Some Republican Hypocrites & The Stimulus Package
This isn’t supposed to be a political post, but it’s going to be, unfortunately.
It all starts out with the stimulus package, which was passed by the Senate yesterday, 61-36. Some Republicans are so angry as those three Republicans who supported it that they’re already saying they’re going to raise money to support any Republican who decides to run against them in the next primaries; wow, what kind of hate is that?
Still, it got passed, flaws or not, and today, both the House and Senate finally came to an agreement on some sticky points, since there were some difference sin both bills that had to be resolved. Initially, the House was holding it up, but now it looks like all is going to be fine. The debate was on school construction and infrastructure; at least they were on the same page, to a degree.
Senator Susan Collins, one of the three Republicans who voted with the Democrats, highlighted these items as being part of the bill:
* The homeowner tax credit has been kept but significantly reduced. The Senate version proposed a $15,000 credit, double that of the House bill.
* A tax credit for people who buy a car in 2009 has been reduced.
* Funding to patch the Alternative Minimum Tax is included. The tax was intended to target the wealthy but now hits many middle-class families.
* $90 billion of increased Medicaid match to states.
* $150 billion for infrastructure, including $49.6 for transportation infrastructure.
There will also be tax breaks for workers, originally set at $1,000 per family or $500 per individual would be scaled back to $800 per family and $400 per individual. Many Democratic sources said 35 percent of the bill deals with tax cuts, 65 percent with spending.
The next part, of course, after President Obama signs this bill, the states will get their portion and go to work. The majority of Republican governors have come out saying they’re against this bill. The two most prominent proponents of the bill, though, are governors of the two states hurting the most; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Governor Charlie Crist of Florida. They are both desperate for the money to help their depressed states, which are suffering because of the real estate markets crash. How bad is it? In Florida, there are houses that used to go for $280,000 now being sold for around $40,000; that’s catastrophic.
Here’s the thing, though. Each state has the option of turning down the money from the stimulus package. A few governors have stated that they would turn down the money, but that their state Congress’ would just overrule them so they could get the money for state programs the governors have been axing from projected budgets. This would also help the constituents in each city, some of whom may say they don’t like the package, but want the money anyway because let’s face it; there’s no one in America who’s immune to this problem right now.
In essence, these governors can say what they want to say now, but in a way, it makes each of them like “teflon”, no matter which way the program goes. They don’t have to commit any further than what they’ve already said. If the stimulus package works, they’ll talk about how they didn’t stand in the way of their state receiving the funds. If it doesn’t work, they can point back to their original comments and say “see, we knew it wouldn’t work”.
Frankly, I don’t know if the stimulus package will work or not. It’s been trimmed from the $900 billion it was sitting at to $769 billion. That’s actually more than the dollars I put together in my post on the pork list, so I’m wondering what else they took out of the bill. I still stand by my words that something has to be done, no matter what, and if it doesn’t work,… well, the previous administration couldn’t get things working either. And for those Republican senators saying the interest on this bill, if it doesn’t work, will be astronomical,… remember, this country had a surplus of funds before the previous president took office, and went to the highest deficit in history; enough said.