Feb 052009

photo21_elephant.jpgAs in “Shit and fall back in it.” The Republican plans were completely repudiated in the last election, they are scrambling to try to dress up the brand, and their only solution is to try and obstruct an economic recovery. It seems they went off to their big annual meeting, and applauded each other because every one of the Republicans in Congress voted No on the economic stimulus package.

Obama had given in way more than he should have, and that concerns me. On the other hand, it allows Democrats, if the plan works, to call out the Republicans on it. I suspect that, despite their public show, many of them are sweating behind the scenes. Probably, like Rush Limbaugh, hoping upon hope that Obama will fail.

What a great spokesperson and leader of the Republican Guard Rush is. His answer to current economic situation…let’s hope Obama fails (so we can fall into a depression of unheard of proportions), so we can try to get our majority back in government. What is unfortunate, a lot of people continue to believe the drivel.

The Republicans, claiming the only solution is to cut taxes, have come out with their own proposal, and guess what, Greg Sargent’s, The Plum Line Blog, is reporting that it’s been determined the Republican proposal will actually raise taxes on a number of people.

In 2008, 4.2 million Americans had to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The Republican proposal would lower marginal tax rates for individuals, but would not reduce AMT rates. Current law requires you to pay the greater of the two rates, so many of those receiving this lower marginal rate would now be held liable for the AMT.

So they’re off to a great start.

Now they’re moaning because of language in the bill that prohibits use of the stimulus funds from being used for religious purposes. According to an article in Salon.com:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told the Christian Broadcasting Network, “Democrats are looking for every opportunity to purge faith and prayer from the public square. This will empower the ACLU with ambiguous laws that create liability for schools, universities, and student organizations. This is an attack on people of faith and I don’t think Americans will stand for it.” His spokesman, Wesley Denton, went even further, saying, “[A]ny school that gets funds to upgrade a student center or building where Bible studies or religious meetings may be held will be slapped with a lawsuit. This bill declares a war on prayer at college campuses in this country.”

In the Senate version, the language that has DeMint’s panties all in a wad is:

No funds awarded under this section may be used for… modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.

Turns out that this sort of language is actually absolutely standard, as has been point out to Faux News. The language doesn’t prohibit funds from going to religious schools; it just means they can’t use it on any of their facilities that are use primarily for religious purposes. Nor would it mean that public schools would have to keep things like Bible studies out of any buildings renovated with stimulus funding. This isn’t some secret, either — it’s legal principle dating back decades.

So, when your job vanishes, thank the Republicans for having no plan except to stall anything the Democrats want to do. Obama bares some responsibility too. He played this stupid “bipartianship game” and allowed the GOP to take control of the message.

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