I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Return Of The Politics Of Fear

As the debate over the massive spending bill heats up in the Senate, the outrageous rhetoric has stooped to new lows. The $800 billion “stimulus” package that the Democrats pushed through the House of Representatives has continued to expand to more than $900 billion. Instead of fulfilling the promise of “trimming the fat” from government, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has overseen the addition of even more pork to already bloated spending bill.

A Rasmussen poll taken this week showed that public support for the bill has shifted dramatically over the past 2 weeks. 2 weeks ago 45% of the public favored the plan compared to 34% opposed to the plan. Now a mere 37% support the measure with 43% firmly opposed to spending billions of taxpayer money on frivolous pet projects that will do nothing to stimulate the economy.

Talk radio and Internet bloggers have combed through the proposal and highlighted numerous line items that the politicians have had much difficulty trying to justify the billions pledged. The American public clogged the phone lines at the Capitol this week voicing their displeasure over the enormity of the spending bill. The reaction to this measure is reminiscent of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of the summer of 2007. As you may recall, the Senate attempted to just push the bill through with very little debate or public scrutiny. The public outcry over the immigration bill doomed it to an early grave.

As public opinion over the “stimulus” plan has soured, the administration and congressional leaders have come out to try to scare the populace into supporting it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed this week that for every month that they do not pass their “stimulus” package, 500 million Americans would lose their jobs. That number is staggering, especially considering that the U.S. Census bureau projected the U.S. population on New Years Day to be about 305 million. I know that she misspoke, but she said it at least 3 separate times. Surely someone on the Speaker’s staff could have corrected her after the first gaffe. President Obama made the rounds to the network news shows to try to sell the need to pass the proposal now. He even claimed that if the Congress did not pass the bill now, “we may never recover”. The proponents of the massive waste of taxpayer money claim that this is the worst economy since the Great Depression. The trouble is that they are obviously lying. The economy during the Jimmy Carter presidency was by leaps and bounds much worse than it is now. We had double-digit national unemployment and interest rates. Of course, if we continue down this foolish road of frivolous spending we will surely see the return of malaise.

A stimulus bill is needed to turn our sluggish economy around, but it needs to be a measure that will put more of our own money back in our pockets. It should not be a bill that steals more of our money to fund the pet projects of politicians. Action just for the sake of action is folly. I believe that this current bill should be defeated in it’s entirety and Congress should start over with more focus on actual economic stimulus vice more unnecessary spending.

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