President Barack Obama is losing the debate over his Trillion Dollar Debt Plan. According to Rasmussen Reports, only 37% of the American people favor his legislation. And according to Gallup nearly 80% of Americans believe the current plan will not stimulate the economy. Faced with criticism of his plan, Obama has tersely responded to conservative lawmakers: “I won.” Well you know what? So did every other person in Congress. They all won their elections and their constituents deserve to have their views represented too.
Defending his plan with an op-ed in the Washington Post today Obama repeats his “I won” mantra: “I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change.” But did Americans vote for THIS bill? A bill that is larger than the Iraq and Afghanistan combined. A bill that it is larger than the entire GDP of India. A bill that, once interest payments are included, will put Americans a full trillion dollars deeper in debt. Remember, this is a President who, while still a candidate, promised a “net spending cut.” And that promise was made October 7th, well after Lehman Brothers collapsed and it was already evident how deep an economic crisis we were in. Obama prided himself on the conservative and independent voters he won this November. They deserve to have Obama’s fiscal responsibility promises kept.
Continuing to defend his Trillion Dollar Debt Plan Obama writes: “This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education.” But as the Washington Post editorializes: “This is precisely the problem. As credible experts, including some Democrats, have pointed out, much of this “long-term” spending either won’t stimulate the economy now, is of questionable merit, or both.” Yesterday Obama was claiming that the controversial parts of his plan “amount to less than 1% of the overall package.” But as he admits today, and as the Washington Post points out, the controversial spending makes up the core of his plan.
Obama concludes his op-ed writing: “These are the actions Americans expect us to take without delay. … they have no patience for the same old partisan gridlock that stands in the way of action while our economy continues to slide.” Obama is asking Congress to approve the largest deficit spending plan in the history of the known universe and he wants it done in ten days. There may well be some worthy government project buried in this bill, but as the Washington Post points out, they “do not belong in legislation whose reason for being is to give U.S. economic growth a “jolt” … All other policy priorities should pass through the normal budget process, which involves hearings, debate and — crucially — competition with other programs.” Through those hearings and normal budget processes, the other elected leaders of our democracy can better assess which spending is needed and which spending is not. Barack Obama did not campaign on this spending plan. Therefore, it is simply not credible to believe that Americans voters meant to give him a blank check this past November, and current polls reflect exactly that.
- More than two dozen organizations have filed lobbying registration forms since Election Day that list the stimulus package as a focus of their lobbying efforts.
- President Obama’s move Wednesday to slap a salary cap on top Wall Street executives at firms who hit up taxpayers for big cash infusions will have unintended consequences, compensation experts say.
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is pushing stimulus funding to help finance improvements at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport, and he’s backing what could be a multibillion-dollar incentive for Las Vegas casinos and a broad range of corporations to buy back their debt.
- Harvard University economics professor Ed Glaeser explains why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) 4% fixed mortgage plan is bad economics and not a real alternative to the vision of America offered by Democrats.
- House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) promised to introduce card check legislation in a matter of days or weeks.