The final tally last night was 217-212 in support of what has been dubbed "Son of Stimulus," a $174 billion spending measure for "shovel ready" jobs and to bail out state and local governments.
I think they're nuts. As noted in Insanity Defined, the federal government has spent, lent or pledged nearly $13 trillion since December of 2007, when the recession began. That's $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the United States. The net result is that since January of this year, another 3.5 million Americans have lost their jobs, and the unemployment rate has soared to 10%.
Time to fire up those printing presses!
This latest vote could explain why, for the first time, less than half of this country approve of President Barack Obama's job performance.
Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent voted against this second stimulus because of its misguided use of recovered Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) funds that should have gone to reduce our deficit. Since the first trillion-dollar stimulus has failed to thwart rising unemployment, to say nothing of those 4 million jobs promised by President Barack Obama, Dent believes this would simply be throwing good money after bad.
“I cannot support a ‘Second Stimulus’ when the first one has not yielded sustainable job creation,” Congressman Dent said. “If the majority wants to create jobs there are a number of ways to restore confidence and boost private-sector hiring. But excessive spending on government growth is the wrong way to go.”
TARP was originally enacted as a temporary plan to address an extraordinary crisis in our financial markets as a result of the collapse of financial firms that the government said were ‘too big to fail.’ The Administration has extended the TARP program to October 3, 2010, which has opened the door to efforts by Democrats in Congress to begin spending unallocated and repaid TARP funds for programs unrelated to the financial emergency.
“It is an irresponsible breach of the public trust to treat the TARP funds repayments as ‘found money’ for new spending,” Congressman Dent said. “If we are going to invest federal money, it should be done sparingly and wisely, and this Congress continues to spend excessively and without consideration for long term consequences."
Bucks County Democrat Patrick Murphy joined Dent in voting NO. He told Pennsylvania Avenue's Scott Kraus, "I broke with the Democrats on the spending bill because it uses bailout money to pay for new spending. That is wrong. Any money returned from Wall Street should be used to pay off national debt."
Congressman Dent also voted against another bill increasing our statutory debt limit to $12.4 trillion. He had earlier proposed that Congress should lower the debt ceiling by the amount recovered under the TARP program.