Monday, February 9, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics: Benedict Arlen Explains Himself

In today's Washington Post, Benedict Arlen tries to explain why he will vote for the so-called Stimulus Bill. I have taken the liberty of parsing the article for you:
I am supporting the economic stimulus package for one simple reason: The country cannot afford not to take action.

Wrong. The country cannot afford to rush into a cesspool of debt from which she will never recover.

The unemployment figures announced Friday, the latest earnings reports and the continuing crisis in banking make it clear that failure to act will leave the United States facing a far deeper crisis in three or six months. By then the cost of action will be much greater -- or it may be too late.

Wrong. We have already thrown 350 Billion down that rat hole, to no discernible effect. How is throwing more supposed to solve anything?

Too late for what exactly, Senator? Too late for you and your elitist, ruling-class pals to grab control of huge swaths of the American economy? Too late to provide the President with the false shield of 'bi-partisanship' he so clearly seeks? Too late to keep the great unwashed from finding out what's really in this boondoggle? Too late to scare the average American into taking this crap lying down?

Wave after wave of bad economic news has created its own psychology of fear and lowered expectations.
Well whose fault is that? The compliant media sings from the President's hymnal to achieve the desired, intentional outcome of fear and low expectations.
As in the old Movietone News, the eyes and ears of the world are upon the United States. Failure to act would be devastating not just for Wall Street and Main Street but for much of the rest of the world, which is looking to our country for leadership in this crisis.

Wrong...or if not wrong, then 'why do we care'? I for one am sick of pompous Washington pols telling me what the rest of the world thinks of me, my lifestyle, my country. Joining the world's merry band of Socialist states might please Europe, but we'll pass, thank you very much.

The legislation known as the "moderates" bill, hammered out over two days by Sens. Susan Collins, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and myself, preserves the job-creating and tax relief goals of President Obama's stimulus plan while cutting less-essential provisions -- many of them worthy in themselves -- that are better left to the regular appropriations process.

Wrong. There's nothing 'moderate' about American elected officials negotiating away the very fabric of the United States under the guise of 'saving jobs'. Cut taxes? Absolutely! All of them! For everyone, for every business. See my three-point plan for reviving the economy for more ideas.

Only in government Newspeak can we justify "less-essential provisions". Get a clue, Arlen et al...if it is not essential you have no business doing it. Period. End of discussion. Sending millions to foreign countries to pay for abortions may be 'essential' to the infanticide-supporting President and some of his contributors, but it does absolutely nothing for the American economy. Millions for ACORN and other 'community organizers' will be equally useless to America. One of my personal favorites is the so-called tax credit for people who do not pay taxes, including illegal aliens. We already have a word for this activity: welfare.

These and countless other 'less-essential' provisions are nothing more than quid pro quo for the President's campaign supporters.

Our $780 billion bill would save or create up to 4 million jobs, helping to offset the loss of 3.6 million jobs since December 2007. The bill cuts some $110 billion from the $890 billion Senate version, which would actually be $940 billion if floor amendments for tax credits on home and car purchases and money for the National Institutes of Health are retained.

Wrong. The private sector creates real jobs. Government make-work jobs, bureaucratic paper-pushers and the like simply create an even bigger burden on the private sector.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the proposed cuts "do violence to what we are trying to do for the future," especially on education. Her objections are a warning to conservatives that more cuts would be unlikely to win House approval. They are also an admission of the high price that moderates have been able to extract for their support of stimulus legislation.

Well of course she does! Princess Pelosi is quite open about her desire to quickly, radically, permanently alter the structure of this country into a Socialist utopia of her making. You can no more be a little bit Socialist than you can a little bit pregnant, Senator. You either is or you ain't. From where I sit, you is.

If a stimulus bill doesn't pass, there won't be any money for Title I education programs. The moderates' bill provides marginally less money for Title I than the House and Senate bills. But while it's less than supporters want, this proverbial half a loaf beats no loaf by a mile.

In health funding, both the House and Senate bills contain billions of dollars for wellness and prevention programs, including for smoking cessation, prenatal screening and counseling, education, and immunization. The moderates' bill, regrettably but necessarily, cancels this funding on the grounds that such programs are better left to the regular appropriations process.

Oh NO! Without this black hole of spiraling debt, there won't be any education! Senator Specter, have you taken a look at government education lately? We already have little to no education going on. The public schools are doing a bang-up job of creating good little comrades, though...and that's what we really need to keep funding, isn't it?

"Regrettably" cancels billions for smoking cessation, prenatal screening, etc? Why regrettably? What do any of those programs have to do with saving the economy? Not a thing, but then again, that isn't the point.

"In politics," John Kennedy used to say, "nobody gets everything, nobody gets nothing and everybody gets something." My colleagues and I have tried to balance the concerns of both left and right with the need to act quickly for the sake of our country. The moderates' compromise, which faces a cloture vote today, is the only bill with a reasonable chance of passage in the Senate.

Get real. Here's what the deal actually is: some get most, most get none and everyone loses freedom. You cannot balance the concerns of freedom and tyranny. You cannot compromise with it. Every member of Congress took an oath to the Constitution of the United States. Any one who votes for this destruction-of-America-as-we-know-it bill has violated their oath of office and betrayed their country. Nothing less.

Benedict Arlen Specter is a Republican-in-name-only senator from Pennsylvania.

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