January 9, 2009
If you've ever wondered what America might look like as a one-party country, Republicans are trying to help you out. And by "trying" I mean rolling over and dying. President Elect Obama and his congressional henchmen are in the midst of swiping another $1 trillion-plus from American taxpayers. And Republicans -- who once upon a time professed concern for taxpayers -- could apparently care less. Either they believe stealing from our grandkids makes for sound policy, or they're too afraid to second-guess the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Whatever the case, it's embarrassing.
Today's Gallup poll finding 53 percent of Americans support Obama's "stimulus" plan is actually shocking. That his plan only registers support from half the country -- without anyone speaking in opposition! -- shows not every American has lost his way. Unfortunately those who have all work in Washington.
Today's pols -- and their media co-conspirators -- are monopolizing the "debate" over America's recovery. To sell a Washington economic power-grab, Obama spin-doctor David Axelrod is reportedly teaching Dems to use poll-tested, focus group-approved words -- like, "recovery" instead of "recession," "investment" instead of "infrastructure," "bold" and "urgent" instead of "a reckless and impulsive waste."
The sad reality is that marketing-as-politics actually works. Just ask President-elect Barack "Hope 'n Change" Obama. Or even Republicans of yore. In the 90s, opposition to the estate tax grew to more than 80 percent once Republicans took to slurring it the "death tax."
Now, everyone's a slave to platitudinous political rhetoric. No pol interested in surviving the next election will oppose an "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan," aka Obama's trillion-dollar Treasury blowout.
Yet it's not like we need to dust off our Econ 101 textbooks to find out how well this latest "fix" will work. The U.S. economy has already taken a swan dive into a bottomless abyss of debt. This time last year Congress passed a $200 billion "stimulus" -- and just look how well that's worked out.
Let's see how popular this "stimulus" bill is once Republicans rebrand it the "Downfall of the American Economy Act." Or the "Trillion Dollar Deficit Protection Act." Or, my favorite, the "Suicide Pact of 2009." Whether the GOP's still capable of being so bold is another matter. After yesterday's Obama presser, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the mic and threw down the gauntlet. Yes, he'd support a "stimulus bill" -- but only if it costs less than a trillion dollars. Pow! Take that, Democrats!
But at the risk of sounding cynical, it's worth noting Congress still has a few voices of sanity. USA Today reports, "As Congress prepares to borrow and spend billions of dollars to revive the economy, a growing group of conservative House Democrats is angling for long-term changes to reduce the federal government's soaring budget deficit. Leaders of the 51-member Blue Dog coalition ... say they want tighter spending controls in exchange for their support of the proposed stimulus."
That's right -- Democrats are now the last best hope for the American taxpayer. Not that the Blue Dogs will ever prevail against their party's poobahs.
To at least slow down America's rapidly accelerating deficits, the first step is clear. Republicans need to address its leadership deficit. Fast.
Friday, January 9, 2009