Posted by: trickyguy | February 2, 2009

Bipartisanship: Lots of talk, little walk

There were so many who said that “compromise, dialog, bipartisan, collaborate” were only good words.  I did not believe those folks; I was fully confident that business as usual was no longer going to be the norm in Washington.  Right now, I feel like I may have been wrong.

Americans are closely watching the economic stimulus bill as perhaps the most major early work of the Obama Administration and the Congress.  Are others seeing what I am?

Was this bill not supposed to be designed to save and create jobs, keep Americans from losing their homes, and help those who’ve already lost their jobs and homes?  And wasn’t it supposed to be focused on the most immediate results possible?

I see a bill rife with spending on things that no sane person could possibly see as related to those core goals, and spending on other things that, while laudable, are longer term fixes.

While I imagine that the sod in the Capitol Mall needs replacement, and I certainly support family planning, I cannot reconcile them with the ills this bill is supposed to address.  I love education, it doesn’t help NOW with THIS crisis.  I’d like to see roads repaired.  Tell me how that will help me keep my house.

And I certainly don’t think honey bees have a damn thing to do with turning around an economy teetering on the brink of depression.

And if any reader thinks I am taking the Republican side on this, I think that tax cuts themselves also do not fit the bill.  Tell me how a cut in personal taxes is going to help someone who is unemployed, on the brink of losing their house, wondering how to put food on the table.  How does that keep businesses from laying off thousands more workers?  Do you think Macy’s laid off 7,000 workers today because their taxes were too high?

No, I see no sign of bipartisanship in this bill.  The Democrats have loaded the bill with questionable spending.  The Republicans are doggedly insisting that tax cuts are the way to salvation.  The same old crap: left vs. right, government program spending vs. tax cuts.

What I want from the President is leadership.  Get leaders of both houses into a room and talk about what this bill is and is not.  If I were Obama, I’d threaten to publicly “out” any member of Congress who attempts to slip in any provision that does not meet the criteria for this bill.  I’d make Republicans bring in credible economic experts to justify that tax cuts will really help the situation.

And I would lock the doors until a real bipartisan consensus is reached.  Mr. Obama, that’s why I voted for you.  I want a leader.  Step up now.

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