WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan congressional report released Wednesday concludes that it likely would be unconstitutional for a legislature to supplant a governor in accepting and using economic stimulus money.
The Congressional Research Service analysis could imperil tens of millions of stimulus dollars reserved for South Carolina and Texas, whose governors have said they will reject some of their states’ shares of the money.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who requested the CRS study, wrote White House budget director Peter Orszag, asking him to clarify key provisions of the $787 billion stimulus bill that President Barack Obama signed into law last month.
“Right now there is ambiguity in the law,” Graham told reporters Wednesday. “Can the legislature require funds from the stimulus funds for education or does it have to be the governor?”
In Charleston last week, Graham said he doesn’t support Sanford’s rejection of the stimulus money for the state.
“If it comes down to South Carolina getting the money or some other state getting the money, I would urge the governor to take the money,” Graham said.
This makes me wonder what the next moves will be by the Republican Governor’s of Alaska (Sarah Palin), Louisiana (Bobby Jindal) and Texas (Rick Perry) will do if they don’t have the cover of their state’s Legislative Branch covering their behinds. If this turns out to be true, I wonder, further, if these governor’s will still reject billions of dollars offered to their states. (I also wonder if Sarah Palin will get her many earmarks from the omnibus spending bill without taking any stimulus money. Another Hmmm.)
Talk about a fascinating game of chess…with the lives and futures of millions of people on the line. Compassionate Conservatism, my a$$.
The NY Post has issued a editorial statement about “That Cartoon”. Here is the text of the editorial by Col Allan, in full, so you don’t have to visit their site if you have ethical reasons for not wanting to. (I don’t blame you. I went there so you don’t have to.) Continue reading →
The job situation is becoming worse. Each day, news outlets are reporting another Corporate lay off effecting thousands of people’s lives. When I drive around my neighborhood, I see more and more “For Sale” signs in front of houses. I even saw one house that had a “For Sale” sign and a “For Rent” sign in front of it. Either option was acceptable to the homeowner. Now that’s desperation.
President Obama created a stimulus plan that would help put Americans back to work. He presented this plan to the House of Representatives hoping that Congress would write a job stimulus bill. After a few days of discussion, the House passed a bill which removed some of the spending and added more tax cuts.
The House stimulus bill is now with that elite group, the Senators, and the so called “Moderates” or “Centrists” have brutally chopped away at the “spending” and added more tax cuts. For 8 years, the Republican mantra has been tax cuts and more tax cuts. Since our economy is taking a nose dive over a cliff (h/t Daily Kos), it is obvious that these tax cuts didn’t save us. So what do the Republicans want more of in this stimulus bill? You guessed it, more tax cuts. They want to continue doing the same thing over and over again even though it never worked in the past. There is a word for this behavior. It is called insanity.
Only a few weeks ago, I was excited at the opportunity the economic stimulus package presented to the Democrats. While I think we’d all rather the economy was doing better than it is, there is also no denying that situations such as this are where radical changes can be achieved. And yet, as we approach inauguration day, the rumors swirling about the stimulus package indicate a timid, too-little approach centered largely around tax cuts. Sen. Tom Harkin emerged from stimulus talks yesterday with many of the same concerns:
“There’s only one thing we’ve got to do in this stimulus, and that’s create jobs,” Harkin told me. “I’m a little concerned by the way Mr. Summers and others are going on this … it still looks a little more to me like trickle-down.”
Likening Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan to the failed supply-side excesses of the Reagan and Bush years is a bit of a Cassandra moment. But Harkin didn’t back down. “What I’m hearing from Mr. Summers is that they’ve got a different approach — tax breaks, and this and that,” he said. Harkin warned that, much like the outcome of George Bush’s $600 stimulus package last year, recipients of quick tax cuts “are going to be salting it away, not spending it.”
When I asked if he felt his concerns were heard during the meeting, he looked to the floor and slowly shook his head. It was almost forlorn.
The sad truth is that economics was perhaps the single greatest question mark in Barack Obama’s political philosophy. He’s always had concrete ideas on foreign policy, he’s drafted a respectable health care reform outline, but beyond his call for middle class tax cuts during the campaign, his views on how best to handle this economic collapse have been murky. That he was far more willing than John McCain to use government spending to deal with our current woes was obvious, and it was one of the many reasons he was the better candidate, and why he will make the better president. But now we’ve entered the “how” phase of economic stimulus. How will we spend government resources, and how much are we willing to spend? According to Paul Krugman, the answers so far seem to be: on tax cuts, and not enough: