A bloated behemoth 0

 Jonah Goldberg writes – and we agree with most of what he says:

Now, to be honest, I think President Obama’s stimulus bill is a monstrosity, a bloated behemoth unleashed on America with staggering dishonesty. The centrist "improvements" are like throwing a new coat of paint on a condemned building.

It’s being sold as an emergency stimulus to deal with an immediate problem – the economic downturn – despite being more like a welfare-state wish list festooned with fiscal nonsense. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid touts a whopping 58 percent of the bill as job-creating. No doubt that number is inflated. Even so, what’s the argument for the other 42 percent?

For instance, why is an emergency spending bill weighted down with an authorization for $198 million in payments to Filipino World War II veterans, many of whom live in the Philippines? We owe them the money, but how does sending millions to Manila fend off the American "catastrophe" that Obama says is the price of inaction?

Principled liberals defend the bill while conceding that roughly half the discretionary "emergency" spending won’t even start until two years from now. (Funny coincidence: That’s right around the time Obama’s re-election campaign will kick off.) Good social policy is good social policy, no matter how you get it enacted, they say.

Putting aside the question of whether the ornaments dangling from every branch of this legislative Christmas tree amount to good policy, there’s still the matter of why Democrats are afraid of the normal process. Sneaking into the package hundreds of millions for, say, sex education, the National Endowment for the Arts and sod for the National Mall doesn’t suggest a lot of confidence that Americans support such liberal priorities.

If they don’t, what did they expect when they voted the Democrats into power? 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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