From Byron York at NRO:
House Republicans are very happy with recent coverage of the bill, not just Drudge's “$335,000,000 for STD Prevention” headline, but also articles (like this and this) in the New York Times pointing out the enormous amount of social, non-stimulative spending in the proposal, and in the Washington Post, highlighting some Democratic qualms about the bill. “This is finally penetrating all those headlines that said this is necessary for the economy and that it's all infrastructure and tax relief,” my source told me. “It finally gets the idea out that this is just a really, really big omnibus spending bill.”
It's also clear that Republicans, battered after big losses in 2006 and even bigger losses in 2008, are finding their feet on this issue. The House leadership is running hard on this, trying to make sure every Republican knows what is in the 647-page bill, and handing out individual analyses to each GOP member of what the bill, if passed, would cost his or her particular congressional district. At the same time, Republicans are looking for any signs of Democratic nervousness about the proposal. They see a few, but there's no doubt that Democrats, with 256 members (to 178 Republicans) are going to push the bill through. They have to; anything other than the passage of the bill as currently written would be an enormous defeat for the new president, and Democrats simply will not allow that to happen. They won the election, they've got the numbers, and they're going to get their bill. And Republicans, finally, have something to be united about.
Bottom line: $0.12 of every dollar in this bill is debatably marked for economic 'stimulus'. Debatably.
Once again, let's sum up what the Generational Theft Act/Porkapalooza Bill is really all about: the expansion of government and the cementing of Democrat power for the foreseeable future. If you have seen all the garbage in this bill as noted on this blog and many others, you know beyond doubt that this is NOT an economic stimulus bill.
And let's look to history, too – the last two times we've seen a substantial Democrat majority in Congress as well as a Democrat in the White House, we got stuck with massive increases of government (the Great Society and the New Deal). As I mentioned earlier, many of these programs are still around today and have had dramatic impacts on our lives (i.e. Fannie Mae). The only thing we can expect to be different this time around is that this particular expansion of government will be so massive and far-reaching that it will make the previous ones just a couple of tiny blips on the screen. Remember this illustration of the amount of money borrowed against the federal government from 1919 to 2007:
And this is what the same chart looks like if you include 2008 (the bailouts that have already gone through):
And Obama is proposing to increase this by double or triple.
You want a Great Depression? Here's your roadmap.
And even the Democrats know it. They're grumbling, too:
Even though most House Democrats say they will back the plan, many reject the administration's argument, saying that infrastructure projects could easily be expedited, that the economy will need additional infusions for years to come and that the real reason for shunning infrastructure was to make room for tax cuts. Obama, with a public mandate to do something big, is missing a rare opportunity to rebuild the country, they say.
“Every penny of the $825 billion is borrowed against the future of our kids and grandkids, and so the question is: What benefit are we providing them? What are we doing for the country? It's the difference between real investment that will serve the nation for 30, 50 years and tax cuts, and that's a very poor tradeoff,” said Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.).
Of course, they're not about to let their Obamessiah fail in his first major legislative initiative, so they'll support it even if it requires the sacrifice of their own children. Obama is planning to make up those future infusions with 'normal' appropriations bills, but Hot Air voices the big problem with that:
Fortunately, it sounds like most Republicans are starting to act like Republicans for a change. Ideally, we'd pick off enough Dems through public pressure to actually kill the bill, but let's be real…it's not going to happen. Even if every single Republican and a handful of Dems oppose this bill, Obama will get it passed. The point of this battle is the future – this bill cannot possibly work and will only make the American economy worse. Remember, even Obama has been saying that things would get worse before they get better – he just wants to solidify the Dem power base before actually trying to address the economic mess he's made for himself (i.e. 'a crisis is a terrible thing to waste'). If that's the case, then why is Obama even bothering with trying to get GOP support?
It's purely for political cover.
If this porkapalooza bill tanks the economy as badly as we are predicting, Americans will be justifiably outraged, and looking for political blood in the 2010 elections (maybe real blood, too…). If Obama and the Democrats can point to this vote and say, 'hey, look, it was a bipartisan bill that the Republicans supported, too', they could emerge largely unscathed from the public ire. On the other hand, if the GOP holds the line against this — even in a losing effort — there is a tremendously stark contrast between the two parties, and that could spell a major electoral disaster for the Democrats in 2010.
That's what's at stake on this vote.
We know we're screwed for at least two years by this, and so we can only hope to minimize the damage in those two years as much as possible. The thing that will guarantee the economic death of America is if the Democrats retain their supermajority and stretch this madness even longer.
There is precedent to this – this is almost exactly what happened with Bill Clinton in 1993. He passed tax increases without Republican support, the American people got angry, and the Republicans swept the House in 1994 (and the Senate soon after). But we have to stand firm NOW, and continue to stand firm no matter what.
There's my two cents.