Raising Capitol

One of the reasons why I usually wait until between 7 and 8 PM Eastern Standard Time to post to the blog, is because by that time I can see pretty much all of the absolute stupidity our so-called leaders in Washington have come up with for the day.  I also try and get it out before I become tainted by any Commentary or Opinion shows on the Cable News Channels that might affect my own viewpoint.  Yesterday, President Obama (God, I love writing that!) visited Capitol Hill to speak directly with House Republican Leaders on their own turf.  He went on to explain why his Recovery Plan is designed as it is, and there was some interesting math he divulged in the meeting.  For every dollar of direct Federal Spending, the result is $1.50 back on that investment for stimulus; for every $1 in tax cuts, there is 75 CENTS of stimulus.  Being the old Finance guy that I am, assuming a weight of 60% Spending and 40% Tax cuts to net result is $1.20 of stimulus to the economy.  Is it enough?  Probably not enough, in my opinion; but the President is also using this as a means of pushing through the Middle Tax Class Cut as he promised; something that will be felt in the PAYCHECKS of Americans, no matter how small it may be on a 52, 26, or 24 pay period pay cycle.  That is REAL money that will be almost certainly pumped back into the economy, as opposed to a one time stimulus tax check that would more than likely be saved or used to pay off debt.

While Republicans appear to be on the verge of blocking the Stimulus Bill in the Senate just because they want to make life difficult of the new President, Congressional Democrats aren’t necessarily governing in a manner that doesn’t give the GOP folks ammo to shoot with.  On Friday, John Boehner made a snide reference to condoms and other Family Planning measures that would be a part of the newly christened “Recovery Act”…I sincerely thought the man had lost it and/or was joking.  He was not.  In their brilliance and wisdom in trying to put all Americans back to work, to help out those desperately in need of Financial Assistance, and against the explicit wishes of a President who promised that there would be no unnecessary spending or pork projects attached to the bill; Congressional Democrats did just that…by putting in a Family Planning measure attached to the Recovery Act.

Are they fucking nuts?  Democrats have the first large governing majority since the Johnson Administration 40 years ago, and they’re going to waste that on a bunch of condoms?  I’ll say one thing about Democrats: their stupidity is as consistent as is the Republicans’ arrogance. “Let’s all form the circular firing squad folks…oh, and pass those rounds of ammo on down to McConnell over there.”  It begs the question as Casey Stengel once famously said about the 1962 Mets, “Doesn’t anybody around here know how to play this game?”

It’s becoming abundantly clear that Nancy Pelosi does not, nor does Harry Reid.  Let’s face it, these guys are charged with setting the legislative agendas in both houses and if this President and HIS agenda is to succeed, they need to stop putting unnecessary spending into a Recovery Act that is already nearing the $1 Trillion mark.  I’m all for spending on public works projects, education, infrastructure and aid to the State so they may maintain necessary services in their own jurisdictions.  The major problem here is that no one is thinking BIG enough with infrastructure projects in order to make a serious dent on this recession.  New roads means new union workers working on them; new steel for bridges which gets more people working; fixing the centuries old pipes under New York or Boston or Chicago gets more people working.  I’m all for tax breaks for the Middle Class, and sure, my wife and I would love that extra $20 take home from her paycheck every two weeks which will eventually get spent on a DVD.  I’m very much in favor of tax breaks for small businesses (the definition of which needs a bit more refining) which are literally the backbone of this economy.  How in God’s name is a fucking condom for someone who may need one in California going to stimulate ANYTHING, especially since we can safely assume something else has already been stimulated?  Why would these two even consider allowing a measure like that to be attached to not only one of the most important pieces of legislation this country has ever needed, but this President’s FIRST piece of legislation?

There is absolutely no leadership on the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress, and quite frankly on the Republican side as well.  These guys are thinking 20th Century Politics for 21st Century problems.  Eight years of ideology got us into this mess, we need intelligent pragmatists to get us out of it.  I don’t care where the ideas come from, just as long as they get generated.  Then those ideas are coalesced into legislation which is put on the docket by the leadership.  CONGRESS HAS NO LEADERS WILLING TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND BE AMERICANS FIRST.  No one is willing to THINK BIG, THINK DIFFERENT, and THINK BOLD in either the House or the Senate.  We have a President with a vision, he should have a Congress to be worthy of that vision.

The President’s agenda is almost certainly doomed to fail if Pelosi and Reid are in charge.  It’s time the Democrats woke up, had a little caucus, and removed these two from their leadership positions before any irreparable damage can be done to this Presidency and by fiat, doom the American public to almost certain 4 years of gridlock.  While Reid is the lesser of two evils, Pelosi does absolutely NOTHING to help the cause.  When she CLEARLY has the votes to pass the House version of the Recovery Bill, she rubs the Republicans faces in it with caustic comments.  I’m sorry, but as liberal as I am most times, that’s just damned wrong.  It makes her appear small and petty, which after her so-called leadership over the past 2 years, I’m beginning to wonder one thing:

Whose side IS she on anyway?

“A Republican stands up in congress and says ‘I GOT A REALLY BAD IDEA!!’ and the Democrat stands up after him and says ‘AND I CAN MAKE IT SHITTIER!!’” – Lewis Black