Porkulus and More Backward Thinking

“The stimulus was political nirvana: cut taxes and raise spending,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the fiscal watchdog group Concord Coalition, who is among those invited to the summit. “This is the opposite; it is the political agenda from hell.”

PORKSome of the promises made by Barack Obama may have disappeared. Much talk of bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle leading up to the stimulus package and his administration in general along with transparency have faded. Quotes like the one above needed to generate debate on the stimulus before it became law. As cited by many in Congress, mostly from the GOP, no one may have had time and no one certainly read the 1000 plus page document. Hundreds of politicians voting on something they know little if anything about. And the public was shut out. Where is the promise from Obama that the public would be able to view and comment on the ‘proposal’?

Now we finally hear warnings and criticism that deficits will be too high, long term economic health is being ignored for expediency and there may be a ‘grand plan’ for the third rail of politics in the near future. While concern is voiced about entitlements and they were once the critics’ favorite target deficits and the willingness of foreign countries to buy our debt have taken center stage. With the new Secretary of State essentially begging China to buy more US debt and the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee on an appeasement mission to the Middle East we have much to be concerned about beyond the overwhelming insanity of the economic ‘fixes’ coming out of Washington.

the third rail of politicsDespite the embarrassment caused by Gregg’s about-face, the White House believes that he could be one of its most important allies in the overhaul of Social Security, Medicare, and tax policy. That is because Gregg is the co-sponsor of the measure that would create a bipartisan commission to put together far-reaching recommendations for an up-or-down vote by Congress.

In an interview, Gregg said that under such a procedure, the measures could be passed within a year, as long as most of the benefit cuts and tax increases were not slated to take effect until well after the recession is over. “We need an up-or-down vote on a package that will be unquestionably bipartisan and fair,” Gregg said, a reference to criticism that Obama’s stimulus bill was too partisan.

Financial numbers from the Obama Administration that could make the man of steel wince and the opposition party talking benefit cuts and tax increases for social security is reason enough to conclude Washington has lost its collective mind. Not like it wasn’t a strong suspicion in the past but there is no other way to paint it these days.

Adding to the problem is evidence a previous post here asking whether GOP governors would embrace porkulus for their states has been answered. Two Democratic governors and two GOP governors were on Fox News Sunday and the view here is they all will gorge at the pork table. Granholm, Democratic governor of Michigan, said not only would she enjoy the pork but would eat the other’s shares if they turned it down. Rendell, Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, mentioned he will only be governor for a while longer and will plunder the pork yet be concerned about the problems facing those after he leaves. That’s reassuring. Mark Sanford and Tim Pawlenty, GOP governors of South Carolina and Minnesota respectively, were slightly more vague about their pork menus. Sanford will likely continue to criticize the stimulus and only indulge in those items for which he can acquire political cover. Pawlenty will undoubtedly do the same.

think about itGoing out on a limb the view at this blog is there is no politician alive who will not take the money. If Obama maintains a policy of use it or lose it you can bet staffers of every politician have already compiled a variety of public statements to cover every possibility. Either they will take the money and offer an excuse or offer the excuse and then take the money.

To listen to those praising infrastructure spending and citing the need can cause one to wonder if Saddam Hussein was not the only one ignoring such things in the last few decades. As an example the governor in my home state has been accused of robbing the transportation budget to pay for pet projects during his tenure. Now he looks forward to porkulus to make up the difference. But what is to stop him from doing more of the same. It would be no surprise if other states found themselves in the same situation.

And CITI group, bank, whatever, as well as other beneficiaries of the ANOTHER bailout of many are again asking for more money. You have to ask yourself if this will ever end? And perhaps more important will it do any good for the ‘economy’? Which brings to mind another words of wisdom type of sentiment.

When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Stanford Matthews

Special interests? What special interests? (Michelle Malkin) 

6 Responses to “Porkulus and More Backward Thinking”

  1. Committees of Correspondence Says:


    If you want to make a statement to politicians about the Mega Pork Bill? May I suggest sending them a package of Pork Rinds?
    For $0.99 plus shipping at amazon you can send them some Fat Back Pork Rinds…

  2. Debbie Says:

    Two thoughts come to mind.

    1. We’re screwed.

    2. Maybe there is hope if the teaparty’s continue to happen across the US.

  3. Angel Says:

    fork over all yer money now! sheesh..hello my friend..and the beat goes on eh!…:) what will the future bring?:)

  4. Stanford Matthews Says:

    Someone once told me what we need is a depression. I didn’t agree then and I don’t now. I certainly believe it is premature to conclude we are there or going there.

    It would be nice to show the world we have learned from the past and will successfully solve the current problems without the need for disaster to point us in the right direction. Granted, with the current Administration and Congress we’re operating at a disadvantage. I still have optimism that more political failures will redirect resources and the damage from following the present path will be diminished.

    Only time will tell if that optimism is misplaced. But the reason for it is an expectation that others will intervene on the current President’s behalf to bring him to the correct course of action.

    Ya, Ive been called crazy before.

  5. Maggie Thornton Says:

    Stanford, I don’t know about “others” intervening. Who would they be? They are all riding dead horses. I don’t any reasonable voices.

    I also watched Granholm and Rendel this weekend. Oh my gosh, they were salivating right there on national television.

    It’s been pointed out to me lately that the Federal Reserve regulates the large banks, even tho Barney Frank keeps claiming deregulation to be the problem.

    Supposedly the Fed would stop the collapse before the collapse. Supposedly, bonus’ could have been cut, and unsafe practices could have, and should have been stopped (CRA, etc.). So who was looking over the larger banks? Timothy Geithner as head of the Federal Reserve.

    I’ve been called crazy before, too - lots of times recently, including by the FBI this morning.

  6. Stanford Matthews Says:

    It seems quite obvious to me that with all the pork available in the so-called stimulus package those in favor of it are allowing themselves to believe everything will be okay and the politics as usual of taking federal tax dollars to cover their own state’s shortfalls will save them. Once enough evidence presents itself even the most greedy politician may come to their senses and see this for the fiasco it is. Then the fear of total failure from this action may force them to do the right thing.

    Next, Granholm and Rendell were not the ones concerning me. I am not convinced by Sanford, Pawlenty or even Jindal who was on Sunday TV also that they will not stand in line at the trough as well. With recent evidence renewed by Collins, Snowe and Specter as extreme examples I am skeptical of all elected and appointed officials until they prove what they say. I expected Granholm and Rendell to gorge on pork. With the others it should be a forgone conclusion they would not but ……

    The history of the Fed is a bit scary. If memory serves it started in 1913 and is a private institution, not government. Barney Frank simply wants to blame the current problems on Bush and deregulation. Bush countered with a reminder that in perhaps 2005 he suggested Congress shore up financial oversight. I think they all dropped the ball. But Frank is quick to forget CRA, Fannie and Freddie and connections to Obama, Franklin Raines, Rahm Emanuel, Chris Dodd and many others. There are probably few who are free from guilt.

    Last but not least one reason I blog about such things and engage in public affairs as an ordinary citizen through various actions and participation in events at all levels of government is we cannot forget as citizens that we are obligated to do our part and not expect that public officials will always do what is right. Something I’m sure many Americans neglect.