All Politics, All the Time

This was the most laughable item in the news today:

On the eve of a key vote, President Barack Obama privately promised Republican critics he stands ready to accept changes in $825 billion economic stimulus legislation, and urged lawmakers to “put politics aside” in the interest of creating badly needed jobs.

What a joke! The Dems’ $825 billion pork-fest bill is nothing but politics. Every constituency of the Democratic Party, every crony of powerful Democratic legislators, every pet liberal project will be showered with bacon. The idea that “putting politics aside” has anything to do with this bill is an insult to your intelligence.

There are some good resources to track what the Democrats are up to. Check out Read the Stimulus, where you can read the text of the bill and its various amendments, search for specific items in the legislation, link to analyses of the pork extravaganza, and access other information like charts showing the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Dem bill. Like this one, which shows that the overwhelming majority of the funds being appropriated in the bill won’t be spent during 2009. In other words, they will have no impact on the current recession:

CBOChart33.jpg

If the current economic downturn is such an emergency that Republicans must “put politics aside” and join the Dems’ pork-orgy, then why does 80 percent of the purported “stimulus” await future years when the recession will be over? This isn’t “stimulus,” it’s an effort to lock in higher levels of federal spending on liberal programs in perpetuity.

Another good resource is our friend Michele Bachmann’s Majority Tracker site. Over the next couple of years, Congressional Democrats will abuse their power in ways that will both cost taxpayers countless billions and corrupt our system of government. The mainstream media will not report objectively on the Dems’ follies, so inside sources like Congresswoman Bachmann, one of the really smart people in Washington, will be critical in spreading the word about the Dems’ machinations.

The Founders believed that limited government was a good idea in part because concentrating too much power in government is an invitation to corruption. At Congressional Quarterly, Peter Schweizer reminds us of the sad precedent of the New Deal:

With taxpayer dollars going to banks, investment houses, and automakers (with others certain to get into line) and heavy spending on infrastructure and other works projects coming soon, there has been a sharp and healthy debate about whether this burst of Keynesism actually makes good economic sense.

Overlooked is the harsh reality that the Obama economic agenda can stimulate political graft, cronyism and corruption in Washington. … The notion that the Obama administration and leaders in Congress will somehow separate sound economic decision-making from partisan political gain is a seductive myth.

Consider our experience with the last New Deal. … Professors Jim Couch and William Shugart, using other data, found that Depression-era agricultural programs, designed to help destitute farmers, often ended up in the hands of successful farmers and political allies, and that the “distribution of agricultural relief was guided more by Roosevelt’s electoral strategy” rather “than by objective economic need.”

We’ve seen that phenomenon already, with Barney Frank’s and Maxine Waters’ cronies moving to the head of the line in the bank bailout. Giving Democrats control over hundreds of billions of dollars in new pork spending is isn’t just an invitation to corruption, it is corruption per se. Republicans should propose their own stimulus bill, based on defensible economics, and take a firm stand against the Democrats’ carnival of pork.

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