Legislation garners zero Republican support, seven Democrats vote ‘Nay’
Well, the important thing is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not miss her flight — never mind that her House of Representatives just passed $787 billion in wasteful spending about as well disguised as an economic recovery package as Michael Moore in a tutu would be disguised as a ballerina.
Just as with the original vote, the final version passed with not a single Republican voting “aye,” providing at least the equivalent of a candlelight of hope at the end of a long, dark tunnel, though it appears as though a few of the 11 courageous Democrats who stood up against the package before caved in, as only seven Democrats did the right thing and resisted pressure from their socialist colleagues.
Those Democrats are Reps. Bobby Bright (D-AL), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Parker Griffith (D-AL), Walt Minnick (D-ID), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Gene Taylor (D-MS). While I certainly would not suggest calling them now, over the next few days it may not be a bad idea to send a few e-mails expressing appreciation for doing the right thing.
A few of those Democrats stick out in my mind, for various reasons. There’s Shuler, who besides being a former professional football star, has proven himself to have just about as much common sense as any Democrat lawmaker, if not more. There’s Bright, making me proud as a fellow Auburn University alum. There’s DeFazio, who just recently introduced legislation entitled the “No BAILOUTS Act.” And, there’s Gene Taylor, who came up very favorably in my recent conversation with Republican Congressman–and phenomenal conservative–Walter Jones of North Carolina.
In the meantime, America’s Right received a statement from Rep. Jones regarding today’s vote. As I expected, it’s exactly what I wanted to hear as a conservative and, more importantly, as an American:
It’s fitting that this bloated bill was passed on Friday the 13th, because this massive government spending will result in scary consequences for our children and grandchildren. Problems that have been caused by too much spending and too much debt simply can’t be solved by more government spending and more federal debt. While there is no doubt that our nation’s economy is suffering a severe downturn, this so-called economic “stimulus” bill is a borrow-and-spend plan with no guaranteed benefits for our economy. I was hopeful that Congress could consider an alternative package that would focus on job creation and cost the taxpayers less. Today’s passage of the largest spending bill in history is not the proper relief for our nation’s ailing economy.
Our nation’s budget deficit is already estimated at $1.2 trillion for the current year. This “stimulus” package merely saddles the American people with even more federal debt. According to the Congressional Budget Office this legislation will increase the federal budget deficit by $792 billion, with additional interest costs of at least $300 billion. With the package’s total cost at $1.1 trillion, Census Bureau statistics indicate that the bill amounts to a per-family cost of at least $9,418 in new spending and debt.
With each citizen’s share of the national debt at $34,000 before this legislation, the American taxpayer cannot afford to be put on the hook for non-essential government spending – like the bill’s $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $1 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund which can be used for STD education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
From here, the Senate is expected to vote on the final version of the so-called “stimulus” package this evening — a time-frame which limits the capability of any lawmaker to actually read and comprehend the bill’s contents.
I’m not sure which bothers me more — the actual price tag on the bill, or the fact that a piece of legislation with such an enormous price tag and so many possible adverse consequences was rushed through like a eight-year-old gives a cursory look at the directions accompanying his new Christmas present. I know that our economy is faltering, I know that people are losing jobs and losing homes. It’s not pretty out there, but doing the wrong thing could make matters worse, and I shudder to think of the lasting damage done to America in the name of political expediency.
I come to you each and every day from Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love. A city with the feel of a town, a place which because of the history, the restaurants, the museums and more could truly be world-class but for the malfeasance of a bloated city government and the culture of dependence it has created. More and more each day, I look at Philadelphia as a microcosm of what America may become. Stifling taxes, unchecked spending, and such wanton dependence upon bloated social services that anyone who tries to step in, politically, and do the right thing is laughed off as just another “have” looking to take everything away from the “have-nots.”
For much of every day, I work within steps of where our nation was founded. Often, when the weather is nice and I find myself with the extra time, I’ll sit for a moment in the shadow of the building in which our founding documents were developed, debated and signed by those imperfect men who, driven and enlightened by the knowledge of the governmental pitfalls the wished to avoid, established the great experiment of America. More often than not, I’ll ignore the sandwich in my computer bag and find myself gazing into the windows of that very room, wondering what they would think of today’s America.
When judging our government and people today, I feel it is important to remember that our founders came here for a reason, designed this nation and Her government through careful thought and lengthy consideration, wanting for America and Americans what England and the King had been determined to stifle, enjoin and eliminate. America, to them, was to be everything their previous country was not, and the limits they attempted to place on our government’s size, scope and purpose were designed to ensure that it would work.
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly apparent that, after all this time, it has not. Considering what happened today in the chamber of their own creation, perhaps it is in that regard where many of those who signed the Declaration of Independence and, later, the United States Constitution a few hundred yards away at Independence Hall would be so disapointed. These imperfect men gave their hearts and souls to make their ideas and ideals a reality, principles and values and priorities which have today been largely taken for granted, whittled away or in some cases completely forgotten.
After 230-plus years, this nation has undoubtedly departed drastically from our founders’ design, and I cannot help but believe that, if those men had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of today’s America, they would see a government neither by the people nor for the people but rather a government instead ignoring the people and their desperate cries for restraint and responsibility.