Glacial progress of stim funds leaves opening for GOP
You recall that Obama's argument for the immediate passage of the stimulus bill - so urgent that lawmakers shouldn't have the time to read it - was predicated on the idea that the money had to flow into the economy yesterday.
As we discovered later, a pitifully small amount of the $787 billion could be considered actual "stimulus" with the rest being pork or not related to getting the economy moving again.
It's even worse than that. It appears that only around $11 million of the gargantuan monies appropriated have been spent with some states not even submitting their road building requests to the Department of Transportation yet.
As Jennifer Rubin explains in a PJ Media article , this leaves an opening for the GOP to skewer the Democrats:
So, the bottom line: we have spent a trillion dollars (including interest) largely on nothing. We aren't getting jobs - at least none that we can verify. We aren't getting infrastructure. But we did get a mound of debt.
While lacking any significant economic punch, the stimulus may, however, have a substantial political impact. It was in large part the motivation for the tea party protests. It has allowed Republicans to differentiate themselves from the Obama spending plans. And it has heightened the concern of so-called Blue Dog Democrats who may now be nervous about running up even more debt which would be generated by the remainder of the Obama agenda.
The stimulus was a missed opportunity - a chance to finance needed defense spending, provide badly needed infrastructure, and provide tax assistance to employers to maintain and increase hiring. But Republicans may now see it as a juicy political opening. They can rightly claim they opposed the boondoggle spending, which has done nothing but increase our fiscal woes. And in that respect it may be a critical component in Republicans' political comeback. In sum, sometimes saying "no" is exactly the right thing to do.
Whether Republicans are organized enough or smart enough to take advantage is another question. Right now, the RNC is debating whether to make it official party policy to refer to the "Democrat Socialist Party" when talking about the Democrats. Name calling and finger pointing are no substitute for policy alternatives - something the GOP has, with a couple of notable exceptions, been lacking.
It's not enough to think that simply allowing the Democrats to screw things up will get the party back in power. It's time to start pointing out to the public that the Democrats huge spending isn't working and that the GOP's alternatives should be given a shot.
Now...if only the Republicans can come up with some serious, viable, and conservative alternatives to health insurance, cap and trade, education, and other Democratic initiatives, the rebound may begin.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky