Sunday, February 1, 2009

Obama's stimulus plan already in serious trouble

President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan is in serious trouble as it heads to the U.S. Senate, where gentlemen's(and women's) rules prevail.

If a significant majority of senators in the minority object to legislation, they can and usually prevail to stop and change its direction and content. And Republicans are now vocally bragging of a coming filibuster that will bring prominence to the party.

Obama knows this, and that's why he is going to nominate a Republican senator to his Cabinet to get a 60-vote, veto proof majority for his party. The Democratic governor in New Hampshire will appoint a replacement.

Democratic leaders believe that the American people will respond negatively to any GOP efforts to block the plan in the Senate, seeing Republicans as too partisan at a time when all must pull together.

I disagree.

The American people are more fearful than bipartisan. They do not like the failure of the $350 billion spent on Wall Street fatcats. And the more they hear about a stimulus plan now approaching an incredible $1 trillion, the hairs on the back of their necks rise.

Each day brings a new revelation of spending for projects that do not create jobs or stimulus, like growing grass on the national mall. The list is quite long and disgusting.

The most prominent thing I've found most positive in the the plan is $127 billion towards health care for unemployed Americans and their COBRA plans.

Republicans and moderate Democrats are now getting together to craft a bill that will be significantly different than the one passed by the House and supported by the president. A conference committee then will try and produce a compromise.

All this means is delay; the stimulus plan will not be passed by the president's mid-month deadline. And the delay may ultimately produce the president's worst fear: a plan supported only by Democrats and signed into law.

He knows the plan will not be able to stop nor impact the economic downturn into the mid-term elections. And that means Republicans will be running on the platform of Democrats unable to meet the needs of the public suffering the worst in personal, household circumstances in memory. His party will lose many seats in both houses, a la Bill Clinton in 1994 and the Contract with America. His mandate will be gone.

The more liberally biased political TV shows on Sunday morning will try and convince you otherwise. And they will cite the president's high approval rating.

But that measure, along with the nation's mood, can and will change overnight as the stimulus plan is revealed as more spending than help.

Fear has a way of upending the best-laid of plans, even months after a general election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The majority of this stimulus bill is to repay, or pay back, those that supported Obama and got him elected. Like the 4 billion going to ACORN for example. Hardly anything in this bill will benefit the people, improve the falling economy or create any jobs.