Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Misery Wants Company

The stimulus package offers some badly-needed good news for the 8th Congressional District: 

* an estimated 8,000 jobs

* a 33-week extension of unemployment benefits for 162,000 Michiganders

Unfortunately, Mike Rogers thinks ideological purity is more important than helping working families in a devastated economy.  He's taking potshots, whining that the stimulus "will not help families pay for one doctor visit, or one class in college, or meet the daily needs for food, shelter or transportation." 

Mr. Rogers is singing right out of the GOP hymnbook.  If he had bothered to actually read the bill instead of playing follow-the-Boehner,  he would have discovered some interesting facts.

"Not one doctor visit?"  Wrong.  Some 7 million Americans who have lost their jobs will get a 65% tax credit to keep their health insurance through COBRA.

"Not one college class?" Wrong again. The stimulus package created a new $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit which will help  nearly four million students.  In addition, Pell Grants will be fully funded and the maximum award level will be increased by $500. This will help more than 7 million students afford college.

Rogers' crocodile tears continue for "food, shelter and transportation,"  but a quick read of the White House overview of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act shows that Mr. Rogers needs to sit down and shut up.

Ruth Marcus' column in this morning's WaPo confirms the clique mentality that is the hallmark of Republican legislators:
Instead, the vote demonstrated that everything you need to know about Congress you learned in middle school: Peer pressure works wonders. "The reaction against those of us who negotiated and endorsed the package is really harsh, to say the least, so I think that will deter others who are thinking about coming our way," Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins told me last week.
Mr. Rogers is said to be mulling a run for the Governor's seat in 2010.  If that's the case, look for some impressive tap-dancing when he tries to explain why he voted against 8,000 jobs, infrastructure projects and health care for the 8th Congressional District.

No comments: