What were they thinking?

Posted by David A. Peterson on 4. February 2009 in Economics, Message |

Now that we have had a few days to digest the House’s portion of the Economic Stimulus Package you have to sit back and ask… “What was the House thinking?”

I take a pragmatic view of the overall U.S. Congress. When I see something as wild as Nancy Pelosi’s version of the Economic Stimulus Package I just figure that someone within the 535 member House and Senate would stand up and say “this is nuts.”

As it turns out the Senate is doing just that. We see some economic reality setting in. But the House… “What were they thinking?”

One of the reasons that I don’t comment on an issue at that very moment is that…

  • I might not understand the entire issue.
  • I might be a little too emotional and my fingers may type something hellish that I might personally regret in a few days.

Again I’m a bit pragmatic in my approach, I try to be practical and I try to think about what in our recent history would have caused such an outcome. But for the life of me… “What were they thinking?”

The House vote last week was recorded at 244-188 with 11 Democrats joining all the Republicans in trying to defeat this bill. As we now know this bill is so loaded with pork that it became embarrassing for the White House. Even though it is embarrassed the White House is still saying that the differences between the House version and the Senate version are minor.


The National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers was reported by FoxNews.com as saying that all those  against this current economic stimulus plan  “aren’t prepared to support major action to help the economy.”


Now that is about the dumbest thing I have heard in a while. Mr Summer just indirectly said, or better yet reading between the lines… “that if you don’t agree with us in our methods then you are just flat out a villain, an idiot, and it is because of you that the national economy continues to flounder.”

That is not very bipartisan. In fact that is politics as usual. Personally I have a sneaky suspicion that President Obama would like to break the bill up into 2 parts – stimulus issues and social issues. Unfortunately he is not currently strong enough to carry this load.

The good news is that even though the Rebulican’s were getting “railroaded” last week their economic message is getting out. Normally the major news media just rubber stamps the Democratic position on these social issues. But this time the Democrats made a mistake, they rapped totally unrelated social issues up into an emergency stimulus bill.

Every American saw this happening and the major media had to report it as well or they would have missed the first major story of the Obama Administration.

Republican’s and their tax relief message are getting a tremendous amount of positive press. Even the media outlets that openly hate conservative positions are treating their competing plan with some openness.

The only people not listening is the House leadership. I think the President, a good portion of the Senate Democrats, and the American public would like to split this current version of the bill into two parts. Let’s take care of the economy and THEN go look at the social issues.

Senate and House Republicans are finding their voice and it is bringing the party together. This message of “take a look at our tax relief plan, it will save jobs, create new jobs, and get the economy moving,” is resonating across the country.

Now that is a message – our plan creates jobs – keep it up. Stick together. All of America is now taking a look at the House version and collectively saying… “What were they thinking?”

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