Monday, February 22, 2010

Yes, It Is Hypocrisy: Condemning the Stimulus, Spending the Stimulus

Bloomberg joins several other media outlets to detail the hypocrisy among Republican members of Congress who opposed the stimulus package, but who lobbied for money that the statute allocated. In particular, many Republicans said that the stimulus would not create jobs (or had not created jobs), but then lobbied for funds on behalf of constituents claiming that the money would help create jobs. A prior entry on Dissenting Justice covered this topic.

According to Bloomberg:
Alabama Republicans Jo Bonner and Robert Aderholt took to the U.S. House floor in July, denouncing the Obama administration’s stimulus plan for failing to boost employment. “Where are the jobs?” each of them asked.

Over the next three months, Bonner and Aderholt tried at least five times to steer stimulus-funded transportation grants to Alabama on grounds that the projects would help create thousands of jobs.

They joined more than 100 congressional Republicans and several Democrats who, after voting against the stimulus bill, wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking money from $1.5 billion the plan set aside for local road, bridge, rail and transit grants. The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year with no Republican votes in the House and three in the Senate.

Bonner said opposing the stimulus doesn’t mean he shouldn’t help Alabama projects compete for grants. “It is my role to ensure that their request is considered by the federal agency,” he said in an e-mail. . . .

Indiana Republican Steve Buyer, who last year called the stimulus bill a “sham,” wrote LaHood -- a former Republican congressman from Illinois -- to seek $80 million for a highway construction project that “is vital to the economic health of North Central Indiana” At the end of the letter Buyer wrote: “Ray, appreciate your personal attention. Steve.”

As the quoted text indicates, Bonner has floated the curious argument that opposing the stimulus and lobbying for stimulus money are not inconsistent. Even if one were to buy that assertion, it is absolutely inconsistent to argue, as Bonner does, that the stimulus will not create jobs -- but then demand money for constituents on the grounds that the stimulus will create jobs.

Bloomberg also reports that several House Democrats who voted against the stimulus are also waiting in line to get money for their districts. Rather than educate voters and take principled positions, members of Congress are trying to play both sides of the issue.


RealityZone said...

In every major poll ever taken, it will show that the people are not happy with Congress.

But they are ok with their own personal Senator, Or Representative.
Why? ?
Because they bring home the PORK.
It is not the people that are broken, the system is broken.
It is as if we are the real time definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over, waiting for a new result.
They system must be torn down, before we can evolve back to a sane society.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

I surprised you assume we had a "sane" society (whatever that is)....


RealityZone said...

We all have dreams. LOL They are the only things that awaken us from night mares.
Unfortunately our "leaders" keep trying to avoid reality.

Anonymous said...

And Mark Sanford is in your doghouse because he rejected the stimulus money? How can we please you, oh Bipartisan One? Oh, wait, that's it... stay in Obama's pocket!

LETICIA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Clint: Stanford is repulsive on many levels. Also, unlike other blogs, this is a place where we are not afraid to criticize all sides (hence the title). If you are more than a drive-by poster, feel free to read this link: I doubt you will find any avowed rightwing bloggers who criticize the rightwing as much as I criticize the leftwing.

Matt P. said...

315-97 and Obama's signature Darren. The greatest frickin' hypocrisy of all. While you go on and on about stimulus spending being hypocritical, virtually everything the left claimed to be OUTRAGEOUS has been kept in place. They just didn't disagree, they claimed impeachment over things like the Patriot Act, the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, Drones, Rendition, etc.

Obviously they complained of his spending as well fyi.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Matt P: What would I do without you as a "check" on this board? LOL. Write essays like these:

PS: Still hypocrites!

Matt P. said...

Bravo. I actually saw the first post. I'm just here to point out the scale of hypocrisy with regard to these issues is just on an entirely different level IMHO. This vote takes it even higher. I presume since the Dems control the government as much as it can reasonably be controlled, they could rewrite or come up with something different and push it through. But noooooo...they just vote to re-up the alleged Fascist Bush/Cheney agenda.

Regardless, I give you credit. A solid B+/A- ;-)

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