Arlen Specter’s Faulty Logic

by Sal on February 9, 2009

in Economy,Politics

Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter, one of the architects of the grand moderate “compromise” stimulus bill, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post entitled “Why I Support the Stimulus“.

I am supporting the economic stimulus package for one simple reason: The country cannot afford not to take action.

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.

Specter’s logic is one of the core arguments that has been put forth by proponents of the Stimulus bill.  “The country cannot afford not to take action.”  That may or may not be true (I tend to think it is not), but Senator, doesn’t the type of action matter at all?  Republicans are not against a stimulus bill per se, just this disaster of a bill.  When the CBO says that the bill will actually contract the economy, doesn’t it matter what type of action is taken?  Nationalizing all industry and creating a complete controlled economy would be action, but it wouldn’t be good action.  Forcing all companies to submit their annual budgets to the government would be action, but it wouldn’t be good action.  These absurd examples are intended to illustrate the fallacy in the claim “The country cannot afford not to take action.”  Senator, the country cannot afford to take this action.

This bill is now being rightly referred to by many as the Generational Theft Act.  It is a disaster of a bill that will steal billions of dollars from future generations, and will have little or no positive effect on the economy.  The American people know this instinctively.  When asked about their own views on economic policy, a large plurality (48% to 35%) think that government spending actually hurts the economy, while a solid majority (53% to 25%) believe that it is better for the economy to cut taxes than to increase government spending.  Congress has become tone deaf to the American people.  The American people were sold a bill of goods by an Obama campaign that championed tax cuts for “95% of Americans” and promised to cut spending.  Republicans can capitalize on these beliefs as a way to restore themselves as the majority party, as the excesses of the Democrats become more widely known.

As for Specter, he is practically worthless this point as a Republican.  Pat Toomey, who is considering a Primary challenge against Specter, should run.  Without the backing of President Bush, and the support of the blogosphere (both financial and organizational), Toomey may just be able to beat out Specter.  I’m not one to call out every Senator who occasionally doesn’t agree with me a RINO, but if a Republican cannot stand for fiscal discipline, what is that Republican worth?

H/T: Sister Toldjah

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike February 9, 2009 at 11:57 am

I tend to give incumbents wide latitude during primaries. Throwing out a fairly conservative incumbent for a more conservative alternative usually isn’t worth the risk of opening up a seat to someone even worse. For me, a primarying should be reserved for those truly off the reservation. Lincoln Chafee in 2006 is a good example.

That said, Specter is one of those who deserves to be defeated in a primary. This bill is beyond anything we should expect even from a moderate Republican. Then again, I supported Toomey last time. Where were you on that one again Sal?

ha ha.


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