Just two weeks after Barack Obama took office, Democrats have overreached, and Republicans are licking their chops.
With a new Rasmussen Reports poll showing that a majority of Americans believe the Democrats’ stimulus plan would do more harm than good, Democrats suddenly are on the defensive, and Republicans are energized. That’s because the Democrats came up with a bill that does what Democrats like to do — spend taxpayer dollars — while offering little relief for the economy. In short, the Democrats’ proposals amount to a massive boondoggle.
Having learned their lesson from recent defeats, Republicans have stayed true to their conservative principles by voting unanimously in the House to defeat the stimulus bill. They have stayed on message, respectfully pointing out the flaws in the bill while pushing their own positive solutions to help the economy.
In that regard, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the Senate’s pre-eminent fiscal hawk, tells Newsmax that a lot of Republicans and many Democrats are expected to embrace an alternative that Sen. John McCain was offering this morning.
“The American people have certainly turned on the stimulus package,” Coburn says. “It’s a terrible package as far as what it’s supposed to do versus what we need to do. I think we’re going to be coming up with an alternative that actually does something right.”
Referring to the McCain plan, Coburn says, “A lot of us have met on the McCain package, and I think a good portion of the Republicans are going to support it, along with a lot of the Democrats.”
Coburn says the McCain plan, which is expected to cost more than $421 billion, “actually takes care of people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in a predicament.”
The plan would extend unemployment benefits and increases food-stamp benefits “but doesn’t do all this other garbage that they’ve got in there,” Coburn says.
The plan would double the amount in the Democrats’ plan for infrastructure improvements and cut the corporate tax rate.
Asked about President Barack Obama’s role, Coburn says he believes Obama wants a bipartisan bill that was not larded with spending measures that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy.
“Our problem isn’t with Obama,” he says.
But Obama has shown a lack of leadership by failing to rein in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats. Just after Obama’s election, Dave Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, told Newsmax that, given human nature, Democrats can be counted on to overreach.
“In 1994, some reporter asked Newt Gingrich whether he thought the Democrats were more corrupt than Republicans,” Keene recalls. “He said no, but they’re human beings, and they’ve been in power, and power corrupts. And he said the same thing could happen to Republicans, which it did more recently. You remove them and you start over. And you go back to basics and you retrieve your brand, put it together, and you come back. That’s happened before; it’ll happen again.”
Moreover, Keene says, “Winners always misread the reason for their victory. Winners always assume that voters voted for them for the reasons they wanted them to vote for them. They always assume that the voters were saying: Do what you want to do.”
Based on the polls, Democrats are finding that voters did not elect them to spend taxpayer money on bike trails and contraceptives in the name of stimulating the economy. They may disregard that message, but if they do and their plan fails, Republicans can count on winning in 2010.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
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