Tag Archives: Harry Reid

And the Whittling Begins in Earnest

I love Harry Reid. And by “love,” I mean, “want to punch in the face.”

We begin in a position of popular electoral strength and end in Gutless Gulch with Senator Harry Reid now proposing that we cut back the tax cut portion of the bill *as a compromise* to cutting the $100 billion dollars “centrist” Republicans want to cut out of the spending side.

Can we get back to reality, here? “Stimulus” is defined by government spending that replaces slacking spending by the American people for the sake of keeping jobs. We can’t keep cutting stuff out of an already inadequate spending package and hope to possibly stem the tide. We’ve lost a trillion dollars in spending on the consumer side alone, but we’ve got no more than half a trillion in new spending.

Let’s be crystal clear about this: there is no such thing as wasteful spending in a mega-recession!

Some spending that offends the sensibilities of Republicans is fine to remove. I think family counciling is good, but if you want to leave that to Jesus, so be it. But don’t make that an economic issue, because it isn’t.

The Marker in Congress Has Been Thrown Down

Congress has told the White House it must find the funds to bail out Detroit out of the TARP money – that $700bn package reserved for the financial industry – or there may be no money forthcoming. Thus far, Hank Paulson at Treasury and the White House have resisted such calls.

And a fine time it is to suddenly think you’ve grown a set: the president is leaving office in a matter of days and it won’t be his problem any longer. Why should he give a shit? It’s not like he’s shown any level of interest in the economy up till now. Not exactly a powerful position from which to throw down an ultimatum. We’ll see what happens, but if I were Harry Reid, I’d start twisting arms in the Senate to get something which provides real oversight in the bailout package that is inevitably going to need to pass through Congress.