Saturday, January 26, 2008

If It's All Good, It Must Be Partisan

While it has been touted as a glowingly 'bipartisan' measure that is going to pass because it has support from both sides of the aisle in Congress, the stimulus package that is being proposed in reality is completely partisan. It adopts the Democratic aim of using government to benefit the people. That is as partisan as it gets.

The debacle that the U.S. economy has become was never anything but partisan, GoPervian, abuse of the working class that has made household expenses almost impossible to afford.

The rescue that their abuse has made necessary isn't exactly bipartisan, when it is forced on the occupied White House by the very economic disaster created by partisan, corporate welfare, policies. Only because it can't face another recession is the executive branch leaving behind its wide stance of resistance to benefits for the working class. Coming into the light is hardly bipartisan. It is actually extremely partisan - just not on the usual dark side.

Calling the stimulus package that leaders of both parties have agreed to 'bipartisan' is just an attempt to gloss over the disastrous policies that have led us into economic free-fall. The stimulus is absolutely partisan; it is good policy that benefits the working class.

The Senate is considering making the coming stimulus package more partisan yet, and that may be a very good idea. If the Congress can write a bill more to the left, it may just be able to force the extremists, that favor the very wealthy and corporate welfare, into signing onto that bill or throw away the votes they are going to need to retain any power in government. The more benefits go to the desperate, the more sure they are to be spent, and get into the economy.

If the right wing balks at making a real effort to rescue our working class, it may create the spectacle of stalling government. That would on a temporary basis make greater hardship for not only the working class, but corporate and financial institutions as well. Would that be such a bad thing? I'm inclined to think that letting the right wing bring itself down for the next decade or so might be the best thing for the country that we can hope for.

The U.S. Senate is likely to increase unemployment benefits in the economic stimulus plan agreed to by the House and the Bush administration, said Senator Charles Schumer, chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.

Spending additional money on unemployment benefits and food stamps will generate ``more bang for the buck,'' said Schumer, a New Yorker who is the Senate's No. 3 Democrat. The package of provisions designed to boost economic growth was announced Jan. 24 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

``The economists tell us that the No. 1 thing to get money into the economy fast is extending unemployment benefits and maybe increasing them by a little bit temporarily,'' Schumer said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt,'' scheduled to air this weekend. ``It's something we'd like to see added in.''

Schumer is among senators looking to make changes to a bipartisan deal that the House and the Bush administration worked out this week to help the U.S. avoid recession. Under that agreement, the Internal Revenue Service will distribute tax-rebate checks to 117 million families earning at least $3,000, give businesses incentives to invest in equipment and allow federally chartered mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy mortgages of up to $729,750.

That plan is a ``good fundamental foundation to work from,'' Schumer said, adding that Pelosi has known all along that the Senate would make changes.

The vetoes that have been used to keep remedial legislation from helping the U.S. public may just have to be renounced if the stimulus our economy needs is going to get into our hands within a reasonable time period.

We will watch with interest if the lame duck presidency is going down to a totally ignominious end, refusing to work for a solution to the crises it has created. If the need to pitch another tantrum proves too tempting to the worst president ever, that may well be the result.

Of course, prosecution for war crimes is beginning to loom on that horizon. Impeachment is a beginning.

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