Saturday, February 02, 2008

Heroic and Intelligent

Thanks to Chuck Muth for posting a list of the 25 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted against John Maynard Bush's "stimulus" package last week. Besides the expected names -- Ron Paul, Jeff Flake, and Tom Tancredo, for instance -- there are three Virginians on the list. So special congratulations go to our home state heroes, Tom Davis, Randy Forbes, and Virgil Goode.

Here's the complete list, as reported on Muth's Truths:

Paul Broun (GA)
Michael Burgess (TX)
John Campbell (CA)
Howard Coble (NC)
Barbara Cubin (WY)
Tom Davis (VA)
Nathan Deal (GA)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
Randy Forbes (VA)
Phil Gingrey (GA)
Louie Gohmert (TX)
Virgil Goode (VA)
Duncan Hunter (CA)
Tim Johnson (IL)
Jack Kingston (GA)
John Linder (GA)
Ron Paul (TX)
Ted Poe (TX)
Tom Price (GA)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA)
Ed Royce (CA)
James Sensenbrenner (WI)
John Shadegg (AZ)
Tom Tancredo (CO)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA)
Chuck quotes Arizona Representative John Shadegg's explanation of voting "no" on the bipartisan boondoggle:
“On Tuesday, the U.S. House voted on H.R. 5140, the Economic Stimulus Bill. As you may know, I was one of only 25 Republicans to vote against the bill. Every American knows that the Federal government does not have the money to pay for these rebates. We will have to borrow it. It makes absolutely no sense to me to go give away money we don’t have.”
Well said. As for my own district's representative, the Martinsville Bulletin reported with regard to Virgil Goode:
He said he also believes federal spending should be cut “rather than just borrowing all the money to pay for it.”

As the bill stands now, the money for the rebates would be borrowed, Goode said. “It’s just adding to the deficit,” he said.
Tom Davis, the Northern Virginia congressman who announced his retirement earlier this week, told a questioner in a chat about his own doubts about the stimulus package:
I don't see it adequately stimulating the economy. But you have to remember, Congress is running for re-election in November. So, instead of letting the economy work out its kinks, members want to try to show they are doing something to help. I'm concerned the $150 billion we are throwing at this problem will be a longer-term problem than the short-term benefit.
The most spot-on (and complete) comments may be those of Randy Forbes, who told the Daily Press:
Forbes, a conservative Republican from Chesapeake, decried the measure as a hastily assembled expensive gamble whose impact on the economy was far from certain.

"At some point, I have to be a steward of taxpayers' money," Forbes said. ``We can't afford to throw out $150 billion and hope this is going to work."

Alluding to the political pressures of an election year, Forbes added, "Is it going to be an election stimulus or an economic stimulus?"

Forbes said he also objected to a provision that would provide a $300 rebate to low-income individuals who did not earn enough to pay income taxes.

"I couldn't justify using the taxpayers' credit card to give money to people who didn't pay any taxes," he said.

Expressing doubt about the measure's impact on the economy, Forbes compared the effect of the package to that of a power bar or energy drink. "We just get a short-term boost, and then the crash is worse than before," he said.
I love that analogy. Should HB 5140 be known as the "Red Bull Bill"?

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