The Obama Camp is Going to Attempt to Pass Stimulus Junior One Bill at a Time
President Obama is in deep trouble, his approval numbers are at an all time low and his far left base is protesting in the street. More importantly, the President's latest jobs bill (Stimulus II) is so unpopular that his own party exercised the "nuclear option" in the Senate to prevent any of its members from voting on it. The American people don't want to throw good money after bad and Congressmen that value their jobs know it.
The President's reaction to the sound rejection of his failed policies by the American people is to try and divide and conquer. By pitting different parts of the electorate against the each other the President hopes to curry favor with enough of the factions to win re-election. Obama is willing to spend a lots of Federal dollars to woo interest groups. Even in the face of record deficits, the President and his supporters still wants the Federal Government to spend money it doesn't have on a strategy that's doesn't create jobs or help the economy. The hope is that some of those borrowed dollars will be remembered in November 2012.
The divide and conquer strategy is also being used legislatively. During President Obama's latest tax payer funded campaign tour, the President attacked Republicans and vowed to send the rejected Stimulus II back to Congress piecemeal. The idea of breaking the bill apart has been floating around in the leftist blogsphere for a while and liberal commentators have advocated this approach as a way to blunt the criticisms regarding the bill's cost. By dividing the bill up, the President hopes to conqueror Congress.
Yesterday the President and Vice President pulled out all of the stops to try and drum up support for pieces of the jobs bill that are designed to help Obama's public union base and bailout friendly democratic strong holds. The rhetoric paints a picture of saving the jobs of teachers, policemen, firemen and preventing crime. The truth is that the programs just feed federal money back to the heavily unionized democratic states and cities that are in financial trouble. Considering the anger over the trillions of dollars in debt and the wall street bailout, there should be anger over this latest attempt to bailout some states and cities. Like Stimulus I, Stimulus II can be thought of as a thinly disguised bribe to traditional democratic benefactors.
The Democratically controlled Senate hasn't passed a budget in nearly 2 years and the President's policies are driving the Federal government to the verge of a Greek style insolvency. To reverse the trend voters need to be extremely vigilant and vocal about opposing the coming piecemeal bits of legislation that attempt to push through Stimulus II one piece at a time. Policies that poll well are likely to be offered up as individual bills, like Federal job training programs which are a proven waste of tax payer money. Less popular policies, like loans to green energy companies, will be rolled into bills that headline "payroll tax breaks" or "preserving police jobs" in an attempt to slide them through Congress. If the American taxpayers aren't careful they will be on the hook for another 500,000,000,000 dollars and have nothing to show for it.
This Halloween the total US debt will pass the country's GDP, a startling and ominous fact. President Obama is oblivious and pushes for more appropriation bills to "spread the wealth around". When the government runs out of money and lenders, the only thing they have left to appropriate is everything you produce and everything you own. Sadly even that may not be enough to pay off our collective debt.
Aaron Gee is a U.S.-based IT consultant who started the blog foundingideals.com.