RealClearPolitics Cross Tabs Blog

« RNC Chair Race Reaches Finish Line | Cross Tabs Blog Home Page | Two Obamas: Which Will Show Up Tonight? »

Memo to GOP: Don't Cave on the Stimulus

By Andrea Tantaros

House and Senate Republicans should back away from the bloated, pork filled spending bill that Democrats are masking as a stimulus. New computers for State Department bureaucrats? Food stamps? $335 million to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (someone please tell me how preventing the clap is going to revive the economy)?

The New York Times, likely in jubilation, reveals exactly what many opponents have been arguing (and fearing) for a long time in a front page headline today: "Stimulus Plan Offers Road to Retooling Social Policy." With expanded entitlements and experiments in socialized medicine -- don't forget the family planning money that was recently stripped -- the bill is the largest, liberal spending boon this nation has ever seen.

The key to a successful stimulus is one that puts money directly into the hands of the people, not borderline bankrupt states and the bureaucrats who run them to pay off debt. Besides creating a lobbyist feeding frenzy, the bill does little to create long term jobs. It might create short term work, but that is what we saw with the New Deal, and that is why it failed. While new roads are nice, you can't rebuild a road five times.

While it's true the bill doesn't contain earmarks -- as Obama likes to boast -- the money gets directly funneled to the states and the bureaucrats decide how to best spend it (with the help of overzealous and overpaid lobbyists). This makes it extremely challenging for the American people to maintain oversight, something we desperately need. The Democrats have perpetrated a fraud: there is nothing that remotely resembles change in this excessive, leftist boondoggle. As the Wall Street Journal said today: "only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus" and that it appears to be comprised of "every pent up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years."

Almost as troubling as the contents of the package and how it will be spent is the speed at which the left is attempting to jam it down the throats of the American people. "It's urgent," they howl. What's urgent is the need for Democrats to ram this thing through so Republicans have little time to publicly oppose it. Whenever the opposition starts obstructing, the media gets involved and constituents begin to pay attention, giving the opposition -- and their arguments -- traction. The bill was written in the House under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, with zero Republican input.

I caution Republicans: do not fall for Obama's eleventh hour plea to get on board. You might appreciate his overtures to you but his motives are transparent. To Obama, GOP support is only ideal so Democrats aren't solely to blame when voters see that almost $1 trillion of their taxpayer money was used to lavishly reward our new president's supporters and advance a radical agenda instead of helping struggling businesses and families.

The crux of our problem is a credit crisis. This bill does absolutely nothing to fix that. And though what's about to happen on Capitol Hill is frightening, it presents an opportunity for the GOP. We were thrown out of the White House because we acted like Democrats. It's time to stand up, stand strong and return to our principles of low taxes for everyone, private sector growth, and long term job creation through incentives that aren't handouts for a select few. There is no better time than now.

Andrea Tantaros is a conservative commentator and Fox contributor. Her commentary can be found at and