Thursday, February 5, 2009

36 G.O.P. Senators Vote For All Tax Cut Stimulus

36 Republican Senators, including both both Texas’ Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, voted for Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-SC) G.O.P. “American Option: A Jobs Plan That Works” alternative stimulus plan amendment, that replaces all of Obama’s stimulus spending with a series of G.O.P. tax cuts.

To emphasize the point, that means all but four Republican Senators are perfectly happy to scrap the core assumption of the president's plan. The four Republican Senators are: Susan Collins (ME), George Voinovich (OH), Arlen Specter (PA), and Olympia Snowe (ME).

The Senate GOP’s alternative “plan” will cost $3.1 trillion over ten years, more than 3.5 times the cost of Obama’s, according to a Think Progress Wonk Room analysis.

Not surprisingly, the Senate GOP’s alternative plan consists of permanent tax breaks for corporations and for the wealthy.

As Paul Krugman says on his blog,
"If one thing is clear from the stimulus debate, it’s that the two parties have utterly different economic doctrines. Democrats believe in something more or less like standard textbook macroeconomics; Republicans believe in a doctrine under which tax cuts are the universal elixir, and government spending is almost always bad. Obama may be able to get a few Republican Senators to go along with his plan; or he can get a lot of Republican votes by, in effect, becoming a Republican. There is no middle ground."
Speaking at the Energy Department on Thursday Feb 5, 2009, President Obama issued a strong critique of the GOP's dogmatic adherence to supply-side tax-cutting Reaganomics as a "cures-all" economic strategy:
"In the last few days, we've seen proposals arise from some in Congress that you may not have read but you'd be very familiar with because you've been hearing them for the last 10 years, maybe longer. They're rooted in the idea that tax cuts alone can solve all our problems; that government
doesn't have a role to play; that half-measures and tinkering are somehow enough; that we can afford to ignore our most fundamental economic challenges -- the crushing cost of health care, the inadequate state of so many of our schools, our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

So let me be clear: Those ideas have been tested, and they have failed. They've taken us from surpluses to an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, and they've brought our economy to a halt. And that's precisely what the election we just had was all about. The American people have rendered their judgment. And now is the time to move forward, not back. Now is the time for action."
Obama's stimulus plan could create as many as 286,000 jobs in Texas, according to an estimate released by the White House. The legislation could help cushion Texas against expected job losses over the next two years. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Bernard L. Weinstein, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas said, "It appears the 286,000 jobs might just offset the anticipated losses over the next two years."


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