By Lenny McAllister
Right now, Americans are in critical need of relief from Washington, but our elected officials are only giving us a bad case of PMS: Pork, Minutia, and the Stimulus. Even so, there are important details playing out in Washington that trump partisanship. It’s not about conservatives and liberals – it’s about cash flow and losing more jobs if something effective is not quickly put into place.
A vote on the stimulus package may finally come Tuesday from the Senate. The current senatorial hang-up comes from the same set of twins - Pork-u-lus and Spend-u-lus - that caused every House Republican to vote against the stimulus package.
Politicians on both sides are debating their positions by using partisan philosophies while trying to push the package through.
Can we stimulate America by encouraging a new economy of green energy? Can we boost the economy by optimizing our health care system through leveraging information technology?
These are valid questions. But we have spent valuable time debating other proposed stimulus items, like:
$100 million for distance learning
$50 million for aqua-culture
$45 million for A-T-V trails and removal of fish passage barriers
Everything has its advocates and individual merits, but not everything has the impact to jump-start America’s crippled economy.
The original package was written by politicians railing against the old guard in Washington. You remember: we need change, leading to the recent exile of Republicans from Washington.
Well, after proposing $246 million in tax breaks for Hollywood film makers –after Hollywood made $1 billion from ticket sales in January alone - it doesn’t sound like much has changed in Washington, DC.
Which brings us back to the tension, headaches, and anxiety brought on by the stimulus package. The person with the biggest case? It’s the person spending the most right now – President Barack Obama. All of the political capital lining the streets of our nation’s capital January 20th is now being spent trying to champion a legislative process that symbolizes both our needs – and our wants – in a time of crisis.
If he continues to burn through political capital the way we have lost economic capital over the past several months, the Obama Administration may need a little stimulus of its own to regain momentum.