Well, the congress did it! They went ahead and passed what is certainly one of the largest, if not THE largest, spending bill in the history of our country. The $787 billion economic stimulus plan was passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 246-183, without receiving a single Republican vote. In the Senate, however, three Republican senators (Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine and Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania) decided to vote with the Democratic majority of the Senate, thus giving the Senate the 60 votes needed to pass this emergency legislation.
I, and many others, have grave misgivings about the actions of the Congress this past week. My first complaint is that nobody seems to know what, exactly, is contained within the 1100 or so pages that make up this legislation. The final approved version of the bill was not completed by the joint House-Senate committee until Tuesday and was rushed into both houses of Congress for voting before most members of Congress really had a chance to even read the bill, let alone evaluate its possible problems. This was, by the way, in direct contrast to the way that President Obama promised the American people that business would be conducted during HIS presidency. "Complete transparency" was the term I believe he promised to use. The way this bill was brought about and voted on was hardly what any fair minded person could call "completely transparent."
My second problem has to do with the likely outcome of this action. Bear in mind that "our representatives in Congress" have elected to gamble what will surely wind up being over $1 trillion of OUR money on a plan which Vice-President Biden says has a 30% chance of failure. Think about that for a moment! Despite the fact that almost two-thirds of citizens who were polled said they were not in favor of this plan, our elected representatives, the very people who our supposed to represent our will and our interests, chose to vote for this plan anyway. They have take $1,000,000,000,000 and gambled with approximately a 1-in-3 chance that it will fail to do what needs to be done for this country and its citizens. THIS IS BEYOND IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNING, IT IS ABSOLUTE IDIOCY!!
The third and possibly most disturbing problem is how much "pork" has been passed through with this spending bill. The Democrats have rammed through many pet projects that have nothing to do with stimulating our economy and improving the economic lot of most of the tax paying citizens of this nation. Any citizen who chooses to do so can read through the 1100+ pages to see all the individual "pork spending" in this bill. Some items, such as $58 billion for childrens' health care, may be worthy projects when our economic health is better, but it is a large expense that will do nothing to stimulate our economy. Other projects, like re-decorating government offices and changing our government fleet to a "greener" fleet are simply items that SHOULD HAVE BEEN POSTPONED during this current crisis. Tax breaks for small business and for individual taxpayers would do far more to stimulate our economy than increased government spending on pet projects.
At this point there is little that any of us can do about this legislation. If it actually does work and turns our economy around, I will be the first to congratulate President Obama on his inspired leadership in a time of crisis. If, however, this turns out to only make a bad situation worse, than I truly hope and pray that, in the 2010 elections, the voters will demonstrate their displeasure at the polls and vote out ALL the morons in Congress, including the three renegade Republican senators, and replace them with men and women, of whatever party, who will do their duty and represent the wishes and the interests of their constituents instead of their respective political parties.