Thursday, February 26, 2009

About that Waste

It's interesting to watch Republican lawmakers chant the "wasteful spending" mantra. Those evil Democrats, they say, they want to just "spend, spend, spend." Somehow they forget that George W. Bush, a Republican, was President for the past 8 years. Barack Obama, last I knew, had been in office for all of one month, and five days. So, much of the problem isn't of his making.

The question is, where were those fiscal hawk Republicans during the Bush era?

I didn't watch the Bobby Jindal rejoinder to Barack Obama's speech. Of course, I never watched the Democratic response to GW's speeches. Most of the time they're forgettable. Apparently this one was memorable for how bad it was. His only rejoinder, apparently was -- there'll be wasteful spending, pointing to a volcano monitoring station in Alaska. And who is governor of Alaska? Oh, it's Sarah Palin!

Gail Collins has written a great column about dead trees. It's about waste and the likelihood that there will be waste somewhere along the line in this stimulus bill. In spite of every effort expended by the Obama administration to make sure there isn't waste, much of the money will be funneled through the hands of governors -- like Jindal -- and mayors and other local officials. Our own governor has told mayors to be careful how they spend the money!

Collins also notes that some of the biggest "anti-waste" hollering is coming from representatives of states like Alaska and Louisiana that get the most federal money.

Louisiana has gotten $130 billion in post-Katrina aid. How is it that the stars of the Republican austerity movement come from the states that suck up the most federal money? Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don’t have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That’s because they’re living off ours.


I think I read somewhere that Michigan sends out more money than it gets back from the Feds, and if I remember correctly there was a lot of complaining about Detroit getting loans for the auto industry.

So, yeah, there'll be some waste -- we're humans. But if that's the extent of the GOP plan, complain about waste, it shows that at least for now, the idea deficit is theirs to own!

2 comments:

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

This http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/2/26/111724/093/830/701935

column from a DKos diary has a chart showing the GOP lie that it only RECENTLY became fiscally irresponsible. It shows that Reagan was a HUGE deficit spender as was Bush I. Bush II is NOT an aberration. The real fiscal responsibility party is that of the Tax and Spend Democrats instead of the "Borrow and Waste" GOP. See

charles & jenny said...

Guys.. you have been roped into the great blender that we all get trapped in. Instead of debating the merits of the plan, we blame the other guy and why they are so bad. There is no discussion of whether this actually makes sense. Look, they passed the $800B stimulus package.. and the NEXT WEEK the house brings up another $400B full of pork.

First we have to ask ourselves, how did we get here? Well, we spent too much and we borrowed too much. How do we get out? We spend even more forcing us to borrow even more! The budget spends $25K per tax payer! My other concern is its spend now and cut later. Notice how the budget deficit is back end loaded. We will save over years. Thats code for.. powerful senators will block the cuts later. Farms states take cuts? Yeah right. Cut medicare? Seriously. If it happens, I will stand up quicker than Pelosi to cheer.

You mentioned GM.. well today they announced they burned through all the government money PLUS 2B and are down to $14B cash.. $10-12B is the bare minimum they need to run. Why does New York pay so much in taxes? Easy.. its where the rich Wall Street guys are. What happens when we cap salaries at $500K?

Jindal.. well, thats political theater. Pick the item with a silly name and poke fun at it. Its what $150M? Thats not even pennies compared to $1 TRILLION.. surely he could do better.

Bottom line.. politicians and my money is a VERY VERY bad combination. Neither side is willing to make the cuts necessary.

Chuck