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A Smaller Bad Bill is Still a Bad Bill   February 5th, 2009
Attempts by Republicans to reduce stimulus bill to $799 billion is insufficient       

 
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It's starting to look as though some Republican senators are starting to accept the premise of a bad stimulus bill. A group of "moderate" senators apparently have the goal of reducing the pork-filled stimulus down to $799 billion. Is that supposed to make us feel more comfortable with accepting it?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/02/05/self-imposed-deadline-stimulus-sets-obama-lawmakers-battle-substance

Graham is just one senator who is willing to put the brakes on a Senate version that has floated $100 billion over the House measure, and which Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins, both moderates, are trying to reduce.

They are meeting with a group of 17 senators to bring down the price tag to $799 billion.

"That's my goal, and I hope that's the goal of my colleagues as well. And that's going to take some discipline," he said, adding that as it stands the package does not have the votes to pass the Senate, Nelson told FOX News Thursday.


This stimulus bill is bad policy. Granted, it's exploded to a mind-boggling $920 billion. But that doesn't mean that a $799 billion pork-fest is to be praised. Running into a wall at full speed is running into a wall at full speed--whether that wall is made of bricks or concrete really doesn't matter, it's still a bad idea.

If there is to be any stimulus, it should be almost entirely across-the-board tax cuts on individuals and businesses. Personally, I'd be willing to accept some reasonable infrastructure spending as long as we're spending on infrastructure that we need anyway and not just "spending to spend." But tax cuts are the fastest way to get more money immediately into the hands of consumers that drive approximately 70% of the economy. That's where the focus should be.

This package may be the most important issue for Republicans going into 2010. Republicans need to be able to campaign on fiscal responsibility. Republicans need fiscal responsibility and so does America. And, according to the polls, it's what the American public wants.

President Obama is on the defensive when it comes to the message regarding this stimulus. This isn't a situation where Republicans should try to feel good about reducing the pork by $121 billion; that's not something they can campaign on and it still increases America's debt by $799 billion. This is a situation where they need to reduce pork by $920 billion and, in 2010, be able to tell America that they stopped Obama's and Democrats' attempt to spend America's money on a spending bill that was primarily about stimulating Democratic interests rather than America's economy.

This is the perfect opportunity for Republicans to stand strong and showcase the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans are on the side of the American public. It's a no-brainer. But Republicans will only be able to campaign on this issue if they do what's right for America and stick to their conservative principles.

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