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“No” can be a very good word. Whether dealing with children or with Congress, a firm “uh-uh” can set the boundaries of acceptable behavior.
But the negative can pretty quickly turn you from a positive force into an obstinate grump – and no one likes those. Yet, this is the persona adopted by Republican Party leaders who’re throwing up a “Stone Wall of No” to President Barack Obama’s economic recovery efforts. Not a single GOP house member, for example, voted for Obama’s $790 billion stimulus package, petulantly dismissing it as “larded with wasteful spending.”
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Like what, you might ask? Well, the Republicans issued a list of what irked them in the bill. It included improved sewer systems, flood reduction projects, retrofitting federal buildings for energy conservation, and – gosh their hit list was filled with exactly the kind of job-creating, infrastructure-building, energy-saving work that America needs.
But, wait, once the bill passed anyway, hoards of the GOP’s congress critters suddenly turned from grumps to cheerleaders for such projects, claiming credit back in their districts for bringing home the bacon. Only hours after voting against the bill, for example, Rep. John Mica was bragging to his home folks in Florida that – hallelujah – they’d now be getting stimulus money for a local commuter train.
Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, The Louisiana Republican who had denounced Obama’s plan as an “eruption of spending,” was grasping for $6 billion in federal recovery money as he spoke. On national TV, Jindal praised himself for cutting taxes in Louisiana, rather than increasing spending. He didn’t mention that he now hopes to grab $2 billion from Obama’s fund to cover a state budget shortfall that his tax cuts helped create.
“No” is not an economic plan. Neither is hypocrisy.
“Rebuttal was a missed opportunity,” Austin American Statesman, February 27, 2009.
“Republicans Hail Parts of Bill That Few of Them Supported,” The New York Times, February 20, 2009.
“GOP obstinacy: How’s it working?” Austin American Statesman,” February 20, 2009.
“Stimulus dissent,” Austin American Statesman,” February 27, 2009.
“What GOP Leaders deem wasteful in Senate stimulus bill,” www.cnn.com, February 4, 2009.
“Top of the ticket: Bobby Jindal’s Republican response,” www.latimes.com, February 24, 2009.
“Who Is Bobby Jindal?” Email from Veronika R., February 24, 2009.