As President Obama continues his efforts to ramrod the bloated stimulus package through Congress, opposition to the pork-filled legislation continues to rise. Even the Congressional Budget Office opposes the legislation, stating its long term effects will harm the economy for only a short term gain. But it appears President Obama doesn't care, stating he wants the stimulus package passed by the 15th of February.
It is this arbitrary deadline that has me troubled.
Frankly, what difference does it make if the bill is passed on the 15th versus the 28th, or March 1st, or April 11th? If this stimulus package is so important, wouldn't it be prudent to take the time necessary to make sure it's done right and is as lean as possible? At this point it appears Obama just wants something passed by Congress so he can say “We're doing something!”, even if it's the wrong thing.
The President claims he wants there to be bipartisan support of the bill. I've come to realize, like many others, that by “bipartisan” he means “you Republicans should shut the hell up and toe the line,” voting the way he wants them to. That's not bipartisanship. That's a rubber stamp.
While he claims he doesn't want politics as usual in this matter, that's exactly what he's getting. Except it's politics as usual from the congressional Democrats. They keep harping the same old lines they've used for decades, trying to prove they are the only ones smart enough to know what is good for you. How patronizing is that? With all that pork they've packed in the bill, how can they tell us with a straight face they know better than we do what we need? They aren't the solution. They're the problem. They're the ones that got us into this mess to begin with, refusing to rein in risky lending because it would “help lower income people to own homes.” They ignored the warnings from the Bush Administration for years. Yet once the house of cards they legislated into being collapsed, they pointed their fingers at everyone but themselves. And now they want us to trust them to fix the problem? I guess they figure we're too stupid to realize that we know exactly who is responsible.
While there are a number of other issues the Obama Administration is struggling with, it is the stimulus package that has proved to me that Obama hasn't got a clue what it is that really needs to be done. His inexperience at anything other than getting elected is showing, and he's finding out that winning the White House is different from actually having to do something now that he lives there. He can't vote 'present'. He can't pass the buck, something he should have learned from Harry Truman. Succeed or fail, it will be attributed to him and his leadership...or lack thereof.
He needs the stimulus to pass, good or bad. He needs to point to some accomplishment and be able to say, “See? I did this for you!” Because right now there is little he's accomplished in his time in office, from the Illinois legislature, to the US Senate, to the White House. He can't lay any of this off on anyone else, bipartisanship or no. He owns it, lock, stock and barrel. So he really needs this seriously flawed piece of economic legislation to pass. If it does and the plan fails to stimulate the economy, he can always blame the “partisan” Republicans for sabotaging his great vision.
Or we can just vote him out in 2012.