Skepticism or Obstructionism?

As of right now, Americans are left with more questions than answers about this unprecedented government spending . . .

As the ellipsis suggests that's not the full quote, though it should be. No, the questions that Americans have in their mind according to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are not about the serious erosion of the nation's fiscal position that has added an unprecedented $5.7 trillion in deficit spending these past eight years, the questions the Senate Minority Leader believes that Americans are harbouring are about Obama's still undefined fiscal stimulus plan believed to be in the neighborhood of $675 billion to $850 billion.

From the Washington Post:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voiced skepticism today about the emerging economic stimulus plan, applying a brake to Democratic plans to quickly pass up to $850 billion in spending and tax cuts soon after President-elect Barack Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration.

"As of right now, Americans are left with more questions than answers about this unprecedented government spending, and I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it," McConnell said in a statement, which will be publicly issued later today.

Obama's advisers and congressional Democrats have been huddling in the Capitol trying to craft a massive stimulus plan that could cost anywhere from $675 billion to $850 billion, while some economists are pushing for a total package worth more than $1 trillion.

McConnell -- the most powerful Republican in Washington, based on the filibuster-proof level of 41 GOP Senate seats -- called for many congressional hearings on the stimulus plan and some undetermined safeguards to assure the money is being spent wisely.

Let's call it what it is. It's not skepticism, this is obstructionism.

Tags: Republican Obstructionism, Senator Mitch McConnell (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Skepticism or Obstructionism?

It's a waste of money, unless it's for war.

Then it's money well spent.

by Bush Bites 2008-12-29 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Skepticism or Obstructionism?

These numbers scare the f*** out of me.  

I support a stimulus, but with the bailout and the stimulus we are pushing the country close to bankruptcy.

I'm not an economist, but borrowing crazy amounts of $ is what got us into this mess is it really the answer to getting us out of it?

by liberalj 2008-12-29 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Skepticism or Obstructionism?

Don't kid yourself, we are headed for default or devaluation of the dollar. The bailouts and this stimulus when all added (as of now, not including future bailouts which will happen) plus factoring in the tax cuts that are coming, we are now so deep underwater that there is no way to pay it back ever.

All this money being created out of thin air is going to have consequences.

by need some wood 2008-12-29 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Skepticism or Obstructionism?

I'm not kidding myself.  I fear for the future, like never before.

I kind of feel we were all in denial about this, we knew that on the federal, and invidiual level, we were borrowing far too much but we carried on.

by liberalj 2008-12-29 03:49PM | 0 recs
numbers

the numbers are indeed frightful. but unlike the spending of the past eight years which went to the bottomless pit that is Iraq and reckless military spending, Obama's plan is focused on measures that should enhance domestic productivity.

What I object to most strenuously is McConnell thinking he knows on what's on Americans' minds. He clearly does not. His comments are noise for the sake of noise. Let him filibuster. I dare him.

by Charles Lemos 2008-12-29 03:31PM | 0 recs
This is just hitting the top of DKos...

Here's Bonddad's diary at the top of the Rec List on DKos right now: "Senator McConnell -- Idiot of the Highest Order."

I believe you beat Bonddad (whom I think is a bit overrated, IMHO) to the punch, btw!

by bobswern 2008-12-29 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: This is just hitting the top of DKos...

Thanks, that's a clever rant and it seems that we have added another $100 billion to the National Debt since I lasted looked at the numbers which was just at the start of the month. That speaks volumes.

Never forget.

by Charles Lemos 2008-12-29 03:55PM | 0 recs
Mitch McConnell's a lightweight!

Show me a southern Republican that isn't an obstructionist? My glass is half full here. 41 Republicans does not mean they'll filibuster their way out of the Dems pushing through their agenda. All it means is we'll need one Rethug to vote our way to push a given piece of legislation through.

F**k McConnell.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the pseudo-Blue Dogs. When it comes to these middle class bailouts, folks like Tester, Lieberman, et al, are the ones we have to keep in line.

by bobswern 2008-12-29 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Skepticism or Obstructionism?

As Paul Krugman has discussed, massive gov spending is the ONLY way to prevent a long and deep recession.

If the arcane Senate rule would allow a filibuster on a stimulus bill, the only responsible act is to change the filibuster-cloture procedure to 55 votes.

I say dump it all together.

But if anyone thinks the Republicans care one bit about the economic well-being of the American people, then they are seriously deluded.

by MAL Contends 2008-12-29 03:49PM | 0 recs
Well said...

But if anyone thinks the Republicans care one bit about the economic well-being of the American people, then they are seriously deluded.

McConnell is staring into the abyss for his parties future.

They have to TRY to erode Obama's overwhelming support numbers, and being obstructionist is certainly about the only way they can....

If Obama succeeds, we will have 20 years of democratic rule, at least.

by WashStateBlue 2008-12-29 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Skepticism or Obstructionism?

If they block this, there needs to be an all out war on McConnell.  He wants the economy to tank further to put Republicans back in power.  

by Kent 2008-12-29 06:31PM | 0 recs
Skepticism or Obstructionism? no Myth Creation

The basic supply side economic theory the republicans have used for decades has failed in spectacular fashion. They must at all costs obscure that fact. This is just one more layer in the myth they are forming. Freddie & Fannie, poor people buying houses, Bush incompetent oversight, not enough tax cuts and finally Democratic bailouts are all part of the myth.

They Economy for most people sucked long before Bear Streans. The fact that the whole house of cards came down so fast gives the Republicans a chance to play the, nobody could have seen it and so it really didn't happen the way you think.

People have a short term relative view of their economic circumstances, that tends to be more positive then reality. Therefore if things are looking to be less bad they are seen as positive. Even if in reality they merely have hit economic terminal velocity (you are still going to make as big a hole when you hit). Look Reagan was able to make the economy look better because it looked so much worse. If you get unemployment to 11% you can make 7.5% look good. Clinton unfortunately only got the longer term structural fix in so never benefited fully and ended up playing rearguard. Bush on the other hand was able to make the Tech Bubble appear worse then it was so he never had to pay the full price until recently.

And that is what McConnell is doing. He is shaping the future narrative. Because things will eventually get better.
If only in the sense of terminal velocity.

by Judeling 2008-12-29 06:35PM | 0 recs
Myth Creation

A great point.

by Charles Lemos 2008-12-29 07:16PM | 0 recs
Can they stop this?

They only have 41 seats and they have to have exactly that many for a filibuster.  All Democrats need is to pry away one Republican(Snowe or Collins) and they can pass it.  

by Kent 2008-12-29 07:21PM | 0 recs

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