Republicans don't always distinguish that spending by pointing out that it comes within the framework of the legitimate and delegated purposes and powers of the national government. Perhaps that's because of the ways in which Republicans have been happy to play the "me too" game with Democrats; offering so-called "conservative" variations (i.e., cheaper, more efficient, and in some ways market oriented) on the more liberal Democrat schemes. So what David is calling for is a reinvigoration of the debate over the ends or purposes of government? On that I offer a hearty "me too!" Unfortunately, I think all the "me too-ing" you've justly decried indicates that such a debate undertaken at this time would not be resolved in a way that we'd consider altogether satisfactory.
Julie -- don't know if you are following this any more but . . . The Republicans did not just spend on defense. When Bush said he wanted earmarks cut in half, Jim Moran, Virginia Democrat, said "the Republican controlled Congress had more earmarks than the Democrats before them and Bush never vetoed any." He's right. The Republican party you keep talking about disappeared during the Bush years and won't be in office in all likelihood for a long time, if ever again.
David, where do we disagree? Perhaps only in the last bit of your last sentence. If I really thought that, I'd just save myself the bother and shut up.
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