February 22, 2010
The Demand for Stimulus Funds
From Bloomberg today:
...more than 100 congressional Republicans and several Democrats who, after voting against the stimulus bill, wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking money from $1.5 billion the plan set aside for local road, bridge, rail and transit grants. The $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year with no Republican votes in the House and three in the Senate.
Update: 11:40am Pacific, 2/25:
From The Hill:
...House Republicans said this week it is not hypocritical to vote against the stimulus and later seek money from it for their districts. ...
Posted by Menzie Chinn at February 22, 2010 11:52 AMdigg this | reddit
I am assuming that their constituents will be called upon to pay for the stimulus ultimately through higher taxes regardless of whether they voted for it or not and regardless of whether they "benefit" from it or not.
Posted by: david at February 22, 2010 12:47 PM
When my friends ask me if I take government subsidies I say of course. If a crook robs me of all I have then offers me enough for cab fare home, I'm not going to turn him down.
Of course these Republicans are probably just about as sleezy as their Democrat counterparts they just let the Democrats take the heat. After all it was Bush who signed Obama's "stash" and slush fund.
Posted by: RicardoZ at February 22, 2010 02:01 PM
It's not surprising that Republicans would scramble over the goodies. What is hypocritical is to go on national TV and declare that stimulus spending doesn't create a single job and then go back to their districts the next day for the ribbon cutting ceremony where they brag about how many jobs they just brought to town. Perhaps hypocrite is too mild. Liar might be more fitting.
Posted by: Joseph at February 22, 2010 04:27 PM
What should they do? Give money only to democratic constituencies?
Posted by: CarrKnight at February 22, 2010 04:36 PM
I agree with Mankiw on this one:
"The Democratic Party is attacking some Republican congressmen for both opposing the stimulus bill and also helping direct some stimulus spending into their districts.
I don't know the facts of the case, but the logic of the Democratic position baffles me. It seems perfectly reasonable to believe (1) that increasing government spending is not the best way to promote economic growth in a depressed economy, and (2) that if the government is going to spend gobs of money, those on whom it is spent will benefit. In this case, the right thing for a congressman to do is to oppose the spending plans, but once the spending is inevitable, to try to ensure that the constituents he represents get their share. So what exactly is the problem?
Let me offer an analogy. Many Democratic congressmen opposed the Bush tax cuts. That was based, I presume, on their honest assessment of the policy. But once these tax cuts were passed, I bet these congressmen paid lower taxes. I bet they did not offer to hand the Treasury the extra taxes they would have owed at the previous tax rates. Would it make sense for the GOP to suggest that these Democrats were disingenuous or hypocritical? I don't think so. Many times, we as individuals benefit from policies we opposed. There is nothing wrong about that."
Posted by: Bill D at February 22, 2010 04:46 PM
That's the "strategic Nay vote". Vote against something you really want, if you are sure it will pass anyway. Then next election you can run on your voting record. Democrats do it too.
But look what just happened! It's not peanuts anymore. Wonder what the chances of this passing are?
"Republicans Pushing To Count GSE Debt Toward Statutory Debt Limit May Be Surprised To Find Real Debt-To-GDP Ratio Is 130%, And That Greece Is Amateur Hour"
Posted by: Cedric Regula at February 22, 2010 05:53 PM
Sorry Bill D (and Greg M), but the correct analogy would be Dems voting against the tax cuts in DC but then singing the praises of lower taxes at home. Oh and standing for photo ops with the checks to each household. The congressional GOP are hypocrites on an Orwellian scale.
Posted by: psummers at February 22, 2010 06:52 PM
I'm trying to find a place to enumerate how big our stimulus program really is, so for lack of an official blog topic, I'll stick this new one here.
Above I posted the prequel to ARRA. We all own each others houses now that F&F has been nationalized and that "implicit" guarantee seems to morph towards "explicit" with very new foreclosure.
So here is my candidate for the sequel to ARRA. I hope economists agree that preventing bank runs counts as economic stimulus. Don't fail me now guys, remember the Great Depression!
"FDIC Hits Record "Default" Level As Deposit Insurance Fund Plunges By $12.7 Billion To NEGATIVE 20.9 Billion"
Posted by: Cedric Regula at February 23, 2010 08:43 AM
Mankiw ignores that they are not only taking the money but taking credit for it creating jobs in their district after claiming the money would not create jobs.
Posted by: Joe at February 24, 2010 10:53 AM
I read a lot of blogs but none are more politically biased than this one. Wow.
i hope one day you figure out that left, right, red, blue, elephant, donkey are all the same you'll realize the real problem is the system itself - they're all corrupt because they swindled sheople into letting them take power they shouldn't have, under guise of benefiting the greater good.
Some are good, but their affiliation has nothing to do with it.
It's not a democracy if the two candidates are both part of the same scheme.
Posted by: LA Renter at February 26, 2010 08:54 AM
The Republicans are opposed to the stimulus for only one reason.
They are scared to death that it is working, and the economy will reflect that in November, and they will be toast...
Posted by: atheist at February 28, 2010 11:47 AM