Timidity in the Face of Fiscal Recklessness Is No Vice

Even as President Obama promises that the federal government will spend the $1 trillion or so contemplated in the stimulus legislation in a utterly open, totally transparent, and absolutely accountable way, he demands that members of Congress vote for the 647-page monstrosity before they can possibly have time to read and digest it. "We don't have a moment to spare," he says, eliciting praise from Honeywell CEO David Cote, who raves, "Thank God you are not a timid man."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Any time you hear someone say 'you can't afford not to buy this right now', they're trying to screw you.

  • Lester Hunt||

    Isn't it anti-democratic to tell people they have to approve something, evidently in a state of near-panic, faster than they can sensibly deliberate about it? This is exactly what Paulson did to Congress (and the American people) in the run-up to TARP.

  • ||

    How long can we sustain this sense of panic?

  • ||

    Obama is utilizing the same totalitarian sales tactic practiced by GWB in support of his effort to get the Patriot Act passed. Wither the "change you can believe in"?

    Joe, MNG have at it.

  • ||

  • ||

    It seems to me that one who claims to be dedicated to "change you can believe in" would reject the propostion that some legislation needs to be passed without deliberation or the sky will fall.

    Sure, he is no different than his 43 predecessors and thousands of other elected office holders, but, it must be said that Obam is a fraud who has already broken several campaign promises. Thems is the facts.

  • ||

    J sub D-

    Thanks for the assist.

  • ||

    If Obama were worth anything, he'd be the voice of calmness and restraint, exercising a mature influence on this horrific Congress. Instead, he's fanning the flames of panic and showing that he has no interest in restraining anything. Except maybe torture. I'll give him that.

    Just what we needed after the Bush presidency, huh? And for you Bush apologists, the government wouldn't be acting as unrestrained as it is if your guy hadn't run around clucking about the sky falling.

    The economy doesn't scare me, but the government does. It may very well make this recession into a prolonged economic downturn.

  • ||

    Perhaps some didn't notice but when the Prez-to -be said "Change you can believe in" it was framed as a question.He had the rising inflection towards the end of the sentence. Maybe I mis-parsed?

  • MikeB||

    How long can we sustain this sense of panic?

    Not sure, but the global warming hysteria has been going on for almost ten years now.

  • Need an excuse to drink||

    McCain would've been worse.

  • ||

    Oldtimer-

    Check the slogan as it appeared on campaign banners, buttons, bumper stickers and the like. I don't recall any question marks on them.

  • MikeB||

    I wonder how all the Reason contributors who voted Obama feel now. They really should have supported Barr instead of GW McBama.

  • ||

    You know, I think McCain would've done something on torture, too, and he'd have been as uninterested in stopping the Festival of Spending as Obama is.

    Of course, McCain might also have declared war on Vietnam, which I think he was planning all along.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Only 647 pages.

    I don't see how, given the time they have had, a serious cogress-critter could claim not to have had time to read through the bill.

    Seriously.

    It is not like they got their copy a couple of hours ago (they got it Monday, no?).

    It shouldn't be that hard to read in a couple of days at the level needed to form an opinion. Particularly given the fact that they have been working on it for weeks.

  • ||

    Due deliberation! Deliberate. Ponder and consider and consider again. Redraft. Deliberate some more. And so on.

    Then veto the fucker.

  • Neu Mejican||

    In a funny way, this is a shorter read than the 132 page Patriot Act as it is fairly self-contained. Patriot required you to have an desk for of other bills to cross reference. Not something that could be done quickly.

    FWIW, I agree, they should take the time they need to get it right.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    "When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers," said Oscar Wilde. It's going to be loads of fun to watch as smug big-government lefties see their wishes come true-and then see the consequences thereof. Be careful what you wish for, baby!

  • ||

    It's OK, my wife doesn't understand my humor either.

  • ||

    "Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain."

  • Crystal Methodist||

    Very few, if any, of Congress would read it anyway. They will have aides do the tedious work.

    It is in pass mode right now and debate is superfluous in the House since the voters rendered the GOP there moot (and mute).

  • ||

    I remember the days when Keynesian Economics was as thoroughly discredited as Heliocentrism. I wonder how long until Congress declares Lamarckianism to be official policy and starts sending Darwinians to the gulag.

  • ||

    "As flies to wanton schoolboys are we to the politicians, they tax us for sport."

  • Crystal Methodist||

    I remember the days when Keynesian Economics was as thoroughly discredited as Heliocentrism.

    Isn't is amazing? And now China has proven that state managed capitalism can whip supply side's ass.

  • ed||

    "We don't have a moment to spare."

    Thank you, Comrade Chairman.

  • Mike M.||

    I remember the days when Keynesian Economics was as thoroughly discredited as Heliocentrism.

    The new socialist propaganda now appears to be that the real problem with the New Deal was that the government didn't spend ENOUGH money, if you can believe it. They're nothing, if not brazen.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Sure, he is no different than his 43 predecessors and thousands of other elected office holders

    So, all 44 Presidents, even G Dubs and TJ and Calvin Coolidge...they're all just power hungry tyrants?

    This is going to sound funny coming from me, but you need a sense of nuance. Not all politicians are created equal.

  • Warren Buffet||

    McCain might also have declared war on Vietnam

    This is an economic Gulf of Tonkin Incident!

  • Alexander Tytler||

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.

  • joe||

    Aw, MNG, you're ruining their fun!

    No, no, this is exactly the USA PATRIOT Act, when no one could describe the contents of the bill. It's gotta be, because the point they're trying to make is ruined if it isn't.

  • joe||

    I think this is the line I like best on this thread:

    ... passed without deliberation...

    Right, no deliberation. Nobody's been debating this bill or its contents. At all.

  • ||

    You know, I think McCain would've done something on torture, too, and he'd have been as uninterested in stopping the Festival of Spending as Obama is.



    Right, since McCain voted against many of the worst Bush spending excesses, like the prescription drug entitlement, the first farm bill (and the second, which Bush vetoed), and the energy bills, he would've been exactly the same on spending. Just keep telling yourself that.

    There are plenty of reasons for libertarians (and others) to criticize McCain, but that claim seems pretty ridiculous.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I love how Obama is continuing to excoriate "irresponsibility" in the private sector while pushing this clusterfuck.

  • joe||

    If the bill hasn't been out long enough for people to understand its implications, why have there been almost twenty Hit and Run posts criticizing it over the past three days, often with extremely detailed descriptions of what it would do?

  • ||

    I guess people were so happy with the PATRIOT Act that they want Congress to vote on even more huge bills without review.

  • ||

    TAO-

    Reading comprehension-read the whole sentence. Obama is no different than his predecessors with respect to breaking promises.

  • ||

    Joe, please don't tell me that you are defending the process. Less than three days to consider, debate and deliberate ain't cutting it.

    What did you say about the GWB's insistence that the Patriot Act be passed immediately? Do you think that Congress wrapped itself in glory by passing that sucker without reading it?

    I note your tacit acknowledgement of Obama's hyprocisy-see J sub D's post. Again, are his histrionics the stuff of real leadership? Pass this bill or the sky will fall-that is "change you can believe in."

  • Democrat \"Stimulus\"||

    · $650 million for digital TV coupons.
    · $6 billion for colleges/universities - many which have billion dollar endowments.
    · $166 billion in direct aid to states - many of which have failed to budget wisely.
    · $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
    · $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.
    · $200 million for the National Mall, including grass planting.
    · $400 million for "National Treasures."

    Not to mention the ACORN connection!

  • random precision||

    yeah, like any of those useless assholes in congress actually read anything they vote on ...

    Republicans are fiscally responsible ... except when they're pissing away tax dollars in Iraq.

    At least Democrats are sticking to old fashioned domestic graft and corruption ...

  • Hogan||

    heliocentrism = earth goes round the sun.

  • ||

    647 pages to say, "There it is. Take it."??

  • economist||

    The word you're looking for is geocentrism.

  • ||

    McCain would have been worse.

  • economist||

    Of course, what we really need is bold, persistent experimentation. As long as it doesn't involve the government doing less, that is. If it doesn't work, what's a trillion dollars to the government? Try again. And again. And then fight a war or something. And then we'll all be prosperous again.
    To recap.
    1. Stimulus/bailout #1(already done)
    2. Stimulus/bailout #2(currently underway)
    3. WAR! (Let's piss off the Japanese and get them to attack us again. Or get the Chinese to attack us. And then we can respond by attacking Russia).

  • economist||

    There's a simple way to deal with unemployment: Draft all the unemployed for the invasion of Pakistan.

  • Bags||

    Golf clap for the person spoofing joe in this thread. You got the condescension, acrimony, and cognitive dissonance dead on.

  • Naga Sadow||

    economist,

    Taking on China is a BAD idea. I recall reading something years ago about Russia. They came to the conclusion that all the Chinese had to do was arm about 50 million peasants with bamboo sticks and send em into battle til they overran the Russian positions. The Russian plan was to fall back to the Urals and nuke everything on the eastern side of Siberia.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    LM - again, people as a class break promises. Taking a general observation about people and claiming its special to politicians isn't exactly "truthiness", is it?

  • economist||

    Naga,
    I was being sarcastic.

  • Naga Sadow||

    economist,

    I know. I'm a storyteller that also loves to hear stories. I like telling that story. It's probably because it's so hard to work into relevancy.

  • economist||

    That's fine, Naga. I just wanted to make sure you didn't think I was actually advocating a war with China.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Thats just what a guy advocating an actual war with China would say economist. If that is your real handle . . .

  • ||

    I don't know if anyone in the media has pointed this out yet, but I find it entertaining that in sec. 1112 of the bill it specifically states that Illinois can't get any stimulus money without either Blogojevich's impeachment or an act of the state legislature.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "If Obama were worth anything, he'd be the voice of calmness and restraint, exercising a mature influence on this horrific Congress. Instead, he's fanning the flames of panic and showing that he has no interest in restraining anything."


    Of course.

    Obama and dems have to create as much panic as possible so they can get the laundry list of lefty programs and/or spending they've been wanting for decades passed to "solve" the economic crisis before the economy starts recovering on it's own and they have no more excuse for doing it.

  • jk||

    Honeywell

    Honeywell? Honeywell made electrical control components in the '70s. I scour electrical design specifications for a living. I haven't seen a Honeywell anything spec'd for 15 years. It's all Allen Bradley, Square-D, Siemens, Cutler Hammer, and others.

    What's next? If Obama needs some insite into the world of computer manufacturing is he going to meet the executives from Digital Equipment Corporation, Sperry Univac, and Data General?

  • Paul||

    Any time you hear someone say 'you can't afford not to buy this right now', they're trying to screw you.

    Followed by, "Would you like the extended warranty with that?"

  • Paul||

    If Obama needs some insite into the world of computer manufacturing is he going to meet the executives from Digital Equipment Corporation, Sperry Univac, and Data General?

    He's on hold with the CEO of Osborne Computer Corp., right now.

  • ed||

    Not a single Republican vote. Good for them.

  • ||

    If anyone thinks what's been happening in Congress is "due deliberation", then he's a fool.

  • ||

    Neu Mejican | January 28, 2009, 6:09pm | #
    Only 647 pages.

    I don't see how, given the time they have had, a serious cogress-critter could claim not to have had time to read through the bill.

    Seriously.

    It is not like they got their copy a couple of hours ago (they got it Monday, no?).

    It shouldn't be that hard to read in a couple of days at the level needed to form an opinion. Particularly given the fact that they have been working on it for weeks.



    You (presumably) make this statement based on your belief that these people:
    a) Are actually serious about their "duties"
    b) Are sufficiently well-informed and knowledgeable to analyze the information and make a dispassionate decision
    c) are willing and able to act in the best long term interests of America in the aggregate, and not in their own short term interest


    You slay me.

  • ThegirlwhodissedTony||


    You slay me.


    It's as if Neu Mejican just got off the fuckin' banana boat.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement