Republicans Rally Against the "Stimulus"
By Robert Romano
The newly inaugurated President Barack Obama spent some of his honeymoon political capital—a recent Zogby poll finds his approval rating at about 52 percent—attempting to persuade House Republicans to vote in favor of the so-called “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” Alas, to no avail.
Although the House of Representatives voted 244-188 in favor of the $819 billion spending bill—the so-called “stimulus—not a single House Republican voted in favor. House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH-8), Whip Eric Cantor (VA-7), and Conference Chair Mike Pence (IN-6) deserve the gratitude of the American people for voicing dissent to shackling the American taxpayer—their children, and their children's children—with a mountain of debt for perpetuity.
ALG News has confirmed from top Capitol Hill sources that the one Republican who was not present, Ginny Brown Waite (FL-5), had to leave early due to a family emergency. For the record, she would have voted against to the $819 billion debt stimulus.
To make matters worse for Mr. Obama—and in particular for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—11 House Democrats simply could not bring themselves to vote with their party: Bobby Bright (AL-2), Parker Griffith (AL-5), Allen Boyd (FL-2), Walter Minnick (ID-1), Brad Ellsworth (IN-8), Frank Kratovil (MD-1), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Gene Taylor (MS-4), Heath Shuler (NC-11), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and Jim Cooper (TN-5). Their Nay votes say implicitly what everybody knows explicitly: the extravagant $819 billion spending spree by the House—the largest spending bill ever—can simply not be justified to taxpayers.
In truth, Mr. Obama was, and is, desperate to garner Republican support for his Keynesian, command-and-control approach to economics. That's not because bipartisanship makes throwing money at problems government created more effective. It's because he fears those policies will fail. And when they do fail, he needs to have so-called “bipartisan” cover for the legislation so that his Party does not fall on a lonely spear. That is why he personally visited with Republican leaders on the Hill—including top conservative leaders—in what was quickly dubbed his “Charm Offensive.” The bottom line: the siren's song failed, and Mr. Obama is going to have to find some other Republicans to help him if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Peloisi, and he do not want to be left holding the bailout bag all alone.
His next move will be to take his siren's song to the Senate. But, the fact is, he likely will not find willing participants to provide cover there, either. According to the Washington Post, the deficit could be close to $2 trillion even without the “stimulus,” the monetary base has never been higher according to the Fed, and the national debt of $10.7 trillion has never been greater. Forty percent of the privately held debt comes due this year, and Senate Republicans know that in order to pay for that debt being called in, let alone the $819 billion spending bill, the U.S. will have to borrow yet more money from overseas. That is, if the nation's foreign creditors are even willing to oblige Big Government insatiable, hideous addiction to spending.
Clearly, there will be are numerous of issues in the months to come that may warrant bipartisan support. Shackling the American taxpayers, and their progeny, to a mountain of debt so Mr. Obama can claim a “bipartisan” political victory is not one of them. Senate Republicans should stand with their House colleagues against this madness, and do everything in their power to stop the “stimulus” from stimulating the debt.
Robert Romano is the Editor of ALG News Bureau.