Monday, February 23, 2009

Republicans Engage In Blatant Stimulus Package Hypocrisy

The passage of President Obama's stimulus package has brought forth a number of Republicans who voted against the bill but are touting aspects that benefit themselves and their constituencies.

As seen in the MSNBC report above, Representative John Mica of Florida first voted against the bill, then, hours later, issued press releases praising the $8 million investment in national high speed rail projects and a commuter train in Central Florida: “If we could put a man on the moon, we should be able to move people from city to city quickly instead of wasting time on a congested highway. I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future.”

After Jennifer Crider, spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, criticized the hypocrisy of Mica and other Republicans, Rusty Roberts, chief of staff to the Florida congressman, stated, “Certainly it’s possible to oppose the entire bill on principle and favor certain sections of it.”

Is there a lapse in logic here? Is it really possible to oppose the entire bill while not opposing the entire bill?

Representative Don Young of Alaska issued a press release on his winning "...a victory for the Alaska Native contracting program and other Alaska small-business owners." Later Young criticized the bill for its "pet projects." Presumably one of the pet projects is not the Alaska Native contracting program.

Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan enthusiastically posted online, "“If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time. Stimulus incentive is very generous! Up to 8k! Check it out.” This is the same Hoekstra who earlier said of the spending bill, "I don't believe it will work."

On February 13, Senator Kit Bond of Missouri issued a press release that warned, “Hold on to your wallets folks because with the passage of this trillion-dollar baby the Democrats will be poised to spend as much as $3 trillion in your tax dollars. Taxpayers will be on the hook for spending that will stimulate the debt, stimulate the growth of government, but will do little to stimulate jobs or the economy.” 

Yet on February 17, Bond bragged in another release about a housing provision he put into the bill: "...Bond led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing an amendment to help provide needy families affordable housing. ...As part of the Democrats’ spending bill now signed into law, the Senate unanimously accepted Bond’s provision." 

The senator, who earlier wrote that the stimulus package would not stimulate jobs, subsequently stated, "We must jumpstart the building of affordable housing units to help struggling families while creating jobs and putting people back to work.”

For more blatant Republican stimulus package hypocrisy, see Think Progress's list, "Blocking The Recovery While Reaping Its Benefits."

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