This afternoon/evening I had C-span on the teevee watching, as time allowed, the amendments to the stimulous bill. The process went well and both senators Reid and McConnell addressed the body to express their pleasure with how the process was unfolding. However there was a few things that caught my attention. Two of them involved ammendments offered by John McCain. The first was an amendment that illustrated the veracity of McCain’s campaign claim that he didn’t understand the economy. The gist of the amendment was that after two consecutive quarters with gains in the GDP the budget would start racheting back to a point of balance after five years.
A couple of points: 1: We would probably be nearly through the third quarter before confirmation of a positive GDP would be available 2: One of the major lessons from FDRs efforts is that by relaxing efforts to quickly there will be a significant loss in momentum. Most senators saw the fallacy of the logic. The amendment was resoundedly defeated with all democrats and several republicans voting against it. Voting for it besides McCain – Joe Lieberman – You know that Independent guy that Harry Reid says consistently votes with the democrats.McCain’s second amendment was to strike all buy america provisions in the bill. Once again it was a crash and burn vote. Once again Lieberman had his nose firmly implanted.
The other amendment that caught my attention was one that was offered by Senator Imhoff. It was to transfer funds (thereby eliminating) from several line items to provide for $5 billion for the construction of military housing. It cannot be denied that this will provide many jobs. The measure passed with a wide margin. My concern here is that everyone remember this $5 billion when we get into the normal budget process and we are figuring just how much we are spending on the military.