According to CNBC, the US Senate has pared Obama’s Stimulus Package from $937 to $780 billion. A vote is expected Sunday because Congress needs to start its recess ASAP.
(Remember the expressed outrage when Iraq’s Congress took a vacation while its nation faced insurrection and bankruptcy? Remember our Congress’ indignation that Iraq’s lawmakers had the chutzpah to take a vacation while American taxpayers footed the bill? Remember the purpled faces and bursting veins of our shining palladins?)
Most economists are pleading for a Stimulus Package nearer $1 trillion. They’ve tossed an I Ching of formulae based on percentages of Gross National Product and investment/return ratios and are shrieking, “The appropriation is going backward! The train is out of control! The horses are stampeding!” Not a catastrophic metaphor has been left in the box. And yet, Nero fiddles as Rome burns.
Additionally, “Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry said the compromise price tag would be made up of 42 percent tax cuts with 58 percent in new spending.” (CNBC)
Most economists agree that tax cuts are anathema in times like these–like a passenger trying to stop a run-away rollercoaster by dragging her feet on the track: it’s a waste of time, it won’t work and the thing in need of saving will get her legs broken.
Obama’s practice these past two years has been to watch his opponents crash of their own gravity. He doesn’t participate substantially in that downfall. (It’s a basic Gandhi/King principle; a kind of Judo politic.)
These past weeks, President Obama has hosted a bipartisan Super Bowl party and two cocktail “parties.” He’s bearded the Conservative lion in its den down at Congress. He offered a stimulus bill with enough tax cuts to raise brows in the pundit community and yet, Senate Republicans and Conservative Democrats reduced the package by another $150 billion.
Zero Republicans voted for the first compromise package.
Two or three are expected to vote for the Senate bill.
Has Obama sold our economic future down the tubes for the sake of a few bipartisan pieces of silver?
Or, has he allowed knee-jerk naysayers with bankrupt economic policies to dramatically and publicly shoot themselves in both feet?
Obama’s slated to offer his Recovery Plan this coming Monday. He wants the Senate to pass the Stimulus Package before that.
If the Recovery Plan covers all the bases Candidate-Obama trumpeted the past two years, it will include more funds for health care, infrastructure, “greening” and the consequent job production and training. By the time the Recovery Plan is unveiled, the “loyal Conservative opposition” will have been marginalized on their own petards.
If I sound like a True Believer, eschewing rebellion in the face of Obama’s vows that, “Tomorrow, Tomorrow” my reward will come tomorrow, I apologize and propose this:
If the Recovery Plan is more of the same “bipartisan,” lowest-common-denominator-political-toadying as offered by the Stimulus Package, then every worker, wannabe-worker, retiree, wannabe-retiree, student and wannabe-student needs to march on Washington within the month. We need to take our tents, backpacks and firewood for cooking.
And we must not accede to being penned like cattle behind officially-approved barriers.