President Barack Obama, during remarks yesterday at the Department of Energy, was clearly uncomfortable in having to come out of the closet as a socialist. The sharp downturn in public support for his $1.2 trillion “stimulus” spending bill has forced Obama to spend his Presidential honeymoon political capital in its defense. The President came off a bit testy in his remarks upon finding himself in unfamiliar waters, apparently perturbed at having to shield his party’s blatant, in-your-face lurch to the left.
“Now, I believe that legislation of such magnitude as has been proposed deserves the scrutiny that it has received over the last month,” Obama said in his remarks. “I think that’s a good thing. That’s the way democracy is supposed to work. But these numbers that we’re seeing are sending an unmistakable message — and so are the American people.”
Yes, the American people are sending an unmistakable message. They don’t like the bill. The latest Rasmussen poll Wednesday had support for Obama’s “stimulus” spending bill at a mere 37%. They’re melting the phone lines at the Capitol with their discontent. Further, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not release the full bill for scrutiny by Congressional Republicans or the American people a month ago, as Obama indicated, but barely two weeks ago. Until that time, House Republicans were only allowed to read parts of the bill and consequently weren’t given the time to discover and even begin to reveal to the public the full scope of what was in this spending orgy until it was actually on the House floor for debate.
Back to the speech: “The time for talk is over,” Obama proclaimed. “The time for action is now, because we know that if we do not act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country.”
After barely two weeks, the time for talk is over? The arrogance in that statement is breathtaking given the magnitude of the consequences of this Congressional action. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) summed it up nicely when he told me Wednesday, “The atmosphere of arrogance here from Democrats is that they think the American people are just too stupid to spend their own money to stimulate the economy.”
Democrats are talking about spending on their pet projects over one trillion dollars in money this country will either have to borrow or print — that one trillion dollars is in addition to the over one trillion dollar deficit already projected for this year and to the omnibus spending bill that will add another half-trillion in spending this fiscal year. That doesn’t include what will most assuredly happen when the Treasury Department under the leadership of Timothy Geithner, tax cheat, demands more TARP money or the sky will fall yet again.
With all due respect, Mr. President, the only urgency in your attempted government takeover of the economy is that the longer it sits in the bright daylight for all Americans to see, the stronger the gag reflex from the stench.
Senate Adjourned Without Vote
After threatening to go all night if that’s what it took to get a vote on the “stimulus” spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) proclaimed just after 8:30 p.m. that the Senate would “stop legislating for the night” but would return Friday at 10:00 a.m.
There were many speeches in defense of restraint in spending, sanity and a free market economy from Republican senators yesterday. Most notably, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) brought common sense onto the floor of the Senate in an effort to expose more of the “stinky stuff” in this bill.
“I will not agree to any unanimous consent until the next 15 amendments that I’ve got have a scheduled time to be brought up so the American people can hear of all of the stinky stuff that’s in this bill,” Coburn said at one point when fighting to get his amendments scheduled. “We have had votes both voices votes and recorded votes on less than 20 amendments, and we’re told by the Majority Leader that we have to finish up so we can get to conference. This bill ought to have 1,000 amendments on it if we’re truly going to do the work of the American people. We ought to debate this bill line by line. … The idea that we can borrow more money that we don’t have to spend on more things we don’t need, and ignore the wisdom of the average American citizen on how best to spend their money, is insane.
“And yet we’ve spent two-and-a-half days — that’s all we’ve spent so far on a $1 trillion bill, two-and-a-half days and 20 votes — and now we are told by the Majority Leader we need to hurry up. Hurry up is what’s got us in this trouble. We need a methodical explanation to the American people for every line that is in this bill. … So let’s fess up. We don’t know what we’re doing. A $1 trillion bill was cobbled together in four weeks with earmarks like crazy throughout it for every special interest group that’s out there so we can look good to certain of our buddies, and especially the ones that give us campaign contributions. That’s what describes this bill … You cannot fix a problem until you know what the problem is. And the problem is us. We created this mess.”
Amen, Dr. Coburn. Amen.