Saturday, December 06, 2008

Will Obama Be Able To Save Us From Depression-- Even With Lunatic Fringe Republicans Like Jim Bunning Screaming "Bring It On!"


Jim Bunning, senile extremist hellbent on bring on another Depression

It sounds like Obama has some solid plans in store for turning the economy around, although he'll probably be unable to implement them without... Snowe
President-elect Barack Obama committed Saturday to the largest public works construction program since the creation of the interstate highway system a half-century ago as he seeks to put together a plan to resuscitate the reeling economy.

With unemployment on the rise and no end to the recession in sight, Mr. Obama began highlighting elements of the economic recovery program he is trying to fashion with Congressional leaders in hopes of being able to enact it shortly after being sworn in on Jan. 20.

Mr. Obama’s remarks sought to expand the definition of traditional work programs for the middle class, like infrastructure projects to repair roads and bridges, while also pushing a federal effort to bring in new-era jobs in technology and so-called green jobs.

In short this is what he's proposing:

Ø  Embark on a large-scale effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient;
Ø  Make the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since President Eisenhower established the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s – creating millions of jobs and compelling states to act quickly and make smart investments;
Ø  Create jobs and help our children compete by launching the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen;
Ø  Renew our information superhighway by boosting broadband deployment in communities across America;
Ø  Modernize our health care system so that every hospital and doctor's office is using cutting-edge technology and every American has access to electronic medical records.

Let's assume for a minute, as Gail Collins did in today's Times, that reactionary Democrats like Landrieu, Nelson and Pryor (not to mention Holy Joe) stay on the reservation and that a couple of Republicans can be moved to abandon partisan warfare (against America) now and then. How will the Republican Party-- determined to move the sundial back in the direction of 1200 AD in 2012-- define itself while Obama is trying to rescue America from the catastrophe their policies have caused?

Tom Curry at MSNBC took a stab at it by looking at the likely scenario for the reactionary party in 2010. He spoke with Democratic economist Rob Shapiro who explained that “GOP opposition to the bailout seems to embody the general Republican approach of ‘no matter how bad things are, you’re on your own.’ Even though the public may oppose this bailout, they are going to even more strongly oppose deterioration in the economy without a bailout... If the economy turns significantly worse after the failure of the auto companies, the public will blame it on those who helped create the conditions that let the economy deteriorate further.” And Curry points to the 2010 Kentucky Senate race as the perfect test case.
When he ran in 2004, Sen. Jim Bunning, a Republican, won his seat by only by only 1.4 percent-- and the Cook Political report rates his 2010 race as a “toss-up.”

Although he did not show up for Thursday’s Banking Committee hearing, Bunning said two weeks ago that the essential issue is “whether the federal government should intervene in the private-sector economy. And I believe it should not.”

He added that if Chrysler and General Motors went into bankruptcy or liquidation, “I think that’s probably the best thing that can happen. Then there will be a reorganization and they’ll be able to jettison things they couldn’t ordinarily jettison, like health care benefits, like pension benefits and there will be someone to pick those up like the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.”

The firms would “may come out of bankruptcy a heck of a lot better off than they go into it.”

If Bunning is a crazed far right extremist-- and he certainly is, one of the craziest of them all-- then Republican George Voinovich (R-OH) is what you would call a mainstream conservative. He doesn't see the world in neat little black and white prepackaged boxes like Bunning (who is also severely senile and barely able to function-- not that that prevented him from being elected in 2004). A couple weeks ago Voinovich, who must also face the voters in 2010, acknowledged that "bankruptcy could trigger a deep recession and send us over the cliff. If these companies are allowed to fail, taxpayers will wonder why Congress failed to act."

We're already in a deep recession and probably close to depression territory. Voinovich, unlike Bunning and the extremists from his party, favors a responsible rescue plan. He and Arlen Specter (R-PA) are co-sponsors of legislation seeking to rescue the Big 3 automakers. Here's President-elect Obama talking about his plans this morning:

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