Americans are hurting. The economy is in freefall and will probably continue on a downward path for at least the rest of 2009. A newly elected President Obama campaigned on “audacity” and “hope” and will do just about anything to resolve the economic mess.
What we here at Peace and Freedom hope for is a long-lasting solution. Not a band- aid.
And even a huge spending bill that doesn’t create wealth and long term economic solutions is still only a band-aid over what may be an economic cancer.
And if we want a long-term solution don’t we want wealth and prosperity for our children and grand children?
And will massive debt bring us that?
Do we want some immediate economic pain relief? Some Xanax? Some “feel good” stimulus? Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorder.
Like a band-aid, it doesn’t cure anything.
One of our great industrialists, Norman Augustine, recently told Congress, “America is becoming a nation of the unemployed.”
How do we cure that?
What do we do here? And what will Americans do in the future? And are the things we do economically “sustainable”?
We hope for jobs, but not just any jobs. We hope for jobs that continue after the government spending stops. And that may mean we have not yet finished “thinking out of the box.”
Maybe we haven’t really started, yet.
Spending massive amounts, and in a hurry-through-Congress manner, as the President-elect has requested, just doesn’t seem smart.
Our “New Deal” spending didn’t kill the Great Depression as I recall.
The Republicans don’t seem too smart on the economic thinking train as Tom Raum’s article below says. But maybe the Republicans are trying to say, “let’s think this through some more.”
Because some Democrats are saying that too.
John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
Audacity, Hope and Obama’s Spending Stimulus: Once Discredited Theory Gets A Real Try
Obama Pressed From Left on Stimulus
Obama Stimulus: Trapped Between Too Little Rock and Paul Krugman Nightmare
Pelosi, Committee Told, “America becoming the nation of the unemployed,” — Congress to Blame?
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer
Out of power, Republicans appear to be retreating to familiar old ground. They’re becoming deficit hawks again.
GOP lawmakers didn’t seem to mind enjoying the fruits of government largesse for the past eight years while one of their own was in the White House. Now they’re struggling to regain footing at a time of economic rout, a record $1.2 trillion budget deficit and an incoming Democratic president claiming a mandate for change.
It might not be the best time for running against more government spending. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from casting themselves as protectors of the public purse, striving for relevancy as Congress tackles President-elect Barack Obama‘s stimulus legislation.
“Congress cannot keep writing checks and simply pass IOUs to our children and grandchildren,” says Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Asks House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio: “How much debt are we going to pile on future generations?”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gets more specific: “We would like, on the spending side, obviously, to avoid funding things like a mob museums or water slides.” Mob museums?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen in 2008, speaks during a press conference.AFP/Getty Images
Las Vegas’ effort to include in the stimulus legislation federal money to set up a museum to showcase Nevada‘s colorful and storied past in organized crime has suddenly become the cited example of wasteful spending for some Republicans.
Perhaps they hope the proposed project in the home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., can divert attention from the “Bridge to Nowhere,” an Alaska project that was initially a Republican initiative and which became the target of Democratic scorn.
Obama has pledged the economic aid legislation will be free of such pork-barrel and “earmark” spending.
“It is somewhat disingenuous on the part of Republicans to be totally concerned about the debt and the deficit at this point because they were there when the debt went up,” said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.
When Republican President George W. Bush took office in 2001, the government had a projected $5.6 trillion, 10-year surplus.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Tom Raum has covered Washington for The Associated Press since 1973, including five presidencies.