Saturday, March 07, 2009

Boehner calls for a government spending freeze

I saw this story on the Rachel Maddow Show, and I'm not sure what to say. Apparently House Minority Leader John Boehner has decided to cope with this nation's 8.1 percent unemployment rate by calling for a government spending freeze:

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, reacted to the rise in unemployment today by calling for a federal government spending freeze.

“Washington Democrats seem more determined than ever to continue pursuing tax hikes and pork-barrel spending increases that are only proving to make matters worse,” said Boehner, R-Ohio, in a statement.

“President Obama campaigned against wasteful spending last year and has renewed commitment to fight it now that he is in office. I hope he will follow through on that promise by vetoing this legislation if it passes the Senate and working with House Republicans to enact a spending freeze for the remainder of this fiscal year.”

Boehner is criticizing Senate Democrats as they scramble to find votes to pass a $410 billion spending bill to cover the federal government's expenditures for the rest of the fiscal year. This bill includes "discretionary" spending by around 8 percent, which includes some 8,500 earmarked special projects, worth around $7.7 billion, that have been inserted by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Now here is Rachel talking about Boehner's blunder:

Rachel beautifully sums up the problem with Boehner's spending freeze idea. We have too much supply and not enough demand for goods in this country. The demand side of the economy has come to a halt due to the credit freeze, financial meltdown and the housing crisis. Americans are not buying. And when Americans are not buying, companies cannot keep employees on the payroll, since they can't sell their products. So companies lay off employees--who are also consumers that will cut their own spending on goods, forcing companies to cut payrolls even further of workers, forcing those workers to cut back on their own spending, and the whole mess just continues to snowball into an even bigger pile of crap. There needs to be an interruption in this cycle, and the interruption is the federal government spending. The federal government becomes the demand in hiring American workers for projects, giving American workers the paychecks they need to purchase more stuff--to stimulate the demand side. As Americans purchase more stuff, the supply goes down, causing companies to hire more American workers to produce more supply of goods. However the Republicans want to cut this demand by a spending freeze. "No one but the federal government really has the necessary cash to do a whole lot of buying right now," said Rachel. "In this context, the Republicans are proposing a spending freeze. They are saying the government should stop spending. Also, rather than put your house fire out with water, they are going to switch the liquid in the fire hose to gasoline. Does that seem like a good idea?"

There are days that I wonder if the Republican Party stands for anything, or if they are just opposing the Democrats and President Barack Obama just for spite. This whole idea of a government spending freeze during this severe economic recession is beyond outrageous--almost descending into the realm of incompetent stupidity. The U.S. economy is seriously hurting, and American consumers are broke. So many Americans have lost their jobs, have lost--or are probably losing--their homes, and are struggling to make ends meet. American consumers are not going to pick up spending, and increase demand. Only the federal government has the resources to increase demand and stimulate the economy. And the Republicans want to douse the burning house fire with gasoline.

Of course, this isn't about the U.S. economy here. Again, it is about playing politics. The reason for this Republican spending freeze is to obstruct the $410 billion spending bill because it $31 billion larger than last years bill, and it contains $7.7 billion dollars in earmark spending. Again, the GOP has no policy ideas, except for the same failed tax cut ideas that got us into this mess in the first place under the Bush administration. So the Republicans are latching on to this almost $8 billion in earmark spending, claiming it is too much for the government and are holding up a $410 billion spending bill because of this small earmark spending. It is another example of obstructionism for partisan politics, another example of the GOP's desire to destroy this U.S. economy for their own political gain. It just amazes me.

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