Sunday, February 1, 2009

Money For War, Not for Stimulus; Boehner Makes up Contraceptive Story in Stimulus

Iraq War Costs More than Stimulus: According to Think Progress:
In the public debate over the stimulus package, Democrats have found themselves largely on the defensive … Rep. Barney Frank did his best to flip those dynamics, playing a card that has largely -- somewhat surprisingly -- gone unused: the war in Iraq. From his exchange on ABC's This Week with Sen. Jim DeMint:

DeMint: It's the largest spending bill in history and we're trying to call it a stimulus.

Frank: The largest spending bill in history is going to turn out to be the one in Iraq. If we're going to talk about spending, I have a problem when we leave out that extraordinary expensive, damaging war in Iraq, which has caused much more harm than good in my judgment. I don't understand from my conservative friends, building a road, building a school, helping to get health care, that's wasteful spending. But that war in Iraq, that's going to cost us over a trillion dollars, yeah, I wish we hadn't done that we would have been in a lot better shape fiscally…self-purported fiscal conservatives should not be entitled to selective memory. So when George Stephanopoulos jumped in to say the issue could be fodder for "a whole other show," the Massachusetts Democrat had none of it.

"That's the problem," said Frank. "The problem is we look at spending and say don't spend on highways or health care. Let's builds weapons to defeat the Soviet Union when we don't need them.

Contraceptives on in Stimulus Plan-Huffington Post:

Remember last week House Republicans, led by Rep. John Boehner, staged a prime-time temper tantrum arguing they couldn't tolerate spending $200 million on contraceptive coverage, which they reported was part of the stimulus plan? Democrats capitulated and contraception was gone. Now, it turns out there never was a $200 million budget request for contraception included.

Rep. Henry Waxman called Boehner's office seeking their source on it, but Boehner's office is not forthcoming. That's because the budget item didn't exist. There is a $200 million figure that appears in the stimulus package for contraception: it refers to the projected cost savings to the states in five years. the provision in the stimulus package would have allowed every woman who is already eligible for Medicaid coverage for pregnancy-related care, to be eligible for pregnancy prevention care too. Just under half the states have already requested and received waivers to do exactly this --14 even during the Bush administration. Changing the law would have simply made it much quicker and easier for additional states to expand their Medicaid programs in this way, and for states already with expansions to renew their programs.

The one question that does remain is "Will Boehner get away with brazenly misleading the public on this issue." Hopefully some real journalism will emerge to answer this question.

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