This $825 billion stimulus or rather spending bill plus its $350 billion in interest fails to offer the American people what is most needed now. It does not offer sustainable jobs. True, there are billions in projects in this bill to outfit government buildings with new light bulbs, to increase fuel-efficient cars, and to perform “periodic censuses,” but there seems to be something missing in the bill: a job that can be sustained for more than a couple of years. The bill only provides those jobs that the government can fund. In essence, it’s Roosevelt’s failed work-for-food program revisited. At least the $200 million to re-sod the National Mall was scratched. In an amazing display of reaching across the aisle, Obama and Pelosi nixed this from the bill. I’m sure it was that gracious gesture that generated such bipartisan support against their Democratic spending spree.
There has been urgent pressure from the Obama administration to pass this bill while public support dwindles. Despite Democrats’ best efforts, the bill is not being sent through Congress fast enough. Senator Barney Frank is pushing the necessary passage of a “social safety net” to save individuals and our economy. If this bill is so crucial to our economy, then Democrats should consider spending more than 10 percent of the over-all bill in the first year. In essence, we are looking at legislation that is a handout to corrupt groups like Service Employees International Union and ACORN, special interests and government entitlement programs. It is a means to an end for greater government dependence and nationalization.
On the flip side, the House Republicans finally showed some backbone and exhibited fiscal conservatism,—albeit 8 years too late. Rather than spending like stoned tree huggers, House Republicans and eleven Democrats voted against the spending bill. This vote could start to usher in new life to the Republican Party. In a time when spending is out of control, Republicans, despite being a clear minority, can display the principles of our Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson once said, “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” While a simple statement in concept, it is a difficult idea to apply to our government now. I can only pray that Senate Republicans vote against the Democrats’ spending bill. It isn’t just the conservative decision to make. It is the morally righteous choice.
Beyond partisan politics, this massive addition to our debt is sickening. The majority of those who read this article are college students, never having had to pay income taxes or a mortgage, let alone balance a monthly budget. My parents talk about the debt they are leaving to their children and grandchildren and express disappointment in the future they are leaving us. Think about it, it’s no longer a debt left to “our children.” This is a debt left to us. We must be outraged at this abuse. We put our trust into our representatives to be responsible, honest and transparent in the duties we have graciously given them. They have abused that trust and betrayed the American people. Solutions are no longer about “contacting your congressman.” It’s about finding the means to enact the real change necessary to guide this nation back to its founding principles. If we fail to do so, we will become the generation that replaced the individual’s freedom to succeed or fail with the government’s guarantee of dependence and mediocrity. So what will this country stand for: independent self-reliance or government intervention? The so-called stimulus package provides a clue.