Apparently, GOP leaders still don’t get it.
The events of last Fall should’ve been enough failure, enough repudiation for even the most stubborn to take a step back and rethink their world view, re-evaluate their approach. Rational people might think that the continuing unwinding of the economy should be enough to appeal to Republican lawmakers’ sense of patriotism and push them in favor of government investment in jobs and the future. On the contrary, President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill received not a single Republican vote in the U.S. House and is only moving in fits and starts through the Senate.
Notably, one Republican amendment which passed the Senate last night added $19 billion to the bill.
Today, in the Washington Post, Obama made a direct appeal to Washington in an op-ed piece. Two things stand out form me in what the president wrote.
First, he reminds political Washington about the ‘fierce urgency of now.’
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives — action that’s swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.
We are in historic times, perilous times in fact. At this point it doesn’t matter why we’re here, what matters is what moves us forward.
Second, Obama illustrates the stakes and describes the solution:
Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.
That’s why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.
As the fundamentals of the broad economy begin to turn positive and unemployed Americans go back to work and those with jobs shed their anxiety, we can rebuild parts of the system and have all of the big government/small government arguments from a position of economic security. The time for Democrat v. Republican is not suited for this stage of the game. We’ve tried trickle down tax policies as an economic engine and the horsepower just isn’t there for where we need to go today. Barack Obama and the Democrats have the ‘hemi.’