Blame Enough To Go Around

So the passage of President Obama’s stimulus package–the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009–has passed, to the tune of $789 billion, and fiscal conservatives around the country are howling mad.  “Tea Party” protests are sweeping the nation.  One blog post I happened across this week featured a graphic of a tombstone for the United States, giving the “death” date as November 4, 2008, the day of Obama’s election.  (You’re late, by the way–I had the same idea months ago.) 

But is that really the day that history will remember as the tipping point towards financial ruin for our republic?  Did Obama suddenly come in and drastically change course for the government, or is he just continuing business as usual? 

Or better yet…where were all those tea party protests before now? 

Where were the protests on October 3, 2008, when the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ($700 billion) was signed into law?  Shouldn’t that be the date on the tombstone? 

Where were the protests on September 30, 2008, when the “Big Three” automakers got a $25 billion loan? 

Where was the coordinated network of national protests on September 16, 2008, when the Federal Reserve gave insurance giant AIG a $75 billion bailout?

Where were the fiscal conservatives rising up and demanding results on July 30, 2008, when the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 ($300 billion) became law? 

So if we’re going to become especially indignant about Obama’s “porkulus” package, we’re very much a conservative pot calling a liberal kettle black.

5 comments on “Blame Enough To Go Around

  1. I am ashamed of those politicians who acted from purely political motives and supported Bush’s bailouts, and then have the audacity to call themselves fiscal conservatives or something similar. But that doesn’t change the fact that plenty of us outside of government and some actual fiscal conservative politicians have been against bailouts from the beginning. We are not hypocrites. We’re just a minority.

  2. Thanks, guys. I’m absolutely a fiscal conservative (by the way, isn’t everybody? Who’s out there going, “I believe the best way to run things is to shamelessly waste as much of our finite monetary resources as possible!”), but the full speed ahead rhetoric of the right this week was irritating. Some of that outrage would have come in handy during the last administration, too, fellas. (And to the credit of many, many conservatives, Bush did endure much criticism for his profilgate spending–he holds the presidential record for going longest without vetoing a spending bill–but the excessive zeal now strikes me as conveniently partisan.)

  3. Cute, but almost completely meaningless point. Either the mountains of new spending are a good idea or they aren’t. Interrogating people who oppose the new spending on whether they are hypocrites or not is pointless.

    • Pointless? Adam, selective opposition is hardly besides the point. There are plenty of people who have been consistently against wasteful spending, and I do applaud those who are standing firmly against all forms of it now, but the zealous brouhaha now that Obama’s in office should give all conservatives pause to consider why they’re only now kicking into high gear, and what that implies about their priorities: whether they’re conservatives who stand on principle first, or whether they’re just partisan hacks. I think a lot of conservatives recognize that our country has long been led by a single party: the Republicrats, and their warped reign needs to end.

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