Wednesday, February 4, 2009

GOP: All Spending is Bad Spending

I found this on CNN earlier and thought it was pretty interesting. It's a list of things the Republican senate leadership objects to in the current stimulus bill. According to the GOP, all the things on this list are hunks of pork that should have no place in the stimulus, and in fairness, some of these things are pretty worthless--note the $246 million to buy film for Hollywood motion pictures and $248 million for furniture at Homeland Security.

Don't get me wrong, the stimulus isn't perfect. But when they start nitpicking over things like energy efficiency and canal inspection, they're showing the kneejerk ideological groupthink that threaten to derail the whole stimulus plan. The all-spending-is-bad-spending approach is pretty toxic in an economy as bad as this one, where there basically is no choice but to act. Curiously this mindset didn't seem to have as much weight when it was Wall Street who needed a bailout.

And as for this controversy about the $400 million for STD prevention, I have one question: why is this such anathema to the Republicans? It seems to me that if you want to 1) lower health care costs by preventing STDs, 2) promote public health and safety and 3) reduce the abortion rate, this item should be a no-brainer. I guess running to that old standby the culture war is one way to stir up opposition to the stimulus, but wow.

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