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Pelosi Still Afraid to Take On Bush On the Economy

Cross posted on: myDD

… Let’s face it, we can only have a stimulus package if the President is willing to sign one.  But we can only go as far as the President will sign.

That’s House Speaker Nancy Pelosi starting the negotiations on a second stimulus package by giving away the farm.

There’s an old story in Texas about a young man whose daddy has sent him to trade horses on his own for the first time. He meets a wise old sharpie and the guy says, “So how much do you want for that horse son?” The kid answers: “Well Daddy told me to ask for $100 but to take $50.” “That’s great kid, here’s $50, give your daddy my regards.”

That’s what the Congressional Democrats do EVERY TIME.

While every stop is being pulled out to save the Wall Street “Masters of the Universe”, state governments across the nation are being pulled into an economic black hole. It’s no surprise that President Bush doesn’t care, but its very frustrating to see Pelosi being complicit in his indifference.

She’s apparently telegraphing her willingness to throw the states over the side. Why not make the most unpopular president in history veto a bill that would be popular just in time for the election?

Not having a vote on a strong economic recovery package is bad politics. Bad terrible awful dumb politics.  What’s the point of electing Democratic Members to Congress if they won’t stand up for Americans even when the President won’t?

Newsflash to the Democrats on Capitol Hill, this is the perfect time to force some Republicans up for re-election to put themselves on the record as opposing a package to save the economy.

But Pelosi doesn’t get that concept. Instead she wants to pass something on the first go and she’s so eager to please the president that shes pre-gutting a second stimulus package. Even though she’s talking a good game to the press:

Pelosi renewed her vow to try to pass a stimulus measure that would combine billions of dollars for jobs-producing infrastructure projects, more food stamps, additional Medicaid aid to states, home heating subsidies and a further extension of unemployment insurance.

Persistent rumors from Capitol Hill indicate that she’s telling the White House that she’s willing to throw the Medicaid aid to states overboard.

Should we settle for a bill that only goes halfway in addressing the economic crisis? No. We did that once, earlier this year, and the first stimulus package failed.

This has been on the table for a long time. The same experts who said the first economic stimulus package failed also said aid to states needs to be in the next stimulus:

If a second round of stimulus is necessary, other options that should be on the table. These include payments to states that will need to cut spending because of balanced budget provisions as their tax revenue falls.

And in a letter to House Leadership in late January as the first stimulus package was being prepared, a bipartisan group of 39 Governors “requested that state aid be included in the stimulus:

The nation’s governors urge you to include state countercyclical funding as part of your legislation to stimulate the economy.

In 2003, Congress approved $20 billion in assistance to states, including $10 billion in Medicaid and $10 billion in block grants. The governors’ current stimulus proposal is essentially the same, with the exception that it is a total of $12 billion as opposed to $20 billion. This proposal can be enacted quickly, as there is precedent and it is timely, temporary and targeted.

The plan is there, we know what is needed to help dig us out of this economic muck, and potentially shield the states from further dramatic losses if Wall Street keeps acting up. Our mentality shouldn’t be “take what we can get” it should be “this is what we need, this is what will pass.” If Republicans want to vote against improving the economy, let them explain it to the voters.

It’s time to have a clear vote on a real, working economic stimulus package. It’s time to show voters there’s a real difference between Democrats and Republicans.

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Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox