Obama signs “stimulus” legislation in Colorado
Barack Obama’s own “Hogzilla” was officially executed in Denver, CO today, but not in the way that most Americans might like. And when the president mentioned that today “marks the beginning of the end,” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wondered if he even needed to finish his sentence.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a bill so desperately needed that members of Congress were not even given enough time to read all 1,073 pages before voting (and, curiously, before the president took a three-day vacation without signing the desperately needed bill), is a laundry list of dreams and hopes and aspirations of big-government liberals, 14 long years in the waiting, and with a price tag of only $787 billion.
Conservatives have criticized the bill as being full of pork and other unnecessary spending, though President Obama himself dismissed such charges at his first official White House press conference, going as far to say outright that there are “no pet projects” in the legislation.
Even today, in the speech delivered before signing the bill, Obama said that the plan was “put together without earmarks or unnecessary spending.”
Of course, an $8 billion Mag-Lev train running from Disneyland in Anaheim, CA to Las Vegas in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada sure isn’t a “pet project.” And, of course, what kind of idiot would characterize $300 million spent for electric golf carts as “unnecessary spending?” That’s like saying that the $650 million for digital television converter box coupons was unnecessary, or that the $335 million for STD prevention programs was unnecessary, or the billions for further research on the settled science of global warming, or the $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, or the $6 billion needed–NEEDED!–to make federal buildings more energy efficient due to pressure from environmental groups.
No — no pet projects here, Mr. President. No unnecessary spending, either.
Today, Obama also said that his recovery plan will be “implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability,” yet the bill itself was born from closed doors and back-room deals within the halls and offices of the Democratic Party leadership in Congress. Gosh, how quickly he must have forgotten the promises made on his own transition Web site, and how those promises were trampled by congressional Democrats who shut Republicans, as well as the public, out of the reconciliation process.
Furthermore, any argument for “responsibility,” an argument made at several points by the president today, goes straight out the window when we look at how this legislation came about. Responsibility, I would imagine, requires that legislators actually read what they’re about to sign when it comes to the largest spending package in the history of this nation, if not in the history of the world. Thanks to the president’s false sense of urgency, manufactured for the sole purpose of forcing our elected officials and the American public to swallow legislation which, with the proper amount of time, may have been exposed as more detriment than help, lawmakers were forced to vote without examination.
And, of course, we’ll see about the “accountability” part. Only time, and the biased mainstream press, will tell. Surely, Obama has done enough to talk down the economy–gee, wasn’t former President Bush savaged by the press for doing just that at the outset of his first term?–and to temper otherwise astronomical expectations that, once signs of the inevitable failure of his policies begin to present themselves, he’ll be left with two choices: (1) Say that the further downslide of the American economy was a delayed aftereffect of the administration which preceded his, or (2) say something along the lines of “imagine how much worse it would be if we hadn’t acted!”
Either way, Americans everywhere are going to need a shower to rid themselves of the political filth.
If there is any good news to come out of this today, it comes from the fact that much of this much-needed spending will not even be allocated for a number of years down the road, including projects which may not even begin until after the 2016 Olympic Games. If the Republican Party can maneuver itself properly, if it can retain much of the fire and principles shown over the past few weeks and establish a mechanism by which that message can be effectively disseminated, we could be looking at 1994 all over again . . . in 2010.
In the meantime, however, let’s tear this legislation apart and see what it is we’ve done. With this culture so determined to panhandle rather than work and to reap the consequences of doing so, we are the apple which has fallen so far from the Tree of Liberty. With the idea that we can somehow emerge from the aftereffects of fiscal irresponsibility by being even more fiscally irresponsible, we have abandoned any sign of common sense. Let’s see how truly bad it is.
Regardless, the very idea behind this legislation will not work. Even if it were correctly implemented, which it has not been thanks to the pay-to-play nature of [Democratic] party politics, it would not work. We simply cannot overcome debt by taking on more debt. The economy simply does not work that way, and such a premise has been tried and has failed. Even the Congressional Budget Office argued that we were better off doing nothing at all than passing this abomination.
But it doesn’t matter. Barack Obama says that the package was necessary to avoid catastrophe so, therefore, it is. And, of course, the Democrats counter valid arguments by reminding everyone which party prevailed in last November’s election so, therefore, we should capitulate.
It doesn’t matter to them that the burdens of this bill will be shouldered by our children and grandchildren. It doesn’t matter that the American people don’t want this bill. None of it matters. It’s been 14 long years, and the Democrats have won. Too bad the rest of us have truly, truly lost.