Category Archives: Stimulus

Tax day brings tea parties

On April 15th, chances are there is a “tea party” where you live.

While the impulse behind the demonstrations are conservative, the events seem to also be attracting at least a certain amount of moderate and independent citizens turned off by the massive expansion of government in the last several months.

In the Kansas City area, there are at least two tea parties tomorrow. The one I would like to attend – a dubious proposition, given visiting family, but I may try to make part of it – is at Johnson County Community College from 6-9pm. The other is at Liberty Memorial at 4pm.

Info on JCCC event here, and Liberty Memorial event here.

These should be big events, let’s hope they are a success.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Statism, Stimulus

Here a Tea Party, there a Tea Party

Hundreds of citizens braved icy temperatures in Kansas City, Missouri yesterday to protest the government’s actions to socialize the economy. Objecting in particular to Sen. Claire McCaskill‘s (D-Missouri) vote in favor of President Barack Obama‘s massive spending package, the demonstrators staged a “tea party” in the fashion of early revolutionary patriots.

A number of similar events have been held throughout the state and nation in recent days. One participant was kind enough to email some photos from yesterday’s event:

In Kansas City, Missouri, citizens gathered in opposition to President Barack Obama's efforts to nationalize the economy

Citizens gathered near the J.C. Nichols Fountain to oppose President Obama's efforts to nationalize the economy

Beginning the march to Sen. Claire McCaskill's office

They then marched to Sen. Claire McCaskill's local office

Hundreds marched through snow and ice

Hundreds trekked in frigid conditions

Protestors demonstrated near Sen. McCaskill's office in Westport

Protesters demonstrated near Sen. McCaskill's office in Westport

If you have any more photos you’d like to share, please send them my way and I’ll consider posting them. If you were there (or even if you weren’t), please share any of your personal observations in the comments section!

I can only hope that such efforts will continue. Ace – the individual who sent me the photos – estimated that about 200 people showed up for the event. If that many will show up on the first day of snow in months, then that’s good news for future such events.

The Kansas City Star covered the event here. In the small piece devoted to the event, the newspaper did not publish any photos (unless they ran some in the print edition).

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Filed under Bailouts, Conservative Movement, Missouri Politics, Obama, Statism, Stimulus

Tea parties continue with large STL turnout

From John Combest, a round-up on yesterday’s St. Louis Tea Party, which as many as 1,500 people attended:

More pics from Shamed Dogan, who chronicled the event first hand.

And in Springfield, Missouri, again via Combest:

And in Kansas City, Missouri this morning, tea-partyers were expected to meet at the J.C. Nichols Fountain and march on to Sen. Claire McCaskill‘s district office, expressing opposition to her vote for the stimulus package.

The St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City tea parties are part of a national response to Obama’s actions to increase government spending and expand the State. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli sparked the idea in his recent on-air rallying cry for freedom and capitalism in the face of threats from Obama.

Will these public demonstrations make a difference? The stimulus package has already passed, and Obama’s budget proposal looks as fat as it ever.

The impact of theses rallies, then,  is to chip away at Obama’s public facade, to take some of the sheen off his image. The rallies signal to the general public  that it’s not only okay criticize Obama – but that thousands are already taking to the streets to do so.

A PR impact – as opposed to a policy impact – may seem small consolation, but given the type of media coverage, still high (but declining) approval ratings and the general cult of personality Obama has enjoyed, these successful tea parties are of huge importance, and a good place from which to build opposition momentum.

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Filed under Conservative Movement, Missouri Politics, Obama, Stimulus

Indiana Blue Dogs abandon fiscal responsibility

Three members of Indiana’s congressional delegation pledged to fiscal responsibility voted in favor of the massive stimulus package that is likely to cost taxpayers nearly $3.3 trillion and sink the nation further into debt. The bill passed both houses of Congress on Friday almost entirely along partisan lines. While the official price tag was $787 billion, interest on debt incurred and the predictable extension of certain programs means the final cost is much greater, according to a Heritage Foundation analysis of Congressional Budget Office numbers.

Rep. Baron Hill, Rep. Steve Ellsworth and Rep. Joe Donnelly are all members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of House Democrats nominally devoted to financial stability and balanced budgets. Only three caucus members rejected the budget-busting stimulus bill, however, while the rest of its roughly 47 members supported the legislation.

“Although not perfect, this legislation addresses both our immediate and long-term economic issues,” said Rep. Hill in a news release following the vote. “My vote in support of this stimulus package should not serve as an indication of future fiscal measures that will receive my vote. My constituents are well aware of my fiscal conservative beliefs, but now is not the time to be ideologically rigid at the expense of Hoosier families.”

Let’s consider exactly how the stimulus package became a reality: This budget-busting bill was crafted and passed in partisan fashion, behind closed doors without input from Republican lawmakers. There was no time for legislators to read the bill, let alone allow for public feedback, a promise which House leadership violated. All of this runs counter to the stated values of the Blue Dog Coalition.

Mr. Hill’s posturing doesn’t alleviate the cost of debt and inflation to Hoosier families, nor recover a lost opportunity to stimulate the economy with a plan featuring tax cuts for job-creating small businesses and limited, targeted spending on logical and necessary projects and programs (as opposed to tax cuts that are actually transfer payments; other welfare spending; pork projects; and state block grants, among other things).

Blue Dog Democrats Rep. Heath Shuler (NC 11), Rep. Collin Peterson (MN 7) and Rep. Gene Taylor (MS 4) honored the coalition’s codge by voting against the stimulus bill. For Hill, Ellsworth and Donnelly, it seems the Blue Dog label is just cheap campaign rhetoric to convince voters they are something they are not. These three lawmakers should immediately and publicly resign their membership in the organization, because after this vote, they can no longer credibly claim any connection to the values espoused by the organization.

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Filed under Economy, Stimulus

GOP casts doubt on “stimulus” package

Sen. Mitch McConnell warns the stimulus package may not survive

Sen. Mitch McConnell warns the stimulus package may not survive

[UPDATE, Jan. 8, 2009: There’s been renewed attention to this post for some reason, so I wanted to link this an additional and more recent post on the economy. By the way, new job figures were announced today and the “stimulus,” discussed below, hasn’t managed to create or save many jobs – an unfortunate but unsurprising result.]

Objecting to a massive, wide-ranging and openly partisan proposal, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warned that the stimulus package might not pass unless it is re-tooled to focus on housing issues and tax cuts.

The President signaled his awareness of concerns but expressed confidence that the bill he supports will still pass, according a story published by the Associated Press this evening:

“I am confident that by the time we have the final package on the floor that we are going to see substantial support, and people are going to see this is a serious effort. It has no earmarks. We are going to be trimming out things that are not relevant to putting people back to work right now,” Obama said.

Senate Republicans will need to be united to stop this $900 pork-laden bill from becoming law. If the caucus lives up to McConnell and company’s talk, Republicans might actually find themselves back in the good graces of the party’s base – and the American people. Polls show public support for the package evaporating daily.

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Filed under Economy, Obama, Republican Party, Stimulus

Town wants $2 million per person in “stimulus” spending

From U.S. News and World Report, via Drudge tonight, comes this:

Why a Tiny Alabama Town Wants a $375 Million Chunk of the Stimulus

You read that right. In fairness, the town says that its proposed projects would benefit residents in nearby parts of the county. All 80,000 of them.

When you announce that $1 trillion bucks of other people’s money is up for grabs, you’re going to see ridiculous items like this. And this – a bailout for the porn industry. The only question is: which proposal is more obscene?

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Filed under Bailouts, Economy, Stimulus