Monday, 26. January 2009 23:54
We’re already beginning to see some interesting developments when it comes to the (currently) $800 billion dollar stimulus plan.Â I think it was an open question whether Republicans would end up on board with some kind of compromise legislation comming in to this year.Â They had signed on to the bailout plan, Obama and the Democrats gave them whatfor in the election, and there’s a certain incentive to appear bipartisan immediately following a presidential election.Â Furthermore, if it works, then Republicans in opposition would appear to be economically foolish.
Â However, with the current ‘stimulus’ shaping up to be a grab-bag of long-favored liberal spending (e.g. the $150 million on contraceptives), the Republicans are begining to solidify in opposition.Â A big bellweather indication of this is the fact John McCain opposes the stimulus plan. McCain has already made bipartisan overtures to Obama and is eager to resume his “Maverick” status. His opposition indicates few Republicans will be on board given the current state of the package.
That makes this the Democrat’s bill and sets the two parties in direct opposition on the eonomy.Â Should it improve, the Democrats will recieve the credit.Â Should it fail to improve, you have your big campaign issue for 2010.Â Obama may try to head-off this game by working to include enough to entice Republicans, but the overwhelming Democratic majorities provide a significant temptation to simply do what they want to do.Â And hence I have to conclude we are unlikely to see a bipartisan stimulus package.Â Rather, we are most likely to see a package passed soley by the Democratic majorities.
UPDATE:Â It seems they very savy President Obama is cognizant of the problem and seeking to avoid it, as he has asked the House Democrats to take the contraception pork out of the stimulus bill.