Here is a remarkably on point comment from Gene Lyons of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:
Maybe the best way to get some perspective on President Obama's $800 billion economic stimulus plan is to compare it with a couple of his predecessor's noteworthy adventures in the art of governance.
Faced with a mild recession in 2001, George W. Bush contended that "a warning light is flashing on the dashboard of our economy, and we just can't drive on and hope for the best. We need tax relief now." His answer was a $1.35 trillion tax cut targeted largely at the wealthy, i.e.. more than 50 percent larger than the Obama initiative.
Enacted with numerous Democratic votes, the Bush tax cuts were supposed to invigorate a sluggish economy. Eight years later, with the aid of a chart prepared by thinkprogress.org, the results are clear. Unemployment has grown from 4 to 7.6 percent and continues to increase frighteningly fast. The economy lost 3.6 million jobs last year, and 600,000 in January alone. The number of persons living in poverty has risen from 12.7 to 17 percent. In 2001, 17 million Americans relied on food stamps; today, 30 million do.
Contrary to GOP dogma, Bush's tax cuts also failed to pay for themselves. As Obama pointed out during his Feb. 9 news conference, the national debt doubled on his predecessor's watch. The Iraq war alone cost several times more than Obama's stimulus plan. Republicans like Sen. John McCain who voted to spend billions rebuilding Iraqi roads, schools and power plants now call it "criminal" to rebuild them here at home.
GOP politicians stood quietly by when Bush's Coalition Provisional Authority air-lifted $12 billion in cash, 363 tons of crisp, shrink-wrapped $100 bills, to Iraq. Then reportedly couldn't account for almost $9 billion of it. As in, the money vanished. Permanently. Odd how quiet the allegedly liberal media's been about it, don't you think? Imagine the uproar had a Democratic administration done that.
The point is the dashboard light is not blinking anymore. The U.S. economy's broken down at the side of the road with black smoke pouring out from under the hood. Fire extinguisher? Completely unnecessary, Republicans chant. Why, Rush Limbaugh says if we'd just cut taxes again, Americans could afford to rotate the tires. The fire will die out eventually. Anything else would be socialism!
I too find it interesting that the very same politicians who now cry "generational theft" are the ones who did the cheerleading for invading Iraq, something that will cost far more in the end than the most wild-eyed liberal spending plan. So much of that money (the lost 12 billion is but one part of the total) was wasted or lost to corruption. And don't forget the huge amounts paid by the taxpayer to subsidize mercenaries and war crimes (Haliburton and Blackwell).
(Hat tip to Toujoursdan for this)
And the same people who brought you the Iraq War are now trying to climb back into power by convincing you that it's government lending money out to poor people (time honored Republican code for the specter of taxpayer subsidized Black people that makes hard working lilly white blood boil) that caused the current economic train wreck. No sale.