Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) came back from a trip to NYC to vote NO to the spending bill today in the Senate. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson also voted NO. Upon its passage - with only three Republicans voting in favor of it - the President told the crowd at his campaign style meeting with Floridians in Fort Meyers of the Senate action. The crowd cheered. This was immediately preceded by a plea from an audience member for a house from the President. She said cars and parks are good but she needs a house. She obviously thinks home ownership is a government program. Why? Because it has been and that is what brought us to where we are now. And, yes, it is yet another legacy of Jimmy Carter. Still, to hear the current President speak, it is the fault of the past eight years. Republicans. Isn't he the 'post partisan' president?
This woman exemplifies the problem we have with our economy. A basic political philosophy difference between Republicans and Democrats is on fiscal responsibility. Republicans lost some cred over the last few years with President Bush. No one ever demanded he veto higher spending and the programs grew and expanded. He tried to accomplish big things, just as President Obama promises, but what we have is just bigger government. This is what the new President will bring us, too. The one positive result of Republican losses last November is that the party now has a renewed enthusiasm for getting back to basic party principles.
Senator John Cornyn aptly described the spending bill as a political bill not an economic bill. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said, "Ultimately, this "solution" will result only in the accumulation of greater debt that will fall on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren while not providing what we need today. Moreover, it will leave us vulnerable to future economic challenges. A better proposal would emphasize tax relief so that individuals and businesses can have more capital to inject into the economy, thereby encouraging private-sector job creation. It would also guard against government expansion. In short, we should promote permanent private sector jobs, not a permanent increase in spending and debt."
Last night, the President held a press conference with the White House press corps. Very little of substance was asked, as predicted. One reporter asked about the confession of steroid use by a baseball player. That was about as serious as it got. A blogger from Huffington Post was called on and also Helen Thomas. We now know how these events will roll. Those not called upon for questions: The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Time and Newsweek.
During the press conference, thirteen questions were asked. The low amount was a result of long winded responses by President Obama. The politician from Chicago knows how to control the conversation. He claims there are no earmarks in the spending bill. One person's earmark is another person's essential service or program, I suppose. He was able to get in two slaps at Republicans, though. He again said some would like to do absolutely nothing at all about the recession. That is not only false, it is dishonest. No one expects a plan of nothing will bring us out of a recession. And, all those 'failed policies' being blamed from the last eight years? We came out of the recession inherited from the Clinton/Gore years of 'peace and prosperity' and then the economic devastation of the events on 9/11/01. It was a Republican president and Republican -led Congress that put into place tax cuts and programs that enabled our country to prosper. Unprecedented unemployment rates. Home ownership, especially for minorities, at record levels. When the housing bubble began to burst, the President and his administration warned Congress, by that time controlled by Democrats, and they refused to act. Why? The same Democrats who put into play the poor policies in the past were back in charge again. Barney Franks in the House, Chris Dodd in the Senate, all bad actors from the past.
The new president must stop the campaign mode and get on with the job of leading the country. Stop with the silly 'house parties' set up by the White House to support the spending bill. They sent out videos and talking points to all those who signed up to have a house party and discuss the spending bill. Tim Kaine, the DNC chair appointed by President Obama, narrated the thirteen minute video and explained the talking points.
There are several hidden agendas in the spending bill. There is no way the members of Congress voting on this monstrosity could have read and digested the bill. Senators on the morning shows today, both Democrat and Republican, admitted as much. No explanations for the hidden push of socialized medicine and the rolling back of the welfare reform of the past two decades. Senator Tom Coburn said today, "If you are a Medicare patient, you should be very worried about his bill." Coburn is also a practicing MD in his state of Oklahoma.
A parade of surprises are coming down the pike.