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Friday, September 22, 2023

Are there any brave Republicans in the House?

Today the House voted to pass Obama's economic stimulus plan. Each and every Republican voted against it. How bad could it be? Sure there was some pork. One could assert some of it smacked of socialism. But really, 100% marching in lock-step? At least ten or twelve Democrats had the courage to vote against it, presumably on principle.


Today the House voted to pass Obama’s economic stimulus plan. Each and every Republican voted against it. How bad could it be? Sure there was some pork. One could assert some of it smacked of socialism. But really, 100% marching in lock-step? At least ten or twelve Democrats had the courage to vote against it, presumably on principle.

I can see an insecure freshman representative knuckling under. After all, the leadership controls committee assignments and perks. But most of the representatives have some seniority. 
Not a single one of them broke with the party and said that while not perfect, and what bill is, he or she felt that it was important to get the economy going and ne or she wanted to demonstrate bipartisan support for a bill that everyone knew would pass anyway.
I’m not saying that the Democrats didn’t vote the party line when they were in the minority. But on many of this bills there were clear ideological differences and not the urgency the country faces on getting this bill back to the president’s desk as soon as possible.
How is it possible that this bill goes so against Republican Party principles that all 178 members of the House of Representatives voted against it?
That’s 178 congressional districts, that’s a lot of Americans who are hurting because of the economic crisis.
I want to hear what their better idea for these Americans besides the latest retreaded Republican mantra of their plan bringing twice as many new jobs at half the price.
Come on.
That sounds a bit like a filet mignon  on every grill at hamburger prices.
Otherwise known as the same old trickle down economics where the rich get richer and the poor, well, they  get scrapple.

33 thoughts on “Are there any brave Republicans in the House?”

  1. Congressional Budget Office: As reported in the Washington Times on 2/4.

    “President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday

    “CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.”

    It’s a good article. The CBO report should be required reading for anyone desiring a basis for an informed opinion.

    Washington Times article here.

    Congressional Budget Office report here.


  2. “At least the Democrats are doing something.”

    So, action is more important than results. Reminds me of a failing company I just left.

    One should always be careful when you are asked to “just do something”, just to be seen caring. Most of the time this will cost you a lot of money and not solve the problem.

    Economists clearly do not understand these problems, or we would have seen this coming. Many people say that the key to getting the economy going again is to inspire spending. They advocate giving cash to each consumer so they will spend it.

    I say no. This is how we got into this problem, spending money we cannot afford to spend, buying things we cannot afford to buy.

    The great MIT economist Rudy Dornbush used to advise third world countries to default on their debts, and to trip their high inflation into hyper inflation. Only then could they defeat the systemic foundations that supported a bad economy.

    What we need to do is to fail. Then, each family needs to save what ever they can, and spend when they really need to. Eventually those with money will spend it, they will buy from those with the best prices. Those who want to work will create things of value to sell. And the system bootstraps itself.

    There are actually lot’s of people with money who will want to spend it, or invest it. That’s good, too.

    And it will all work faster if the government gets out of the way. They do not know what they want to do, nor do the economist, and especially the bankers and money brokers.

    The longer the politicians keep telling us the problem is terrible and that they need to spend money to fix it, the longer the confidence decays, and the problem lingers.

    Yes, the Republicans are correct. Kill this bill before they can do more damage.

    Peace without freedom is still slavery.

  3. I would think that if the bill were really horrible, that is, loaded with lots of juicy pork, the Republican would have voted for it since, in the past, they have always voted for pork-laden bills. That all the Republicans voted against the bill suggests that the bill was probably a good one.

  4. Warren,

    Just mentioning Pelosi’s name…or Reid, or Boehner makes me cringe. These so-called leaders of the Chambers of Congress are beyond the most dirtiest of words that I could conjure up.

    My gripe is simple. Whether a poltician is labeled Democrat, Republican, Conservative, or Liberal is of absolute no interest to me. We hired individuals who made public claim that they will serve the best interest of the people and that they are capable of independent reason and logic for problem solving. They all swore to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United State.

    The simpletons mentioned above aren’t at all interested about the upholding anything outside of self-interest. They could care less about the damage a crashed market and economy, or just the general welfare of America. They’re fighting for power, control, and access over not only the wealth and resources of the citizens…but of foreign nations. They care about their own welfare. They’ve protected and sheltered themselves from all of the woes that the every day Jane and Joe have to suffer from and sacrafice for.

    But way most of all…they don’t FEAR consequences or believe they have a liability of accountability. So far…it’s evident that there won’t be any consequence or held accountable. There hasn’t been in the past.

  5. Well, it’s a new perspective as far as the 34,000 lobbyists and their economist shills are concerned. Ditto for our representatives at every level.

    As far as Obama is concerned, maybe Pat Wood has it correct:

    This whole thing surely has taken off a light speed… and those in our govt (and the Fed) who are supposed to know better are acting in very weird ways.

    Reflecting on the “bravery” that Hal is looking for, what is brave about following the herd… or the lemmings for that matter?

  6. Agreed. Completely. But you didn’t really expect the Republicans to just line up and smile while voting for this sack of Pelosi Pork, did you?

  7. Warren, Is it at all possible that Obama has had more meetings with the Republican leaders about the financial and economic debauchery in his first month in office than did Bush with Democrats in 8 years concerning…ANYTHING? Is it also possible that the Republicans have been telling Obama that they don’t won’t to change course…that the methods that they choose are historically successful? But you and I both know that’s not at all true. I’ve actually heard nothing new and innovative from the Repubs or the Dems thoughout this whole mess. In fact, if we follow the money that will be used from the 1.5 Trillion appropriated over the last months…it will mostly go to those that our government, both in the legislative branches and the beaureacrats, are beholding to…which amounts to about a dozen major corporatons who have stolen America and other nations blind over the past decade. Does anybody remember in 2004 Bush when he did a backdoor squeeze for about 800 billion out of Congress (a majority Republican at the time) without even bringing it before the people? Actually he did it in a real sneaky way. NEWS BULLETIN – CBS News – Nov. 19, 2004:

    President Bush signed legislation on Friday raising the government’s debt limit by $800 billion and clearing the way for Congress to send him an overdue $388 billion spending bill to finance most federal agencies. CONTINUED HERE (Edited to comply with quoting guidelines).

    FORGIVE ME Y’ALL…but don’t you kind of get the gist that Bush and the Republican Base didn’t quite invite the Dems in on the decision making process to work out this $800 Billion Bill? Does anybody remember being asked to input their 2 cents worth in this matter? According to the National Center for Policy Analysis:

    "How large are the federal government’s unfunded obligations? According to a National Center for Policy Analysis study, that depends on how we measure them. If we confine our horizon to the next 75 years, as government actuaries have traditionally done, the unfunded liability is about $18 trillion in today’s dollars — more than six times as much as the federal government’s outstanding bonds. If we focus only on people who are already participating in the system (either as beneficiaries or as taxpayers), the government’s net debt is more than $24 trillion — more than twice our current gross domestic product (GDP). If we consider only benefits that have been accrued so far (i.e., if we ended the program tomorrow and only paid benefits people have already earned), the debt is about $30 trillion — about three times the size of our GDP. If we look indefinitely into the future — and include not only people who are participating today, but all future generations — the U.S. government’s Social Security and Medicare unfunded obligations are equal to almost $50 trillion in today’s dollars. This means that in order to ensure the government will keep its promises, we need to have $50 trillion on hand right now, invested at a rate of return of about 6 percent. Since we don’t, the overall obligation will grow through time."

    Source: Liqun Liu, Andrew J. Rettenmaier and Thomas R. Saving, "How Large Is the Federal Government’s Debt?"(link added) NCPA Policy Report No. 263, National Center for Policy Analysis. _____________________________________________________________ LOOK ALL..We have a Government System problems…not a Democrat or Repubican problem. It’s more than a problem…it’s become a destructive pathology. We all need to learn to look outside the big box. Politicians want to keeps us confined to constantly thinking "Conservative and Liberal". It’s about 2 factions trying to control the wealth and resources…but not for the sake of the general welfare of the citizens.

  8. It’s a matter of principle. Obama campaigned on a platform stressing inclusiveness and inter-party cooperation. Yet this bill was created with no input from the other side of the isle. I think the Republicans are entitled to say ‘No, not until we’ve had some input and it is truly a bipartisan solution.’

  9. Okay, Almadine,

    Let’s throw “Just Wait it Out and Take Our Licks” into the ring. That’s really not a new perspective. That solution may well have been number one on the voters list as the way to deal with this mess when the market crashed and our Washington Partners in Crime cried and begged for $800 Billion. But unfortunately, we have an Oligarchy Government made up of about a 1000 people who are figure heads for a small band of corporations.

    As you probably know, Oligarchy Governments do as they please. My suggestion of pulling together a consortium of experts was really me blowing off frustration. It wouldn’t be profitable for “The Corporations” who backdoor operate the Oligarchy Government to bring in world-wide economic and financial experts to expose their BS and kick the skids out from under there scam. Madoff just wish he was as big a player as those who run our government.

    All I want Obama to do is kick out 34,000 lobbyists who current reside in Washington (only half that number resided when Bush took office). Then strap on some balls and clean out the slime who owe their souls to the Company Store. But, it’s obvious that he’s not in the business of breaking Washington of old habits or a crime buster. He’s here to save “We The People” from ourselves…using the same caliber and same character of those who are directly or indirectly related to causing the crash we’re in now.

    By the way…I voted for Obama. I shudder to think what life would be like with McCain setting in the Oval Office. He’d had a stroke by now and then the fun would really begin with Palin at the helm.

  10. Hal,

    Our finanical and economic problems are beyond anything we’ve ever experienced…even more different than during the “Great Depression Era…or events leading up to the depression. The variables are many and more complex.

    Obama is saying, and repeatedly, that he doesn’t know if this type of package will work or not. Not a single person is government has solidly said that anything that they do…or any aspect or portion of whatever effort they try to do will work.

    So, that brings us back to square one when the discuss the opinions of conservative or liberal perspectives. There are a lot of conservatives that say that even intervening in the market place with a bailout – stimulus package will come back to haunt our long-term economy.

    The conservatives are saying that failure of the current package is written in the wind because it’s not giving enough to small business or even large business to stimulate their abilities to hire people. So consequently they believe that large tax incentives is the answer.

    But doesn’t that conservative idea seem like a backward approach because if consumers don’t have the money…or are afraid to spend money…or that enormous numbers of people don’t even have jobs to spend for goods and services…then all of the business incentives in the world…other than government subsidizing business so that they don’t have to worry about working capital or profit…how is the consumer going to be directly encouraged through this package to engage in higher spending?

    Wow…sorry for such a long sentence.

    The liberal are saying that government will have to spend for the people. But how in the hell can government duplicate the spending behaviors of the people in not only our country…but from around the world because we also rely on spending behaviors from others in other nations.

    My main concern is that government is comprised of so many individuals who don’t have a clue about finance and economy. These pompous asses are the very ones that crashed our market place and economic in the first place. Why in the hell aren’t we bringing together a consortium of experts from around the world to work in concert with our legislators to solve our very complex problems.

    We have a global problem…not a national problem!

  11.  I have no problem along these lines with anyone who voted against the bill because of their economic philosophy, general with republicans the belief that tax cuts and trickle down are the ways to stimulate the economy vs. government programs. But if they voted for it because of what they call "pork" I’d like to demand that those who have never ordered sausages throw the first pork chop.

    The bill funds programs which should have been in another bill if this one was to be armored against accusations of pork. But the most money does serve to create jobs and stimulate the economy while benefiting the country in other ways at the same time.

    As for not reading bills themselves, I have no doubt this happens all the time. Legislators have aides to summarize bills for them. I shouldn’t have used the Patriot Act as a comparison. That bill trashed our civil liberties. That was far more damaging then any bill allowing corporate executives to pamper themselves with yachts, jets, caviar and Kristal champagne.

    There’s nothing remotely of that nature in this bill.

    I don’t want to get off onto the bailout bill because much of the problem with that was lack of the right kind of strict oversight of the recipients. Unlike the Republicans with their big business connections and self-identification leading to trust and don’t verify when it comes to both giving them money and regulating them, I think the Democrats will take a hard line with corporations and industry, a kind of don’t trust and verify

  12. Let’s see Hal… a glance told you what you needed to know? Something this important? Kind of like the Patriot Act? I don’t think I even have to comment.

  13. Hal, we HAD to do something quickly. Daggone it, do we ever learn?
    The Patriot Act, the original TARP bill are prime examples. The democrats have worked on this boondoggle since Obama won the election.
    This is bill should be named, “Dems Gone Wild”

    Perhaps if cooler heads prevailed, it may take a little longer, but they may just get it right.

    I recently moved to WV, home of Senator Robert C Byrd, a/k/a the “pork barrel king”. He did bring home a lot of bacon to the state. His name is plastered on locks along the Ohio River, a slew of health clinics, roads, bridges. The Bureau of Public debt was spared his name. Despite all this, WV remains one of the poorest states in the union.Buinesses are taxed to death. (On the other hand, I pay less taxes on my 40 acre farm, 2 natural gas wells and a house on separate property than I do on my 2 bedroom condo in Roanoke, VA.)

    Despite the pork, we still have dams and bridges that are a public hazard in that some are in desperate need of or beyond repair. We need massive spending on infrastructure, which is what Obama wanted.
    He is getting a fraction of what he asked for. The rest is rubbish.
    $600 million for new government cars. Good grief.

    Just because we need to do it quickly, doesn’t mean we don’t have the brains to do it right. The bravest ones voted no. They had clearer heads. Fourteen democrats agreed with the GOP. In this case, the GOP was correct and a few dems. It shouldn’t be partisan, just common sense.

  14. Hal…not only is it not being cynical to suggest that a higher number than not read the package document.

    During the past presidential election run, McCain was caught a number of times by members of the media who asked him specifics about certain bills that he claimed to have support…or not support…and because he had personally read the bill or even had his staff to read the entire bill. (edited – added comment for clarity 1-31) **Most often he had to admited that he hadn’t read…or even been gotten anything beyond a point summary.

    I think that if it were thoroughly resarched…we’d find a whole lot of Congressional members who don’t read bills in their entirety.

    I’ve looked for percentages of funds based on catagories. It’s surely too wordy for me to consume all of the detail.

    I suggest that most in Congress only know about specific interest parts of the package.

  15.  I looked over the summary of the bill and decided that even if I posted a link to it few would actually read it. Plus, anybody who was interest could easily have found it.

    I didn’t look at the bill itself and I’m not going to;  the summary was long enough and a glance told me what I needed to know. So that’s what I wrote about.

    Does anybody want to study the entire bill and report back. Be my guest. It’s only 680-some pages long.

    The point of my column was that we had to do something, and do it rapidly, and to put it bluntly  just how ideologically far apart can the two parties be that not a single Republican wouldn’t vote for it.

    Would it be too cynical to suggest that some legislators, on both sides of the article, didn’t personally study the entire bill?

    Hmmm. Kind of like the Patriot Act. But you’d think on something this important — 


  16. It’s not? You mean those are real dollars? You mean those are TAX dollars I just sent in? That was sarcasm by the way. You missed it last time so I thought I’d point it out.

    And it’s not tax and spend, it’s the new and improved tax and spend, called “Borrow and Spend”, brought to us by our former president. When was the last time we saw government grow larger than ever before? Hmmm, when was that? Oh that’s right, it was during Regan’s 8 years.

  17. I am so disgusted with our Representative I could literally scream. He’s been in office a very long time, and though a Republican, siphoned off a lot of Independent and even Democratic votes to win re-election. Why? Because, as many people I know, including my own mother, put it “he’s done a lot of good for this area” (meaning the things he was able to bring to our area, designated by his party as PORK). Our district went largely for Barack Obama, and are not just the few far-right jerks who inhabit the county surrounding my city. Yet he voted AGAINST the wishes of his constituents; obviously, the message he was sent fell on very deaf ears. There was a time, when I lived 30 miles away and he didn’t represent this area of Virginia, when he was more moderate and didn’t vote as far-right as he has since the district was gerrymandered when Republicans seized control of our state’s government. Frankly, I think even the old Frank Wolf would’ve voted against it, since he obviously has no backbone in any case.

    The GOP (Grotesque Obstructionist Partisans) obviously sees nothing wrong with playing games with the lives of very real people, who are not numbers on a ledger, which is apparently all Republicans think they are. All they care about is regaining power. They say they have a ‘better way’, which is nothing more than the same old way they ALWAYS have, a proven LOSER in this kind of disaster, which might even make things worse (see how well they did over the last few years?). I’m so sick them and the garbage they spew: what a bunch of jerks.

    Playing games with the lives and futures of real people to regain political power is despicable. Our economy affects not only us, but the rest of the world as well. In short, they are willing to tear everyone else down on the slim hope that they will win the upcoming election. They don’t deserve to even scrub the floors.

  18. Too bad it’s NOT A GAME or a reality show. And it’s not a partisan issue either. I don’t see any billions for individual morons either… just more of the same old tax and spend without end.

  19. For me I am so happy it is “Game On!” time. F Rush Lintbutt and the rest of the retards who listen to his show.

    I saw a republican president ask a democrat controlled congress for $700 billion for the morons who screwed up our financial system. Now a democrat president has asked the same congress for $850 billion for the morons who screwed up their own personal finance. And the republicans are a no? Seriously is this some sort of friggin TV show? Too much. If I didn’t laugh I’d cry.

  20. Hal writes: “But if they voted for it because of what they call “pork” I’d like to demand that those who have never ordered sausages throw the first pork chop.”

    Hal, Silly me. I thought it was a new day in DC

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