(cartoon via Cox and Forkum)
This is the change we were promised?
I LOVE this. The new kind of politics of hope. Eight hours of debate in the House of Representatives to pass a bill spending $820 billion - or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate.Indeed.
Only 10 percent of the "stimulus" to be spent on 2009.
Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ (or both) members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions or other Democrat-controlled unions.
This bill is sent to Congress after President Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for the president to have read the whole thing.
For the amount spent, we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000.
We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000.
There has been pork-barrel politics since there has been politics, but the scale of this pork is beyond what had ever been imagined before - and no one can be sure it will actually do much stimulation...
This has been a punch in the solar plexus to the kind of responsible, far-seeing, mature government processes that are needed to protect America. This is more than pork-barrel - this is a coup for the constituencies of the party in power and against the idea of a responsible government itself. A bleak day.
Unfortunately, it is only the latest in a long series of such days stretching across decades of rule by both parties, to the point where truly responsible government is only a distant echo of our forgotten ancestors.
Why is it that the same people who think we can't afford the Iraq War when the economy was strong thinks we can afford the stimulus when the economy is weak? Why do the same people who constantly complained about the government using fear of terror to consolidate power and increase spending turn a blind eye when their party does the same thing using economic fears? I find it worse than dangerous when people start putting party over principle -- something both sides of the aisle are guilty of.
So much for change.