Darned If You Do, Darned If You Don't
"Because if we don't move swiftly to put this plan in motion, our economic crisis could become a national catastrophe." President Barack Obama's weekly radio address, February 7th.
"President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday.
CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing." Stephen Dinan, "CBO: Obama Stimulus Harmful Over the Longhaul." Washington Times, February 4th, 2009.
Hey Wait a Second! What Happened to That Guy Always Talking About "Hope"?
"Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse." President Barack Obama, "The Action America Needs," Washington Post, February 5, 2009.
Bye Bye Bipartisanship?
"Washington seems consumed in the process argument of bipartisanship." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) commenting on the attempt to get Republican support for the legislation in the Senate.
It All Depends on What Your Definition of Stimulus Is
"So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? That's the whole point." President Barack Obama at the House Democratic Caucus Annual Issues Conference in Williamsburg, VA.
Spending Cuts Shmending Cuts
"These cuts are very damaging -- [the House bill] was put together very carefully." . . .
"The new Senate cuts, if passed, 'will do violence to the future,' said Pelosi." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on spending cuts in the Senate version of the legislation.
"Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, told reporters he and others hoped that some of the funds on the chopping block would be restored next week when negotiations open on a House-Senate compromise." "Tentative Deal on Senate Stimulus Bill", Associated Press, February 6, 2009.
Shortest Night EVER
"So it is 6:15 tonight and I would hope in the next 12 hours we could have a piece of legislation we will feel good about it after working on the many hours that we have worked ... There isn't a single senator who has come to this floor who hasn't said that this economy is in deep trouble, and we have to do something to fix it. And my comment was I hope we can do that. And that's the reason I've said we've got to work the night." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the Senate floor Thursday, February 5th.
"We're going to stop legislating tonight" Senator Reid less then three hours later.
Short But to the Point Award
"So what." House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) in response to a question on NPR's "Morning Edition" about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent.
Party of Personal (Shifting of) Responsibility
"The person who spends the money badly will be responsible (not the U.S. Congress)." House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) on the lack of direction of where exactly the money should go in the bill.
Finally, Something We Can All Agree On
"Regardless of what we do, there will be some stupid decisions made." House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) on lack of oversight of spending in the bill.
I Don't Think Neil Kinnok Will Claim Authorship of This Speech
"Anybody remember a time when we're talking about, if we don't make some real changes, deficits that are a trillion two hundred billion dollars a year for as far as the eye can see, if we don't, ah, get it right, which you guys have already?" Vice President Joe Biden remarks at the House Democratic Caucus Annual Issues Conference in Williamsburg, VA. It appears he was starting to talk about the deficit and then realized he was talking to a crowd that just greatly increased the deficit. Politico reports "(d)uring the speech, some members read newspapers or checked BlackBerrys in the warm conference room."
It's Tiring Spending All Your Money
"My staff is worn out, working around the clock. So is David Obey's staff. So is Nancy Pelosi's staff." President Barack Obama at the House Democratic Caucus Annual Issues Conference in Williamsburg, VA.
"Man am I tired. Working all day to find enough R votes to get this thing to conference. I confess I'm cranky." Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) twittering on the Senate negotiations.
Joe the (Lousy) Oddsmaker
"If we do everything right. We do it with absolute certainty . . .there is still a thirty percent chance we are going to get it wrong." Vice President Joe Biden remarks at the House Democratic Caucus Annual Issues Conference in Williamsburg, VA.
Maybe She Was Talking About In All 57 States?
"Every month we do not have an economic recovery package, 500 million Americans lose their jobs." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) The latest census numbers show the U.S. population is 303 million.
Easing Families Burdens by Eliminating Them
"One of the elements of this package is assistance to the states. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, defending giving millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood as "stimulus."
It's All Bush's Fault
"I do think that there was some spending in the bill that was makeup for a starvation diet under the Bush administration, some important priorities of our party" Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on why there was a lot of bloated spending in the so called stimulus bill.
This Guy Could Almost Make Me Miss Lincoln Chafee. Almost
"If a city needs tree planting and that brings real jobs and it puts people and their trucks and their trees and their nurserymen to work, and if it provides shade, and it provides greenness, and if it absorbs carbon, and if it engages in traffic calming, there are all sorts of good reasons why people would want to do that." Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) speaking against Coburn amendment 309 that prohibited stimulus funds from being spent on any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.