the money saved for college went, our mattresses? Do they think the great middle class banks at the First National Bank of Sealy and only the wealthiest traffic in the Standard & Poor’s 500?’ ”
Mr. Cramer added: “I am always glad to have any allies and defenders [on the right], but I do favor almost all of Obama’s agenda, right down to having the rich pay more of their freight in this great country. It’s just not the right time. We need to declare a war on unemployment and solve it before we let it get out of hand. We need to stop house-price depreciation.
“Neither the pork-laden stimulus plan nor the confusing mortgage proposal put forward by Obama will defeat either enemy. When Obama trounces both unemployment and house-price depreciation, he will have the power to enact anything he wants. But all the initiatives he wants to rush, like tax hikes, changes in health care, tinkering with the mortgage deduction — good grief, right now in the midst of the worst housing downturn ever — and the tough cap-and-trade rules, will derail any chance we have of turning this economy around. Instead, they put the Second Great Depression smack on the nation’s table.” near his home? No, neither can I. Nor can I imagine the outcry from the Democrats had the Bush administration done such a thing.” “For the second time in as many months, Republicans in Congress have managed to slow down a major appropriations bill with horror stories about tangential spending,” Bruce Reed writes at www.slate.com.
“During the stimulus debate, when Republicans on the talk shows started scoring points against provisions to spruce up the Mall and fund contraceptives, the White House forced House leaders to drop anything that wasn’t cable-ready. Now Senate leaders are scrambling to pass last year’s omnibus bill, which contains thousands of bipartisan earmarks that sound awfully silly,” said Mr. Reed, president of the Democratic Leadership Council.
“In the end, Democrats will probably find the votes to break a filibuster on the omnibus. Most senators favor the bill, many of the earmarks were added by Republican members, and appropriation knows no party. But the longer these floor fights drag on, the clearer it becomes that Republicans will succeed in one objective: making a disproportionate amount of congressional spending sound silly.
“Honeybee factories, Mormon cricket control, beaver management — not much dignity remains after both Dana Milbank and Maureen Dowd devote their columns to the pork on John McCain’s Twitter. While some pet projects may be every bit as reasonable as their defenders maintain, arguments are not won on defense.
“So far, these attacks don’t seem to have done the GOP much good, apart from lifting conservative spirits and uniting congressional ranks. But Democrats ignore them at our peril — which is why the White House moved so quickly to excise distractions from the stimulus. To turn the economy around, the federal government needs to make some significant investments, and President Obama can’t let public confidence be rattled by insignificant ones.”