Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Loyal Opposition, in Principle

From the Washington Post:
McConnell said he could support the $500 tax credit that Obama has proposed for working individuals. "This is the sort of thing we could have bipartisan agreement on," said McConnell. "Republicans, by and large, think tax relief is a great way to get money to people immediately."

He proposed further tax cuts, such as lowering the 25 percent individual tax rate to 15 percent. And McConnell identified stimulus flashpoints that are likely to galvanize Republicans in the weeks ahead.

The GOP leader derided Obama's goal of creating 600,000 new government jobs as part of the 3 million workforce expansion that he wants the stimulus to help achieve. "That's about the size of the post office workforce," McConnell said. "Is that a good idea?"

He challenged another proposal to provide grants to hard-hit states. Such aid should come in the form of loans, McConnell said, as "it will make them spend it more wisely."

And McConnell downplayed prospects for extending unemployment benefits to part-time workers while providing health care coverage for unemployed people -- costly efforts that have met stiff resistance in past debates.

"Those are very big, systemic changes," McConnell said. "Do we in the name of stimulus want to make long-term, systemic changes that will affect spending every single year? I think that's at least worth considering, having hearings about, having bipartisan discussions."

But McConnell also predicted the bill could pass overwhelmingly if the current conciliatory mood holds, giving Obama a crucial first win. "If they pursue a fair process, in the Senate at least, where fairness is typically the rule, and give both sides an opportunity to have input . . . he's likely to get significant support."

This has been going on for a week, the Republican push to get a foot in the door on the Second Bailout.

It sounds more like they want a share of the pork, rather than killing the bill.

This panic is recurrent; we'll be here again, and preventing the market from forming new more effective combinations won't promote progress.

Maybe somebody will form a party around sense?

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