February 10, 2009
Here’s the perfect poster for the New Era of Pork and Change:
(courtesy Nobamart and Fector)
February 10, 2009
The nearly extinct Fiscally-Responsible Democrat was sighted this morning, as the DC Examiner reported on Congressman Walt Minnick’s (D-Idaho) proposal to cut over 80% of the spending from the Obama-Reid-Pelosi
National Penury Act stimulus bill and focus the remainder on projects that might actually stimulate the economy. Even more shocking, Minnick’s bill contains sunset provisions that end the spending if the economy recovers:
While President Barack Obama goes on the road to shore up slipping popular support for the $1 trillion stimulus porkfest that he ordered up from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, is pushing a better idea: The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START).
Minnick is a member of the Blue Dog caucus of occasionally conservative Democcrats. His START plan is a $170 billion “bare bones” pure stimulus approach that would put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low- and middle-income Americans, then use the other $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. START requires that all funds not spent by 2010 be returned to the Treasury. START also stops stimulus spending when the nation’s Gross Domestic Product increases in two of three previous quarters, and all START payments are required to be posted on a public website.
I’m opposed to any stimulus spending at all, and there is no mention of tax cuts, but Minnick’s approach at least sounds like a reasonable compromise that has the added benefits of being short-term only and trackable. With the Senate set to pass the dripping-with-pork-fat "moderate compromise" bill possibly today, perhaps our only hope for a sensible outcome is a revolt by the Minnick and the other Blue Dog Democrats in the House against the final bill that will be reported from the House-Senate conference committee. There have been other Blue Dog-Republican alliances in the past to stop bad spending bills, so perhaps the threat of another will be enough to make Pelosi and the other social democrats in Congress back down. Keep your fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, Congressman Minnick better be careful about whom he accepts rides from. Obama, Emanuel, Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership want to use this bill to vastly expand federal power and as a springboard for a "patronage" program that will expand "Chicago way" politics nationwide, permanently entrenching a Democratic majority. They’re not going to appreciate some Westerner’s attempt to keep things honest.
(hat tip: Ed Morrissey)