Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Is This the "Stimulus Bill" or "Bipartisan Bill"?

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O Democrats)

Really. President Obama needs to make a choice, and we need to push him to make the right choice. I’ve had enough of the “bipartisan” BS and the corporate media idiots chattering on about how success will be mesaured by whether or not John McCain likes the bill. Shouldn’t we mesaure success on how many people are saved from financial catastrophe?

Paul Krugman hit the nail on the head today in diagnosing the disease in DC that’s causing the stimulus bill to gradually weaken and worsen into nothingness.

What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?

A proud centrist. For that is what the senators who ended up calling the tune on the stimulus bill just accomplished.

Even if the original Obama plan — around $800 billion in stimulus, with a substantial fraction of that total given over to ineffective tax cuts — had been enacted, it wouldn’t have been enough to fill the looming hole in the U.S. economy, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will amount to $2.9 trillion over the next three years.

Yet the centrists did their best to make the plan weaker and worse.

First off, the bill in its present shape is far too little to be very effective. How the hell can an $820 billion package with 40% of it consisting of near-worthless tax cuts be enough spending to fill that $2.9 trillion gap? And secondly, why were the most effective parts of the bill either trimmed down or completely eliminated? Studies have shown that direct aid, like food stamps and state & local government assistance, are the best ways to prevent an economy from failing. So why is President Obama so open to allowing a “stimulus bill” to pass that excludes what’s really needed to stimulate this economy?

The problem, as Jane Hamsher pointed out this morning, is that effective provisions of the bill are being forsaken for the sake of “bipartisanship”. Why? So Susan Collins and Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman can feel good about themselves? So Mitch McConnell and John Boehner can really have their way despite being in the minority? So “El Rushbo” Limbaugh can be “vindicated”?

Bipartisanship should be the means to an end, not some religious cult. There’s no reason why aid for the working poor should be sacrificed for “bipartisanship”. There’s no reason why aid for states like California, states about to literally go bankrupt, should be sacrificed for “bipartisanship”. There’s no reason why kids should be deprived of a college education for the sake of “bipartisanship”. There’s no reason why people should be deprived of needed health care for the sake of “bipartisanship”. And no, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t start investing in better energy choices for the sake of “bipartisanship”.

President Obama made a serious mistake in elevating the process over the substance, and we need to correct that. Tell the President not to sacrifice his values for the sake of placating cruel and bloodthirsty Rethuglicans. If you have GOP members of Congress, tell them to stop holding needy people hostage for the sake of “bipartisanship”. And if you have Democratic members of Congress, tell them to stand firm in supporting good provisions in the stimulus that actually help all of us in need.

We need real help, not empty rhetoric. We need a bill that puts people back to work, not a bill George W. Bush would be proud of. We need to remind our elected officials in Washington that they work for us, so they need to stop bending over backwards for stupid Beltway Pundits and start doing something for us.


  1. creamer

     I wrote my Senators, told them to allow the house to put some of the state money back in. I also think we will be revisting this by mid-summer, with block grants to the states.

  2. HappyinVT

    I don’t buy the notion that Obama is going to let this package be so weakened as to not be effective all the in the of bi-partisanship.  He said today that he wants education and state funding returned to the bill.  White House folks have said he will be very involved in the conference committee process.  Poll numbers from CNN and Gallup suggest that people are much more with him and his handling (presumably that includes an attempt to woo Republicans) of the package than Republicans.

    He has all the momentum going his way; you could say he always did and you’d be right to a certain extent.  However, he campaigned in part on changing the tone in Washington.  If he had not tried to reach out, he would have been accused vociferously of reneging on a central campaign pledge.  Instead, he tried reaching out a hand and got bit in return.  The Republicans have shown their hand, and have become obstructionists for the sake of obstructing (and 2010).

  3. Not only Democrats (Gov. Schwarzenneger is here).  Governors have to be responsible for their states, unlike congressmen…

    February 3, 2009

    The President

    The White House

    Washington, D.C. 20500

    Dear Mr. President,

    We are writing to express our support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which passed last week in the House and is under consideration currently in the Senate. As stewards of the economies of our respective states and regions, we urge the Congress to reach prompt resolution of all outstanding differences and you to sign the bill when it reaches your desk.

    Families and businesses across the nation are hurting. Credit markets have seized up, which is affecting both business activity and consumer spending. Unemployment is rising sharply. While we all believe in the importance of free markets, we believe that the markets today need stimulating.

    We support the objectives of ARRA and welcome the partnership it offers us as governors. The support for a temporary increase in the federal commitment for public education, health care (including cost control through initiatives such as health records IT), and for rebuilding our public infrastructure will create and preserve jobs today, and represents a sound investment in our long-term economic interests as well. We look forward to working with Congress and your Administration to advance an economic recovery package that puts federal dollars to work in our states in the quickest and most efficient manner as possible.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Respectfully yours,

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger                               Governor M. Jodi Rell

    California                                                                  Connecticut

    Governor Deval Patrick                                               Governor Charlie Crist

    Massachusetts                                                          Florida

    Governor Bill Ritter Jr.                                                Governor Chester J. Culver

    Colorado                                                                   Iowa

    Governor Jack Markell                                                Governor Jon S. Corzine

    Delaware                                                                   New Jersey

    Governor Pat Quinn                                                    Governor Ted Strickland

    Illinois                                                                       Ohio

    Governor Jennifer M. Granholm                                    Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski

    Michigan                                                                   Oregon

    Governor David A. Paterson                                        Governor James H. Douglas

    New York                                                                  Vermont

    Governor Brad Henry                                                  Governor John deJongh Jr.

    Oklahoma                                                                  Virgin Islands

    Governor Edward G. Rendell


    Governor Timothy M. Kaine


    Governor Jim Doyle


  4. Tonight on MSNBC, Hardball, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida strongly approved President Obama stimulus package and urged other Republicans to get on board.

    Here’s the link to the video:

    Lets surprise the Governor with a quick email just saying thanks for endorsing the President’s plan….think how surprised he will be……let him see what being bipartisan really means….I’m sure he will tell other Republicans….let’s spread the wealth!!!

    Agreed.  Reward good behavior with praise.

    Email sent.

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