Thursday, May 27, 2010

Democrats = Republicans

Somebody needs to explain to me how we made things better by electing Democrats to control Congress, because we sure as hell didn’t make Congress any smarter in the process. We probably could have improved the average intelligence of Congress by electing a bunch of house cats to office, even the kind that attack themselves in the mirror.

From the New York Times today,
The emergence of the escalating federal debt and government spending as a defining political issue is complicating Democratic efforts this week to push through a major package of tax breaks and unemployment aid over the reluctance of Democrats wary of being painted as budget busters.

Notice that they are not worried about the actual federal deficit, they are worried about “being painted as budget busters” and how that will affect them in the elections. That, however is only to be expected; the only matter that ever concerns any politician is his/her own reelection. Bringing home “pork” to the district is a good thing, as it helps assure reelection. National interest is irrelevant, except to the degree that it can be used in campaign speeches. So that aspect of this issue is not stupid, it’s merely venal.

What’s stupid is the way they “reduced the cost” of the bill in question.

They shorten the period for which the extension of unemployment benefits is being made in this bill by one month, making it run through November of this year rather than through December. That means that unemployment benefits paid in December are not part of the cost of this bill. Does anyone think that unemployment benefits will not be paid in December? Of course not. They haven’t reduced cost, they’ve just reduced the cost of this bill, and shoved the cost onto some other bill.

If a homeowner cannot afford cable television, he makes it affordable by not signing a contract and only paying for it one month at a time at the same rate. Makes perfect sense to me.

Plus, obviously any voter who is concerned about the deficit (which, with respect to stimulus, would not include me) is going to be so thrilled that Congress is increasing it by a mere $90 billion with this magic bullet, which is the exact same kind of magic that the Republicans used when they were in control.

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