“Please?” You can almost hear President Obama whisper the word meekly to his Democratic colleagues.
This is Barack Obama! He of the mighty voice and the stirring message. The man who could whip a room into a frenzy with lines like “yes we can!”
Now the public is chanting, “no, please don’t.” We no longer believe. The $800 billion stimulus package was a bust. The economy is sluggishly inching towards recovery. No one seems sure if it was because of the near-trillion we threw, seemingly haphazardly, at the problem, or whether it was just a case “time heals all wounds.” Frankly, for $800 billion, Americans expected a ton of jobs. Instead, we got dumb projects like $4.7 million to develop a supersonic corporate jet and $100,000 to socially conscious puppet shows.
Of course it didn’t work! The government is not equipped to push that kind of money into the economy efficiently. Rather than flow to the job creators, individual Congressmen took it as an opportunity to pay off some pet projects. Essentially, we got $1 trillion in pork. Normally everyone loves pork. Congressmen get to hand out cash. Constituents get to spend the cash. Congressmen get the votes in November. It’s a win-win for everyone (except future generations, but hey, we can kick that can down the road). In the end something funny happened. Something that President Obama and his Democratic cronies didn’t expect. People became more concerned about being unemployed than about their district getting $219,000 to study the “hookup” behavior of female coeds.
President Obama went back to the drawing board. He was heard to say, “What! Throwing money at them didn’t work! That’s what we’ve always done in the past! What do we do now? Someone call Paul Krugman, surely he’ll tell us we’re doing things right. He’s good for that. Maybe, if we’re lucky he’ll just say it wasn’t big enough. Do we have another trillion laying around?
With the stimulus being an utter failure, both in terms of creating jobs, and providing a PR boost for President Obama, the dependably creative Obama team reached deep into their bag of tricks for a solution. What’d they come up with?
Really? Even top Democrats are balking at the idea. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that, “I think it’s accurate that there’s spending fatigue, not only on Capitol Hill, but around the country.” Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL) said, “I think that the whole notion of us taking nonrecurring money and sending it to the states to fund recurring expenses, salaries, I think it’s a dicey idea.”
Obama is left in the lurch. Spending money is the only plan he can come up with to give the appearance he’s doing something about the economy, but it’s the last thing Democrats, up for reelection in the fall, want to do. So Obama is now whispering “please.” “Please” sacrifice yourselves in November so it looks like I know what I’m doing. “Please” approve this $50 billion in new spending so we can at least keep this “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs” talking point going for another week. “Please” bite the bullet so if this economy ever does turn around I can look back, point to this $50 billion, and say “look at what I did.” Please?
A desperate President. An Obama who looks like he has no clue what to do. Two things I never thought I’d see after a well coordinated and impressive campaign. It’s enough for me to beg “Please. Please let us have a redo from 2008. Please.”
by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Commitee