Monday, February 2, 2009

GOP Against Real Stimulus FIx & Majority of Americans. Wisconsin Senator Fitzgerald Highlights Minority Status

How out of step are the Congressional Republicans? According to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll:

Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, a finds, but expectations are low that it will have much of an effect on their own finances or turn the economy around this year. About two-thirds of those surveyed predict that a package would make the nation's economy a lot or a little better. When it comes to their own family finances, however, just over half say it either would have no effect or even make things worse.

"It's sort of paradoxical: They're both supportive and pessimistic," says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who studies public opinion. Still, "you have your political leaders saying this is going to be a long process, so maybe it's not so surprising that voters would pick up the idea that there's no quick fix."

What percentage of Americans supports the Republicans rejection of the stimulus bill: just 17%.
Now that's broad appeal. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reviews Moody's Mark Zandi's breakdown (Mark Zandi, an economist at Moody's advised GOP presidential nominee John McCain last year and has helped shape the Democrats' stimulus plan) of what works and what doesn't when trying to stimulate the economy in the clip below. It's not corporate tax cuts either. But then, you probably knew that. In the second part of the clip, while most all Republican governors want the stimulus money, Republican legislators with Democratic governors play the political game of saying no to the money and blaming the state shortfall on those governors. State Senator Scott Fitzgerald ignores the U.S. economic crisis, and insists the problem is caused by bad policy making from the Democratic governor.

The amazing part of State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald's claim that Dem. Gov. Jim Doyle is at fault for not having a rainy day fund, is that he ignores the state rebate that returned "excess" taxes collected, that could have been applied to such a fund during economic good times. Keep in mind, the Clinton economy had produced a budget surplus in 2000, so the Republican Governor and ligislature had a field day spending money liberally. According to the Wisconsin State Journal:

With the Sizzling economy increasing tax revenues each year, Thompson wasn’t
worried about critics questioning whether he would be able to balance the next
budget. “It is going to be like going to kindergarten,” he told reporters at the budget signing. For several years, it was almost easier. Thompson and lawmakers doled out a wealth of tax cuts, (like the) one-time sales-tax rebate of $688 million in January 2000. Yet Thompson and the Legislature still had money to spend. They passed tougher sentencing laws for criminals and started a prison building boom that would nearly double the share of the state budget going to the Corrections Department...."

So who's fault was it that we didn't have a rainy day fund? Who obligated the state to future expenses of housing more criminals and paying for prison upkeep because of tougher sentencing laws that helped Republicans look tough on crime?

Oh yeah, it's Gov. Doyles fault some 9 years later.

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