Stimulus-palooza: It never ends.
And thanks to the cooperation of a GOP White House and enough congressional Republicans, the orgy is expanding.
Nancy Pelosi is floating a new $150 billion stimulus package with the same old goodies attached — including “public works, increasing food stamps benefits and extending unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless.”
Get ready to swallow again:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that a $150 billion economic stimulus plan is needed now because of the faltering economy and she may call the House into session after the election to pass it.
Pelosi told reporters that the stock market meltdown, which has caused an estimated $2 trillion loss from pension funds, was a factor in her recommendation for a second stimulus bill. The first relief plan sent out $600-$1,200 tax rebate checks to most individuals and couples this year.
The House did pass a $61 billion economic aid proposal last month before lawmakers left Capitol Hill ahead of the Nov. 4 election. But a similar plan failed to pass the Senate. President Bush had promised a veto anyway.
If Democratic nominee Barack Obama wins the White House and if Capitol Hill Democrats make gains in the elections as well, it might be easier to pass a stimulus measure over dispirited Republicans, especially if the economy remains in big trouble.
The Senate is expected to be back at work after Election Day to complete a public lands bill and perhaps deal with other matters, such as a measure to extend unemployment benefits. The House also could return to consider a stimulus plan and additional issues in a lame-duck session before the newly elected Congress takes over in January.
A reminder of what I said in January and throughout this nightmare:
What I wrote here on Jan. 18: “As I’ve said repeatedly now, stimulation-palooza will inevitably be larded up with special-interest pork and other spending goodies in the tens of billions of dollars.”
What I wrote here on Jan. 16: “I’m getting a few e-mails from readers who are convinced I shouldn’t be worried about the White House/Republican “economic stimulus” proposals because they’ll only include tax cuts. No, they won’t. They will be larded up with Clintonian goodies and giveaways and bailout measures–home heating bill aid, foreclosure aid to states, etc. etc. etc. They’ll only be arguing about how much to give away, not whether.”
What I wrote here on Jan. 4: “It would be one thing if “economic stimulus” simply meant tax relief. But in Washington–what with the White House looking for a legacy, the subprime crisis exploding, and “bipartisan consensus” in demand–there’s no way in hell any “economic stimulus” package will win approval without being larded up with gobs of needless, unwarranted spending. I don’t care who’s occupying the White House. “Economic stimulus” is a synonym for Big Government.”