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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 30, 2010 - Democrat Leaders ‘Ridicule,’ ‘Laugh’ Off American People’s Priorities

The Washington Post reflects what all Americans know: It is the Economy Stupid! The are reporting that "recovery lost momentum in the second quarter as growth slowed to a 2.4% pace, its most sluggish showing in nearly a year and too weak to drive down unemployment. Weaker spending by consumers, less growth coming from companies restocking shrunken stockpiles and a bigger drag from the nation's trade deficits were the main factors behind the second quarter's slowdown."

Even in the aftermath of this new, House Democrats Continued their contempt for the American people, and today, introduced a job-killing tax bill seconds before the House debated it this morning.  Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), the ranking Republican on the Ways & Means Committee, was rightly outraged that Democrats had not given members of Congress – not to mention the American people – sufficient time to review a bill before debating it.  Camp asked the Democrat in the Speaker’s chair to have the House clerk read the bill aloud, yet that request was also refused.

This is far from the first time we’ve seen this kind of behavior from House Democrats.  They dropped their 1,000 page “stimulus” bill hours before the House voted on it and they added more than 300 pages to their national energy tax at 3:14am in the morning.  Just last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), publicly mocked suggestions that reforms should be adopted in Congress that would prohibit the House from considering any bill that has not been publicly available on the Internet for at least three days, calling the idea “unreasonable” and “not relevant.”

It’s a sure sign that Congress is out-of-touch with the American people when Washington Democrats refuse to allow all Members of Congress and the public to read the bills before they come up for a vote. Washington Democrats may be running away from their own record, but they are not being coy about continuing to ignore – and even outright mock – the will of the American people.  In just the last week, House Democratic leaders have provided the American people with two prominent examples of such arrogance.  Speaking to POLITICO yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) professed “indifference” and broke “into laughter” when informed of House Republicans’ efforts to cut wasteful Washington spending.

Also in the House, Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced critical legislation that will codify the pro-life Hyde amendment and bar Congress from using taxpayer funds for abortion or abortion coverage.

The same contempt by Democrats is occurring in the Senate.  Yesterday, after Senate Democrats continued to refuse Republicans the opportunity to have a fair amendment process on the small business bill, cloture on the Baucus-Landrieu substitute amendment failed by a vote of 58-42. So Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the bill from the floor yet again.   On Monday, the Senate will take up the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to HR 1586, a shell for Reid’s substitute amendment with bailout money for teachers and Medicaid money for states.

Recently, President Obama’s political strategy on policies that are problematic or controversial has been to double down instead of reevaluating or changing course.

When polls showed the overwhelming majority of Americans disapproved of the massive health care bill during the winter and Massachusetts voters sent an unmistakable message by electing Sen. Scott Brown, who campaigned on opposition to the bill, the President didn’t decide to change the bill. Instead, he pushed Democrats in Congress ever harder to ram the bill through via reconciliation.

Meanwhile, unemployment has been hovering near 10%, and millions of jobs have been lost since the $862 billion stimulus was passed in February 2009, despite promises from the Obama administration that it would keep unemployment around 8% and create 3.5-4 million jobs. Yet in the face of clear evidence that the stimulus has failed to live up to the promises of the administration that I would spur an economic recovery, the Obama White House is touting this summer as “Recovery Summer,” and trying to claim the stimulus bill is working.

In the aftermath of the explosion and massive oil leak at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration declared a moratorium on further oil drilling in deep ocean, disregarding the impact such a ban would clearly have on the economy of the Gulf Coast and on American energy supplies. But a district court judge, and later the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, blocked the moratorium, “ruling that, in issuing it, Obama and interior secretary Ken Salazar had trivialized the economic impact of the moratorium,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Again, though, the administration doubled down, with Salazar issuing a new moratorium just days later, despite Democrat Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu declaring, “Even the revised moratorium will force thousands of hard-working Louisianians and others along the Gulf Coast into the unemployment lines.”

And today, The New York Times reports, “Mr. Obama will be delivering the opening salvo in a White House effort to argue that government bailouts, now the most charged phrase in the political lexicon, actually worked in the case of the auto industry” when he visits a GM plant in Michigan today. He’ll be doing so “as the majority shareholder surveying the government’s investment in a company the White House called ‘moribund’ just 18 months ago” and defending a bailout that poured over $60 billion of taxpayer money into GM and Chrysler. According to the AP, “The most recent government estimate found that taxpayers will lose $24.3 billion on the auto bailout.”

But the auto industry is not the only place the Obama administration is doubling down on bailouts today. The Wall Street Journal editors write, “President Obama has been trying to rebut the claim that he's antibusiness by promoting something called the Small Business Jobs Act, which would provide loans and temporary tax cuts to small businesses. If you've been paying attention over the last 18 months, you're probably asking, what's the catch?” “[T]he most expensive provision of the bill,” the WSJ editors explain, “creates a new Small Business Lending Fund.” This fund, the editors point out, may as well be the “Son of TARP”: “Hard as it is to believe, the fund would operate as a new TARP program in which Uncle Sam would take an ownership stake in small banks. The bill authorizes Treasury to purchase up to $30 billion of stock in small, community banks across the country. The banks in turn would agree to issue as much as $300 billion in loans to small businesses that they wouldn't otherwise lend to. You can bet that many businesses that get the loans will be engaged in not very profitable, but politically correct activities, such as diversity investing and renewable energy. Sound at all like subprime mortgage loans?”

Over the last 18 months, President Obama has gotten quite good a doubling down on policies that are either demonstrated to be ineffective, like the stimulus, harmful, like the drilling moratorium, or meet massive public resistance, like the health care law and now the auto bailouts. Certainly, this makes it easy to see why the Washington Post/ABC News poll earlier this month found Obama’s approval rating at an all-time low and that “51% . . . would rather have the Republicans run Congress ‘to act as a check on Obama's policies . . . .’” At what point will President Obama and Democrats in Congress decide that maybe they should listen to the American people and rethink how they’re governing instead of doubling-down on their flawed policies?

Tags: US Senate, US House, Washington, democrat arrogance, small business, jobs, job-killing, tax bill, unemployment, the economy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:25 PM - Post Link

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