I have recently begun to understand the deep, visceral anger liberals held towards George W. Bush for liberating Iraq. They felt that our government was overstepping its authority by toppling a regime as a proactive defensive measure. I can empathize with their beliefs on this question as I too was a fence sitter - my opinion shifted back and forth any number of times. Where I parted with those folks, though, was after the decision was made and they began to actively agitate for surrender, no matter what the cost in lives. I chose the other path: to support our troops, their mission, and their Commander-in-Chief to my fullest. They, on the other hand, developed a burning and vocal anger towards their only recognized enemy: George W. Bush.
The reason I am more in tune with how that anger felt to them is the corrupt "stimulus" bill being ramrodded through a Democratic majority Congress. This bill is jammed full of ridiculous expenditures such as more than $4 billion targeted to liberal get-out-and-steal-the-vote organizations such as ACORN, a partisan group which is already under investigation for rampant election fraud. There's another $600 million for new cars for government employees. There are numerous examples of expenditures (condoms??) that not only don't stimulate anything in the economy, but ought not even be considered to be constitutional. The idea of my tax dollars going to those liberal pet projects offends me. But... I'm sure that's how opponents of the war felt, and I have to respect that this is just a matter of my ox being gored.
Naturally, I'm also concerned about the cost of the bill. I've seen various amounts bandied about, but let's just agree for the sake of argument that it's a cool trillion dollars. The number is simply staggering to me, and I have no idea how we're ever going to pay for it. The fact that Congress seems to think that it's just fine and nothing to worry about, combined with the promise to impose fiscal responsibility by candidate Obama which is clearly going to go unmet, has me quite ticked off.
As of today, there are those that hold out hope that a GOP filibuster in the Senate will halt the bill. I don't think that is what will happen. I predict one of two things will happen in the Senate. First, either John McCain or George Voinovich (or even more likely, both) will vote with the Democrats for cloture. Voinovich, because Ohio would stand to receive billions of dollars and he himself is a RINO. McCain will vote with the Democrats as revenge against the Republicans that stayed home on November 4th rather than vote for a candidate they despised. And, of course, because he is a RINO.
The other thing that could happen is that the Democrats will win over the handful of GOP votes needed by adding tax cuts to the package. The Republicans will, to their ultimate regret, be unable to resist. Why will they regret it? They will regret it because Democrats are better politicians than the Republicans are. The Democrats will run campaign ads next year where they trumpet that their spending was intended to help out the lower and middle classes by directing Federal dollars their way, while the Evil Republicans cravenly increased the cost of the bill by holding out for more tax cuts for the rich.
So, it's a trillion dollars that will go to waste. I try to console myself with the idea that we spent a trillion dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and surely anti-war Democrats believed that that was too expensive. I try to convince myself that this is again just my ox being gored, but it just doesn't work. I can't help comparing what we got for our money before with what we can expect to get now. The billions spent in Afghanistan removed a regime that had directly attacked us, and surely would again. The billions spent in Iraq liberated 25 million people and removed a regime that may not have directly attacked us, but had repeatedly threatened to. And, as I believe, surely would have eventually.
The Democratic stimulus package has the opposite goal: it will spend a trillion dollars to enslave 100,000,000 America taxpayers to decades of debt with no discernible offsetting benefit at all. Yes, I now fully understand the anger one can feel towards their government. Fully.
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