Today brings us a quote from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of interest to those of us who actually expect our elected officials to do the job they were sent to Congress to do - "If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn't read it in its entirely, I think we would have very few votes." Hoyer told that to CNSNews.com at his weekly news conference. What was Hoyer referring to, you may ask? He was talking about the health care reform bill now working its way around Congress.
Think about the arrogance of Hoyer's statement. He even was reported to find the question about members of Congress reading the bills on which they vote humorous. "...laughing as he responded to the question. 'I'm laughing because a)I don't know how long this bill is going to be, but it's going to be a very long bill,' he said. OK then. Don't break a sweat there, Leader Hoyer.
Voters already know that the stimulus/spending bill, that is proving to be a failure, wasn't read before the vote. Instead of being shamed into reading legislation, Hoyer thinks it's a funny notion. This is what happens with the mentality encouraged in Congress by the Democratic leadership is to ram through hastily written legislation before anyone really checks it and the consequences it will bring.
The Democrats are relying on President Obama's continued decent polling numbers to hurry through the agenda of the big ideas before he begins to have to answer questions or his numbers fall. A few in the press are beginning to notice the problem. But, only a very few so far.
Harry Reid today met with a few Republicans Senators in order to smooth any ruffled feathers from his declaration to Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus that the GOP should not be considered in the health care legislation. Turns out Reid realized he doesn't have the votes on his side of the aisle to rush through the bill without Republican support. Senator Hatch said, "I think he understand we can't meet the time table he has set, but he doesn't want to give up trying." Reid is sticking to the bogus timeline of the White House, all for purely political reasoning.
From FOXNews.com, "But a senior Democratic aide to a member in the negotiations tells Fox, "The tax is gone." That on the tax proposed to be levied on health insurance benefits. "Another senior Finance Cmte source tells Fox a 'tax on millionaires polls way higher.' Same old Democrat playbook. It never works but they always go back to that train of thought. Remember, to Democrats, success must be taxed (punished), even though the pool is limited.
Then, one the idea being floated that there will be a second stimulus package, the White House denies even thinking about that. Right. The first has not performed as advertised and the goalposts continue to move. Unemployment is up, not down. Only 10% of the money allotted has been distributed and then the recipients are not using the monies as stipulated. States in need are using the money to boost their state budgets and not put it into projects. Government is not efficient or speedy. News flash. Government doesn't create jobs, unless they are government jobs. The President and his people continue to talk of 'saving' jobs, which is nonsense. Just ask those folks at Caterpillar that were used as props as Obama went around the country looking for business support. That business owner now says he was played for a fool. Someone may also want to clue him in on the existence, or not, of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
The problem is that this president is not a deep thinker or a policy wonk either. He just wants the wins. He already said he doesn't' care what exactly is in the health care legislation, he just wants to sign something. He did the same on the stimulus. He started out giving guidance of $600 billion or up to $800 billion and then left the details to Nancy Pelosi. Harry Reid played along. Obama likes to say Republicans simply didn't want to do anything. That is a load of crazy and he knows it. Republicans were shut out of the process and not allowed to bring in amendments. So, none of them voted on the train wreck that resulted.
Money distributed by the government takes a long time to reach its destination. By the time the rest of the money is out the door, the recession will be over. The jobs created by the stimulus, scarce as they are, average out to costing taxpayers $380,000 per job, according to GAO's own numbers.
VP Biden, the one put in charge of overseeing the stimulus money distribution, said the administration 'misread' the economy. What they did was willingly depend on the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to write the bill. This is the gang that can't shoot straight. Mixed messages rule the day. Despite the tendency to still 'blame Bush' for the 'inherited' economy, as Hoyer even still uttered on a Sunday talk show, it is Obama's economy now. There comes a time when a new administration has to start taking responsibility. That happened when Obama signed the stimulus/spending bill, whether he admits that or not.
Re-direction of the stimulus money would take Congress' approval. We know the Democrats will not allow that. They must try to save face, even to the peril of our economy. They should be structuring tax cuts and re-vamping tax rates, two proven winning strategies, but they won't. That would be common sense.
Still hoping for some common sense, for a change. Waiting for some leadership out of President Obama instead of perpetual campaigning.