The Failure So Far

Between the ‘stimulus’ package and cabinet nominations, Congress and the president are striking out

In a fairly long but undoubtedly comprehensive piece today at Human Events, editor Jed Babbin asks the question of whether this Congress, and indeed this president, could be the fastest failure ever. Among other things, he cites the lack of any perceived change–as promised by the president several times–in the way Washington works, and he cites the pending failure of the so-called ‘stimulus’ plan to make any inroads in healing our economy.


Only $30 billion of the $825 billion package is dedicated to fixing infrastructure projects such as highways and bridges. There is $40 billion for electric grid development and another $20 billion in tax breaks for business. That’s only about $90 billion out of $825 billion or 12 cents on the dollar that — as the Wall Street Journal pointed out — can plausibly be characterized as an economic stimulus. Even the minor business tax breaks it includes will not do much to stimulate business.

As I’ve written here at America’s Right several times, while I’d rather any sort of stimulus plan be entirely about the reduction of the tax and regulatory burdens on Americans and American business rather than about the insane notion that we can recklessly spend our way out of debt, if we are indeed resigned to spend we should do so on carefully-chosen, shovel-ready infrastructure projects. Such projects would have long-term economic benefits and foster short-term job growth, but because the job growth on such projects would be short-term and the job bubble would burst with the completion of the projects, that’s where the tax cuts and regulatory relief kicks in. Job growth from the latter, unlike immediate construction projects, would be in the long term, as even a friendly business environment would take a little while to populate. In other words, carefully-chosen and shovel-ready projects could create job growth now and positive economic impact later, while lessening the encumbrances on business and industry would have job growth later and economic growth later — so, why not do both?

The answer is simple — because the common sense approach is being advanced by the minority party, and nana-nana boo-boo, we lost the election and should by golly be prepared to face the consequences. Unfortunately for Barack Obama, the consequences of locking out the conservative perpective will affect us all.

President Barack Obama made a fundamental error in underestimating the partisan mentality of his former colleagues in the House and Senate. This so-called “stimulus” bill is the way it is because it was authored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her socialist flunkies, people who routinely put their own party and their own political careers ahead of the needs and the welfare of the nation. As it stands now, Obama should pull the bill and re-work it himself. His own ideology will likely take a back seat to the need for pragmatism, and a small, bi-partisan group will likely be more capable of paring down the spending and increasing the common sense tax benefits than any sizeable group of Democrats.

As it stands now, however, this Congress will likely see the bill passed, and the adverse effects will be felt by all of us. Sure, if the Republicans can maintain the numbers to filibuster–do you hear that, Sen. Gregg?–they may be able to cause enough of a stink for the Democrats to pull the bill for later consideration, but at this point it looks likely to pass. That being said, when it fails, we must not let the Democrats in Congress and the head Democrat in the White House get a pass; credit must be given for the failure where credit is due.

The failure to act appropriately with regard to the economy is not, however, the only failure we’ve seen from Congress. One issue that Mr. Babbin did not address in his commentary on the failure of the 111th Congress was the confirmations made with regard to Obama’s cabinet and inner circle. During the campaign, we argued that then Sen. Obama surrounded himself with crooks, criminals, con-men, terrorists, and the like. It appears that, with the possible exception of the latter, he is doing the same now.

Congress, on both sides of the aisle, has been complicit in this. For Secretary of State, they confirmed a woman whose husband, a former president, received hundreds of millions of dollars from overseas sources, many of the same individuals and nations and entities with which she will likely be currying favor. For the Treasury Secretary, overseer of the Internal Revenue Service, they confirmed a tax cheat. For the Director of Health and Human Services now, they prepare to confirm a former colleague who not only refused to pay more than $125,000 in taxes, but also received several hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from many of the same healthcare-related companies and organizations with which he will eventually be dealing in his cabinet position.

On the choices for Treasury Secretary and HHS Director, Timothy Geithner and Tom Daschle, these are people who will craft economic and health plans which in the future will be asking Americans inevitably to shell out more in taxes, yet Daschle and Geithner themselves managed to “forget” to pay their own. Yet, these are men who have either already been chosen, or are en route to being chosen, for a cabinet post. It’s disgusting.

In today’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was confronted with several questions about Daschle in particular, whose tax problems were conveniently aired by the mainstream press over the weekend. Asked whether there actually is an amount of past due taxes which would be disqualifying with regard to a cabinet post, Gibbs said that “he would not get into hypotheticals,” and that “putting [Daschle's] mistake up against three decades of public service, the president still thinks that he is best suited” to make the new administration’s healthcare aspirations a reality.

“The president is not insensitive to the reports that are out there,” said Gibbs, “but he believes that Tom Daschle and Timothy Geithner are the right people for their respective jobs, and he does not believe that it will undercut their ability to move forward with ideas which he feels are right for the American people.”

No change has come to Washington. During his campaign, the president called for a renewed “era of responsibility.” After only a matter of weeks, it should be abundantly clear that we’ll see nothing of the sort.

We have the same self-dealing, the same boneheadedness, the same party-first mentality, especially from the Democrats. The only things different are our attitude toward foreign policy, now considered to be “weak” by our enemies, and our desire to introduce elements of social engineering into seemingly everything. Everything else is still rooted in the same desire to keep and maintain power; only it’s now the Democrats who have it to begin with.

For the future of America, Barack Obama is now on the hook. His success or failure depends in large part upon his ability to wrangle the out-of-control partisans in his legislative branch, and also in part upon those he chooses to inhabit his inner circle. On the latter, his mind seems set; on the former, however, he must act and act fast.

Obama ran with the promise that he would listen to both sides. While I knew such statements to be nothing more than empty drivel on the stump, perhaps everyone else realized it when he shot down Republican Rep. Eric Cantor’s ideas for economic stimulus with a simple “I won.” In order to succeed, Obama must abandon that sharp partisanship and at least entertain the ideas from the other side of the aisle.

Regardless, we must continue to hold our elected officials on both sides accountable for their actions. We must still make phone calls where necessary, and we must continue to speak with our friends, our families and our co-workers about what’s going on in the halls of Congress and the White House. Neither Congress nor the White House are doing their jobs, and the mainstream media certainly is not, either. Look around your dinner tables, look outside your car windows on your commute — America and Her people, especially Her children, depends upon us.

Share

Comments

  1. Kris says:

    Isn’t it time to bombard switchboards again – esp. to the Dems – about a real disgust out here that the people ARE NOT being listened to re: this pork spending. While they don’t seem to be suffering much inside that beltway, we’re sure feeling it out here. Tell them to move to help the people for once instead of themselves.

    Could we get those contact numbers again? They have short memories and won’t remember any calls from yesterday or recently before.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I received an announcement in the mail that a representative from a local district is having an open meeting for the public in his local office in mid-February. My husband and I own a retail business and I plan on sending the announcement of the meeting out to our entire local email list to get them to come. I urge you all to be on the lookout for such open meetings and ATTEND. If you don’t see any – REQUEST THEM. We are still in control of our government (well sort of – and least for the time being); they are supposed to work for us – they need to hear your voice and need to hear your voice LOUD and CLEAR. Keep flooding the voicemails and the electronic and physical mailboxes. From what I hear, at least the Republican representatives are listening. Now is not the time to hold back. Do NOT “roll over and show your throat.” Keep the pressure on.

    Linda
    Irvine, CA

  3. Anonymous says:

    Black sheep in the chicken coop? Or is it the “Black Wolf” leading the “black sheep” raiding the chicken coop? Requirements: Must be tax evader, under-the- table dealer, anti-American values and turn-coat fraud only apply (oh, and fake birth certificates ‘okay’).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Fastest, most ill-conceived, self-serving, long-lasting failure in the history of this country. It’s treason I tell you! I don’t know how these people can even look our kids in the face. They stole our children’s heritage, plain and simple.

  5. tm says:

    Jeff,
    In addition, the Stimulus(Not) bill will put us at odds with the EU in a so called Trade war
    …A spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the EU trade commissioner, said: “We are looking at the situation. The one thing we can be absolutely certain about, is if a bill is passed which prohibits the sale or purchase of European goods on American territory, that is something we will not stand idly by and ignore.”…

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/01/30/is-a-trade-war-on-the-horizon/

    http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/2996973

  6. Lisa says:

    Hey Linda,

    I live in Tustin, can you send me the info on that meeting? I’d like to attend.

    Lisa
    pedalgirl@gmail.com

  7. Bodenzee says:

    Where’s the CHANGE?

  8. PattyW says:

    The sad thing about Obama's "I won," comment is that now I am hearing it from my newly elected congressman. Tom Periello – Dem. freshman congressman used that response in a recent Q&A Town Hall meeting. When asked if he would vote with his rural constituent's needs in mind he stated he won and that he needed to listen to the majority who voted for him. He didn't win by a very large margin, I might add. He claims the spending would help our state of VA by improving roads and bridges. There isn't any around here that need the repairs! I think he is needing the money so that the roads in N. VA can be widened so that they can handle the traffic of all the unemployed folks from his rural district headed north looking for jobs!

  9. GATOR-1 says:

    I see it like this UOTUS has the opportunity to when this gets to his desk….rip it to shreads and show it for what it really is….Show it to us all in detail and then have some smart folks like Jeff show us the RIGHT way to do it and demand it from Congress…Make us ALL happy in some way and show us “change”…He does have the opportunity But the Smart folks part is sorely missing.

    He isnt going to do that… he is going to let them have their way.

    And that actually brings me some peace because if he WAS to do as I described?… That to me would prove him to be the Politican from the book of Revelations……

    He isnt that that smart he is just a device for now…The greedy ones and their failures will show them out in time. We are going to take some medicine but the Rebublic will survive.

    Anonymous said…
    They stole our children’s heritage, plain and simple.

    I beg to differ…..Our Heritage has been Earned and is Entrenched….it is our and our childrens futures they are after….They WILL NOT win…

    We have a tough road NO Doubt… I wrote letters to all 100 Senators?….Go to these meetings if you can find them?….We had a Dem Nay from here…not my district but I called and emailed voiced my appreciation….We gotta do it all…Dont worry about not having a Master Plan of just “How” as of yet because as a former soldier I can promise every Army has a detailed dotted I’s and crossed T’s plan for everything…..Knowing once the first shot is fired…..The whole plan changes…We all just need to keep doing what we are doing and….

    Keep up the faith….it sure looks like these dumasses will do themselves in pretty durn quick !

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,

    Different subject but WND and Agence France-Presse is reporting that before winning the November 4 election, Obama initiated discusions with Iran and Syria. I am no where an expert but doesn’t that violate the Logan Act?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I hope that Michael Steele will be able to invigorate the Republican Party but we MUST have Republicans senators and congressmens who will stand up and vote our principles regardless of whether or not it changes the outcome of a particular bill or confirmation. I attended a meeting with Senator Shelby where the audience could ask questions. One that I was particularly concerned about was the Geithner confirmation…Sen. Shelby chose to address that first since he knew there would be questions about it. He stated that the reason he voted for Geithner was because he knew he would win anyway and he would rather know his ‘enemies’ since he was acquainted with Geithner and felt that he knew how he would run the Treasury Dept. Huh? Is it me or is that the most flimsy-ss excuse I’ve ever heard in my life. So if you ‘know’ a bill is going to pass or a nominee will get confirmed, you’ll just vote ‘yes’. That INFURIATES me..at least we had some Republicans with the guts to say ‘no’, there is something wrong with this nomination…it is outrageous to put this man in charge of the Treasury when he ‘chose’ not to pay his taxes until it became public…now we have Daschle who has done the same thing and filed an ammended tax return. If our senators and congressmen will not stand up and say ‘no’ even if they are the only one who will do it, WHAT GOOD ARE THEY? These wimps disgust me!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Obama also Violated the Logan act when he Raised Money and Campaigned for his Cousin Raila Odinga in Kenya. Raila lost the election and then killed thousands of Christians and Whites for the next 3 Months. Obama then wrote a peace treaty that put Raila in as the Kenyan Prime Minister. That stopped the Riots. Nobody in the Senate or Congress cared about it when it happened in late 2006/early 2007, and they don’t care about it now. Just like they don’t care about his ties with William Ayers, Rashid Kalidi, Jerimiah Wright or any other of his American Hating Friends. They are all under George Soro’s Control just like the Main Stream Media. The only Senators and Congressmen that can do anything are probably under gag orders. All we can do is hold on and ride out Hurricane Obama/Soros/Alynski and pray we survive.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Who is there in authority to hold these false leaders accountable? Some that have “gotten in” probably did so illegally (i.e. Franklin v.s. Coleman) – especially those where the numbers were close!

    Going to the meetings have worked in the past, but these “thieves” are so interlocked the minority of “reason and sense” need to approach them where and when they least expect (weak link). Find that weakness, or employ ethical advocates that will hold their feet to the flame.

    Equipping and educating our children how to combat the continual conniving, plots of corruption is a constant and necessary task. Just like “buckthorn’ you need to cut it off/out and keep pulling out the roots, or it takes over.
    Thanks to you who are fighting to win!

  14. John Canuck says:

    I’m a Canadian so there’s nothing I can personally do except to yet again point out to you Americans that all taxpayers by now must have legal standing in a court of law (Re: challenging Barack Obama). Obama’s slogan was ‘change you can believe in’, this badly named stimulus package isn’t change; it represents the same old corrupt game of politics! Obama is taking money from the public purse and is directly repaying all of his backers! The present situation is the equivalent of explaining why the Palestinians are still piss poor in despite of have been given over a trillion dollars aggregately since the U.N. formed a separate refugee agency (UNRWA) in 1948 just to cater to the displaced Palestinians! Look at the difference between the Jews and the Arabs, when the Jews former the state of Israel, every Arab nation kicked out its Jewish population. The Jews weren’t even allowed to take any personal possessions or jewellery with them so they were forced to sell all their homes, furniture, gold, etc. for next to nothing because the Arabs wanted to humiliate the Jews! An equal amount of Jews moved into Israel from Arab countries as were an equivalent amount of Arabs that were displaced due to the war. The Jews didn’t have time to whine to the world; everyone worked the land and made personal sacrifices in order to make the new state of Israel work.

    On the other hand, the Arabs that got displaced were forbidden by the Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians and Jordanians to work; they were rounded up in U.N. displaced persons camps and were forced to be bums! The Palestinians have lived in a perpetual welfare state since 1948 opposed to the Jews who absorbed their fellow Jewish refugees and built a country! The Israelis didn’t round up their fellow Jews displaced from Arab countries and force them to live as perpetual refugees. The Israelis didn’t leave it up to the U.N to house, feed, clothe and educate the Jewish refugees from Arab lands; the Israelis absorbed them right away and made them equal and productive citizens! The Palestinian situation changed twice, after the 1967 war when Israel got back the Gaza Strip and West Band; the Israelis tried to immediately put money into the Palestinian economy but they were blocked by the U.N. The U.N. said it was responsible for the Palestinians, they said the only way the Israelis could help was to give the Palestinians their land back. But that was a political issue between Israel, the Jordanians and the Egyptians, so the Palestinians continued to live in squalor. The second changed occurred in the mid-1990’s when the Israelis allowed the Palestinians to have their own autonomy under a PA administration with Arafat as its leader. That’s when the corrupt Palestinians started to get massive amounts of money from foreign countries, each trying to sponsor their own mid-east peace strategy. When Arafat died (secretly from AIDS), it was estimated that he personally stole $900 million in public funds; ironically his wife and daughter lived in luxury in Paris!

    Now Arafat stole money for all of his friends as well, in the end the Palestinians still lived in poverty; as a result the PA split between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas was like Obama, promising change so the Arabs in the Gaza Strip voted for Hamas, Hamas took power and became even more corrupt than Fatah! How does this apply to Obama you may ask? Obama taking power is the equivalent to the world recognizing Arafat as the democratic leader of the PA in the mid-1990’s; power beget money beget greed beget violence beget civil war beget Hamas which spun the cycle all over again. Now with Obama as President of the United States, look how fast power and money have taken hold in this situation! Look how ACORN got over $5 billion; right there that’s the epitome of corruption! Now who is ACORN?

    http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=ACORN&gwp=16

    The bottom-line is ACORN is a group community based organizations trying to work for the poor; this money is the equivalent of the U.N. setting up a separate agency just to fund Palestinian refugees! After 60 years, the Jews have built an amazing democratic country that attracts alot of foreign investment. The Palestinians have received over a trillion dollars since in 1948; they’re still living in poverty and blaming the Jews! The only actions the Palestinians have done have been to violently attack Israel and attempt to economically attack the Israeli economy via its Israeli boycott campaigns. Obama has now set into play something disastrous because just as the U.N. established the UNRWA which began to feed the Palestinians on a cycle of indefinite welfare, Obama has started giving the poor or rather the spokespeople of the poor their own separate funds! This isn’t going to be just a onetime payment; Obama will have to continue to feed the beast he created!

    And just as with the Hamas—Fatah split, once all this money starts coming down the pike to the representatives of the poor, you’re going to see internal fighting and squabbling over this money! This is something nobody has yet talked about and ACORN is not going to be a unified organization for much longer because money corrupts but billions that’s with a B will ultimately destroy even the most honest person! And just as with the Palestinians, all that money never lifted them up and out from poverty, whereas the Jews didn’t bitch—they just got down to work and built a country! Likewise with this stimulus money, it can’t stimulate a segment of the economy based on a loosely coordinated organization trying to act as one huge umbrella group for the poor. Plus the bottom-line is they want affordable housing, which is the buzzword for subsidized housing! This is the exact opposite of trying to stimulate the economy because builders have no incentives to build subsidized housing and landlords have no incentive to keep rents artificially low so that low-income renters can pay rent below the market price!

    By giving over 5 billion dollars to ACORN, Obama has just set off the equivalent of making the recipients of these funds become the new Palestinians of the United States! ACORN and all of the organizations it represents are a drain on your economy rather than being an engine of growth! And just like the Palestinians rather than being responsible for themselves, ACORN blames the Jews and other Americans for their economic dilemma! ACORN has a variety of “haters”, those that speak of hate and assign blame to others in order to remove the shame of poverty, which in most cases is multi-generational. So you Americans haven’t even lived with 30 days of an Obama administration yet and already he was empowered the poor through tons of money that will essential act as an incentive for them to remain poor. But they’ll at least have the means to run a media machine in order to assign blame and still demand more money from the government! Obama single-handily has created the equivalent of the UNRWA and ACORN and all of its millions of recipients will have become the new Palestinians, well congratulations!!!

    This is just the tip of the iceberg that should prove that the American taxpayers in a class action lawsuit have legal standing to challenge Barack Obama in a court of law!

  15. Linda says:

    Very well said Canuck!! Jeff, this should be an article on your site. I appreciate someone who knows their history and is trying to educate people and make them learn from history. Let’s not be condemned to repeat it. BRAVO Canuck!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Down Goes Daschle! Hurray for Kharma! No more rope for Hussein, he’s off to one helluva start!
    God Bless America

Speak Your Mind

*